2013-2014 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

Sidecut Radius: 25.7 meters

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

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

Mount Location: Factory Recommended

Test Location: Las Leñas, Squaw, Snowbird

(Editor’s Note: Our tests were conducted on the 10/11 Belafonte, which is unchanged for 11/12, 12/13, and 13/14,  except for the graphics.)

The Moment Belafonte became my go-to ski while skiing the South American Andes this past August in El Colorado, Chile, and Las Lenas, Argentina. With low snow, high winds, and extremely variable conditions, I found this to be the only ski in my quiver capable of charging though any snow type, on any terrain.

The slightly rockered tip promoted flotation through powder fields of all depths, while the 106mm underfoot maintained loft when skimming windblown dust over frozen spring crust. As the days warmed, I found myself moving from tight radius carves through winter chalk moguls, to large super-G turns on groomers that transitioned to corn. Through it all, the skis’ stiff torsion facilitated large radius turns while plowing through piles of slush and crud as if they didn’t exist.

As winter set in back in North America, I was fortunate to arrive in Squaw Valley with an early season monster rolling in off the Pacific. With five feet of fresh, followed by 24 hours of rain, and then topped with another foot of cold dry powder, Squaw became prime for the inevitable “Squallywood” that results when conditions come together like this. Since I needed a ski that could handle all terrain and uncertain conditions from the rain at low elevations, I reached again for the Belafonte.

My first turns off the KT-22 lift were rewarded with numerous face shots as I blasted through every drift in sight. My confidence immediately lifted as the stiffness of this ski continued to blow through all densities of snow, while the slightly rockered tip provided the perfect flotation to stomp my favorite cliffs and mach through the lower angle tracked out zones. For the record, MOMENT’s signature squared off tip n’ tail on the Belafonte had me questioning the design consequences, but I found it to be insignificant in the ski’s overall performance.

2013-2014 MOMENT Belafonte, 182cm, BLISTER

As I made my way to the entrance of the notoriously steep “Fingers” chutes, I encountered an invisible rain crust that required nothing short of hockey skates.  As the terrain rolled over into a no fall zone, I quickly became grateful for the minimal side cut that enabled full edge contact in the steepest of zones. This was something Shane McConkey taught me to appreciate when I skied with him at Squaw a decade ago.  He claimed that side cut was great for carving easy turns on groomers, but can quickly work to your disadvantage in steep, no fall zones if only your tip and tail are contacting the snow. Remembering this, I held on for two dicey slide turns before sending it off a spine and ripping full speed through the avalanche debris below.

2013-2014 MOMENT Belafonte, 182cm, BLISTER

I continued to run the Belafontes for the next two days. The skis slayed everything from the Granite Chief trees to the Light Tower Chutes, and the Belafontes swing weight was perfect for practicing inverted aerials off a side country booter we built while coaching the Squaw Valley Freestyle Team.

Sometimes in life, you get lucky. A week after Squaw, I arrived at Snowbird, UT amidst another amazing storm cycle. With two feet of new snow and cold temperatures, this was the place to be. I immediately headed up the tram and traversed out to the Cirque for some of my favorite steep lines at the Bird. Again, the modest side cut enabled secure maneuvering as I made my way along the wind crusted ridge. Dropping off Tower 3, I was quickly into deep, light snow.  The Belafonte’s 106mm under foot still allowed me to sink to my thighs, and the slight rocker allowed for easy planing over the fluff.  It was Heaven.  As I tried to run out a bit faster on the lower angle slopes, the 182cm felt a little short for my preference (I’m 5’9”). The deep snow didn’t require a larger ski, but it would have made things a little smoother down low. But the dimensions of the ski quickly became gratifying when I reached the groomer and was able to lay down railroad track GS turns back to the base.

