Ski: 2019-2020 Moment Commander 118, 188 cm
Days Skied: ~15
Available Lengths: 178, 188, 194 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 186.7 cm
Stated Weight per Ski: 2290 grams
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2290 & 2293 grams
Stated Dimensions: 138-118-129 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 138.7-117.5-130.7 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (188 cm): 31.0 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 64 mm / 31 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 7-8 mm
Core: aspen/ash + titanal (2-layers) + carbon stringers + fiberglass laminate
Base: sintered 4001 Durasurf
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -8.05 cm from center; 85.3 cm from tail
The Commander series is Moment’s line of directional chargers, and this year we’ll be getting on the widest metal-laminate ski in the series, the Commander 118 (the wider Commander 124 ditches the metal). Like the Commander 98 & Commander 108, the Commander 118 has two sheets of titanal slapped above and below its core, and the Commander 118 is unequivocally designed to charge.
We’ll be getting this ski on snow as soon as possible, but in the meantime, let’s see just how big and bad this ski is.
What Moment says about the Commander 118
“Where once there was the Governor now there lies the Commander 118. There may be Govy blood in its veins but it’s a whole new beast entirely. It’s damper, it’s stiffer and it shows. With two sheets of metal and a 30m plus turning radius, this is not for the faint of heart. For those who don’t so much ski the mountain, as they do assault it, this ski must be fed a strict diet of crud, chop and anything else that may find itself in your way. Puckered straight lines and sketchy run outs galore. Feed the beast.”
(1) The Commander 118 effectively replaces the old Moment Governor, which was originally the directional version of the old Moment Bibby. The Commander 118 is reportedly even more damp and stiffer than the Governor.
(2) Moment is definitely marketing the Commander 118 as a charger. While they highlight the versatility and maneuverability of the Commander 98 & 108, they’re pretty clear about the intent of the Commander 118 — it’s supposed to “assault” the mountain and do so in any conditions. (Though, it’s interesting that they don’t mention powder anywhere in this description.)
Shape / Rocker Profile
The Commander 118’s shape and rocker profile are extremely similar to the 19/20 Commander 108. I’d call its tip taper somewhat conservative for a modern, 118mm-wide ski; it has more tip taper than something like the Volkl Confession, but less than skis like the Dynastar Menace Proto, DPS Foundation Koala 119, and Rossignol Super 7 RD. The Commander 118’s tail taper extends slightly farther toward the middle of the ski than its tip taper — it has more tail taper than the Confession and Head Kore 117, but less than the Super 7 RD and Line Sick Day 114. Compared to the old Moment Governor, the Commander 118 has notably less tip taper, and a similarly tapered tail.
The Commander 118’s rocker profile is also fairly conservative by today’s standards. Its tip rocker line is almost identical to the 19/20 Commander 108’s; while the Commander 108’s tip rocker line is pretty deep for a 108mm-wide directional ski, that same tip rocker profile looks a bit less dramatic on a 118mm-wide ski. The Commander 118 has more tip rocker than the Kore 117 and Confession, but less than the K2 Mindbender 116C, Icelantic Nomad 115, and Sick Day 114, and many more playful skis like the Liberty Origin Pro, Volkl Revolt 121, and K2 Catamaran.
While the Commander 118’s tip rocker line isn’t far off from the Moment Wildcat, the Commander 118’s tail rocker profile is very different. The Commander 118’s tail rocker line is much, much shallower than its tip rocker line, and its tail is much lower than its tip. Overall, the Commander 118’s tail rocker looks pretty similar to the Super 7 RD, Kore 117, and Menace Proto. The Commander 118’s rocker profile is very similar to the old Moment Governor’s.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Commander 118 has a lot of camber for a ski this wide. At around 7-8 mm of camber underfoot, the Commander 118 has more camber than most of the pow skis in our 19/20 Winter Buyer’s Guide, and even more than the Commander 98 & Commander 108.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Commander 118:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-10
Behind the Heel Piece: 10-9
This is a very strong ski. There are many skis that are similarly strong in the middle of the ski, but much fewer that are as strong at the tips and tails. The Commander 118 is a bit stiffer overall vs. the 18/19 Commander 108 (most notably at the ends) and has a very similar flex pattern to the 19/20 Commander 108.
