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: Fischer Ranger Pro 13 / Marker Jester (DIN at 9)
Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, NM; Telluride, CO
Days Skied: 3[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.]
If you haven’t already read Jonathan Ellsworth’s initial review of the Belafonte, you should before reading this. I think Jonathan located this ski very well, and he was also dead-on in guessing what I’d think about it.
As Jonathan said, this latest iteration of the Belafonte is, quite simply, “a touch easier to ski” than the old version, and if you liked what you’ve read in our reviews of the old Belafonte (either the 182 or 187cm version), I also think “you will almost certainly like the [current] 186cm version.”
Moment describes the ski well, too, in saying the Belafonte is now “a little easier to engage” but “still a burly, charge-worthy ski…”
On the whole, the new Belafonte feels to me far more ‘familiar’ than ‘new and different’ from the old one; I’ve had fun raging around on it with a forward, aggressive stance, skiing about as hard and fast as my legs would let me.
But Jonathan’s right in that this new ski does seem a touch more manageable. It’s a pretty slight difference, but it’s noticeable.
He was also right that, given my weight (160 lbs), the new Belafonte definitely feels a little better suited to me than the old one, especially when skiing in bumps and trees.
So in this 2nd Look, I’m not going to spend much time comparing the new Belafonte to the previous one, because Jonathan has already done that well.
Jonathan has also skied the new Belafonte in a wider range of conditions that I have so far, so here I’m just going to round out the picture with my own (more lightweight) take on the ski on: groomers, 4-6 inches of deep, soft chop, steep trees, and bumps.
I’ll also make direct comparisons to the Line Supernatural 108, which is in the same class as the Belafonte, but it’s a ski with a distinct feel from the Belafonte—one that might be more or less attractive, depending on what you’re looking for in your “directional charger.”
So far, I’ve spent the least amount of time on the Belafonte on groomers, but one thing is quite clear: the ski still makes it very easy to go very fast, especially the more roughed-up and bumpy things are.
Jonathan mentioned that “the shovels feel a bit softer on the new Belafonte,” and that he didn’t think it was “that noticeable around most of the mountain, but it became most apparent when skiing roughed up groomers at very high speeds.” He felt “the old Belafonte smoothed out the ride better.”
While I suppose the front of the new ski feels a little less stiff than that of the old one, it hasn’t seemed to me that the old Belafonte’s shovels made it significantly more stable than this new version I’ve been skiing, or that they allowed me to push that older ski harder. (If you way as much as or more than Jonathan, you might feel differently.)
The groomers I have been skiing have been pretty pristine, but the ski has continued to track well and be stable in roughed up, choppy conditions, too (as I’ll say more about below). So to me, I can’t say that the new Belafonte’s top-end feels obviously lower than the old one’s. If it is, it seems like a very slight difference to me (though again, if you weigh 30+ pounds more than I do, might think that difference is more pronounced).
If anything, I feel like the new Belafonte’s sidecut does indeed feel a little quicker on groomers, and that the ski makes slightly tighter carved turns. Again, it’s a slight difference, from the old ski, and if bombing back to the lift with long, fast turns on groomed runs is what you’re really into, I doubt that the new Belafonte will disappoint you. The edge hold is still very good, and the ski lets you lean into it hard, trusting the tail for support and grip through big, fast carves.
The Line Supernatural 108 is an impressive ski on groomers, too, but a has a bit more personality than the Belafonte. In general, the 108 feels a little more responsive when put on edge, and carved turns fet a little tighter on the 108. But more significantly, I think, it’s noticeably easier to work the Supernatural 108 through shorter, slower, scrubbed turns than the Belafonte due to the 108’s gently rockered tail.
The Supernatural 108 is also impressively stable through big, fast carves on good, soft groomers, and its edge hold is almost as good as the Belafonte’s.
However, the more you like to vary up your turns and your speed on groomers, going from big, fast carves to slower skidding turns, the more appealing the Supernatural 108 will be. You can work the Belafonte through shorter turns, but it’s not as willing to do so, and requires more encouragement.
Very Soft, Shallow Chop (4-6” Deep)
So far, most of the time I’ve spent on both the Belafonte and the Supernatural 108 has been in 4-5” of soft chop sitting on a pretty firm, bumped-up base, and both can be skied quite hard in these conditions.
In relatively shallow, choppy conditions, the Belafonte is super predictable. The ski has a pretty conservative amount of tip rocker, and not too much taper in its tip shape, so it’s easy to trust when bashing through loose piles of snow at speed.
But like the old one, it needs to be told what to do. Any time you want to slide the Belafonte’s tails out to bleed off speed or make a short, snappy turn in choppy snow, you’ll need to make a strong, decisive move.
The result here is that making big, fasts turn through chop on the Belafonte has a “set-it-and-forget-it” kind of feel; hold a strong position through the turn and enjoy the ride.
The Supernatural 108, on the other hand, keeps you on your toes a bit more. You’ll need to do a little more work when you’re hauling to avoid or absorb prominent ridges and piles of snow in order to keep things calm and collected. When I did that, and kept my skiing a little more dynamic and energetic (rather than simply strong / powerful), I found that I could ski just as fast on the 108 as the Belafonte. But the firmer and more variable the conditions get, the more difficult that will be on the Supernatural 108, I think, and the more clearly the Belafonte will be the more stable, more damp ski.
As conditions got more tracked-out and the snow got pushed into bigger piles, big, raging turns got more challenging and difficult to make smoothly on either ski. And when I slowed things down, it was a bit easier to make shorter, smooth, poppy turns on the Supernatural 108 than on the Belafonte. Quick slashes and smeared turns felt markedly more natural and easier to make on the Supernatural 108. As on groomers, you can work the Belafonte through quicker, snappier turns, it just takes more work, and the ski is less forgiving if you happen to botch a turn.
For these reasons I think the Supernatural 108 will be the better ski in fresh powder. “Better,” that is, if you prefer it’s slightly more playful feel and are looking for the best float at low speeds between the two. If you carve your pow turns at high speeds and rarely slash or smear them, then the Belafonte might be preferable in fresh conditions.
You can read more about the Supernatural 108’s performance in powder in our review of the Line Supernatural 108 vs. Blizzard Cochise. And if you think you want something that’s a little more playful and soft snow oriented than the Supernatural 108 (but still has a very respectable top-end in variable conditions), take a look at the Whitedot Director.