The Belafonte is an excellent performer in all types of terrain and snow conditions. From steeps to groomers, cliffs to kickers, this ski does it all. My favorite quality was the stiff flex and traditional race camber combined with the slightly rockered tip. The remarkably light swing-weight was also impressive, as it promoted flurries of rapid slalom turns through the spores of rocks and tourists, and hot-dog style triples off of big-mountain kickers.

I mounted Atomic FFG 14 bindings (equivalent of the Salomon STH 14) which complimented this ski with their light weight, low boot sole to ski distance, and color. This set up is light, but not so weightless that you’re ricocheting off unseen snow variations. While this setup excelled everywhere it went, I only recommend it to those who continuously drive their skis down the mountain. If you want to cruise and butter like a nonchalant, guerrilla-steeze skittle-thug, then you probably want something with more side cut and flex.

In conclusion:

Pros: The Belafontes charge through the most diverse conditions a mountain can offer: spring corn, windblown chalk, powder, chop, and crud.  The light swing weight proves beneficial for quick maneuvers in tight chutes, trees, dodging tourists, and jumping.  The stiff flex makes the ski an all around charger and great for freeskiing competitions. (I took 4th place at the Argentinean Freeskiing Championships on them.)

2013-2014 MOMENT Belafonte, 182cm, BLISTER

Cons:  The lack of side cut requires more effort to carve turns.  It will not automatically turn unless you lean into it and apply adequate pressure. It could also be wider for powder, but the all mountain applicability would be reduced and it wouldn’t maintain the all around performer it is.  One recommendation:  The bases arrived dry and thirsty for wax.  Like any new pair of skis, apply a significant amount of red or warm weather wax before use, then use whatever wax is most appropriate for the conditions.

See Jonathan Ellsworth’s review of the Belafonte.

11 comments on “2013-2014 MOMENT Belafonte, 182cm”

  1. Garret – I am curious how the Belafonte does in moguls. I am 5-9” 150 and am very interested in all the Belafonte has to offer. I want something that can charge through any snow condition, is stable at speed, has sufficient floatation (I ski squaw mostly, flotation less important), but also is quick, nimble and pivoty in the BUMPS.

    From what I have read, the Belafonte is stiff and demanding. I am worried they will not be user-freindly enough in tight moguls. Any thoughts… or suggestions for other skis that can tackle moguls? Your RMU Apostle review caught my eye but I want to be sure I am stable at speed.

  2. Bret(t),

    The Belafonte does pretty good in moguls. They’re a bit wide for ripping bumps, but given their size, I prefer them more than most other skis in this size class. The reason is two-fold: First, the tip doesn’t have a wide profile, which allows for more direct turning and less deflection when stuffing them into piles. Second, the mostly straight sidecut and fairly light weight allows for quicker pivoting and turn initiation.

    If you ski less aggressively, or want to rip bumps the majority of the time, you may want to consider a ski that is narrower under foot. Since I prefer to ski bumps strong and aggressively, the Belafonte (particularly in the 182cm) offers great maneuverability, even with less effort when I fatigue later in the day. For Squaw, it’s an all around winner in my book. From the steeps of West Face, to the zippers on Sunnyside, it’s a great tool that excel’s most everywhere on that mountain. It’s also made locally in Reno, which is cool.

    • Garrett – I have been debating the belafonte and the BD zealot for awhile, and I’m leaning toward the BD. From what I have read on this sight, the BD is an absolute machine in moguls, even at 110mm underfoot, which is impressive given it has metal for stability, is nimble, but is also enough of a pow ski. I’ll either go with the MOMENts paired with a fat ski like the automic autos, or just the BD, unless you think the belofontes are the better one ski quiver. Have you skid the zealots?

    • Brett,
      Did you upgrade your quiver to the BD Zealot or Belafonte? I haven’t skied the Zealots so I’d lean toward the Belafonte as my go to ski and have a bigger setup for pow days. I also prefer the USA made sandwich construction of the Belafonte to the China pressed cap of the Zealot.
      Hopefully you have a better season at Squaw next year with strong el Nino development (Though the 13/14 and 14/15 Zealots are now sandwich construction.)

