Ski: Faction Prodigy 1.0 2022
Reviewer height/weight: 6’1” / 160lbs
Ski weights: 1989g/1970g
Length skied: 184cm
Actual length (with straight tape): 182.2cm
Mounted: -2cm from true center
Bindings: Rossignol FKS 14s
Locations: Zermatt Summer Park, Das Swamp, Bearsden & Stoke Dryslope
Conditions skied: Summer Park (Ice, Slush and Surprise Pow), Indoor, Dryslope
Days Skied: 20+
[Editor's note: Our review was conducted on the 2022 Faction Prodigy, which is unchanged for 2023 except for graphics]
The Faction Prodigy 1.0 is the skinniest of the Prodigy lineup, a staple of Faction for a few years now, and providing the daily drivers for most of the freestyle team, the CT lineup providing a more traditional park ski shape while the Prodigy a more modern directional twin design, with tapered noses and signature “Surf Zones”, to create a playful more playful experience The new Prodigy 1.0 hasn’t changed too much for this winter, but the new model is actually based off the popular Prodigy 2.0 rather than the previous 1.0.
The ski features a poplar/ash core and “surf zones” and the waist has been slimmed down by a couple of mm to 88 from the 90 of the previous model. It is a reasonably stiff ski but softer than the Candide 1.0 I also reviewed, by a fair distance. On a hand flex, the ski flexes evenly, but like most park skis it is stiffer in the tail than the nose; a softer feeling nose is also created by longer rocker in the front of the ski and a greater rise in the nose (a 65mm and 14mm respectively).
This contributed to mounting at -2cm from true centre, I’ve had no issues with this myself and understand this is where much of the team mount; I think another good option would be camber centre if you feel like measuring it.
Faction do have an awesome fact sheet on their site with all these dimensions across all ski lengths and mounting points; although it varies by a couple mm for length the recommended mount points (from true centre) are; Classic -7cm, Progressive -5.5cm and Newschool -4cm.
In terms of flex the Prodigy sits somewhere around 7 - 8 - 7.5 through the ski. It’s reasonably stiff but if you put your weight behind ‘em you can get them to flex nicely and like many skis it just takes a bit of time to get used to how and where they flex. I think they broke in a bit as I rode them and I worked out the flex pattern in equal measure, so I felt them get more playful over time. But they’re by no means designed to be soft, they’re designed to handle huge landings from the stacked team as well.
I skied the Faction Prodigy 1.0s during my month long stint in Zermatt this year and have recently been shredding them in my local dome, having been almost entirely unable to get any other skiing in this year thanks to the pandemic; our Roofbox Reviews have been a little cursed this year but we’re powering on.
The most “real” skiing I got on these was when we got a surprise 6(10?)cms or so of snow on the glacier and I tried to give these the best all-mountain style testing I could. I did lament not getting them onto a proper mountain before taking the edges off to ride dryslope PVC - as I did with last year’s CT 1.0s which were amazing with fresh edges and going fast and jibby, the Prodigy is designed to be a more all-mountain oriented twin and I feel they’d be super fun to ski like that too.
In all honesty, I’d not enjoyed them too much in the summer park up until this (more on that later) but I found them to perform very well when used how a ski should be… driving through carvey turns, forwards and switch, they hold an edge super well and are as quick edge to edge as you’d expect an 88mm underfoot ski to perform. With a 19m (17m in a 178 and 16m in the 171) radius they handled all manner of turns I wanted them to do except maybe the very shortest between features.
One of my favorite characteristics of these skis I noticed when just turning was how the rocker and elliptical sidecut really gripped on the inside edge of the ski while laying into the carves switch, I especially felt that through the noses of the ski. This isn’t something I’ve noticed in many skis before, it felt awesome and gave me great stability during switch carves at speed, still probably one of my favorite things to do on the hill. I didn’t ski too many jumps on these but that control in a switch stance would feel awesome on a good carved takeoff.
If I didn’t think too much about these being a ‘park ski’ and more about them being an all-mountain ski (which I guess they are, just twinned) they started to make sense in my head in a way they hadn’t during the rest of the trip. I tend towards a 95mm underfoot ski as the bottom of my width range especially when faced with soft and slushy conditions, although I’m finding enjoying a more traditional park/all-mountain ski width especially for all-out park skiing - easier on the knees for one - so are the likes of Dollo and Twig; the two biggest names in the industry.
In the softer snow we had they handled it well for the size but an 98mm underfoot (Prodigy 2.0) would have done better, I spun some laps on my homies 2.0s for some laps and that extra width made the difference in the slush and softer stuff for sure. I don’t think anyone is buying the 1.0 for snowy days, however, the early rise did well and the 88mm waist performed as expected, I was happy that these would make a good all-mountain ski in a lower snow area, with the versatility of a freestyle twin making it an excellent freestyle option also.
This one morning of piste/pow laps before the park got good was a Damascene moment for me on these skis. I realised their true potential as resort bashing freestyle twin and felt like I’d been giving them a hard time all trip. So I re-evaluated them a little after that, although it might have had something to do with this one turn I made.
