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2nd Look: MOMENT Belafonte, 182cm

Review of the Moment Belafonte, Blister Gear Review

13/14 Moment Belafonte

Ski: 2013-2014 MOMENT Belafonte, 182cm

Dimensions (mm): 135-106-124

Turn Radius: 25.7 meters

Actual Tip to Tail Length (straight tape pull): 180.0cm

Blister’s Measured Weight Per Ski: 2120 grams & 2130 grams

Boots/Bindings: Lange RX 130 / Marker Jester, DIN at 10

Mount Location: manufacturer’s mark

Test Location: Alta Ski Area, Taos Ski Valley

Days Skied: 7

(Editor’s Note: Our tests were conducted on the 10/11 Belafonte, which was not changed for 11/12, 12/13, and 13/14, except for the graphics.)

This past summer, BLISTER reviewer Garrett Altmann and I had multiple conversations about which skis would work best for the Argentinian Freeskiing Championships in Las Lenas, Argentina. Garrett decided to go with the brand new MOMENT Belafonte, which was clearly a good choice given his 4th place finish at the comp.

As you can read HERE, Garrett became a big fan of the Belafonte, so much so that I’ve had a little trouble getting him to try out other skis.

Meanwhile, by Christmas, I had fallen in love with the MOMENT Bibby Pro, one of my favorite skis of the season, and a ski that Blister reviewers Will Brown and Mark Connell also fell for (check out Will’s review of the Bibby Pro). I kept telling Garrett that he really needed to ski the Bibby Pro, and he kept telling me that I needed to check out the Belafonte. We’d always agree (“Yep, absolutely. We’ll trade the next time for sure.”)…but then we’d never actually switch, too happy with what we already had on our feet.

Fast forward to the middle of March: Garrett still hasn’t gotten around to skiing the Bibbys, but I’ve managed to get a handful of days on the Belafonte.

I’m not going to lie: the only reason it happened is that on my last trip to Alta two weeks ago, I forced myself to leave the Bibby Pros back in New Mexico to avoid the temptation to ski them instead of the Belafontes. (Yes, the Bibbys are that good.)

Well?

So far, I’ve found everything Garrett wrote about the Belafontes to be true, though I haven’t had them out in really deep stuff, where they can’t possibly be as good as the fully rockered and fatter Bibby Pros. (Update: This was a correct assumption.)

What the Belafonte does is dominate hardpack and variable conditions. They like speed, and they respond well when skied with aggression, shins driven hard into the tongues of the boots.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Wildcat Face, Alta Ski Area.

Fast laps of big radius turns down Devil’s Castle, Thirds, Greeley Bowl, and Eddie’s High Nowhere were a blast, with zero deflection in the crud—a fairly remarkable fact for a relatively short ski.

Groomers are also ridiculously fun on this ski: roll to edge and rail. I haven’t been on any ski this season greater than 100mm wide underfoot that had the Belafonte’s edge hold. (The Rossignol Experience 98 is even better, though it is just under 100mm wide, has more sidecut, and is eight millimeters narrower than the Belafonte. For comparison’s sake, the Bibby Pros have exceptional edge grip for a ski that is 118mm underfoot, but their tail rocker leaves open the possibility of releasing when things get really firm, something I never worried about while maching around on the Belafonte, heading from the Sugarloaf chair to Supreme.)

A traverse over to Last Chance in Catherine’s Area brought us into some beautiful, boot deep powder and mellow tree skiing. The Belafontes were entirely at home. Granted, the conditions weren’t tricky, but they handled the mellow stuff fine, then were ready to rage down the steeper, harder, bumped up lower sections.

Jonathan Ellsworth, Westward Ho, Alta Ski Area.

In his review, Garrett says, “I only recommend [the Belafonte] to those who continuously drive their skis down the mountain.” You’d be smart to listen to him.

Get in the backseat on the Belafonte, and its stiff tails take over. This became especially apparent to me when skiing enormous bumps in the Westward Ho area. I tend to dig the backseat in bumps and tail gun them a bit, mostly because it’s a ton of fun (I don’t care what you say, Charlie Bradley). But it’s not so much fun on the Belafontes. You need to carve them; you’re certainly not going to slither and pivot your way down the line on these as you might on the even wider but tail-rockered Bibby Pros.

