2016-2017 Moment Ghost Train

Will Brown Reviews the Moment Ghost Train
Moment Ghost Train

Ski: 2016-2017 Moment Ghost Train, 186cm

Available Lengths: 168, 178, 186, and 194cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 140-123-135 (186cm length)

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 184.0 cm

Stated Sidecut Radius (185cm length): 27.5 meters

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2,068 and 2,079 grams

Mount Location: Recommended Line (~4.5cm from center; 87.5cm from tail)

Boots / Bindings: Fischer Ranger Pro 13 / Marker Jester Demo (DIN at 10)

Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley, NM; Telluride, CO

Days Skied: 2

[Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 15/16 Ghost Train, which was not changed for 16/17, apart from graphics.]

So far I’ve got two days on the Ghost Train – one in 2-3” of somewhat heavy, fresh powder, and the second in fairly soft slush and on nice, spring groomers.

As it’s Moment’s most powder-oriented ski, I haven’t skied the Ghost Train yet in an ideal set of conditions (the very deep), but I have been able to get general a feel for it. So I’ll update this review once the next big storm cycle rolls around—and I’m really looking forward to that….

2-3” of Heavy Spring Powder – Tight, Steep Terrain

So far, it seems that all the guesses I made in our preview (on the previous page) about how the Ghost Train would handle have been pretty on-the-mark.

First, I assumed that the Ghost Train’s dramatic rocker profile, forward, progressive mount point, and weight that’s quite light for it’s size and width (just over 2,000 grams per ski) would make it very easy to pivot and steer. That’s very much the case.

When the skis are sliding on snow with little angulation, close to bases-flat, the heavily rockered profile (which has no traditional camber underfoot) feels extremely loose and pivoty, almost as if you’re standing on a Lazy Susan or a doormat with marbles underneath it.

As I’ll say more about below, when you put the Ghost Train higher on edge, noticeably more of the ski’s length comes into play, but it is still very easy to maneuver and pivot back and forth across the fall line.

In this way, the Ghost Train’s light swing weight allows you to really take advantage of its already highly playful rocker profile, particularly when working the ski through shorter turns at slower speeds. Quick, smeary turns and hop-turns in at the narrow entrance to Thunderbird off Taos’ West Basin were very easy, as were tight, bobbing turns in fresh snow in the chute’s runout.

But what I’ve found really cool about the Ghost Train is also the predictability and stability it provides while making much larger, faster, sweeping turns, too.

Will Brown reviews the Moment Ghost Train, Blister Gear Review.
Will Brown on the Moment Ghost Train, Upper Donkey Serenade, Taos Ski Valley

2-3” of Heavy Powder – Wide Open Terrain

The wider, more open aprons of many of the chutes of Taos’ West Basin hadn’t been touched the day I was on the Ghost Train, so I had the chance to open things up and see how they handled at speed in fresh snow.

As I made bigger and faster turns in 2-3” of the fresh, slightly sticky powder, setting the skis at higher edge angles, I could feel more of the Ghost Train’s edge engage, and it felt quite settled and planted through those bigger turns, especially considering how maneuverable the ski had been in tighter spots.

I think this has to do with Ghost Train’s rocker profile, which is very, very deep, but not as splayed out as some skis this wide (so you can get a good amount of the ski in play when tipped on edge in soft snow), and it’s large, 27.5 meter sidecut radius.

When arced through a long, smearing turn, I never felt like I was fighting the ski; it didn’t want to hook up into a shorter turn as I was pushing it through a long, fast one.

In other words, the Ghost Train didn’t feel any less at home making big, fast sweeping turns than it did making quick hop-turns or, shorter, noodling turns at slower speeds—in this smooth, fresh snow, at least. I.e., the Ghost Train’s rocker profile seems to yield an effective edge that is highly variable; it can either feel very short or fairly long depending on the kind of turns you’re making.

But that super playful rocker profile that gives the Ghost Train it’s quick, maneuverable feel at slow speeds in fresh snow … how does it perform in shallower, more firm conditions?

Soft, Thawed-out Spring Groomers

I put the Ghost Trains on my kitchen counter to look at roughly how much of their edge was going to be in play when running flat in firm conditions. The flat section of the ski in contact with my counter was about 58cm long—that’s roughly 30% of the ski’s overall length, a pretty tiny amount of effective edge.

