REVIEWS AND TESTS
Ski Tests & Reviews
Facet Prospector 176cm (2017-2018)
Facet Prospector (2017-2018)
(Left-to-Right) Facet Regulator, Facet Porkchop and Facet Prospector
Mike and Joe Migliorino
46 Mollbrook Drive
Wilton, CT 06897
Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):
Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")
8+ to 9 for soft to medium density snow for agile, short-to-medium radius turns, trees
8 for groomers and hardpack for a 100mm waisted ski
9+ for cruddy conditions and cut-up surfaces at less than warp-9 speeds
Mike and Joe Migs (Migliorino) started Facet skis in 2012 in Connecticut USA and began experimenting with all kinds of layups and designs, bringing their products to the public a couple of years later. They focus on hand-crafting their skis in their own shop, but have also explored outsourcing designs to OEM manufacturing facilities like NeverSummer in Colorado to test feasibility and quality of different production strategies.
"The Prospector is your all around everyday ski. You can take it anywhere and it will preform just the way you want it to. Its bamboo construction gives you the stiffness and flexiblity you need to make perfect turns on the groomers and the perfomance needs to crush through the crud later in the day.
In bounds or beyond the ropes get out there and PROSPECT, bring home an ADVENTURE!"
- Website April 2018
Technical Ski Data:
Bindings and Boots Used:
Tyrolia AAATack 13 bindings
Salomon S-Max 120 boots.
The skis Joe Migs delivered to us for our review was a well-used demo pair with lots of miles on them, so we got a chance to see how they hold up after many days of abuse. The glossy topsheet had some chips and scratches, but Facet may be changing this topsheet material in future production versions. This pair was an early production model, so it was more functional than pretty, but based on the new pairs of Facets we examined, the new pairs offered for sale are nicely finished. The shape had Fun-100 written all over it, and reminded us of several skis we have really liked in the past such as DPS and PowderNorth. Tip and tail taper is moderate, but nicely balanced. Flex was soft at the tip and tail, but more stout underfoot with a good mid-section solidity along the transition zone from tip and tail. Bases were decorated with very cool floral-like psycho pattern we liked a lot.
Eastern corduroy, packed powder and hardpack groomers & boilerplate. Some shin-deep powder sections, bumps, open areas and trees.
The Facet Prospector is a really quick, agile, super-fun freeride 100mm-waisted ski for all over the mountain...with a bias toward softer, deeper conditions instead of hardpack groomers (but works remarkably well on groomers...read on..) The rocker profiles at the tip and tail work very well with the cambered midbody to deliver a nicely balanced "fun freeride" ski with a surfy, loose and energetic handling personality punctuated with a surprisingly good bite and acceleration on groomers and hardpack. The Migs brothers ski the East, so they need a wide-body ski to grip when conditions aren't fluffy, and the Prospector does the trick. The Prospector skis a little shorter than it measures with the shortened effective edge provided by the rocker profile front and rear, but the cambered midsection and bamboo construction delivers an excellent bite and kick when needed. The relatively soft flex up front can lead to a little flap at highest speeds through rough terrain, but trades-off into a really agile and quick-quick-quick navigator in the trees with lots of spunk and zip. We really liked the Prospector, and we see why Joe says it's his favorite, daily-driver ski for almost all the conditions he encounters. Like the other Facet skis we tried, these are a deal at $650 usd.
Hardpack and Boilerplate:
The Facet Prospector is indeed a100mm-waisted ski with rockered tip and tail, so you wouldn't expect it to be as grippy on hardpack as it is. We were surprised how this well-used demo pair in need of a tune delivered a secure edge on hard surfaces, and when we gave it a hand-tune with files, gummies and stones, it was impressively secure and quick edge-to-edge, even at speed. It's rockered design means there is a short edge surface to work with on hard surfaces, but you can get an excellent bite underfoot when running flat, or a nicely grippy edge on a longer surface if you flex the ski at a higher angle to engage the front and rear more deeply. Many 100mm-waisted, rockered skis can hold an edge pretty well these days, and the Facet Prospector delivers a top-level bite and great tail acceleration in its class on firm surfaces at a surprisingly high level for a ski of this type if you tune it properly. We found we had a surprisingly high level of confidence in our edgehold with the Prospectors, eventually taking them out in fimer conditions in a more athletic fashion than we usually would with a 100mm ski.