Furthermore, steep, tight chutes will become problematic if you fail to push yourself down the fall line and instead overturn the skis. But with a bit of focus and a commitment to stay on top of your game and drive them, all is well. In fact, all is really good.

If you’re a strong, proficient skier looking for a fairly fat ski that excels on groomers, crud and chop, you’re going to love the Belafonte. If you’re looking for a ski that is ultra quick edge-to-edge, or a ski that will allow you to pivot and smear, you might want to keep looking.

For next season, MOMENT has decided to leave the Belafonte as is, which is a big deal for a company that is notorious for tinkering with their designs.

I think this is a very good call.

The only thing that surprises me a bit is that MOMENT doesn’t offer this ski in the popular length of 185-186cm. (The Belafonte comes in 174, 182, and 192cm.) I imagine there are a number of potential buyers who turn into Goldilocks, bummed because 182cm sounds a little too short, but worried that 192cm will be a bit too much. (Update: for the 12/13 season, MOMENT now offers the Belafonte in a 187cm length. Check out my review of the 187 Belafonte.)

Often, and especially given the already short effective edge of rockered skis, it makes good sense to go longer when in doubt about size. In the case of the Belafonte however, I’d say: if you’re in doubt about length, go shorter. Besides, you’ll be going way too fast for anybody to notice that your skis aren’t super long.

33 Comments

  1. Robin Abeles March 29, 2011 Reply

    Its true, you ski way too fast on these skis man!

  2. Steve Thompson April 24, 2011 Reply

    What is your height and weight? That might give some insight for the people on the fence between the 182 and 192. I’m 6’2″ 200lb so I’m leaning toward the 192 for next season. Also interested in the Jaguar Shark (fatter Belafonte) as a more traditional ski with tip rocker for deeper snow vs. the bibby pro (tip and tail rocker).

  3. Author
    Jonathan Ellsworth, Editor in Chief, Blister Gear Review April 25, 2011 Reply

    Hi Steve,

    I’m 5’10”, 185 lbs. (For future reference, if you click on the reviewer’s name at the top of each review, you will be directed to that reviewer’s bio.)

    At 6’2″ 200 lbs., I would lean toward the 192s if I were you, though I would want to hear more about what you’d be using the Belafonte for, and where.

    I’ve yet to ski the Jaguar Shark, but I certainly understand your interest. But since you mention the Bibby Pro, one of my favorite skis, my hunch is that – FOR A “DEEPER SNOW” SKI – I’d prefer the Bibby’s tail rocker to the Jaguar Shark, just a more playful design (and yet the Bibby still does so well in chop).

    Having said that, I can’t wait to ski the Jaguar Shark, a fatter – but also slightly softer – Belafonte. I imagine it will give up some of the loose, playful feel of the Bibby, but gain something in chop and high speed charging since the tails WON’T get loose or wash out when you don’t want them to.

    Here’s to having lots of good options….

  4. Pablo Castillo April 25, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan,

    I´m an intermediate/advanced skier of the west (Taos, Tahoe and Colorado). I’m looking for a OSQ that will perform great in variable conditions (including icy steeps and unfortunate hardpack). I do trees, steeps, some BC, groomers and try to find nature´s jumps and rails.
    I travel from Mexico 30 or 40 days a year to ski, so I cannot buy something pow-oriented; instead, I need something versatile enough to ski whatever conditions I find at my destination.
    I´m 5’7 and 130…¿Do you think the Bela will fit my needs?

    Great review and site by the way. Congrats for your passion for the sport.

  5. Author
    Jonathan Ellsworth, Editor in Chief, Blister Gear Review April 26, 2011 Reply

    Hey Pablo, glad you like the site and found the review helpful.

    I think that the Belafonte could definitely work for you and in the conditions you describe. Just keep in mind: the Belafontes need speed, so they can be a bit of work in slower, tight tree skiing. They also ski better when pointed down the mountain – you won’t flick these side to side. And the tails are stiff, so if you are skiing moguls, you need to stay forward.

    The Belafontes reward good technique and respond well to speed. In that sense, I feel like if you went with the Belafontes, chances are they wil make you stay on your game (or step up your game) which is to say: they will make you a better, stronger skier.