So with this in mind, it shouldn’t be too surprising that if you happen to hit a patch if very firm snow (we’re talking kitchen-counter-firm hardpack), that short ~60cm section of edge underfoot on the Ghost Train provides very little purchase if you’re carrying any real speed, even when you angle the ski higher on edge. That shouldn’t really matter, because we’re talking about a highly-playful, 123mm-underfoot pow ski here, but for what it’s worth, there are skis this wide that handle really firm conditions better than the Ghost Train. (I’ll say more about that below.)

However, if you get the Ghost Train on just a little bit of soft snow—soft enough to let the ski sink in about a half inch or so—and you tip it on edge, you’ll feel the “micro-camber” sections in front of and behind the binding area engage quickly and smoothly. And when that happens, the Ghost Train’s effective edge jumps up to roughly 115cm, and the cushier the snow surface is, the more grip you’ll get out of the ski when set on edge.

Considering how quick and surfy the Ghost Train can be in powder, I’ve been pretty impressed by how the ski handles firmer, shallower conditions. Again, with just an inch of soft snow to dig into, enough of the ski’s effective edge is engaged (stretching beyond the “micro-camber sections”) to let you not just slide / smear your way back to the lift comfortably, but actually make some nice turns on the ski.

I’ve had a good time making tight, snappy short-swing turns on the Ghost Train on soft, thawed-out spring groomers. The ski likes to be on edge, otherwise it feels a little unpredictable and washy, but it’s pretty incredible how natural and energetic quick turns feel on this ski with just a touch of soft snow to work with.

What might be more surprising, though, is that I’ve even been able to carve some big, sweeping turns on the Ghost Train on smooth, buttery groomers (the kind you’ll find on a powday if the snowcat got out the night before or the day after a storm).

See the first half of the video below for some simple footage of skiing the Ghost Train on slushy groomers. I felt pretty ridiculous shooting POV on a groomer on a 123mm-underfoot pow ski, but this illustrates what you can do on the Ghost Train on just a little soft snow (all for you, dear readers). The second portion of the video highlights skiing the fresh, smooth conditions I discussed above.

I’m still most excited to get on the Ghost Train on a deep pow day, where I think it’s mix of low-speed playfulness AND big-turn-stability will be a hell of a lot of fun. But I’ve still been very impressed with the Ghost Train’s performance on soft, groomed runs, too, even though I’m talking about “packed powder” here, not truly firm conditions.

Next: Some Comparisons…

16 comments on “2016-2017 Moment Ghost Train”

  1. I have 7 days on the Ghost Train so far and ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM, They surf and smear almost as well as a reverse/reverse ski, super playful, and I think you will be surprised at how well they do in crud/chop and even hardsnow. Defiantly one of the most overlooked and underrated skis out there right now.

    • Hey Willie,

      Yep. I just put a day on the Ghost Train at Taos in some pristine conditions and had a hell of a time. It’s just an initial impression, but I think I agree; light ski + big sidecut + playful rocker profile = super variable turn radius in fresh conditions. And so far I am pretty surprised by how well they do on groomers too; with just a little bit of soft snow to bite into, the effective edge noticeably increases.



  2. Hi will, great review, i think you pretty much nailed it on the Ghost trains, I can’t wait to see your follow up review once you get more time on them and get them in some deep snow/crud afterwards. I skied them in some super heavy Tahoe snow (I mean turning from rain to snow at 8000ft heavy snow) that was boot to calf deep that got chewed up fast and I thought they did as well as my Bibbys in the choppy conditions, (new Bibby which is now the old Bibby) They tended to skip over the top more but i could still keep my speed no problem, but then again I’m used to softer skis in crud, I put almost 100 days on E.P. pros in Tahoe powder/crud back when it use to snow here. Also thanks for comparing them to the M.O., that was i ski I thought would be a close one, I still don’t get why companies build a fat Powder/jib ski and stick camber under it, YOU DON’T NEED CAMBER ON A POWDER SKI, ask Hoji about that.

  3. Awesome review, Will. I’d love your thoughts on how this might compare to a reverse/reverse ski – the profile pics make it seem like it’s nearly there, especially compared to the rocker profile of something like the Opus that has camber underfoot. Does it feel like the “micro-camber” leads to any tip or tail hook? Or is it just a win/win adding traction without sacrificing surf? Thanks for all your insight – these reviews are super helpful/indispensable when it feels like demos on skis like this are hard to come by.

