Emma Gieblerwrote a review of Faction Skis Dictator 2.0 Ski on January 9, 2018
Familiarity: I've used it several times
While shopping for a "front-side" ripper for here in Utah, I stumbled across these and decided to give them a go. Keep in mind that a front-side ski in Utah is going to be wider than in other locations; typically something in the 95mm-100mm range is perfect for hardpack days here in the land of powder. I was skiing early-season on the low tide snowpack on my Moment Deathwish (112m underfoot) as my everyday ski, but then decided that I needed some rippers that would complement my pow skis, hold up on ice, and allow me to rail some big turns on the steeps.
Enter the Dictator 2.0. A new line from Faction and a bit of a departure from the brand's sister skis, the Dictator is a more traditional shaped ski. The whole Dictator series comes in a variety of waist widths for different objectives (85mm, 95mm, 105mm, 115mm), and with two sheets of metal added into the core, the skis get stiffer as the waist widths grow. I chose the Dictator 2.0 at 95mm underfoot to rip around Snowbird and Alta when there's not any more than 3-4 inches of fresh to hit (that's when the pow skis come out). With tip rocker, camber underfoot, and slight tail rocker, you get an incredibly versatile charger of a ski. Add in the two sheets of titanal, and you've got a set of planks strapped to your feet that you likely won't find a speed limit on. At 5'6" and 145lbs, I ski the 175cm length, which I admit I find to be a tad long for my abilities due to stiffness. I can, however, learn a LOT from this ski and progress with my skills.
So far this season, we've had mainly icy hardpack mixed with a few inches of snow here and there and, of course, moguls for days. The hardpack performance is phenomenal, and I have yet to find a speed limit. The stability on steeper slopes is where this ski really starts to shine, and it's surprising how quick it is edge-to-edge when flying down Regulator Johnson at Snowbird. On the less steep runs, it's amazingly fun to sit in the backseat occasionally and juice the tails a little bit. Those tails will hold you in the backseat for a hot minute and then slow-mo slingshot you into your turns. I've gotta say that this is an incredibly fun feature of this ski. On shallower slopes, this ski really doesn't carve that I would like it to, mainly due to the insignificant sidecut (dimensions 122-95-108mm), which again is better set up for stability on the steeps. See the Dictator 1.0 for better carving abilities.
In chopped up snow, this ski is quick to respond to imperfections and not toss you around even though it's about a 7/10 on the stiffness scale. This is all in thanks to the rockered tip and tail, and I am easily able to shut the ski down on a moment's notice and throw it sideways, even though it doesn't feel like it pivots sideways as easily and Faction's brothers (Candide, Prodigy, etc.).
I find bumps to be the biggest challenge on this ski, and that might be because I am in the 175cm, and this is where the 171cm may be a benefit for me. With a ton of ski in front of me, it's a bit trickier to get forward enough to stay in a charging position with my body, and if I get thrown into the backseat, I end up riding the stiff tails, sending me into a carve in the bumps. That being said, that ski is still playful enough that I could see myself learning to fine tune my technique and eventually learn to cruise through moguls smoothly. I'm curious to see how this progresses for me.
While this ski is built to handle a bit of powder, it doesn't have the float of a powder ski, mainly due to the camber and stiffer tail. If you're looking for the all-mountain/pow option, see the Dictator 3.0 and see the 4.0 for the dedicated powder option.
To summarize, I'm stoked on the Faction Dictator 2.0 as an all mountain ripper, and I can see myself benefiting from this ski. With a stiff profile and traditional shape, this ski is meant for advanced/expert skiers. I love playing around and exploring the mountain, and it's extra fun for side hits.