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2nd Look: Moment Belafonte

Will Brown reviews the Moment Belafonte for Blister Gear Review

Moment Belafonte

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.”

Groomers

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.)

Will Brown reviews the Moment Belafonte, Blister Gear Review

Will Brown on the Moment Belafonte.

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.

Will Brown reviews the Moment Belafonte, Blister Gear Review

Will Brown on the Moment Belafonte.

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.

18 Comments

  1. Quigley January 14, 2015 Reply

    Where does the BD Zealot fit amongst Cochise/Belafonte/Supernatural 108 as a mixed conditions/soft snow forgiving charger?

    • I’ve only skied the 182 Zealot – you can read Jason’s review of the 192 – but the 182 is definitely less of a charger than any of these 3 skis. As I wrote in my review of the 182, it’s a versatile ski and a nice ski, but I think you’d be better off thinking of it as a more substantial Soul 7, or perhaps a less substantial Supernatural 108.

  2. Valerie January 16, 2015 Reply

    I am looking for a 102-105 underfoot ski for skied over and frozen powder, frozen bumps and trees. My perfect powder ski is Atomic Automatic 118 in 179cm. I also like Rossignol Sickle, but it goes edge to edge to easy for my taste. I dramaticly overpower Line Opus 178cm, so it’s tips fold in half – that ski does not tollerate forward stance at all. I can also put Line Bacon 178cm into that hoocky fold in falf as soon as you get off your feels category. Salomon 108 174cm felt balanced, with nice shape, but it was not stiff enough and I was owerpowering it evey second, no matter what I do.
    Today I ski my Automatic in all conditions, but when it is less then 4″ of poweder and it freezes up Automatics 179 become a little too long (I am only 5’3″) and a little too much work and weight to carry in bumps and trees, so I need something 102-105, around 170-174cm length. I like it to have a softer front rocker to soften the impact with front of the bump – I can comfortably live with chattery tips if they are not catchy and combined with stiff ski underfoot and shovel does not fold when loaded. I want this ski to be stiff under foot and have full twin tip in the back – I need it to easily release the tail in the bumps at any moment even the turn is not finished yet and my skis are not across the fall line. I have tried Salmon Q115 and I really liked it, but it would not release the tail until you are across the fall line or hop up to unload the ski. Basically I am looking for nerrower, stiffer, and shorter Automatic 118. Automatic 102 and 109 do not fit the bill as they are softer ( and I want stiffer) and they have small radius (preffer straighter ski). I am looking for capable ski – I have very good technique, but preffer finesse over power, so I can keep going without getting tired.
    Do you think Belafonte is a good choise for me? What about 4FRNT Devastator? Do you have suggestions?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Garrett January 16, 2015 Reply

      Val,
      For what you’re describing, I’d recommend the Belafonte. You’ll find a dramatic increase in maneuverability when dropping from a 118 waist to 106, and the all around ability to rip on the Belafonte is second to none that I’ve skied in the 104 to 108 class. The tip isn’t necessarily a ‘softer front rocker’ but the minimal rise allows the tip to dive better than most other raised tip profiles. I personally prefer a more stout tip that can absorb high energy when stuffing into the front sides of bumps. And if you want your tails to release more easily, try de-tuning the edges 5-80 cm from the tail. Quick edge to edge ability is a good thing in my book, but too quick and light can be disturbing if there isn’t enough mass to absorb debris. I have not skied the Devastator so no feedback there. Good luck.

  3. Valerie January 17, 2015 Reply

    Garrett,
    Thank you very much for your reply! What is the best mogul approach on Belafonte: bend the shovel into the front of the mogul or set the edge and pivot? Does it ski long or short? Thanks a lot!

  4. Zach Carlson January 18, 2015 Reply

    Thank you guys all for the great reviews! I was hoping for a little insight as to your opinion on a 95-105ish underfoot daily driver for when things firm up. I ski Aspen/snowmass primarily, and have been considering the Line SN 100 or 108, Rossi Experience 100, Blizzard bonafide, and maybe a couple others. I am 6’4″ 215 and grew up racing, for a little background. I currently ski a Blizzard Titan Argos daily and was hoping for something that turns a little tighter. The rest of the quiver is Legend Pros for rock skis, Lotus 120 for resort pow, and Lotus 138’s for when it gets real fun. Typically I wouldn’t be inquiring on this type of decision however, I cannot find any of these skis anywhere to demo them. Thank you for any advice in advance.

    • Hey, Zach – that’s a really broad range of skis, and I’d like to think our reviews would allow you to whittle that list down, or ask a more specific question? Most importantly: what do you want this ski to do / where do you want it to shine?

  5. Zach January 19, 2015 Reply

    Jonathan, thank you for replying and your reviews have been very helpful on many things. In the last 6 months I have ended up with the Patagonia Nano air hooded jacket and Anon M2 goggles greatly in part to your reviews and love both pieces of gear. Let me try to narrow this down a bit. I thought that I would really like the DPS RPC but learned after skiing the RP I learned that the shape of those skis really require a more upright stance and I couldn’t really drive them as much as finesse them. So that made me start looking for a ski that is playful with the heart of a race ski. I was hopeful to find something that does really well on the groomers (since Colorado snow is not always super plentiful) and work well on a face like the hanging valley wall or the top of Pali before it starts getting really bumped out. My concerns on the skis mentioned are if the Rossi is to harsh, or that if the Line might be over powered by my slightly larger than normal center of gravity. I have always strayed away from more playful styles of skis for fear of skiing through them. I truly hope that helps with regard to my search and that I am not taking too much of your time as well as over analyzing the details to much. Thank you again for all your quality feedback.