  4. I have skied the both the 2014 and 2015 versions of the Ghost Trains back to back with my Moment Donner parties which are reverse/reverse. NOTHING is as quick or surfey as a reverse/reverse ski, but the Ghost Trains are close, about 90% there on quickness and pivotness, and pretty close on float.

    The 2014 Ghost Train has the same rocker profile as the 2015 but with out the micro-cambers, and seam to be a fair amount stiffer (at least my pair is) in powder they both ski the same, you don’t notice the micro-cambers of the 2015 at all, but on the groomers you defiantly feel the extra edge bite of them getting back to the lift, but both models carve pretty good in soft snow.

  5. Interested in the 194 cm Ghost Train. Currently on a 192 Atomic Coax. A bit concerned about the 30 + turning radius, but sounds like this may not be huge deal as Coax is cambered and this ski is not. Skiing mainly Wolf, Telluride, Purgatory and 4 days at Big Sky each year. I have demo day on Icelantic Keeper, but that ski is too squirrely on harder snow! Pull the trigger on this one or go narrower and wait for next year Bibby Pro?

  6. Hey Will, killer review I was curious if you would ever consider mounting farther forward on the Ghost Trains… I was curious as comparing them to the Magnum Opus, where Eric’s choice (-2 from center) totally changes the way they ski. I was considering mounting my Ghost Trains at -2 or -3 from true center. By my estimation this should put the boot centered between the two micro cambers… Which I’ve come to like on my deathwishs. True center doesn’t seem to be a good option for this ski because of the rocker profile. I’m looking to make them a little snappier in trees and more balanced in the air etc. Was curious what your thoughts were on this.

  7. Hi Jake, I can weigh in on this, I have the ghost trains mounted at +2 which is -3 from center and they do great there, no problem with float and yes it does make them a little quicker and still carve great in soft snow, I also ski the deathwishes at +2 (-3 from center) and love them there also, and bibbys at +3, I have ridden just about every Moment ski and ride them all at -3 from center and they all seem to do great there. by the way 168lbs on the 186.

    • Thanks willie that helps a ton. I’ll likely do +2 then. Think that’d work for me at my size? (250lb 6’2″ on the 194cm) Thanks again.

  8. Hi Will,

    I will be going to Japan this season for two weeks. I’m thinking about buying the 2016 Ghost Train in 186cm and mount a Duke for ski touring. What do you think about that setup for Japow?


    Best regards,
    Kasper Pedersen

  9. Hey, obviously I’m late to the party here, but I do have some questions as I am looking at adding a new setup so that I have two options to pick from whenever I go skiing. Currently I have a pair of Rossi S3’s with Look Pivots. I currently use them for everything, but i would like to just have them as a park ski and all-mountain ski whenever there hasn’t been fresh snow.

    As such, the setup I’m looking to make should be able to make full use of pow days, including straight chair runs and some sidecountry (perhaps the odd backcountry trip, 1 per year at most). I like to be able to play around with a ski, but also have stability when pointing a cliff or chute (I would be the type of skier to mount the Magnum Opus at -4, based on your description).

    The skis I am currently looking at include: the Magnum Opus, the Ghost Train, the Bibby and perhaps the Mordecai. Would it make sense to mount Baron EPF’s on any of these skis? It is the type of binding that would suit my interest, being a solid binding that does have touring functionality. Also, which of these skis do you think would make more sense given what I’m interested in and the binding I’d like to mount?

    Thank you for taking the time to read my comment :)

  10. Hi Will. I would like to get a dedicated powder ski for my annual BC cat trip. I’ve been on an 11/12 190 Bibby to date, but I would like to get something with better float and maybe a touch more playful. No flips or spins for me, but the Ghost Train still sounds pretty fun for a directional skier. I don’t want to spend $1300 on a DPS ski, so I’ve been looking at the Ghost Train and the Praxis Protest as options for a playful pow ski that can still handle long high speed turns. Do you have any thoughts on that? If so, I would also take your advice on lengths. It looks like you had the 187 GT. It feels weird going shorter than my Bibby, but hey great if it works. I’m 5’10 185. Thanks Will!

  11. Hi Fellow Ski Geeks,
    I have a pair of Armada JJs that are about 10yrs old that I use for deeper days. Would the Moment Ghost Train ski anything like the JJs? I have loved the JJs but Armada does not make the same ski anymore. Any thoughts would be really appreciated!

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