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Facet Porkchop 180cm (2017-2018)

Facet Porkchop (2017-2018)
115-87-115 r=
>20 @ 180cm

 

(Left-to-Right) Facet Regulator, Facet Porkchop and Facet Prospector

Manufacturer Info:

Mike and Joe Migliorino
Facet Skis
46 Mollbrook Drive
Wilton, CT 06897
http://www.FacetSkis.com

+1 203.529.3681

Suggested Retail Price (MSRP):

$625  usd

Usage Class:

All-mountain charger

Rating (with comments):
(1="get me off these things"->10="I have to own a pair")

9 for Ex-racer types looking to trench GS-like arcs on hardpack or directional arcs in cruddy/mixed surfaces
6-7 for bumpy, tight terrain due to stiff flex and strong camber profile
6-7 for powdery 3D surfaces due to stiff flex and directional personality

Background:

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.

Manufacturer's Description:

" An Ex Racer's Dream.  That's how this ski has been described.  Long straight turns. Great edge hold.  And Speed. Where's the name come from you ask!! Well this is what happens when you randomly let your friends name a ski because you lost a bet. But don't worry, this ski will have your friends chasing rooster tails"  - Website April 2018

Technical Ski Data:

  • 100% FCS (Forestry Stewardship Certified) vertically laminated bamboo
  • Pine based epoxy resin.
  • Carbon fiber stringers
  • VDS Rubber dampening strips
  • 19oz biax fiberglass and 22oz triax fiberglass
  • UHMW sidewalls
  • Traditional camber profile in twintip configuration
Cutaway construction diagram from Facet website - April 2018

Bindings and Boots Used:

Tyrolia AAATack 13 bindings
Salomon S-Max 120 boots.




Pre-Skiing Impression:

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 textured topsheet was in great shape, with minimal cuts or scrapes, and the flex was race-like, meaning fairly stout from tip-to-tail, with a nicely arced flex pattern.  The Porkchop has a fairly hefty feel, much like a GS race ski, and a damp, strong rebound response when flexed by hand.  Fit and finish of this pair was very good, with a few details showing this was a pair pressed for pre-production testing.  We could see the VDS rubber strips supporting the edge areas through to the translucent base layer, and the strips appeared a bit squished a bit during pressing, which can be very common, and often never seen with black bases on other skis.  Edge, sidewall, base and topsheet mating areas where well executed.  This test pair felt like they crave speed and power.  Facet can customize your pair, so you could get a softer pair if you want a more compliant ski.

Test Conditions:

Eastern corduroy, packed powder and hardpack groomers & boilerplate.  Some shin-deep powder sections, bumps, open areas and trees.

Summary:

The Facet Porkchop impressed everyone as a super-effective frontside charger. This ski is an ex-racer's toy for trenching groomers since it was fairly hefty with a nice mass on the snow, super-solid underfoot with no top-speed limits and eager to take tons and tons of high-pressure in turns without every giving-way.  The Porkchop loves GS-like turns at speed. Takes a bit of speed to get it running, but it rewards the athletic, more power-oriented pilot with a fast, secure and confidence-inspiring ride at moderate to high speeds.  Balky and stiff for 3-dmensional snow…not a real floaty behavior in windpack and powder…more straight-line freight train requiring a strong hand at the wheel.  Not light, but real solid...essentially fearless for agressive skiers  This particular pair is a good match for strong, athletic, ex-racer types who want to trench the groomers.  The relatively stiff, low-rise tip and tail design with full camber would make a great Eastern daily driver for strong skiers…Very damp, quiet feel, especially at speed. More GS-like than darty-turny. Some skiers might like this as a freeride comp ski if they don't need a ski with rockered tip and tail...depending on the terrain. We loved this ski.  Intermediates would have some work on their hands to drive this pair. These are a deal at $625 usd.

Hardpack and Boilerplate:

The Facet Porkchop is a legit hardpack charger with a definitive and confident grip along its entire cambered length, craving to be driven by an athletic skier.  The harder you drive it, the more it grips and delivers an authoritative carve into firm surfaces. The radius is definitely more at home in GS-sized turns than quick, SL-like arcs.  The Porkchop is really well dampened, even without metal in its layup, and feels like a metal-layered carving ski on hardpack, providing a quiet, determined grip at speed with excellent feel and response without any hint of high-frequency feedback underfoot, even on icy Eastern boilerplate surfaces. The Porkchop can feel a little balky at slow speeds, but as soon as we got this 180cm version up to moderate speeds, it became more responsive and really came into its own when pressured firmly at low or high edge angles.  We found the Porkchop was the go-to ski in our test fleet when conditions were hard and fast, or freshly groomed first thing in the morning when there was no traffic on the hill and we could use the entire trail width to rip big-radius turns at high speeds.  The Porkchop is deceiving since it looks like a twintip, but rails hardpack like a race ski, in a wider, really stable platform.  You can tell the folks at Facet Ski-The-East by the way the Porkchop rips hardpack with authority and quiet control under power.  Intermediates would find our test pair a bit burly for recreational skiing, while athletic experts or ex-racer types will feel right at home