September Slash // Filmed by Tom KP
I said these felt less at home on the glacier than other slightly wider, softer options; they're still great fun in the park. The full sidewall means that the relative stiffness runs throughout the ski, meaning they’re stable at high speeds, although I never really found a top speed on these skis. They have plenty of energy off lips and offer plenty of support on landing, especially if you’re a little heavy for or aft.
This stability comes with a bit of a weight trade off and at times in Zermatt I found them a bit heavy and slow for switch up and more technical tricks. However, riding them in my local snowdome (SnowFactor Braehead AKA The Swamp) over the last month and a half I found these more at home. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of riding an indoor park the conditions can be described as somewhere between sheet ice and sugary snow and is generally pretty grabby and very firm. Here these shone, they are stable and poppy. Giving me confidence on jumps and rails where the flex in something softer; ARV 96 (pre being made stiff), Fauna Omni, 1000 Skis Park ski, would bottom out and fold - I love all those skis for different things but for hard, fast and, more often than not in my case, sketchy landings the Prodigy 1.0 provides a great platform for learning tricks and being progressive.
I learnt a bunch of rail tricks on these and the poplar/ash core makes them energetic. It took me a while to trust the pop on them but once I did I found spins on to rails took a lot less effort than on softer less springy skis helping me get into position on the rail earlier rather than having to take airtime to get spins round - part of this has to be attributed to my comfort levels with these tricks but it’s worth noting.
Quick Dome Hits // Filmed by DAS SWAMP
In terms of finding the flex point of the skis it took me a while, they're not as soft as the Faction team (or other very strong riders) make them out to be; I found I really had to throw myself behind these to get them to bend significantly but when I did they were incredibly fun. I find poppy skis generally bring me round more centered out of butters and I found these to basically held me throwing everything at them and giving a good dose of it back. Meaning I could go bigger on my butters and get some real flex out of the skis, once I found that zone and the oomph I had to give them to get them to flex, at least through the noses, these were playful but stable. I did find it much harder to do tail butters etc but that stiffer tail is a godsend on jump landings, a worthy trade-off in my eyes.
These took a bit of getting used to and a few days in conditions they might not be best suited to but in the end I fell in love with these skis for how fun they made skiing park fast and aggressively whilst having a playful side to learn about and use.
When it comes to Faction skis this is what everyone wants to know about. We all know they ski amazingly by now but everyone has a horror story of their, or their friends, Factions disintegrating. While there’s also much anecdotal evidence that the durability has been improved - Daniel Hanka has said in our forums he never breaks his skis - Faction’s credibility when it comes to durability sits alongside the old Line skis.
Unfortunately, these skis didn't hold up super well for me. I didn’t give them the most aggressive detune, which was perhaps a mistake; I was rushed before a session where we’d be skiing a lot of PVC and I had to just take enough edge off to be safe from soft plastic. I did this with a welders de-burrer rather than a file and this is something I’ll try and avoid in the future. I want to give the benefit of the doubt where I can as I’d ideally like to put a heavier detune on skis I’d ride so rail heavy in the future.
That being said, the edges had 3 cracks in them by day 3 of my month-long trip to Zermatt and at the time of writing that number is 10+. Underfoot there is a die-cut base, not known for its durability, and I can’t really understand the logic of putting a well-known weak point beneath a known point of stress on a park ski. The base has cracked in line with the edge cracks underfoot on both skis. I rode these fairly hard although I don’t tend to crack edges that often (the Fauna Omnis sustained a single underfoot crack in 3 odd weeks of rail riding on the glacier, a similar testing environment, and duration). Disasters etc were a big part of how I skied these over summer, as I found due to to the waist width they were the most fun at higher speeds than more playful rail skiing - the kind done on the Faunas and 1000s.
The microcap construction held the topsheet together well, one nasty slam catching the stairset sideways took a chunk out of the topsheet but held out well, all things considered, I had no concerns here. It is a shame to see such awesome skis fall apart like this as I had a blast on them in the end and look forward to taking them to a resort when I get the chance and really testing their speed limits and playfulness, and to the streets of Glasgow if we get the snow for it.
I think I had mixed feelings about these skis from the word go and we didn’t get off to a good start together. The edges gave way pretty early and I was feeling very uninspired on them in the summer slush. With a few good turns in some real snow and plenty of park laps I kind of realized their place in my (or anyone else's) quiver. The Prodigy 1.0 felt like a great freestyle tool, a progressive ski that's as at home in the park as it is just laying turns and boosting around resort. I really enjoyed the directional shape and the early rise in the nose made for a very playful ski but one that's remains a solid platform. I think these skis are for you if you're after a park ski that's going to jib the rest of the hill.
To an extend I think these skis are targeted more at the East Coaster or the dome kid; they would get the most out of these skis. As a park option with a good versatility for general daily ripping these offer a great narrower "do everything but the deep stuff" kind of option. I loved the Prodigy 1.0 after a bit of shredding. It's just a shame the durability let them down, I might have had a dud pair or not given them the love they deserved, Twig has had Prodigy 1.0s hold up pretty well, but the durability was still the downside for me.
That aside, these are genuinely great skis. All the Faction's I've skied have performed great, and these are one of the better skis to actually ski on that I've tried. They rip and the shape is so versatile. They are the perfect do it all park ski for someone who likes a narrow ski, just maybe detune them first!