2015-2016 Moment Tallac

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Moment Tallac, Blister Gear Review.
Moment Tallac

Ski: 2015-2016 Moment Tallac, 186cm

Stated Dimensions (mm): 130-104-118

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 130-104.5-117.5

Actual Tip-to-Tail Length: 184.6cm

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1797 & 1809 grams

Stated Sidecut Radius: 22 meters

Tip / Tail Splay (ski decambered): ~61mm / ~19mm

Core: Paulownia / Ash

Factory Recommended Line: -10cm from center; 82.3cms from tail

Mount Location: Recommended Line

Boots / Bindings: Salomon MTN Lab / G3 ION

Test Locations: northern New Mexico backcountry

Days Skied: 5

Moment has certainly made their fair share of rather wild ski designs, but the Tallac isn’t one of them: it’s a pretty straightforward backcountry touring ski.

Moment says about the Tallac, “We turned into AT animals last season, going farther than ever to find decent snow and new challenges. We wanted to expand our tour collection with a lighter, skinnier ski that would complement the ramp angle of tech bindings and flimsy Pebax boots for the long haul.”

The Tallac is for longer tours, the ones where even those of us who tend to grumble about the ‘light is right’ trend in the ski industry have to confess: it’s really, really nice to not drag a heavy ski up a mountain for a long time.

Weight

For a ~186cm, ~105mm underfoot ski, the Tallac is light. It’s not rando-race, sprint-up-the-mountain-in-spandex light, but if you’re complaining about the weight of this ski on a 1-6 hour tour, you might want to consider getting in better shape.

The 186cm Tallac comes in right around 1,800 grams, which is ~200 grams per ski lighter than the 188cm Rossignol Soul 7, ~300 grams per ski lighter than the 186cm LINE Sick Day 110, and mounted with the G3 ION binding, the skis came in at 2433 & 2424 grams each.

Flex Pattern & Other Design Features

I’d break the flex pattern down this way:

Tips: medium/soft

Underfoot: Stiff

Tails: medium/stiff

This is not a super burly flex pattern, but it’s a solid flex pattern.

The other, most stand-out characteristics of the Tallac are (1) its heavily tapered tips, and (2) its significant amount of traditional camber underfoot—around 6mm (see the rocker profile pics on the last page of this review).

Moment based the design of the Tallac on their excellent Governor—the Tallac is basically a lighter, skinnier Governor—but the tips of the Tallac look even more heavily tapered by comparison. I’ll say more about that in a minute.

Off the top of my head, I’m not sure that any other ski that Moment makes has a recommended mount point that is set back as far as the Tallac’s (~10cm from center mount point). Moment says that they gave the Tallac such a traditional mount point to allow you to really drive the shovels, and also since long tours usually go hand-in-hand with carrying fairly big, heavy backpacks that aren’t all that conducive to a more centered / neutral skiing style.

Going Uphill

I tend to like heavy skis (and have often toured on them in the past), but I don’t enjoy dragging them uphill. So the ~1,800 gram Tallac has been very refreshing.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Moment Tallac for Blister Gear Review.
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Moment Tallac, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

You’ll have to decide whether you want your touring ski to be significantly lighter or heavier, but so far, I’ve been loving touring around northern New Mexico on the Tallac & G3 ION combo. There’s no way around it: once you’ve reached the top, a lighter touring setup leaves you with more energy to ski hard on the downhill.

My G3 Alpinist skins have attached securely to the tips & tails of the Tallac, as have my Black Diamond Ascension skin clips. And the Tallac’s non-rockered (just twinned up) tail has provided a good contact area (vs. skis with heavily rockered tails) on steeper, icier skin tracks and when sidehilling.

Going Downhill

I’ve only skied the Tallac while touring and with a tech binding, so I can’t speak to the Tallac’s groomer performance, or mogul performance, etc.

What I can speak to is how the Tallac performs in a range of snow conditions, ranging from light pow, to breakable crust, to spring slush, to some frozen-solid, churned-up awfulness.

