Looking for all mountain freeride skis? Then read this Faction Prodigy 4.0 review, which was carried out by Rachel Findler, an ex pro who was on the Freeride World Tour.
I recently moved from Whistler, Canada back to The Alps. Verbier to be exact. Although let’s face it I’m never in one place for more than a week or two (but it’s pretty awesome).
Moving back to the Alps with its steep terrain, gnarly long couloirs, no fall zones, glaciers, pow, ice, trees and everything else it was time to switch up my skis – hence this Faction Prodigy 4.0 review.
Faction skis launched around 12 years ago. Their mission was to make fun skis that are affordable and will last without constant servicing. Over a decade, and multiple Candide Thovex videos later they are one of the most respected brands in the market.
I got my first pair of Factions in 2010. I used to get stopped in lift queues when skiing in British Columbia. People would ask what they were like. They had heard of “Faction Skis” from Europe who were leading the freeriding scene and wanted to know more.
Since launch, Faction have been at the forefront of the fat ski and rocker revolution and the development of symmetrical twin tips. They have also led the creation of lightweight hybrid cores and use of recycled materials to make more eco friendly skis.
They still stick to their core values, but with 29 different skis in their range it is safe to say they have grown considerably. So when looking at the Faction line it was hard to narrow down which Faction skis to go for.
The Candide, which I’ve had before, is so playful and fun. Perfect for a powder day and so quick to respond in the trees, and don’t even get me started on hitting pillow lines with these woohoo!!!
Faction Prodigy 4.0 review
There are a range of tests I do when trying out skis:
- How do they perform at speed? Find a nice straight line and go for it. I can’t be dealing with anything chattering around under my feet. It’s not good for confidence.
- How they handle on cliffs. Are they easy to pop and are they solid on landings?
- How do they ride in the trees? You need quick responding skis that are easy to control.
- How do they ski in crud? Like it or not you’re going to ski cruddy days – serious chopped up snow, ice or sticky schmoo spring conditions you can hardly move in. You need skis that can handle it all.
- Do they make me look good? It’s all about looking good right! I need to make sure these skis are suited to my style and the terrain I’m skiing. I wouldn’t look good skiing the Cosmique Couloir on a pair of park skis.
How do they perform at speed?
The Prodigy 4.0 has a 410mm nose rocker and a 400mm tail rocker combined with 3mm of camber. For me this is a dream combo. I can float on the powder but its poplar and ash core makes the ski a little stiffer.
This means when I’m charging in couloirs or coming out of straight lines my skis aren’t chattering under my feet. It helps the ski stay stiff when turning at high speeds and holds the edges stronger for those no fall zones. The skis are awesome at speed, but they want to go fast.
How do they handle on cliffs?
I notice the rocker on my takeoffs and when popping around. My first air off a wind lip I went bigger than expected. You can feel the flex in the tail which means you can butter, be playful and ride switch. This must be why Johnny Collinson uses this ski.
On the landings I felt stable and solid. Some rocker skis are really spoony and throw me in the back seat but these were solid. I mounted the Prodigy 4.0 at ski centre, I previously had the Candide and mounted them Candide centre. For me, I should have mounted them a few mm’s forward.
How do they ride in the trees?
To put it bluntly if your skis don’t have a quick response and you like to play in the trees, you’re in trouble! Whether your skis pivot or carve you need to have them under control to weave in and out of trees.
During this Faction Prodigy 4.0 review I was able to do both. The Prodigy series has what Faction call “The Surf Zone”, they have matched up the rocker, the side cut and taper so turning the ski is effortless.
I was having a blast pivoting and slashing pow between trees. But when I got to the more open areas I was able to do biiiiiig carver turns around them. Best of both worlds!
How do they ski in the crud?
Thanks to a fresh three feet of snow followed by warm temperatures I was able to test all conditions on my first day on the Prodigy 4.0. North facing pow, south facing ice, spring schmoo and everything in between.
It was a brutal conditions. But these bad boys held up in it all. The ice was so hard but the skis held their edge. When I got annoyed and decided to straight line the ice to get it over and done with, the skis were super solid.
Do they make me look good?
Obviously! These skis are suitable for all terrain. They are excellent all mountain freeride skis which you can really charge on.
There is 112mm under foot which keeps the ski floating on top and the 136mm rocker tip charges forward. So I think I look pretty bad ass ripping around on these.
All mountain freeride skis
Faction is also a great company I want to be associated with. As a skier I’m environmentally conscious (I want to ski forever) and Faction go above and beyond to put this issue at the core of their company.
Their eco friendly flax fibres (instead of fiberglass) keep the ski strong. Their staff haul food and gear up to the lodges in the Alps so helicopters don’t have to be used. Now that is commitment to a cause and something I want to be a part of.
We hope you found this Faction Prodigy 4.0 review useful. For more info about these all mountain freeride skis visit: www.factionskis.com/prodigy-4-0
All photos by award winning photographer Rick Findler.