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2016-2017 Moment Governor

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Moment Governor for Blister Gear Review

Moment Governor

Ski: 2016-2017 Moment Governor, 186cm

Available Lengths: 176, 186, 196 cm

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 185.8cm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 142-116-128

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2199 grams & 2219 grams

Sidecut Radius: 23 meters

Core Construction: Aspen/Ash + Carbon Fiber Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

Tip & Tail Splay: 61 / 22 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 4-5 mm

Boots / Bindings: Salomon X-Pro 120 / Marker Jesters (DIN at 11)

Mount Location: Recommended Line (84cm from tail; -8.9cm from true center)

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley; Alta

Days Skied: 12

 

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 14/15 Governor, which is unchanged for 15/16 or 16/17, except for the graphics and some construction updates.]

 

This is the third iteration of the Governor that we’ve reviewed, and this 15/16 version—which is the same as the 13/14 & 14/15 version—is definitely the best, most balanced version we’ve seen.

(You can track the rather interesting development of the Governor and our reviews of each version of it—the 11/12 proto-Governor, aka, the Bibby Special; our preview of the 12/13 Governor; and our review of the 12/13 Governor. And you should probably at least read that last one, since it lays a lot of the ground work for this review.)

Moment has this to say about the latest Governor:

“Powerful, directional, and damp, the Governor is a ski for experts who charge hard most if not all of the time. Front Rocker and a relatively short radius keep it maneuverable in tight terrain, while extended taper at both ends adds stability for high-speed, pucker-factor-twelve straightlines. It is a radical, beastly big-mountain ski, pure and simple. Stay on top of it, and the Governor will reward you. Treat it casually, and it will throw you to the wolves.”

This is a pretty good description of the Governor, and I’ll try to round out the picture a bit; make some comparisons to other skis in the “charger” category; and compare / contrast this Governor to the 12/13 model I reviewed a year ago.

(And just to be clear, keep in mind that my comments fall within the context of skis that are designed to be stiffer, powerful, chargers. I’m not talking about “dead-easy” skis like the Atomic Automatic, Rossignol Soul 7, or Armada JJ.)

Dimensions (Measured)

12/13 Governor: 149.9-116.9-128.0mm

14/15 Governor: 142.0-116.0-128.0mm

The shovels of the Governor have been streamlined. And while we were psyched to see the tails of the proto-Governor / Bibby Special get wider, I’m psyched to see the shovels of the new Governor get narrower.

Of the 12/13 Governor I wrote, “if the Governor isn’t as easy to make quick changes of direction, it’s because of its oversized shovels, not the unrockered tails.” Well, those oversized shovels got a reduction, and the ski feels more balanced, still stable, and also quick for a fairly stout ski.

Shape / Camber Profile

The new Governor (the 13/14 and the 14/15 Governor) has a touch more tip splay than the 12/13 Governor, has more traditional camber underfoot, and (I’ll spare you the longer description I originally had in here about this next bit) a slightly less tapered tail than the 12/13. Both skis have flat but slightly angled up tails, and the amount of tail splay looks quite similar.

Flex Pattern

Handflexing the skis, the 12/13 and 14/15 Governor feel pretty similar. The new Governor flexes slightly snappier through the tail, and it certainly feels snappy on snow, while the new Governor actually flexes a bit softer in the shovels than the 12/13 Governor.

Moment once again rates the Governor as a “10”, the stiffest ski in their lineup. That “10” is more reflective of the tail than the tip.

Mount Location

The new Governor’s recommended mount point is now 1 cm forward of the 12/13 Governor, which is cool, since I preferred the 12/13 Governor 1 centimeter forward. Apparently Moment agreed.

Pow

Last Thursday and Friday in Taos, I had the Governor in some very deep snow. Where I thought the Governor really shined was in deep steeps. In short, I loved the stable platform, I loved the tail, everything felt great.

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Moment Governor, Kirby's, Taos Ski Valley, Blister Gear Review.

Jonathan Ellsworth on the Moment Governor, Kirby’s, Taos Ski Valley.

