Tracking innovations in the ski industry one trusted gear review at a time. From skis to underwear, if it makes your skiing better or worse, we want to know. Exposing the over-hyped gear and directing the love to where it belongs is the intention of these real people gear reviews. Got a product you’re curious about? Drop us a note and we’ll get one of our trusted gear reviewers on the cause!
THE GEAR REVIEWER
Jaret is a quiet 26-year-old that’s a dirt nerd (Geotech) based in Squamish BC. Every weekend and weekdays with bragable snow, you can find him making quick work of Whistler Blackcomb. Despite growing up skiing a hill with a vertical gain equivalent to the Magic Chair, his annual family trips have Jaret acquainted with Blackcomb better than most long time locals. His focus is primarily on skiing technical freeride lines with speed, fluidity, and style. The guy you saw pole out of Spanky’s, with remnants of a face shot on his upper lip and a shit-eating grin on his face, at 2 pm on a Saturday, four days after the last storm? That was probably Jaret.
NAME: Jaret Bull
YEARS SKIING: 25
HEIGHT: 179 cm
WEIGHT: 76 kg
SIZE OF SKI: 191 cm
CONDITIONS TESTED IN: Cellophane and Cardboard
NUMBER OF DAYS TESTED: 0 to date
BINDING + BOOT COMBO USED IN TESTS: Lange XT FREE LV PRO MODEL + Look PIVOT 18 with CAST Freetour Upgrade Kit
GEAR REVIEW FACTION DICTATOR 4.0: IN SHORT
When asked what skis I’d love to try this year, I was immediately drawn to the Faction Dictator 4.0. After a trip to a local shop to lay eyes on them, my initial thoughts coincided with Faction’s claim that if “you want to go fast; you want to blast through any and all snow conditions and hit cliffs; you are skiing a mountain that has all variety of terrain and conditions; you’ll love this ski.” After the initial inspection, these were the skis I had to try this season.
The best thing about Factions Dictator 4.0 Skis? Metal – in recent years ski construction has been trending towards the lighter side. This tends to result in a compromise in strength and stiffness. Faction has laid up these skis with two layers of metal. I’m looking forward to a ski that is strong, stiff, and durable.
Best used for? For me, this type of ski is a daily driver. But if you have a quiver this is the kind of ski that you want to have under you when navigating big mountain terrain, hitting airs to questionable transitions, and trying to break the sound barrier on an open face.
Downfalls? These skis are a gun. Stiff, wide skies aren’t for the faint of heart. Arc it or park it – these skis probably aren’t for you if you don’t have the power to make em bend.
Don’t use in these circumstances: If you like to ski slow. These are the kind of skis that wake up with speed.
Favorite feature? Length and Stiffness – It’s hard to find long stiff skis. It is such an advantage to have a long, stiff, reliable ski when skiing demanding terrain in conditions that are less than ideal. I look for a ski that doesn’t scream slow down when the conditions get rough. I expect these skis aren’t going to let me down here due to their construction.
Would you recommend Faction’s Dictator 4.0 Skis? Based on my initial observations totally. But, check back in once I’ve had a few days on them and my ski legs are primed. I would expect you’ll see a solid confirmation.
FULL GEAR GURU THOUGHTS
As a relatively light guy, I’m pretty hard on my gear. I generally weigh the performance of a product based on a combination of feel and durability. I expect this review is going to be helpful for the guys out there who can’t seem to catch a break and are unable to make it through the season on a single pair of skis. Based on my initial observations, I am hopeful that this ski is a high-value balance of performance and durability. There is no question that I will put these skis through the wringer in all conditions this year, and I am excited to see how they stack up. Typically I will ski a ski that is 116 to 120 underfoot 99% of the days I ski. This ski will be challenged with carving ice, blasting crud, and most importantly taking down some big lines when the conditions allow. Stay posted for an update soon, ski season is around the corner.