A balsa/flax core with a layer of carbon and Titanal underfoot, the Faction Prime 3.0 is a stiff high-altitude tool that weighs less than 2000 grams per ski. The Prime 3.0 is Swiss mountain guide and skier Sam Anthamatten’s design.
Anthamatten grew up under the shadow of the Matterhorn in Zermatt and spends his days touring the highest peaks in the world. So it makes sense that his ski of choice is one the Powder Union called a “beast.” Union skier Wally Phillips took the Prime straight into the Big Couloir, the most visible line at Big Sky that drops steeply for 800 vertical feet. It’s a beautiful, steep, rock-walled lined shot that has reliably chalky snow. “It completely excelled due to an easy pivot with a damp but predictable turn and feel,” said Phillips. “Add some good float with no edge catch and you have one of the better big mountain skis.”
Capable drivers are required, however. The tail is stiff, meaning any backseat driving will send you off track. As such, the Union would not recommend this ski to an intermediate skier who needs a big sweet spot to get down the mountain. For those who charge, though, the Prime is ready to ride. —Julie Brown