    What other skis are you currently considering?

    For next season, MOMENT is adding rocker to their Tahoe, and that is a ski you might want to check out for the conditions you describe. It’s a bit narrower than the Belafontes, certainly softer and more forgiving. But you may care more about a ski that can charge than a ski that forgives mistakes. If that’s the case, you’re going to dig the Belafontes.

  6. Pablo Castillo April 26, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan, thank you so much for your propmt answer.
    Some skis I´ve also considered: K2 Kung Fujas, Volkl Gotama, Line Prophets 100 and Moments Tahoe or Bibbys. I would´nt mind having one pair of super wide pow oriented (10+ in) and other pair for everything else.

    I´m certainly looking for a ski that would push my skiing skills for better, not to forgive my mistakes and kind of cover them.

  7. Author
    Jonathan Ellsworth, Editor in Chief, Blister Gear Review April 26, 2011 Reply

    Long and short, Pablo: if you are going to go with one ski, given what you’ve said, I would recommend the Belafonte.

    But if you have the option to go with 2 skis, I think a 2 ski quiver of (1) The Tahoe and (2) The Bibby Pro would be really, really great.

  8. Pablo Castillo April 27, 2011 Reply

    I´ll need to work extra hours then. Thanks again for your advice!! Keep up the good work with the site.

  9. Jaime Suárez Pardo May 9, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan, I´ve to say that this is one of the best reviews I´ve ever read. congrats. I tell you my situation. I am looking for a freeride ski for next season, not only a powder ski. I am from Spain so the powder days can be counted with the fingers of one hand. Is true that we have a few powder days, but you also have A LOT of types of snow: hard terrain, icy stuff, everything. I´ve heard only good words about the Bibby, and that was going to be my choice until I dived a little bit into this model, the Belafonte. I prefer 106 mm instead the 118 of the Bibby (I think I don´t need such a wide ski) but I don´t know if it would be too stiff. I mean, I don´t know if this ski is a ski that only respond at real high speed…because I don´t want that. I also don´t know if the fact that it has a lot of camber (7mm?) makes it too difficult to get the edge deep in the snow. And finally, as it is going to be my only pair of skis, which one do you think performs better in groomers? So, if you were me…which one would you go for? Thanks a lot.
    Oh, I also would like to ask you which size would you go for, I´m 170cm…174 would be long enough or you would go for the bigger size?…thanks again

  10. Author
    Jonathan Ellsworth, Editor in Chief, Blister Gear Review May 10, 2011 Reply

    Hey Jaime, glad the review was helpful.

    The Bibby Pro is definitely the more versatile ski of the two – it can sort of do everything – stable at speed, good in chop, great in powder, pivots super easily, very good groomer ski, especially considering its width (118mm).

    The Belafonte is less forgiving – that tail is still relatively stiff – and certainly responds well with speed. I’m not sure that I would say that it needs speed, but it certainly does compared to the Bibby. The Belafonte is also better on groomers (especially icy groomers) than the Bibby – it’s ridiculously good on groomers.

    I would say that the Belafonte is better suited to advanced / expert skiers, while the Bibby will make experts, advanced, and intermediate skiers really happy.

    Finally, if you ski tight trees a good amount, I would lean toward the Bibby unless you are a really technically proficient skier.

    If you don’t ski tight trees, and mostly need a ski that will be great on groomers and good on the occasional pow day, go with the Belafonte. And at 170cm tall, unless you are VERY light, I would lean toward going with the 182cm Belafonte, especially if it is going to be your powder ski, too.

    Hope that helps.

  11. Steve Thompson May 10, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan,
    Thanks for the bio info tip. Cool feature for the site to have. I’ll be skiing Crested Butte and some sidecountry areas there. On occasion I’ll be heading back to Summit Co resorts. I’ve been on 190 Gotamas as my everyday ski for the past few seasons and the Bela would become that ski.

    What I like (at least on paper) about the Jag is that it’s non-rocker tail. I’ve been on a few skis now that had tail rocker and I don’t like the loose feel. So the Jag with some tip rocker and normal tail seems like the right combo for me. We’ll see after I get a chance to demo.