In deep snow on lower-angle terrain (Taos’ West Basin aprons under T-Bird) the Governor didn’t plane as easily as a softer pow ski with more tip and tail rocker would. Nothing surprising here. While these skis are quite quick for their category, they aren’t going to shine in deep snow on low-angle terrain at slower speeds.

Trees

The tapered tips of the Governor make this substantial ski feel plenty quick in trees. No, it’s not a ski that is designed to let you slowly putz around, but those tapered tips let you move down the fall line and definitely keep things “maneuverable in tight terrain.”

Jonathan Ellsworth, Twin Trees, Taos Ski Valley, Blister Gear Review

Jonathan Ellsworth, Twin Trees, Taos Ski Valley.

But if most of your tree skiing is in tight, low-angle trees at slower speeds, then go read Moment’s own description of the Governor again at the top.

Steeps / Billy Goat Lines (and More about those Tails)

I’ve really liked the stable platform of these skis when picking through the bony, steep entrances around West Basin. These skis feel stiff underfoot and through the tails, and there are times when you want to know that your tails aren’t going to slide or wash out on you.

And while I don’t tend to like tapered tails, I’ve got to say that the Governors tails have felt supportive everywhere, yet never cumbersome. These tails look weird but work great. They track well, and the whole ski is super easy to throw sideways at speed while remaining stable. No balancing act.

Groomers

In my review of the 12/13 Governor, I said that the 12/13 Governor was fun, but not necessarily a stand out in it’s class.

But the 14/15 does stand out.

It is a seriously fun (fat) ski to carve, and the ski’s additional traditional camber and slightly softer shovels (which make the ski a touch easier to bend) probably have a lot to do with this.

The Governor has excellent edgehold, and powerful tails that like to finish turns. I’ll have to hop back on the 12/13 Governor to remember how similar or different the 12/13 is from the 14/15, but the 14/15 is impressive. (So, too, are two other skis in this class, the DPS Wailer 112RPC, and the 13-14 / 14-15 Rossignol Squad 7. More on those skis below and in the Blister Deep Dive.)

On soft groomers at Taos, I felt very comfortable laying over high angulation turns at very high speeds. I found myself really loading up the tails through the apex of the turn, then transitioning out over the shovels. The Governor’s shovels track well, but it is the tails of the Governor that make this an exciting fatter ski.

On firmer / icier groomers, I was still impressed by this 116mm-underfoot ski’s ability to hold an edge and not wash. In short, the more interested you are in your pow ski’s ability to also lay trenches, the more highly I will recommend the Governor.

37 Comments

  1. DM February 14, 2014 Reply

    How does the 186 Governor compare to the venerable older 190 Bibby?

    These look interesting, maybe the replacement for my Garbones when they die.

    • Author

      I put a day on the 190 Bibbys last week at Taos, and it reaffirmed all over again why it is one of my favorite skis ever. So balanced, such an even flex pattern, huge sweet spot, can be pushed very hard but it still feels lively and playful (to me).

      The people who will opt for the Governor over the (old) Bibby are those who dislike tail rocker (basically the same thing I said about the Jaguar Shark). The Governor is more locked down on groomers than the Bibby for sure, and that tail is a bit more powerful / less forgiving than the Bibby’s.

      The OTHER thing is that a lot of people really seem to like tapered tips. The Governor’s works really well, and the ski feels quite balanced. But it still feels fairly apples-to-oranges to me to compare a very directional, non-tail rockered Governor to the less directional Bibby that has tail rocker and more tip splay. (Right?)

  2. Blister Member
    Andrew February 16, 2014 Reply

    Also curious about how this ski compares to the old 190 Bibby and really looking forward to an A/B with the “refined” 186 Wrenegade 112!

  3. Blister Member
    Ag February 20, 2014 Reply

    Wondering how you would compare these to the Line Prophet 115. They seem to have pretty similar traits.

    In the same vein, how would the new Bibby Pro and Line Opus compare?