Mixed Surface & Variable Conditions:
The Facet Prospector excells as surfing and dancing through crud, mixed-surface conditions, manky or cut-up snow. It's more of fun-surfer than freight-train crud-cutter, and can become just a little loose-feeling at highest speeds in rough surfaces, but is super agile, fun, poppy, energetic and accurate through variable snow conditions. The Prospector wants to pop, dance and smear through mixed conditions, and doesn't beat-up the pilot in the process. You can ride the Prospectors all day from morning freshies to skied-out afternoon chop and have a great time, which is a great thing for a 100mm category ski. The tips and tails are fairly compliant and absorb hits and twists nicely without deflection due to their taper profiles, and the tails never hang up in tight bumps or tree sections. The flex pattern allows a super-wide variety of skiers to ride the Prospectors lazily, or push them in an athletic fashion...only feeling a little soft for the heaviest or strongest skiers, but Facet can build a more stout pair of Prospectors for those folks on-demand. Overall, the Facet Prospectors represent an excellent example of a really fun, modern-design 100mm ski for mixed conditions.
The Prospectors really shine in powdery conditions, delivering a surfy, easy feel in soft snow, with a quick agility to alter turn shapes, smear to scrub speed or hold a line with little effort while adjusting your depth on-demand. The Eastern-oriented shaping can feel a teeny bit darty at highest speeds in powder conditions, but upping the length a notch would probably get rid of this occasional handling trait. The Prospectors in powdery tree conditions are super-fun and effective since they are agile, easy-handling and sporty with a nice, energetic personality coming through from their nice flotation behaviors in many situations. Intermediates who want to explore powder skiiing will find the Prospectors are a gateway to new adventures, while the athletic-oriented skiers will have a blast on the Prospectors as they look for terrain features and situations to get rowdy on. High-speed, max-charging terrain would dictate a stiffer and longer build of the Prospector standard layup to keep heros stable in big, western landscapes.
Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:
On hard surfaces, the Prospectors feel short and respond to a quick, punchy underfoot style to bite into the firm snow, but if you pressure them along their entire length and ride the tail, you get a nicely rounded, energetic snap out of them to project you into the next turn with nice security. The turn sequence happens quickly, and they favor an underfoot and tail bias to finish the turn after the apex, which seems to come up on you faster than you might expect, but never surprisingly or abruptly. They remain impressively quiet along a carved turn initiation and through their midpoint and finish sections, feeling quick, but not unstable. Vibrations are never a problem and appear to be damped-out nicely when cranking out many different kinds of turn shapes.
Turns in cut-up, choppy or uneven surfaces are super-easy with a surfy tip leading into a secure and accurate camber section in the midbody where you can either ride the rest of the camber to the tail on-edge, or flatten-out your ski and surf and smear you way around on-demand. The variety of turn shapes and styles delivered by the Prospectors in variable conditions is impressive and fun. Some high-speed skiers might find the Prospectors a little too quick for their taste, while others will love the agility in 3D mixed sufaces. You can turn by drifting, carving, punching or dropping-in-on-edge into mixed snow conditions, which makes the Prospectors pretty darn versatile and very responsive.
Analogies: ("This ski is like...")
A playful bird dog willing to go anywhere and have a great time doing it. Constant companion you might want to always have with you for nearly any situation except the most extreme hardpack or deepest pow days.
Notable Tester Comments:
"These things can grip"
"Surfy funhouse with sport-mode"
Things I Would Change About This Ski:
Nothing to change in the design. Maybe offer a 161cm version for the smaller people.
Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":
The Facet Prospector is a super-versatile, all-mountain ride for the 100mm class, and delivers a surprisingly good grip on groomers and hardpack. If you want to see what a great all-around 100mm ski these days feels like, the Prospector does it.
What kind of skier is this ski good for and not suitable for?
The Prospector is good for intermediate to expert skiers who are not super-heavyweights or muscle-heads who want a 100mm-waisted all-mountain, all-surface ski with a surfy bias rather than directional carver, but need edge security on-demand. Skiers who want a fun ride rather than a challenging charger will like the Prospectors. Big-terrain charging skiers will find the Prospectors a bit too soft and turny at warp speeds.
Advice To People Considering This Ski:
Consider buying this model one size longer than normal if you will be in big terrain (out West). If you are a heavyweight or stronger than average, consider having Facet build you a slightly stiffer layup.
None found as of April, 2018.
Pics: (click for larger versions)
(L to R) Facet Porkchop, Facet Regulator, Facet Prospector
(L to R) Facet Regulator , Facet Porkchop, Facet Prospector
(L to R) Facet Regulator , Facet Porkchop, Facet Prospector bases
Facet Prospector sidewall
Facet Prospector topsheet detail
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