Like its wider relative the Governor, the Tallac is more of a fall line ski—especially in grabby, punchy snow. The Tallac’s flatter tails—as with any / every flatter tailed ski—can get stuck / hung up if you’re trying to make a lot of turns at slower speeds (especially in lower-angle terrain).

In slush or lighter pow, or on top of a consistent crust (“crust cruising,” as my Nordo-skiing friends call it), the camber profile and tail shape of the Tallac work well. And in these conditions, I don’t notice anything about the tails other than that they feel supportive and solid, and the skis feel like they have a nice big sweet spot.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Moment Tallac for Blister Gear Review
Jonathan Ellsworth on the Moment Tallac, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (photo by Kelly Cyr)

11 comments on “2015-2016 Moment Tallac”

  1. Jonathan: Just curious – any comments on the performance of the Ion bindings vs. a traditional alpine boot clamper or the more traditional tech dynafit offerings? I’ve been riding various incarnations of Dynafits for over a decade. It’s been a reasonable compromise design but don’t like the loose feel of the heel. Modified my own for better tail support and driving capabilities by stuffing three layers of voile strap rubber in the heel gap to provide a modicum of ‘forward pressure’ and damping…noticable improvement in ski reactivity and subtle more solid ‘feel’ though i’ve only had a few days of soft spring schmoo to test this idea; primarily on steeps and techy terrain. Is the Ion mo betta?

    • I’m not quite ready to weigh in yet on the ION, mostly since I’m waiting to get more time on the Kingpin and the Radical 2.0. But I can say that I’ve certainly enjoyed going uphill on them (as I have on the Kingpin), and I can’t say that I’ve noticed (yet?) any “loose feel of the heel.” But are these, for me, a replacement for a dedicated alpine binding? No.

      • But could those Ions (or Kingpins be etc) be a replacement for Dukes/etc for ‘downhill orientated touring?’ Dynas are fine in pow but I funking hate them everywhere else.

  2. For the uninitiated, Mt Tallac is home to some of the rowdiest terrain in the Northern Sierras. A place where legendary skier Aaron Martin cut his teeth. Perhaps Santa Fe ski area isn’t the ideal testing grounds for this ski?

    Just sayin.

    • As I said in the review, I’ve also had these out in the Taos (Sin Nombre) and Santa Fe backcountry (Nambe Chutes). We just happened to like the light in the pics we used in this review. And look again at Moment’s own description of this ski – the emphasis is on longer, lightweight skis (paired with “flimsy” boots) – they don’t say anything about how they set out to build a burly backcountry ski intended for the rowdiest lines, and I don’t think anything I’ve reported / claimed is going to get invalidated if the lines get steeper / bigger / techier.

  3. Will you guys be reviewing the Moment Underworld at any point? I bought a pair on a whim when Moment had that massive sale a couple months ago. I am not entirely sure how they will fit in my quiver (other than looking incredibly bad-ass). Curious to get the BGR take before winter.

  4. Wondering how you feel these compare to the governor? Obviously they are narrower and lighter and won’t float as well or be as damp, but they are a similar shape. If I really like how the governor flexes and the way it handles both soft and variable conditions, will this have a similar feel, maybe with a lower speed limit?

    • While this iteration of the Tallac was very much intended to be a skinnier Governor, I can’t say that I think it really performs like the Governor, just in a narrower package. The ride quality is quite diffferent — I think the Governor’s suspension is outstanding, while the Tallac’s suspension feels much more like that of most touring skis in this weight class.

      And Moment redesigned the Tallac for this season, making it a touring version of the Belafonte, which means that the new Tallac now doesn’t have the very heavy tip taper that this iteration had. And I think that’s a very positive thing.

  5. I just got the newer Tallac version (yellow and brown Zeus topsheet). It does look very different from the model you reviewed. Looking forward to sharing some of my observations. Any Blister reviewers have experience with this ski?

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