    • Author

      Hey, AG – the Governor has a stiffer tail than the Prophet / Influence 115. The 115 also has metal (the Governor does not), and weighs 300 grams per ski more than the Governor. And then the 115 has a very fat tip and tail, unlike the Governor. Given the fat tips and tails, metal, and weight of the 115s, they are still the best ~115 carver I’ve ever skied. They also definitely have a heavier swing weight than the Governor – the Governor feels a bit quicker in bumps and trees. I haven’t skied the 115 in a while, so can’t confidently speak to crud / chop comparisons, but hopefully the difference I’ve named fill the picture out a bit.

  4. Vail February 23, 2014 Reply

    So this new version is even more playful than the last version? Sounds like the 186 could be a nice daily.

    • Author

      I’m not sure that I would say more “playful” per se, but quicker and more balanced, Yes.

      • Vail September 28, 2014 Reply

        Hey Jonathan, Ive been reading lots of your reviews lately, as always awesome job and best on the web.

        I just measured the width of my 196 Bibby Special, and it measures 152-114-128, It should measure 150-118-128.. I triple checked and made sure I was at the widest points of that confusing topsheet/taper optical illusion. Whatever ski I got, it is not production, because it is also much softer than my 188 pbj or 190 bibby pro. Forget about the tail. Its almost as soft as my 179 k2 shreditor 102s and 112s.. What do you think happened here? With those measurements, wouldn’t the turn radius be shorter than 23m?

        Still, it charges powder and groomers like a dream.. I absolutely love the ski..more than the bibby, (I feel i should have went 184 and 182 with the bibby and pbj) as much as the old obsethed. It took about 8 days for me to figure out the 190 bibby, took me 1 day to figure out the 196 special. Which is weird because I normally dont like tapered skis. This ski has no hook up feeling, and I can only feel the positive effects of the taper when I want to turn.. I really want to try the new version, because I hear around TGR, its softer than other similar skis (especially) in the tail, as is mine.. And i figure with less taper ill like it even more..

  5. Adam March 2, 2014 Reply

    Jonathan,
    How would you compare the new governors to the last jaguar shark? I am asking because they seem very similar and I came across a new pair of jaguar sharks for half price! Kinda interested in the ability to rail groomers and pivot in tight soft spots.

    • Author

      Hmmm, good question, Adam. I haven’t skied the Jag Shark in a while, so I’ll have to be careful here. But the Governor has a much flatter tail – the Jag Shark didn’t have tail rocker, but had a pretty serious twinned up tail. The Governor also has a much more tapered tip, so probably feels a touch quicker than the Jag Shark. The biggest question in my mind is the stiffness of the shovels. The Jag Shark’s were a touch softer than the Bibby’s; I personally prefer the slightly stiffer shovels of the Governor, and by no means are they overbearing. So all in all, I’d go with the Governor over the Jag Shark for groomers, and while neither ski is “pivoty” per se, the tapered tips of the Governor make that ski pretty quick for its size if you are a good pilot. Hope that helps?

      • Adam April 8, 2014 Reply

        Jonathan,
        Ended up going with the Gov’s, mounted em at +2 from recommended, and just spent a week on them. Great job on your review, you really nailed it- I was most impressed by how stable the tails were for the biggest hucks of my life, yet they slashed really well in trees- so long as the grade was there. I’m really excited to go bigger and faster next year with these babies! Thanks for the help,
        Adam

  6. David March 3, 2014 Reply

    When do you think (or know) these will hit the market? Would the rest of us need to wait until fall 2014 or should they be hitting shelves sooner than that?

    • Author

      As I mention in the opening sentence, this year’s Governor and next year’s Governor are unchanged, except for the graphics. If you click on the “Where to Buy” link at the end of the review, you can find them at backcountry.com. I just skied the Governors again yesterday in 2 feet of fresh pow, and then late-afternoon, tracked and bumped up pow. I’m currently reviewing 5 pairs of tip tapered, ~115mm underfoot skis (Praxis GPO, Rossi Squad 7, etc.), and so far, these are (for me personally) the stand outs.