  6. Jake September 15, 2015 Reply

    I am looking to add a fourth ski to my closet and thinking of the Peacemaker, Moment Belafonte, or even the new 2016 Bacon. I currently have the 189 Scott Punisher a ski I love but it is sometimes a bit much in the bumps. I have a pair of 186 Moment Tahoe that I am not sure how much I love them at this point even after several days on them. I also have a pair of Megawatts that I enjoy on deep days. I am looking for ski that will be easier to ski in tight places and the bumps and thinking the Blizzard Peacemaker or Bellefonte might fit the bill. At 6’4″ and 230 pounds and a excellent skier will I over whelm the Peacemaker? Need help with finding a ski for 1 to 6 inches of powder and chop without getting bucked around and one I can ski the bumps. Something in the 102 to 106 range with shovels that are not to big.

    Thanks!!!!

  7. Martin December 14, 2015 Reply

    Thanks for all your awesome reviews! It’s tough to demo tele skis, so it’s super helpful. Do you think the Bela’s would be a good Colorado (Abasin/Loveland/Eldo) tele set up for everything but pow? I skied the PB&J but it just didn’t feel stable enough at speed or on hardpack, and I’m not sure that tail would be reliable enough on steeper terrain. I’m currently on the Liberty Variant 97 and they are good, but they’re pretty planky and lack traditional camber. I loved the way the PB&Js engage for tele turns (so intuitive!) but I still want something though that can rail alpine turns on the groomers back to the lift. Thought about the SN108 too, but I’m not that into rockered tails for groomers? Thanks!

  8. Blister Member
    Andrew October 10, 2016 Reply

    Guys, having loved the 187 Belafonte for many moons, I’m debating getting a new (updated) pair but going up to 194 this time. Thoughts on this? Have any Blisterites skied it? I’ve never felt like the 187 was too short but if the new set-up is easier to handle, I’m wondering if this might be the way to go…

    Please let me know. Thank you!
    Andrew

    • Hey, Andrew! I think Will and I would both caution against bumping up in length *if* the 187s never felt too short. I.e., I think the odds are higher that you’d regret going 194 vs. regretting the 186. But if you aren’t hammering through a bunch of moguls or really tight trees or couloirs … you might get along just fine with the 194s.

      Personally, I’d go 186 before I went 194, but in more open terrain … I imagine those 194s would be a good time. Sorry we can’t be more conclusive here. (Selfishly, I hope you go 194 because I’d love to hear the report…)

      • Blister Member
        Andrew November 1, 2016 Reply

        I’m leaning towards doing this… Looking at the effective edge numbers Moment publishes, the “new” 194 Belafonte sits at 1638mm, which is about the same as the “old” 187 Belafonte was at 1680mm (https://issuu.com/momentskis/docs/12-13_moment_catalog_web). What are your thoughts on this as a decision making framework?

        • Blister Member
          Andrew November 2, 2016 Reply

          Trigger pulled on the 194s. Will post my thoughts after I’ve had some time on them – stay tuned!

          • Blister Member
            Andrew December 30, 2016 Reply

            I’ve had some time on the 194s now and they’ve been a ton of fun. I suppose there are some intuitive differences between them but, to be honest, they ski a lot like I remember my old 187s skiing (they’re part of another skier’s quiver now, so I can’t A/B them, unfortunately). They’re confidence inspiring at speed in open terrain (but so were my old 187s). I was a little unsure how they would do in tighter trees and moguls but I’ve found them to be very similar to my old 187s there too (which is to say that they’ve been excellent). The conditions out here have been pretty good so I can’t speak to their performance when things are truly joyless yet but I’ll report back when I do (there are other skis that will handle those days better in any event). As I’ve commented elsewhere, I think a comparison of the 194 Belafonte with the new Dynastar Pro Rider 192 would be really interesting. Happy new year everyone!

  9. Blister Member
    Ryan August 16, 2017 Reply

    For someone who’s about 5′ 9” and 165 lbs, what size Belafonte would you suggest to slot into my quiver?

    I’m running 184 Bibbys for pow/chop and 181 Jeronimos for park. I’d like something that’s fast, stable and doesn’t overlap too heavily with my quiver. I’m pretty aggressive, like skiing fast and like pushing myself.

    • Hey, Ryan – my immediate reaction was for you to go with the 186, and I still think that’s a pretty easy call to make.

      No way would I tell a “pretty aggressive” skier of your size who likes “skiing fast and pushing myself” to go shorter, and I think the comments from Andrew that are directly above yours are also instructive. Andrew didn’t find the 194s to feel world’s more stable than the older 187 cm version of the Belafonte, so I don’t honestly think you need to bump up longer than the 186 — unless you are primarily skiing wide-open spaces pretty much all of the time. (But even if you are, the 186s may suit you just fine.)

      • Blister Member
        Ryan August 16, 2017 Reply

        Hey Jon!

        Thanks for the quick response, and I hope you’re healin’ up well.

        I was actually concerned that people would think I was crazy for getting the 186 over the 178. People seem to be in consensus that the Belafonte (Or Tahoe 106) is a fair bit of ski and will definitely punish sloppiness. Even though I’m fine on a 184 Bibby, the directional mount and EE of the Belafonte makes it seem a whole lot more aggressive.

        Ultimately, It’s going to be a tough call between the Belafonte, Wrenegade 108 and Kartel 108. All Three of these skis have caught my eye, and I’ve been kicking their tires in the comments of many of the deep dives.

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