      • Garrett – I was just in Tahoe and pulled the trigger on a pair of 13/14 179cm Atomic Automatic’s. I skied them one day in some good pow and loved them, but I’m thinking I may need a second ski for the bumps / hard pack days. I feel like I still want something relatively wide, which would mean belafonte’s or maybe a cochise. If I go something as wide as a zealot or belafonte I would ski it mostly and bust out the autos on deep days. Or I could go narrower to something similar to a mantra (my brother has mantras I can ski so I don’t want them) and ski the autos the majority of days. What would you do? Are there any skis that come to mind that we haven’t mentioned worth looking at?

  3. Garret, thank you very much for the review. The MOMENT Belafonte caught my attention because of the bigger turn radius, which I appreciate a lot and almost unable to find anymore. Your description of the ski’s behavior in moguls is very detail and clarifies a lot in terms of the ski behavior. Could you please clarify a few additional details: 1. When you stuffing the shovel into the face of the next mogul, will shovel bend or kick you back?(I mean shovel only, not the ski under foot) 2. How easily does the ski tail twin tip releases the ski when edge is locked? In moguls I want to carve only small portion of the turn with the shovel press before the little carve and early release without turn completion with the skis across the fall line. How good the Belafonte in this? 3. What kind of camber does this ski have? Does it feel like slalom ski when camber is not compressed unless you are at the apex of carved turn? Or if you stand on top of the ski you will feel the whole ski not the contact points only? Some MOMENT videos say that the ski has “triple” camber, what is it? How it transfers into skiing? 4. Does it ski long or short? I am looking at 174cm as I am 5’3″ and usually ski 170-176, longer skis start to limit me in tight places.
    Thanks a lot.

    • Valerie,
      1. The shovel tends to flex and allow you to stay centered over the ski. I’d suggest mounting 1cm forward if you’re concerned w/ gettin’ bucked into the back seat.
      2. The tail of the ski has no issues releasing, mostly due to the twin tip tail.
      3. Camber is typical of a GS ski. You’ll mostly only notice it when you flex the ski and rebound to your next turn, but it’s not overwhelming. You can consult with MOMENT on their description of “triple camber” but I can tell you that this ski feels like a perfect balance of traditional camber and progressive design with the tip profile, width, and twin tip features.
      4. The ski is balanced in length, although I felt the 182cm was a bit short in soft snow. The 174cm should suit you perfectly.
      Good luck!

  4. Hi Garrett,

    I absolutely love my old 187 XXLs; loved them enough that I bought a second pair as a “backup”. My problem however is that due to medical reasons, I now weigh about 150lbs, 15 pounds less than I used to, and not nearly as powerful a skier as I used to be. My old XXL’s are too much for me now (imagine a big, sad expression on me right now) so I’ve been looking at some skis that might be more manageable yet have the same feel of the XXL.

    I’ve narrowed it down to:
    186 Moment Belafonte (I believe you skied the shorter length however)
    185 Blizzard Cochise

    From what I’ve gathered, both are similar but the Cochise is easier and likes to “slarve” it’s way down the mountain whereas the Belafonte prefers to be higher on edge.

    However, how do both of these compare to the XXL? I gather that the Cochise will be easier to ski than the XXL, but how about the Belafonte? Will the Belafonte be what I need?

    I read something on the site regarding detuning the Belafonte as well but I don’t remember the details.

    • Doug,
      I haven’t skied the Cochise but I think you’ll be satisfied with either of your options. With the Belafonte, you’ll find the ski to be more forgiving than the XXL because the ski has a lower weight, and easier turn initiation from the raised tip. The 186cm should provide you with an ideal length for both skiing aggressively and cruising casually.

      As far as de-tuning, I usually hit the first 1-3 cm above and down from the snow contact point with sandpaper or a gummy stone. Sometimes a bit more if there isn’t much rocker.

      Good luck.

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