  7. Reid April 8, 2014 Reply

    Any recommendation for length? I’m 6′ 3″ and 190 skiing at whistler and revelstoke. I like skiing steeps and lots of trees; despite my steering ability the 196 looks real long…any thoughts?

    • Author

      Hi, Reid – you’re only 5-10 lbs. heavier than me, so I feel pretty comfortable recommending the 186 – especially if you’ll be spending lots of time in trees. In open terrain, I’m sure the 196s would be fun, but given that these do not have rockered tails, you’re getting more effective edge from this 186 than you would from, say, a 192 Bibby. So obviously I can’t say for sure, but I’d be surprised if you found the 186 to be far too little ski.

  8. Blister Member
    Andrew April 9, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan – having used the 182 Belafontes as my daily driver (and loved them, especially in really firm conditions) for the last couple of years, I’ve started thinking I’d be better off on something a little longer this season, especially when things have been softer. I took them out a couple of times a day or so after a storm and they just felt like the wrong skis. I’ve got a pair of 190 Bibby Pros that do well on those days but I don’t really think of them as daily drivers and they start feeling like the wrong skis as things get skied-out. The easy / obvious thing to do would be to size-up to a 187 Belafonte (or grab the 2014/2015 “mullet-rockered” 186 Belafonte – is Blister going to review this at some point, by the way?) and call it a day, but I’m wondering if the 186 Governor or the 191 Wrenegade (or next year’s 186?) are worth considering as well as a Whistler, Revelstoke, Kicking Horse daily… would appreciate your thoughts. I’m 6’2″, 200lbs.

    Thank you!

    Andrew

    • Author

      Hi, Andrew – personally, I could be very happy with a 2 ski quiver of the 187 Belafonte and the 190 Bibby, while a 2 ski quiver of the Governor and the Bibby would provide far too much overlap, I think. A 116mm and a 118mm ski with pretty similar flex profiles, but different tip and tail shapes. Not enough differentiation.

      As for the Wrenegade, either the 191 or the new 186/7 will be a bit more soft snow-oriented than the Belafonte. So maybe you’re fine with that, but for me, having a good ‘bad conditions’ ski to pair with the Bibby would seem to make more sense? Your call, and I do think the 181 Wren is excellent. You might check out my Supernatural 108 review where I talk about the Wren and the Belafonte.

      In short, I would be surprised if you didn’t love the 187 Belafonte. And yes, we’ve got the new Belafonte and I ought to start getting time on it in the next week or two.

      • Blister Member
        Andrew April 10, 2014 Reply

        Great response and that makes sense – thanks Jonathan. Looking forward to the new Belafonte review. The other ski I’ve been looking at / thinking about is the 188 Kastle BMX 108. I seem to recall some talk in the last few months of you guys getting on that at some point. Has that happened and if so, any initial impressions?

  9. Evan May 13, 2014 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, thank you for the review.
    Have you ever tried Lib Tech Pow NAS? I own a pair (191cm, in reality an inch shorter) and like them. However, I’d like them to be a bit longer, with a slightly larger radius and thinner tips and tails (the latter I suspect you wouldn’t), which I guess would make them very similar to the 196 Governors.
    I’m quite sure I will buy a pair of 196 4FRNT Renegades. Which pair would complement the 196 Renegades best, the 191 Pow NAS or the 196 Governors?
    For what it’s worth, I’m 6’3 and 215 lbs and ski in the Alps.

    • Author

      Hey Evan, I haven’t skied any Libs yet, but more than anything, I guess I don’t quite see how either the Pow Nas or the Governor is a complement to the Renegade? You’re going to pair a 116 or 117 underfoot ski with your 122mm-underfoot Ren? While I’d rather ski the Governor than the Ren in bumped-up, variable conditions, it seems pretty overlap-y on the face of it. I’ll have a review out soon on the 14/15 Belafonte, which is supposed to come in a 194cm model. Seems like that might make more sense?

