Skimo Co

Faction La Machine Mini Ski

$898.95 $629.00

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Built to make all the other skis in your quiver jealous, the Faction La Machine Mini has a quiver-killer mentality with a penchant for all snow types. Thanks in part to its healthy rocker profile, the Mini can effortlessly pivot on-demand, allowing you to shut things down on a moment's notice if things get too rowdy. With its moderate girth (width), the oh-so-versatile Mini is prepared to handle both inadvertently found sastrugi or blower pow. Faction has put an emphasis on environmental responsibility lately, which starts with the creation of a durable product that can last season after season. With their made-in-Austria vibes, we think they’ve nailed it. When you're having a hard time deciding on which ski to grab for the next day, reach for the quick-turning, playful Faction La Machine Mini.

  • Faction recycles scrap base, sidewall, and top sheet material, helping find a use for material that would have been discarded.
  • Austrian construction is durable and made to go season after season.
  • Full Carbon Layers ups performance and decreases unnecessary weight.
  • Biobased resin lessens the environmental footprint of the ski.
  • Made with 100% renewable energy.
Lengths (cm) 164, 171, 177, 183
convert to ounces
1325g [164]
1425g [171]
1455g [177]
1490g [183]
Weight (pair) 2650g [164]
2850g [171]
2910g [177]
2980g [183]
Sidecut   124-99-116 [All sizes]
Turn Radius   17m [164]
18m [171]
19m [177]
20m [183]
Skin Fix   Round tip and tail
Specs Verified Yes
Profile   tip rocker, minimal camber, tail rocker
Shape   Ellipical sidecut
Construction   Full strength sidewall, carbon layers, mustache flex
Core   Paulownia wood core
Skimo Co Says
Usage Freeride touring, all conditions
Notes Backed by the finest Austrian construction
Bottom Line Ultra rockered shape allows easy smearing
Compare to other High-fat Skis

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Questions & Reviews

Chris G (used product a few times)
The Faction La Machine "Mini" is a pretty unique ski that took me a while to figure out even with my normal daily driver being the Dynafit Free 97. At first glance these skis are pretty similar. They have similar rocker profiles (pictured below,) they ski similarly, and with similar waist lengths and claimed weights:

Mini: 124-99-116 [183cm] at 1490g w/ 20m radius
Free 97: 126-97-116 [177cm] at 1560g w/ 19m radius
(Skimo specs)

However, they're also quite different. The Free 97 is already a pivoty/slarvy ski, but the Mini takes it to another level--this thing can turn on a dime. The Mini absolutely excels on very steep terrain, moguls, or both. I've skiied some of my best lines on these skis. Stuff that's normally on the edge of my skill level feels easier. They're very responsive and predictable on consequential terrain. This is probably the main use case for this ski.

With its light weight & relatively narrow tip the Mini is effortless on the skintrack, especially when the track is narrow & helmed by breakable crust 6-12 inches high: you'll slarve through micro turns and the tips won't catch the 12-inch wall imposing on either side of the skintrack.

There's camber to this ski and decent weight, but it still doesn't perform well on icy piste (there's definite chatter) or boilerplate either in absolute terms or when compared to the Free 97 which feels like a moderately stronger ski even when you account for the added mass. I definitely don't enjoy seeing mank or chunder while on this ski even when compared to my ~1250g Hagan Core 89's as the Mini deflects somewhat easily with its light, narrow tip in combination with its slarvy nature. But if you have the rocksolid form of the gods when you ski you'll still be able to power through stuff with this ski.

This is a slow ski, but that's by design. I rarely put these things on edge even on resort groomers because I'm honestly having too much fun slarving down greens like they're mogul fields while I practice technique. (And yes, i've gotten plowed into by snowboarders twice this season on these no matter how intentionally predictable i slalom down the mountain...)

Finally, I noticed that even the default "Classic" mounting point seems further up than what I'm used to so i couldn't really imagine mounting at the "Newschool" mounting point, but to each their own.

Overall: Great ski that's fun in a variety of conditions, but you'll really start singing its praises as soon as you get it into steep terrain.
Reply from Chris G
So after skiing this ski in the Spring in addition to Winter I've already made the decision to sell the ski and go back to my Dynafit Free 97.

