Ski: 2017-2018 MOMENT Deathwish, 190cm
Dimensions (mm): 138-112-129
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (Straight Tape Pull): 188.27cm
Sidecut Radius: 27 meters
Boots / Bindings: Fischer RC4 130 Vacuum / Marker Jester (DIN at 10)
Mount Location: Factory line
Test Location: Taos Ski Valley; Summit County, Telluride, and Crested Butte, Colorado
Days Skied: 13
[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 12/13 Deathwish, which was not changed for 13/14, 14/15, 15/16, 16/17 or 17/18, except for the graphics.]
A Quick (Or Not So Quick) Preface
Three BLISTER reviewers have weighed in on the Deathwish already: Jonathan Ellsworth in his first review of the ski, Jason Hutchins in a 2nd Look, and Noah Bodman in a “VS.” review of the Deathwish and Praxis Concept. Those reviews were conducted on the 184cm Deathwish.
I jumped on the 190cm version and had planned on writing up a 184cm vs. 190cm review. The hope was to tease out how the 184cm and 190cm lengths of the Deathwish differ, as those of the Moment Bibby Pro do, for example. (I ski both the 184cm and 190cm Bibby Pro. The two lengths handle a bit differently, but neither is necessarily better or more appropriate than the other, it depends entirely on what you’re looking to get out of the ski.)
Unlike the 184 & 190 Bibby Pro, however, after two days of initial testing on the 184 Deathwish—and especially after trying out the 190cm version—I felt that the 184 was just too short for me. Compared to the 190 model, the 184 Deathwish didn’t handle like a proportionately shorter, more playful, more maneuverable size, it just felt like I was on the wrong size.
I found myself often inadvertently over-pressuring the 184’s shovels, causing them to fold and hook, and the tails to wash out abruptly. The ski provided very poor stability at high speed, especially on bumped-up, variable snow. On groomers, I was always afraid the edges would wash out if I carved the ski too aggressively. The 184 length just never felt appropriate or adequate for me, at 6’2”. (It’s admittedly a little surprising because Jason didn’t want more ski than the 184 Deathwish, Noah never mentions a problem with the length, and Jonathan only noted that he wished for more ski in pow….)
Now, of course those types of traits aren’t unheard of with a ski like the Deathwish, which has a reduced effective edge as a result of generous tip and tail rocker. And it’s not as if the 190cm version didn’t hint at some of those tendencies from time to time. However, if and when it did, they were rarely problematic or nearly as inhibiting as they were with the 184.
Given how much better I’ve found the 190cm Deathwish to perform, I’m inclined to think that the issues I experienced with the 184 are linked more to genuinely incorrect sizing of the ski (for me, at least) and not definitive traits of the shorter length. As a result, I think you’ll probably have to consider this less of a trustworthy “VS. review” of the 184 and 190 Deathwish, and more of a review of the 190 model.
I’ll still try to explain where and how the 190cm version seemed better to me than the 184 whenever relevant, but for the reasons explained above, you might have to take those with a grain of salt. I’m just not confident that the irritations I found with the 184 should be held as criticisms of the ski, given that I don’t feel nearly the same way about the 190cm Deathwish.
Finally, the 190 Deathwish and the 190 Salomon Rocker2 108 (which is 111mm underfoot) are the two most similar skis I’ve been on this season, so I’ll be making a few comparisons below.
At the end of the day, my experience on the 190cm Deathwish is mostly consistent with Jonathan’s, Jason’s, and Noah’s on the 184. I don’t totally disagree with anything that those three have said about the ski, so you should read over those reviews before spending time with this one—they offer a very detailed picture of what the Deathwish has to offer. But while I hopefully avoid any real redundancy with their reviews, I still have some of my own observations to throw in that may fill in the picture of the ski even more.
The Deathwish is pressed with a very unusual camber / rocker profile that has three sections of positive camber—one underfoot and two in front and behind the boot (you can read more about it in any of our other reviews of the ski). In summing up his review, Jonathan mentions that the Deathwish’s “bizarro shape…demonstrates no bizarre behavior.” While I wouldn’t call it bizarre, I think the Deathwish does have a very distinct, unusual feel on snow, particularly while on edge on hardpack. As far as I can tell, this does seem to be a direct result of its odd shape.