Ski: 2016-2017 Moment Belafonte, 186cm
Available Lengths: 168, 178, 186, 194 cm
Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 184.4cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 133-106-122
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 133-106-122
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2227 & 2249 grams
Stated Sidecut Radius: 25.5 meters
Core Construction: Aspen/Ash + Carbon Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate
Boots / Bindings: Salomon X Pro 120 & K2 Pinnacle 130 / Marker Jester
Days Skied: 8[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 14/15 Belafonte, which was not changed for 15/16 or 16/17, except for the graphics.]
It seems that the more I like a ski, the more certain it is that the ski will get redesigned or discontinued—e.g., 190cm Moment Bibby Pro, 184cm Volkl Mantra, 191cm Volkl Katana, 185cm Blizzard Cochise, and … the 187cm Moment Belafonte.
This season, as I put more days on the 2013-2014 187cm Belafonte, I came to like it more than ever. If you (a) like to ski fast, and (b) ski a lot of days in chop, crud, and rough terrain, and (c) tend to like stiffer skis that don’t have a lot of sidecut … then the Belafonte is tough to beat. There’s a reason why we have four full reviews of the Belafonte up on the site.
In my review of the LINE Supernatural 108, I made a comment that I was pretty sure I’d get flamed for: despite the legion of fans of the old, revered, non-rockered 186cm Dynastar XXL, I would take the 187 Belafonte over it in a heartbeat. The XXL is great at fast & straight or fast & big turns. But the 187cm Belafonte is very good at fast and straight, yet I find it to be much quicker and easier to handle in tight spots, and more fun to carve.
After having said they were going to overhaul the Belafonte for the 13/14 season, Moment actually ended up leaving the Belafonte unchanged, because they felt that they needed more time to tweak the new version. So they kept tweaking, got happy, and made the new Belafonte for 2014-2015.
So What Changes Did Moment Make to the Belafonte?
(1) Length, Weight, Dimensions, Sidecut Radius
The Belafonte formerly came in lengths of 174, 182, 187, and 192cms. The 14/15 Belafonte is slated to come in lengths of 168, 178, 186, and 194cm.
Some comparative specs:
14/15, 186cm Belafonte, straight tape pull: 184.4cm
13/14, 187cm Belafonte, straight tape pull: 185.4cm
14/15, 186cm Belafonte: 2227 & 2249 grams
13/14, 187cm Belafonte: 2121 & 2223 grams
14/15, 186cm Belafonte: 134-106-123mm (note that the shovels got 5mm wider)
13/14, 187cm Belafonte: 129-105-123mm
Stated Sidecut Radius:
14/15, 186cm Belafonte: 25.5 meters
13/14, 187cm Belafonte: 27.4 meters
(2) Camber Profile
Well, if you want to be all accurate about it, they’ve ‘mullet-rockered’ the Belafonte, not dirty-mustache-rockered it, so it isn’t exactly the Deathwish.
(In Moment’s vernacular, “mullet rocker” skis = don’t have tail rocker, just tip rocker; “dirty mustache” rocker skis have both tip and tail rocker.)
Like the old Belafonte, the new Belafonte does not have tail rocker, just a heavily twinned tail. Ok, and technically, the rise of that tail starts just a little bit earlier than the old Belafonte. Barely earlier.
But the new Belafonte has been Deathwish-ed in the sense that it is now “micro-cambered.”
“Rocker in the tip and camber underfoot, with micro-camber sections before and behind the binding. Easy turn initiation, stability and maneuverability for variable snow, with powerful edge hold and turn exit on hardpack.”
In conversations I had with the guys at Moment, they put it this way: they’d made the Belafonte a bit more manageable at slower speeds, without sacrificing its top end. And they assured me that these changes were subtle, and that the Belafonte was still the Belafonte.
That would be an impressive feat. I also wondered whether it was really a possible feat: give a ski a better low end without affecting its top end….
Well? Having skied both the old and the new Belafonte at Taos, Alta, and Snowbird, and having spent 4 days swapping between the new 186 and the previous 187, skiing the same lines in the same conditions, I can confirm that the changes are subtle. The new rocker profile looks far more different than it actually feels on snow.
The biggest difference I found? The shovels feel a bit softer on the new Belafonte. It’s not that noticeable around most of the mountain, but became most apparent to me when skiing roughed up groomers at very high speeds. The old Belafonte smooths out the ride better.
Having said that, the shovels aren’t so much softer that I found a big difference in the way the two skis perform at slower speeds. To achieve high-edge-angle carved turns, you still need speed—despite the new Belafonte’s camber profile, and despite the fact that it has more sidecut than the old Belafonte (check the dimensions above).
At lower edge angles (where you’re running a bit more bases flat), the new Belafonte works well and doesn’t ever feel “stuck,” and really, nobody in the market for a directional charger ought to be worried about this ski’s ability to slow down a good bit and still make turns. (But having just A/B-ed the two skis, I’m inclined to say pretty much the same thing about the old 187 Belafonte, too.)
Ok, given that we’ve already written 10 million words about the Belafonte, if you want to read about the overall performance of the Belafonte, check out our three reviews of the 182cm Belafonte (mine, Garrett Altmann’s, and Will Brown’s) and my review of the 187.
So I’ll run through these specific sections pretty quickly.
As noted above, they’re similar. The edge hold of both skis is quite good. The biggest difference is that the new Belafonte’s softer shovels don’t hold up quite as well (at least at my weight) as the old Belafonte on roughed up groomers and at speeds north of 40 or 50 miles an hour.
If you prefer to keep your speed in check a bit while making lots of turns rather than fewer turns, a ski like the new LINE Supernatural 100 or the Nordica El Capo might be the better fit. But neither of those skis are as good as the Belafonte at fast & straight or fast & big turns.
In deep, soft chop, I appreciated the relatively stiff shovels of the new Belafonte, but in deep, really thick Utah chop, the 190cm Moment Bibby Pro is still probably the best tool I’ve ever used for such conditions—its wider to keep you more on top of the snow, still has a pretty substantial flex so the shovels aren’t folding on you, and it has more tip and tail rocker to keep you from getting hung up / caught up in those big piles of snow. In these conditions, I didn’t notice much difference from the old Belafonte.