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
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.)
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.
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.
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.