  10. Evan May 15, 2014 Reply

    Thanks for your response, Jonathan.
    I’m considering fully rockered skis like the Renegades because I think my Pows -despite their name- excel in many things but not in deep powder and particularly not in tighter trees, since they pivot only slowly due to their camber and oversized tips and tails. Otherwise the Lib Techs are great skis, especially in shallow soft snow and bumped-up, variable conditions. Despite their width, they even hold well on icy patches thanks to the magne-traction. However, the Governors are also appealing and I can get a barely used second-hand pair at an attractive price and I can’t justify owning three pairs of wide skis.
    I think I’ll stick with the Pows and Renegades, but if you have an attractive alternative for the Renegades on your mind I’ll be glad to hear from you.

  11. Bjorn L May 20, 2014 Reply

    Hi.
    Thanks for great reviews!
    I’m in search for big mountain quiver that charges! Does well in hard pack, crud, wind blown, and carves. Also needs to be comfortable in technical areas, as in steeps/thigh/icy. But when you finally find it, or the weather is right, it has to perform in deep fluff to:-)
    I know it’s a stretch. But to me it feels likes the Governor is in the right department.
    I’m trying to reach a conclusion between Armada Norwalk and Governor.
    As I understand it in your reviews, the Norwalk is nimbler, more prone to deep pow, smeary, quicker in steeps/trees. But also less stable at speeds, less edge hold, and more unpredictable compered with Governor.
    Any thoughts?

    • Author

      Hi, Bjorn – apologies for the late reply. I think you are sizing up the Norwalk and the Governor pretty accurately. The area I’m least certain about is how the two skis stack up against each other on groomers, but as I wrote, I really like the Governors there – for a 116mm-underfoot ski. I don’t know your height / weight, but if you like what you’re hearing from my review, then I wouldn’t steer you away from the Governor as a ski for what you say you’re looking for. Let us know what you decide to do, and how it works out for you.

  12. brent August 15, 2014 Reply

    Hi – awesome reviews and comments. I hope you are still looking at comments on this review.

    i am looking for a Chugach/Heli ski that is maneuverable enough for me to occasionally also use in some trees and resort steeps out west if i am lucky enough to be there on a deep/dump day. I think the perfect ski could be the Governor and i am trying to decide between 186 and 196.

    I am 6′ and 195#. My favorite Chugach Heli ski was the 192 Comi. I tried the Salomon Rocker2 and REALLY didnt like it. i grew up racing (still coach U14 & U12s) and have found i like a firmer front half of the ski that i can lean forward and stand on a bit when charging. I found the Comi had the right amount of rise/rocker up front and liked that i could use the tail to get some pop into the next turn. A couple times the 192 Comi seemed a bit unwieldy but i am afraid of going too short since i will be taking it to AK for a week of heli where we like to put down some fast lines.

    what do you think?

    • Author

      Go 196 Governor. The 186 Governor is not some super burly, demanding ski. Plus, in addition to being narrower than the Comi, the Governor also has a heavily tapered tip. It will feel like less ski than the 192 Comi. Of course, you aren’t likely to get the same amount of float out of the Gov, but if you’re skiing with some speed, I don’t think float will be a big problem. The 196 Governor sounds like a good call.

      Just promise to report back!

  13. Blister Member
    matt morr December 17, 2014 Reply

    How does the Governor compare to the Jaguar Shark? Dimensions look close but the Gov looks stiffer. Any on snow thoughts between the two?

    • Author

      Apologies for the late reply, Matt. But I’ve been thinking a bit about the Jag Shark and the Governor. It’s been a long time since I skied the Jag Shark, but as I wrote, I simply preferred the stiffer flex of the Bibby Pro’s shovels to those of the Jag Shark, while I never had an issue with the flex pattern of the shovels of the Governor. The other most obvious difference is the that the Jag Shark’s tips were not heavily tapered, the Governor’s are. Heavily tapered tips usually aren’t my favorite (and I admit that I’d love to see a Governor with the same tip profile as the Bibby Pro – i.e., a flat tailed Bibby Pro…) but the Governor skis great and feels dialed. The Jag Shark skied well, but I didn’t find the same ‘wow’ factor that I did find with the Governor.