Mixed Surface & Variable Conditions:

The Facet Porkchop is a somewhat burly-feeling, but infallable crud-cutter, craving a solid, powerful arc through chop and manky surfaces.  The result of driving the Porkchop through variable surface conditions is a rock-solid, zero-deflection arc with authoritative confidence.  The somewhat stiff flex delivers a strong feel underfoot with moderate, but dampened feedback, allowing the pilot to drive through pretty much anything without deviation.  Intermediates might find this stiff pair demanding in mixed surfaces.  Experts who like a driving charger will put the pedal to the metal with the Porkchop. Strong and direct, you'd swear it had metal in its layup.

Powder Conditions:

The Facet Porkchop is a bit stubborn and balky in powdery conditions because it's a relatively stiff, strong ski with a relatively low flotation factor.  There's no surfy, drifty behavior in this ski, and it wants to be actively driven.  If you relax, it wants to straighten-out until you bank it into a turn in the snow, and it resists planing, preferring to track below the surface. You should consider the Porkchop a ski dedicated for firm surfaces or crud-busting.  Facet's Prospector model is the ski for fluffy days (see our review of the Prospector for details).

Turn Initiation, Apex & Finish:

On hard surfaces, the Porkchop initiates a turn easily with a bit of pressure, starting its grip near the shovel, feeding increasing power and secure grip along its length underfoot, ending with a strong, reliable tail with great power handling capability.  It takes a little bit of speed to get the engagement started, but the slighlty balky behavior at low speeds quickly disappears as your speed gets into the moderate zone.  The more you pressure the Porkchop, the more the grip intensifies along its length, much like a race ski, but with more friendly and tolerant behavior. It craves being driven through its turn sequence, resulting it a straightened radius if you don't maintain a strong pressure.  The harder you drive it through a turn, the more it grips and the tighter you can make your turn, never washing out or losing its composure.  Testers found they could not overpower it, so it became addicting.  Turn shapes are generally GS-sized, but you can tighten the radius with sufficient pressure without the geometry protesting about unfair treatment.  You can get a quick scrub at your apex if you pay attention and plan it well, but the strong camber profile of the Porkchop really wants a technically-executed carved turn under power rather than throwing it sideways somewhere along your trajectory.  Loading the tail of the Porkchop results in a race-like acceleration with great dampening and control. Racer-types will immediately feel at home with the way the Porkchop executes its turns.

Analogies: ("This ski is like...")

A Mustang Shelby or Camaro Z06, powerful, strong and craves a strong hand on the wheel.  Limited terrain usage, but addicting when driven in their element.

Notable Tester Comments:

"Wow".
"This thing rips...no real speed limit"
"Wants to be a GS ski"

Quick Comments:

  • No real speed limit & super solid feel
  • Completely confident edgehold along its entire length
  • Loves being driven...the more you put in, the more you get.
  • Balky at slow speeds until you get moving, then it handles with good accuracy.
  • Takes any power you can put into it, just keeps digging deeper into the turn and surface material.
  • Not much fun in powder, but cuts crud like nobody's business...zero deflection.
  • Lots of horsepower on-tap.
  • Not for the weak or lightweights in this flex.
  • Ex-racers will grin ear to ear.

Things I Would Change About This Ski:
 
Nothing to change in the design.  Maybe some cooler graphics.

Short Answer When Someone Asks "What Do You Think About This Ski?":

The Facet Porkchop is a strong frontside charger with a preference for hardpack and crud-cutting, responding really well to a strong pilot at the helm.  Great for ex-racers looking for something to use all over the mountain, with a preference for groomers and cruddy conditions.  A bit too burly for powder skiing.

What kind of skier is this ski good for and not suitable for?

Ex-racers, hard-chargers and strong technical skiers will like the Porkchop for trenching their way around the resort groomers and cut-up conditions.  Intermediates, lighter skiers or passive skiers will feel the Porkchop is a bit stiff for them unless they specify a softer flex from Facet.

Advice To People Considering This Ski:

This ski feels true-to-length, maybe a bitt longer, so don't be afraid to go one size shorter, or ask if Joe or Mike have a demo day scheduled so you can try this ski in different sizes.

Other Reviews:

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 Porkchop base showing VDS rubber strips along edge tabs

 

Facet Porkchop base showing VDS rubber strips
(note some squishing of the VDS strip from press compression)

 

By: e.edelstein  Posted: Wednesday, May 2, 2018 4:53:37 PM

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