It's worth updating my review because i already mentioned the main issue with this ski: variable snow performance. But let's go into greater detail as to why. I'll use the dreaded word: it's an extremely "pingy" ski. Flick this ski with your forefinger and that's probably all you need to know. It's translating this vibration into sound and into the hand that's holding the ski with minimal vibrational dampening. This is due to 3 thing: (1) Paulownia (ultralight) core; (2) simple carbon weave; & (3) geometry i.e. it's not a full sidewall but tappers to cap construction somewhere around the inflection point of the ski. These aren't dealbreakers for me (though paulownia-only cores are increasingly becoming dealbreakers,) BUT consider this *ALONGSIDE* the following supposed benefits of this construction, namely weight. For this follow-up review I went & conducted my own measurements:

Faction La Machine Mini 184cm (99m waist, 124mm tip, ultralight core)
1,559 grams
1,546 grams

Dynafit Free 97 177cm (97mm waist, 126mm tip, ***FULL POPLAR CORE***)
1,570 grams
1,560 grams

Admittedly they're a size off from each other (worth 50 additional grams?) but this is a delta otherwise of only 10g or 15g... nowhere near the tradeoff you would want to make. What I would need to see from a ski of this weight is: (1) a mixed wood core of paulownia but also poplar or beech; (2) the carbon weave could instead feature some aramid like Scott's Superguide series; & (2) the geometry could be adjusted such that the front inflection point isn't already ping-ageddon (much less the tip.) I question how much is being gained in swing weight & longer turn radius by making a ski tip this narrow & deflection-prone.

I think there's some hype around the Faction La Machine series that's doesn't stand up. These are slick skis with a fun geometry, but I've seen very trusted, unaffiliated ski reviewers gloss over--pun intended--these issues.

I do commend Faction for producing a novel backcountry ski & I've enjoyed some of their other skis, but the execution here is off, especially in the materials construction.
Comment on this review:

Question from Nico
I’ve read reviews of the 22/23 version that differs from what I’m reading here. Have changed the skis?
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Nico,

The skis have not been changed - however, initially it was anticipated that these were going to be a full-rocker/flat underfoot ski. This turned out not to be the case - they have light camber underfoot, although they are still heavily rockered. But this has been the case since we first received the skis, and our on-snow impressions are based on the skis with the light camber that they have as production models.

If you want to know more about these skis, feel free to shoot us an email at and we can dive into more specifics!
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Question from Mikko
How would you compare the La Machine Mini to the Elan Ripstick Tour 94? They both seem agile and playfull.
Answer from Lrow
Hi Mikko,

I love both skis but they're very unique in their own rights; the Faction Mini can be more forgiving in general. With rocker in the tip and tail it will help maneuvering out of a turn completely at your command. I ended up buying one myself because I wanted a ski that could do everything well.

The Elans tend to be stiffer in general with their carbon stringers running through the core, making it torsionally very stiff. Since it is stiffer, and has a bit flatter tail, the Elans tend to be a ski that performs best when you're really driving it and leaning into turns.

Both are agile and very maneuverable, but the Faction is a friendlier ski for all around conditions where the Elans tend to need a little more input.
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Question from Rick
Howdy! Looking at this ski vs the dps pagoda tour 100 as a quiver of one for a few years in the San Juan’s Colorado. They’d be my first backcountry ski! Would you recommend one vs the other in terms of better all around and easier to get along with for a beginner (advanced resort skier)
Answer from Emmett I

Shoot us an email at and we can get you more personalized advice!