  12. Andy Stone June 22, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan,

    I am looking for a new telemark set up for this coming winter, and the Belafonte has caught my attention. I am 6’2″ and 180lb and spend 50-75 days on skis over the winter. These days are pretty much split between freeriding/work(patrol)/touring. Most of my skiing is in the North Rockies of Alberta (lots of pow last season but more known for windslab/chalk and cold temps).

    Although I am primarily looking for a new freeride set up, I would also use the Belafonte’s for deeper backcountry days and the week I am spending at a touring lodge in the Selkirk’s late february.

    My questions to you are:
    1) Do you think the Belafontes fit my bill/ would I enjoy these skis?
    2) Have you talked to anyone who has skied this ski tele? What did they think? If so telemark mounting point?
    3) What length, 182 or 192? I am thinking the 182 for a couple of reasons, First 192cm skis in tele stance becomes 230-240cm and 230’s don’t get along with trees. Second slightly shorter skis when in tele stance ski longer. My current tele free rides are K2 189cm Hippy stinx and the length is frustrating in trees.

    Skis I am also looking at include: 181cm K2 Sidestash, ON3P Vicik, and Movement Jackal (less attraction to the Jackal as it lacks tip rocker), I have a pair of Bibby pro’s which I initially mounted tele but tail rocker with tele bindings lacked control as soon as the soft ran out, the Bibby’s are my fat alpine set up.

    Regards,

    Andy

  13. Author
    Jonathan Ellsworth, Editor in Chief, Blister Gear Review June 24, 2011 Reply

    Hi Andy, thanks for the comments. I’m surprised to say that I don’t personally know anyone who has been skiing tele on the Belafontes. I’m forwarding on your questions to some people who ought to be able to help, though, and will get back to you when they do.

    For sheer versatility, and especially since you’re talking about using this ski for pretty much everything under the sun, I think you might want to consider the DPS Wailer 112RP – two of our telemark reviewers have raved about the 112RP. (Kate Hourihan got to test a ton of skis this season, and it is her favorite. Her review should be up in a week or so, and you can read Robin Abeles’ review here: http://blistergearreview.com/?p=384). For what it’s worth, I know that Robin liked the Sidestash, too, but hasn’t skied the Belafonte….I’ll get him to weigh in.

    Ok, we’ll be back in touch soon….

  14. Robin Abeles June 24, 2011 Reply

    Hey Andy,

    I did like the Sidestashes. They ski like a stiffer K2 Antipiste with less side cut. I only skied them on a soft snow day, so I couldn’t tell you what they would do on hard pack (and I never toured on them), but they did float nicely and seemed to carve on the packed powder. I spent most of the season on the 112RPs and loved them, but they did change my style of riding, because of the tail. I found myself carving more upright and dropping less knee (which Kate was trying to get me to do all season anyway) because there was little-to-no tail support, but the ski is very stiff underfoot. As for the length issue, I am 5’6 and ski mostly the upper 170’s to and lower 180’s. My Anitpistes are 183’s and my 112RPs are 178’s. You have 8 inches and 45 pounds on me, so I wouldn’t go too short. I just rode the 4FRNT CRJs at 180cm and loved them in the trees (and yes, at times I dropped my knee all the way – sorry Kate). I hope this helps.

  15. Andy Stone June 28, 2011 Reply

    Robin,

    Thanks for the response. Looking at the specs for the 112RPs I can’t help but think they would ski similar to my Moment Bibby Pro’s, which lacked hard snow control with rockered tails. Looking on the DPS website the Wailer 105 seems to be more what I am looking for. Have you had a chance to drop a knee on these skis?

    I think what I am looking for Rockered tip camber under foot flat tail skis. Regarding bindings I am using 7tm Power/ Power tours (switch the tours off for powers for free riding). What bindings are you using? How do you find the rocker tails on hard snow on tele’s?

    Regarding length I think I need to go into shops and see how long some of these skis are in real life. I guess as free ride/deep day backcountry skis is shouldn’t skimp on length.

    Cheers,
    Andy

  16. Author
    Jonathan Ellsworth, Editor in Chief, Blister Gear Review June 28, 2011 Reply

    Hey Andy, till Robin is able to weigh in, I’ve got this for you: I talked to Luke Jacobson, vice president of MOMENT. Luke is straight up about this stuff, and MOMENT has a strong tele team.

