2nd Look: Moment Governor

Brett Carroll 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: Tecnica Cochise 130 Pro / Marker Jesters (DIN at 11)

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

Test Location: Alta; Grand Targhee

Days Skied: 20

[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 a follow up to Jonathan Ellsworth’s review of the Moment Governor.

And if you want to see how the Governor stacks up to skis like the DPS Wailer 112RPC, the Rossignol Squad 7, the Praxis GPO, Volkl Katana, and the Liberty Variant 113, subscribe to the Blister Deep Dive and take a look.

My review is going to focus on a popular question: how well the 116mm-wide Governor works as an all-mountain ski (as opposed to a dedicated pow ski). This wasn’t necessarily our intention going into this review, but little did I know that trying to review a powder ski last season would result in a curse on Alta where it would receive the least snowfall of any winter in the past 70 years, and my schedule to line up in a way that barred me from being able to ski in-bounds on any of our few powder days.

So while I wasn’t able to test the Governor’s performance in fresh powder, I did put about 20 days on them, and those days provided some valuable insight for me to build on Jonathan’s review.

Groomers

Jonathan was very complimentary of the Governor’s performance on groomers, calling the ski a standout in its class. I agree with much of Jonathan’s praise, but would like to emphasize a few points I think are important.

First, Jonathan describes feeling comfortable laying over high-angle turns at high speeds on the Governor. I fully agree with him on this point. The Governor likes to go fast. The skis tracked and held an edge well when making fast, large GS to super-G-sized turns, and I enjoyed skiing them in this way.

Conversely, I found the Governor to be less willing to make different turn shapes at different speeds. As hard as I tried, I could not coax the Governor into carving anything tighter than a mid-sized GS turn. At slow-to-moderate speeds, the ski feels a little dead—a characteristic that I attribute to some combination of the ski’s stiffness (making it hard to bend at slower speeds) and / or its dampness (preventing the ski from creating energy, or “pop,” at slower speeds).

The Governor also was a little resistant to smearing or “slarving” turns on groomers. The ski’s powerful tails felt like they were unwilling to break out of their arc to smear a turn.

Firm, Chalky Snow

As is often the case with long, mid-winter dry spells, much of the most enjoyable snow I skied this winter came in the form of cold, firm, but edgeable chalk. And I’m happy to report that the Governor felt quite capable skiing these conditions in a variety of styles.

Style #1: High-speed charging through open terrain:

The Governor was very fun to open up into big, high speed turns through open terrain. The ski’s stiff, consistent flex pattern gives it a large sweet spot, making the ski feel balanced and stable. The tails felt powerful and supportive, while the shovels felt very capable of absorbing small bumps and imperfections without folding or deflecting.

Brett Carol reviews the Moment Governor for Blister Gear Review

Brett Carol on the Moment Governor, Alta, UT.

I felt just slightly more comfortable making big, fast turns on the Governor than on the Supernatural 108, although again the 108 is very capable in this category as well. I think the main difference stems from the 108’s tails being slightly less stiff, resulting in them feeling slightly less powerful and supportive. (Again, these are pretty subtle differences.)

Style #2: Moderate to high-speed maneuvering through trees, rocks, etc.:

As Jonathan also noted, the Governor felt surprisingly quick and agile in trees and areas of exposure, as long as I maintained at least a moderate speed. While the Governor’s powerful tails felt unwilling to break free and smear on groomers, they felt capable doing so in softer, chalky snow. They felt quick in transition between turns, and I felt comfortable throwing them sideways to scrub speed when necessary.

Style #3: Moderate to high speeds in bumped up chalky snow:

Not quite as enjoyable as smooth chalk, but equally as common during mid-winter dry spells, many lines at Alta this winter featured bumped up, chalky snow. I was surprised by how well the Governor performed in these conditions.

I found the Governor to feel quite damp, keeping the tips from deflecting and allowing the ski to absorb much of the impact from plowing into bumps. Again, the Governor felt quicker than expected, as I found it pretty easy to transition between turns. As Jonathan mentioned, I do want to point out that this is not an especially forgiving ski, and it’s not supposed to be. Bumped up conditions may be where this trait becomes the most obvious. With a fairly aggressive style and good technique, the Governor was fun to rip through the bumps. But when I got lazy, the tails of these skis made me pay for it.

Soft Chop

Many of the traits I have described about the Governor so far (its stiffness, powerful tails, stable platform, preference for skiing fast down the fall line, etc.) continue to hold true for soft chop, making it an enjoyable ski for riding fast in these conditions. But I agree with Jonathan that the Governor’s tapered tips come at a bit of a price, as I also noticed that the tips were prone to deflecting in soft, choppy conditions. This deflection is pretty subtle, but it is noticeable and does make the ski feel less stable at speed.

Bottom Line / Who’s It For?

Jonathan highlights the Governor’s combination of stability and quickness as being especially noteworthy, and I fully agree with him on that point. The Governor is an excellent choice for skiers looking for a directional ski that can charge hard while still feeling relatively quick in tight places.

To rephrase Jonathan’s recommendation, if you want a ski specifically for charging fast down the fall line in nearly all conditions, from groomers to chalk to bumps, I think the Governor should be on your short list.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Blister Member
    Chrisc70 February 20, 2018 Reply

    Question for the Blister Braintrust: I’m starting to investigate a new pair of powder boards for some planned heli trips to the Chugach in AK. I’m 51 YO, 5’11”, 155 lbs, very good physical fitness and have been skiing for 46 years. Grew up and live on the East Coast, but make it out to Tahoe/CO/Mammoth for about 10-12 days a year out of about 30 total days. These skis will be powder only boards and I’m thinking >115 or wider. As per my East Coast pedigree, I’m very comfortable in bulletproof conditions and my skiing is much more GS fall line turns than jibbing around the mountain. I am looking for a directional ski as I don’t press or butter, and I don’t huck off anything higher than about 10′ anymore. For some context, I have had both the Armada 108Ti and the J Metal and was not in love with either of them. I skied both those skis for a bunch of days at Squaw and actually disliked the Armada, but found the Metal to be acceptable but “eh”. Not surprisingly, the Metal was much more enjoyable once I got them up to highway speed and let them work, although I did find they tended to hook the tips a bit when initiating turns. As I’ve been researching possible skis, I started to think the Bibby might be the one, but not sure if I need a ski that playful? The Governor has caught my eye as being a possible contender since it doesn’t have metal in it and I think that although I am a strong skier, my light weight makes metal not really necessary for anything less than East Coast hard pack. The other ski that I’m curious about is the Kastle BMX 115, but there’s a dearth of data on that ski so wondering what you guys thought? Finally, I was a long-time Volkl rider when I was a younger racer and I love their skis, but the Confession seems like it might be too much ski for me? Any advice and suggestions appreciated

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