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3rd 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): 180.5cm

Boots/Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS / Marker Jester / (DIN) 9

Mount Location: Factory Recommended

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley, Breckenridge, Vail

Days Skied: 7

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

Garrett Altmann and Jonathan Ellsworth have written quite a bit about the Belafonte already, and I tend to agree with everything they have to say about the ski. For my own part in the conversation, I’ll try to orient the Belafonte’s performance characteristics around the more freestyle-oriented MOMENT PB&J and the Blizzard Cochise, a more forgiving ski with very similar tendencies to the Belafonte. This should help to round out the picture of what the Belafonte does best.

I put in a few days recently on the well-balanced PB&J at Taos, mostly messing around in steep, bumped terrain, and found them to perform remarkably well in both firm and soft conditions all over the mountain. But as with any good one-ski quiver, the PB&Js are not exceptionally strong in any single discipline.

I had spent an afternoon lapping some of my favorite quick, hardpack lines down Reforma and Al’s Run on the PB&Js, which they handled well, but only up to a certain speed. I didn’t care to jib my way back to the lift again, and I wanted to push things a little harder in the steeps—to a degree of aggressiveness that the PB&J doesn’t always tolerate comfortably.

I needed a ski with more effective edge that could handle higher speeds with greater stability underfoot. This means something with a little less sidecut than the PB&J so that the skis’ shovels don’t fight to hook up and pull across the fall line when thrown sideways on hard snow. Additionally, I wanted a traditional, dependable tail for confidence in steep terrain and stability in variable snow.

In short, I was looking for a ski with more capability to charge than the PB&J, a ski that would be happy to be airing off knolls and boulders into firm landings, doubling over moguls, making fast turns over grabby, uneven, sunbaked snow, and straightlineing through runouts.

Relative to the PB&J, the Belafonte is that ski; but in many ways, so is the Blizzard Cochise.

The Cochise is a damp ski that loves stable, controlled slarves more than anything. (If you like what you’ve read about the Belafonte so far, please read up on the Cochise.) With a 108mm waist (comparable to the Belafonte’s 106mm), the Cochise sports a flat underfoot profile, very slight tip and tail rocker, and a smooth and snappy flex. This combination makes for an incredibly versatile ski that is suitable in many ways for both the intermediate and the expert skier.

photo of the Blizzard Cochise

Blizzard Cochise

The Cochise can rage, but will also accept a backseat slip or a less than roomy turn through bumps, thanks to a forgiving tail that has a nice, strong rebound (though I do not consider it soft). Everything the Cochise will tolerate, the Belafonte will not. The Belafonte is the Cochise with a serious attitude.

In his review, Jonathan talks about the need to carve rather than “slither” your way through bumps on the Belafonte, and I would agree. The ski can handle most bumps well, but it won’t let you get away with much and won’t do anything for you. Everyone on the lift will know if you get mixed up in your line and have to bang out a quick, awkward turn. But look a few turns ahead, stay forward, give the Belafonte enough room to make a smooth turn across the hill, and you’ll be happy.

One of the things I love about the Belafonte and Cochise is their ability to make many different skidded turn shapes. (Hooray subtle sidecut!) Long surf turns are possible on both skis, but are far from identical in feel. The Cochise is willing to remain sideways in a sustained slarve, where the Belafonte, while super stable, will be pushing back at you hard through the tails. With camber underfoot and a traditional, twinned tail, the Belafontes will not pivot and smear in soft snow without being deliberately told to do so. By default, they want to run straight down the fall line, whereas the Cochise reacts consistently regardless of which direction you’re pointing.

6 Comments

  1. Bill February 26, 2012 Reply

    Hi Will,

    Thanks for the great review. I am considering the Belafonte or the Blizzard Cochise and wondering what the difference will be transitioning from my current ski: Line Prophet 100 in 186 cm. I am on Dukes and driving the ski with the Dynafit Titans. My size is 6′ and 215lbs. Intermediate to Expert skier, like to do it all except the park.

    The Prophet has no rocker and I find it’s powder performance suffers. Also, not the best when things get icy (although it works well on groomers) and it feels a little to soft sometimes.

    I like Head skis, was looking at the Inferno, but I like to buy local and the Moment are hand made which is a big plus.

    Is the 192 cm Belafonte going to ski shorter than my Prophet 100? If I took the Cochise it would be the longest one,however, I hear to go short on the Belafonte. How stiff is it compared to the Prophet?

    What say you about length and feel vs Prophet 100?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. Bill February 26, 2012 Reply

    Oh, and I forgot to mention. I will be skiing the Canada, BC coast and interior. Usually heavy powder, wet snow and hard-packed after it gets thrashed and skied out.

  3. Vail March 30, 2013 Reply

    I wish you guys would review the 192…

    • Will Brown April 2, 2013 Reply

      Hey Vail,

      Moment is tweaking up the Belafonte pretty significantly for next season, so we’ll certainly be writing a review of the 13/14 version, potentially of the 192, and definitely the 187. Stay tuned.

      Will

  4. Vail April 3, 2013 Reply

    Hey Will, I have the 192cm 2011 version (i think the same as 2012 and 2013), and your reviews have frightened me that it will be too much ski. I’m 21, 6’3″ 185+, athletic gym rat and a pretty aggressive skier. I would not be using it as a one ski quiver to do everything, rather just as a big mountain bomber, at Jackson Hole/Alta-Snowbird/Taos. I just started skiing this past season, so I am not the best skier on the mountain, but can handle blacks and most double blacks with confidence. I’m just starting to get into cliffs, and 10 footers are about my consistency maximum (have hit a larger cliff, but it was very squirrely, and I need to work on 10 footers before I do that again).

    Do you think the 192 is too much ski for what I’m using it for? Im more aggressive the finesse, and like to charge straight down the mountain with little turns. I have asked Jonathan this, but would like your opinion on this as well.

    Also, how stiff/charger is the 188 PB&J in comparison? Im coming off of a 183 Line Blend for my all mountain ski, and although it was a very fun ski, it was getting too soft and too short the better I became. I purchased the 188 PB&J as a replacement all mountain ski, mostly for the terrain that is too tight for the 192 Belafonte, and to take into the park here in there just to practice my tricks for the backcountry/all-mtn setting (park maybe 10%). I am hoping the 188 PBJ will be OK for trees and tight spots, what do you think about a 188 in trees? i mean 5cm (blend was 183)is like 2 inches, and I think I remember you saying the 188 PB&J is actually a 186cm tape measure, so 3 cm is even less and shouldnt make too much a different in trees, right?

    • Will Brown April 5, 2013 Reply

      Hi Vail,

      I’ve put quite a bit of time on the 187cm, and feel it offers plenty of stability, at 6’2″. The 192 might dial things up for stability in wide-open terrain, so it wouldn’t be too big if you’re only going to be rippping huge bowls/big-fast lines. I can’t really see the stability gain significant enough to justify swinging around that extra length in the trees, but again if that’s what you have the PB&J for, then no problem there. Between the two I think you have a, aggressive, but well paired quiver. The PB&J should be a good length for the trees, and will pivot and smear much more easily than the Belafone.

      Will

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