  14. jb March 1, 2015 Reply

    really torn between this ski or the automatic117. i have a race backround, ski a lot of tight east coast trees and sidecountry. we do a lot of bushwacking to find soft snow. if the trees are not going love to carve or hit the bumps, on those days i ski the liberty helix 176. when the snow is good i ski the liberty double helix(152-122-146). i want a little more tip rocker for the deep stuff. i love having a tail on the helix when i hit the variable or harder windpack off-piste. heard a lot of good things about the auto and the 2014/15 hand flexes fairly stiff w/ a good amount of camber, but it does have a rockered tail. i am a little worried about the tail having enough support.

    as far as the governor i am concerned that it will not be quick enough edge to edge when i need it to be. with a ski this stiff i am also a little concerned about tip dive.

    i am 5’7″ 150 39 years old, expert skier. like my skis to carve and charge. occasionally drop off some 6′-8′ footers when i can find them in the east coast trees. any advice would be helpful. was thinking of the governor in the 176 and the auto in the 179. thanks. keep up the good work.

    • Author

      Hey, JB – while I can’t compare the 176 Governor vs the 179 Automatic (I’ve only skied the current 186 Governor and the previous version of the 186 Automatic), of the lengths I skied, I really don’t view these two skis as similar. The Governor is much more damp and stable, while the Automatic is lighter, quicker, and less substantial. I think most skiers would strongly prefer one of the two skis over the other.

      For skiing really tight trees at slower speeds (and especially at lower angles), the Automatic would be the easier / better tool. But if you are a good skier and generally have enough room to get up a bit of speed, I think you will appreciate the stability gains of the Governor.

      The Automatic is not a “charger.” Think of it as a fatter Rossi Soul 7, aka, more akin to the current Rossi Super 7. The Governor is NOT a burly charger, but it isn’t one of these especially quick skis. You can push them much harder than the Automatic, and the Governor will provide much more stability in variable conditions.

  15. jb March 6, 2015 Reply

    I figured these skis were pretty different. I am looking for a tool for skiing in the woods on the east coast. If i lived out west it would be the governor, no question. i ski a lot of tight trees some steep, some low angle so i want a quick ski. I am also considering the liberty origin.have you skied the origin? thx for the response.

  16. Craig October 27, 2015 Reply

    Hi, I really like reading your reviews. I am trying to figure out if this is the ski for me though, I am 5’10” 160lbs and enjoy GS turns, technical skiing and everything in between. I currently have the Head Rev 85 pro with a length of 176 and I love it, it works great for the majority of the days that we have in Colorado. I am looking for something to fill the powder gap not though. The governor sounds like a good fit but I am not sure what length to go with or if I should be looking at a different ski. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

  17. Blister Member
    Brett March 15, 2016 Reply

    Hi — I was wondering how the moment governor 196 might compare to the black crows corvus 193, if you’ve skied it?

  18. Fede May 1, 2016 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, I have the first model of the moment EXIT WORLDs, which I consider great at 1,90cm size.My height is 1,85 cm.I am thinking of buying the 1,96cm Governor as I like speed in open spaces and the big mountain.Sometimes I feel the EXIT WORLDS kind of short.Do you think this would be a good trade off?

  19. Tmac September 21, 2016 Reply

    Hi – great review and I am thinking I gotta have this ski! so I am looking to replace my Dynastar Big Dumps (in know, long over due but I love’em) and think the Moment Governor is the ticket, but my issue is I was looking for a ski right around 189cm. Im wanting a ski for a daily driver at my local resort (Alta/Snowbird Utah) like the governor. I am wondering if the 186 would be too short for me. Im 5’11” and weigh about 215 in gear and dont charge as hard as I used to but I can still kill it a few runs (nursing an old knee injury) and I love a burly ski like the big dump – stiff/stable charger but was looking for something a tad friendlier and possibly a bit shorter that I can get into tight spots and trees but still mach 1 down to the tram and handle deep blower when it dumps. I appreciate any thoughts/suggestions

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