    In short, his response to your questions:

    1) Do you think the Belafontes fit my bill/ would I enjoy these skis?

    LUKE: Yes.

    2) Have you talked to anyone who has skied this ski tele? What did they think? If so telemark mounting point?

    LUKE: Lots of people ride these tele and love them. We suggest mounting tele boot center -2 to -4cm back from Alpine boot center depending on your style.

    3) What length, 182 or 192? I am thinking the 182 for a couple of reasons, First 192cm skis in tele stance becomes 230-240cm and 230′s don’t get along with trees. Second slightly shorter skis when in tele stance ski longer. My current tele free rides are K2 189cm Hippy stinx and the length is frustrating in trees.

    LUKE: Sounds like you’ve answered the question for yourself: go 182cm.

    Jonathan: Andy, your experience may vary, but Luke has talked to more people who’ve skied the Belafonte tele than anybody on the planet. At this point, I think you should get ’em, and if you don’t dig ’em, post up a 1000 word review about why you didn’t.

  17. Jaime Suárez Pardo July 7, 2011 Reply

    Hi there, Could you please make a comparison between the Belafonte and Line influence 105??? Thanks man!

  18. Author

    Hey Jaime,

    I haven’t had a chance to ski the Influence 105 yet, but we will be testing it early next season, for sure.

  19. Robin Abeles July 12, 2011 Reply

    Hey Andy,

    I apologize it has taken me so long to chime in. I haven’t had a chance to ski the Wailer 105 yet and so far my experience has been that on hard pack and varied conditions you have to be centered over any ski that has a rockered tail and normal camber. The tails will wash out at some point. I guess it really depends on your style and how far you are dropping your knee. I just skied the Wailer 112RPs this weekend on very difficult snow conditions in the Wasatch and they performed beautifully, but again I had to stay over the middle of the ski. I hope this helps.

  20. Jay August 30, 2011 Reply

    What is the weight of the Belafontes? I can’t seem to find anywhere? Any thoughts on the Belafontes as a BC ski? Binding recommendation to accompany?

    Thanks!

    Jay
    north lake tahe BC skiier
    Current setup : K2 Coombas, Dynafit Radical SLT, Garmont Radiums

    • Author

      Hi, Jay, really sorry for the late reply – I somehow missed the post. I’ll work on getting the weight posted soon. As for the Belafonte as a BC ski, it really depends on what you’re looking for. I would encourage you to check out my review of the MOMENT PB&J, then see the comments section where I give my .02 on the Belafonte as a BC ski.

  21. Michael December 3, 2011 Reply

    Jonathan,

    I just ran across your review website and I have to tell you it is the most informative reviews I have seen on skis. Freestyle, powder, and ski magazine buyers guide and reviews are significantly lacking when compared to your reviews. With that said, I live on the front range in Colo and consider myself an expert skier…I am looking for new skis this year and I noticed on your reviews the moment skis seem to be highly regarded and receive excellent reviews. I mainly ski the resorts in colorado with a mix of groomers, inbound hike to access, and whatever secret powder stash I can find. I currently ski on the Karmas, which have been great in all hard snow terrain. I also have a pair of a-lottas for the rare powder days. I am looking to replace the Karmas and potentially the a-lottas if there are better powder skis. I can go with either a osq or a pair for the powder and a pair for everything else. I am not a huge fan of full rockered and I prefer a stiff ski. Do you recommend the moment skis or is there another line you like? What are your thoughts on which skis would potentially fit what I am looking for?

    Thanks!
    Michael

    • Author

      Thanks, Michael. The easiest way to boil down the list would be to toss out skis with tail rocker, if you’re certain you want to dismiss those. And I will always recommend 2 pairs of skis over 1, for the same reason that it’s better to have more than just a wrench in your tool box to handle all jobs.

      But to build a 2 ski quiver, the options are nearly endless. You could do a MOMENT Jag Shark for deeper days, or an 11/12 Black Diamond Megawatt (subtle tail rocker). For harder days, BD Zealot, MOMENT Belafonte, or Rossignol Experience 98. Take a look at those reviews of ours, see what begins to stand out, from your point of view.

