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The new Dictator series from Faction comes in three models and the 3.0 is designed as a hard charging freeride ski for experts - so how did our esteemed test team handle them on the snow?

Level
Expert
Terrain
Freeride
Best for
Competitors on the World Freeride Tour and people who are better than them at skiing
Price
£559
Season
2017/18
lengths
174,178,182,186,192
Bindings?
No
Float
5
Versatility
3
Playfulness
3
Energy
4
Value
4
Stability
6
Overall Score
5
+
It looks amazing
It's an absolute handful of the highest order

Let's work backwards here - if you're not a super strong, hard charging, freeride demi-god who likes nothing less than straight-lining steep chutes on the front side of the Bec de Rosses in Faction's home town of Verbier, perhaps hucking a cliff or two on the way down, then only read on out of interest, as this is not a ski for you.

The initial shock of attempting to make turns in the soft, deep powder snow conditions we had during our 2017 on snow test in Austria, were too much for our highly experienced, yet 'not professional World Freeride Tour' skiers. It took some explaining from the team at Faction before we understood how to approach the Dictator 3.0.

Fast and hard apparently - the issue is, if you don't ride them fast and hard then it really is a mission to find any enjoyment, in any kind of snow conditions, at all. On groomed hardpack they feel a little like factory tuned race skis, except you don't get all the benefits that skis like that would bring - once they're in the kind of terrain they are designed for, you need exceptional strength, buckets of experience and the will to ski the type of lines you're used to watching on YouTube on a Sunday morning with a cuppa.

We are former ski racers, highly qualified instructors and ski all season long - this ski was too much for us to handle. When you do let go and let rip then of course they perform - so stiff, so powerful. Yes, if you're a professional freeride skier and every turn you make is for the camera or the judges, then we understand - but beware, if that's not you then for once, let us dictate to you, stay clear of this narcissistic beast of a ski.

All our reviews are independent and unbiased. We may earn a commission when you buy from links to Amazon and other affiliates on this page.