In general, both would be fairly easy to get along with, depending on your skiing style.
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Question from Tjaard B
How do you think this compares to the Locator 96?
Both seem to have a fair bit of tail rocker (for a <100 mm ski).
Wondering if it would be worthwhile to replace my (120 lbs) daughter’s Tracer 88, to give her some easier skiing in low angle, tight trees with deep powder, without adding to much weight or width on the uphill.
Answer from Carlos M
Hi Tjaard, I think there will be a noticeable difference in powder going from the 88 to either of the skis you're considering. The Faction has a longer tip rocker and significantly more tail rocker than the Locator 96, so I would lean that way if you'd like something easier to slarve and turn sideways in deeper snow. The Faction is also a fairly stout ski so I would definitely not go larger than the 164cm. If you'd like to discuss further feel free to email!
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Anthony O (used product a few times)
I really wanted to hate this ski because of the added camber (the original design was entirely flat base/subtle reverse camber). Volkl has shown for years that reverse camber is viable in all conditions-with the legendary BMT series and the Katana v werks.
Subtle reverse camber+ straight shaped ski (high turn radius) is just a winning combination all around. You still get edge contact, but the ski that can still charge massive turns down the fall line also becomes easily maneuverable and predictable in tight spaces.

Anyway, this ski isn't a return of the BMT 94. It isn't as damp, isn't as stable in longer turns, and isn't quite as slippery manueverable. But it's close. And it can take any bindings, can be sized down because of the camber, and has a better width. the ski seems pretty durable and well made. It's not a v werks, but it's half the cost. It's about as light as I want in a ski, skis lighter than it tend to deflect easier instead of having some material mass help move heavier snow around. They also track better through mank. They ski super intuitively i think mostly due to the rocker profile in conjuction with moderate stiffness and straight shape. They arent super stiff, but they have a backbone. Bottom line, faction cares more about skiing than uphill, and this is evident in a good way. This is the lightest ski I'd want that still makes skiing fun in a variety of conditions rather than just the best conditions. It's also easily skied with a weenie boot, but also wouldn't be overpowered by a beef boot.

So TLDR, the la machine series isn't the BMT reincarnated which would be the best option, but they are solid skis that I would recommend to someone who cares about skiing. They feel predictable, they ski well, aren't crazy expensive, and are well made. If the performance of a bmt 94/109 is 10/10, this is a 7-8/10 which considering the cost and availability of bmts, is pretty good.

Faction I'm still mad that you didn't commit to flat camber, but I will admit, having a slightly shorter ski with camber is a lot nicer for carrying and flicking around on jump turns.
Reply from Tjaard B
Thanks for that informative review.

Too bad they only come in such short lengths! This sounds like my perfect Allround ski.
Reply from Anthony O
I think they are expanding the size range? They are on some of them at least next year. Fwiw I found them to ski slightly longer compared to full rocker. Ie I mostly ski 186-191, I bet the 183 feels like the volkl 186. And like I said I saw some products getting a 190 for next year.
Reply from Brett S
Hey Anthony, did you mount on the "newschool", "progressive", or "traditional" line?
Reply from Anthony O
I've skied factions before and like progressive which is what I used.
Comment on this review:

Question from Anthony O
Do you think we can get some rocker profile pics?
Answer from Brett S
If you would like more images, please reach out to! It should be noted that Faction originally intended this to be a zero-camber ski, however, they have since added camber which should be shown in the picture.
Answer from Anthony O
Damn that's regrettable, a ski that was actually unique changed back to just like every other ski on the market
Answer from Josh B
ehhh not really, adding camber making its more versatile, skinning uphill can really suck without camber in subpar conditions. The unique idea probably isn't popular for this exact reason.
Answer from Anthony O
Camber doesn't make a ski more versatile and skinning uphill in ice isnt much harder, it just requires more precise balance and better skinning technique. Anyone who has practiced it can go up any slope that folks on a cambered ski can. I think complaining about skinning capabilities of full rocker skis is entirely a hobby of folks with little or no experience skinning (or skiing for that matter) with them. They aren't popular just because most people want concessions for resort skiing, not because of lack of capabilities of the design. Check out many insane touring descents by people on volkl BMTs, vw katana, all the exum guides on 4frnts in the Tetons....pretty sure guides wouldn't be compromising their safety on a work "tool"
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Question from dauwhe
I'm really curious about a zero-camber ski. Does this make any sense for less-than-expert skiers?
Answer from Julieana
Hi Dauwhe,

Zero camber makes the ski really surfy, easy to maneuver, and quite forgiving. I think this ski makes a lot of sense for skiers of any level or ability who want an easy-turning, versatile ski!
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Model: La Machine 2 Mini MPN: FCSKW23-LAM2-ZZ

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