  22. Blister Member
    Alfonso December 5, 2011 Reply

    Can you please post a comparison between the Belafonte and the PB&J? Which would you recommend for a one ski quiver, and why? Do you think one will perform noticeably better in powder, trees, crud, groomers, etc?

    Thanks!

  23. Blister Member
    Alfonso December 5, 2011 Reply

    Also, I was just looking on another website and they said that the 2012 Belafonte’s are lighter and have more flex than the 2011. Do you know anyone who’s been on the 2012’s? Or any word of how this has changed how the Bela skis?

  24. Jake July 28, 2013 Reply

    Hey guys, love the multiple reviews on this ski. Its made it easy to narrow down my search for my one ski for 2013-14.

    I am between the Nordica Patrons, the Armada TSTs and the Belafontes. Im 6’0″ 165 lbs and ski at Mt. Hood, Mt. Bachelor, Whistler/Blackhomb, and Mammoth.

    I am a very aggressive skier and love hucking cliffs. That said, I love charging the back country and bombing through trees. I am stepping up from my all mtn/park set up and looking for something that will satisfy my thirst for higher speeds and bigger hits. Advice?

    Cheers,

    JB

    • Author

      Hey Jake – I’m afraid I don’t have anything more helpful to add to what’s already been written in our reviews & comments sections. But pour through those, and I bet you end up with a ski that’s a good fit for you.

  25. Blister Member
    Andrew November 2, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jonathan – my wife’s looking for a ski that can tackle Whistler at Christmas (i.e. powder in the morning, heavily skied leftovers in the afternoon, large ice bumps / frozen sun-affected chunder 24-36 hrs later). Maybe because of me raving about how much I’ve enjoyed my pair of Belafontes in such conditions or maybe because we can get a good deal on a pair of the 174 cm version – who knows – she’s thinking seriously about giving this ski a go in that length. She’s a very good / strong skier with excellent technique who enjoys skiing steep chutes so I’m partial to telling her to go for it but wanted to get your thoughts on this and to see if any of the Blister Ladies have skied that length of this ski (and if so what their impressions were)? Otherwise, I’m looking for recommendations (as you can guess, doesn’t have to be a women’s ski) – Volkl Mantra? Blizzard Bonafide?

    Thanks!

    Andrew

    • Author

      Hey Andrew – selfishly, I want your wife to get the 174 Belafonte, just so she can report back. None of our women have skied the Belafonte (we only have it in a 182 and 187). Julia has skied the 184 Bibby and really likes it, but the Belafonte is more ski than the Bibby.

      Having said that, the Mantra is a stiff ski, and if she can handle it, I think she will be able to make the Belafonte work.

      • Blister Member
        Andrew December 31, 2013 Reply

        Hi Jonathan –

        My wife (5’7″, 132lbs) now has some time on the 174 Belafontes in steep icy chutes, trees, heavy untracked (avec and sans ice crust / death cookies), heavily skied / well-worn pow (the soft and freeze/thaw cycled varieties), bumps and hard-packed ski-outs (collectively “Christmas conditions”) at Whistler and she loves them. Where she’s found the 172 Bellas to be chattery / skiddish, the 174 Belafontes have performed. Her main comments have been that they’re super stable, easy to turn and generally confidence inspiring. Full marks, Moment – great ski – don’t change it!

        Happy new year!

        Andrew

  26. Valerie January 3, 2014 Reply

    Since you tested a lot of skis, may be you can help me and point toward the right ski. Since ski industry introduced women’s ski I have been out of luck. I hate women’s ski as they all made for very light weight person who rides her heels. I am only 5’3″ and when I go for men’s skis longer then 174cm I start to compromise on agility. For the last 2 years I was shuffling Line Opus, Beacon and Rossignol Sickle and was never happy as they were too long, too soft under foot (love the soft shovel though) and too fast edge to edge and hooky. I know that Moment Belafonte comes in shorter length of 174, but I read it is very unforgiving and super stiff. How is it compares to Salomon Quest 115? What is the stiffness and shape of the front rocker how easy it is to initiate the turn in crud? Does it have full twin tip in the back? Will it release easily, once locked on edge?
    Are there any other under 174cm skis that you can recommend?
    Thanks.

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