Compared to the Head Kore 117 and Faction Dictator 4.0, the Commander 118 is pretty similar overall, but a bit softer at the tails.
Compared to the Moment Wildcat, the Commander 118 is similarly stiff around the bindings but notably stiffer at the tips, shovels, and tails.
Compared to the old Moment Governor, the Commander 118 is a bit stiffer in the tips and similar in the middle and tail.
For those asking how the Commander 118 differs from the Commander 108, this is one key area. The 188 cm Commander 108 has a stated sidecut radius of 21 meters, while the 188 cm Commander 118’s stated sidecut radius is 30 meters. We’re always wary of stated sidecut radii numbers, but that’s a big enough difference that it’s definitely worth highlighting. We found that you could make a pretty wide range of turn shapes on the Commander 108, but we expect the 118 to have a stronger preference for going straight and fast.
While the Commander 118 is definitely a directional ski, its mount point of around -8 cm from center is notably more progressive / forward than other directional skis like the Kore 117, Dictator 4.0, and Confession. It’s not as far forward as freestyle-oriented skis like the Moment Wildcat, Volkl Revolt 121, and Rossignol Black Ops 118, but based on our time on the Commander 98 & 108 (which share basically identical mount points), we imagine that you might not have to be over the shovels of the Commander 118 all the time.
Unlike the first-gen Commanders (the 19/20 versions got a bit heavier), the Commander 118 is not some super light ski. At around 2290 grams per ski for the 188 cm, the Commander 118 sits on the heavier end of the spectrum; it’s lighter than the DPS Koala F119, Confession, and Nordica Enforcer Free 115, but heavier than the Moment Wildcat, K2 Mindbender 116C, Rossignol Super 7 RD, Head Kore 117, and the old 186 cm Moment Governor.
This weight makes many of us at Blister really happy. Because if Moment is claiming that the Commander 118 is supposed to “assault the mountain,” we think it makes a whole lot of sense to pair its stiff flex pattern and fairly straight shape with a pretty heavy layup.
For reference, here are a number of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples-to-apples.
1710 & 1744 Atomic Bent Chetler 120, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
1808 & 1809 Line Pescado, 180 cm (17/18–19/20)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–18/19)
1931 & 1959 Volkl BMT 122, 186 cm (17/18–18/19)
2013 & 2099 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 184 cm (18/19–19/20)
2019 & 2051 K2 Mindbender 116C, 186 cm (19/20)
2024 & 2031 Line Outline, 186 cm (19/20)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–19/20)
2043 & 2046 4FRNT Inthayne, 188 cm (18/19-19/20)
2102 & 2137 Line Sick Day 114, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2105 & 2185 Head Kore 117 (19/20)
2126 & 2173 Rossignol Super 7 RD, 190 cm (17/18–19/20)
2173 & 2204 4FRNT Renegade, 191 cm (19/20)
2174 & 2187 Moment Wildcat / Blister Pro, 190 cm (18/19–19/20)
2130 & 2213 Faction Candide 4.0, 188 cm (19/20)
2177 & 2180 Moment Commander 108, 188 cm (19/20)
2183 & 2190 Black Crows Anima, 188.4 cm (17/18–19/20)
2196 & 2199 Icelantic Nomad 115, 191 cm (17/18–18/19)
2199 & 2219 Moment Governor, 186 cm (14/15–17/18)
2220 & 2252 Faction Prodigy 4.0, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2212 & 2215 Armada ARV 116 JJ, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2222 & 2278 Prior CBC, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2228 & 2231 Blizzard Spur, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2230 & 2250 Black Diamond Boundary Pro 115, 185 cm (17/18–19/20)
2237 & 2315 Salomon QST 118, 192 cm (19/20)
2240 & 2250 Volkl Revolt 121, 184 cm (19/20)
2246 & 2265 Fischer Ranger 115 FR, 188 cm (17/18–18/19)
2290 & 2293 Moment Commander 118, 188 cm (19/20)
2296 & 2309 Liberty Origin Pro, 192 cm (17/18–19/20)
2297 & 2317 K2 Catamaran, 184 cm (17/18–19/20)
2341 & 2357 Dynastar PR-OTO Factory, 189 cm (18/19–19/20)
2343 & 2360 J Skis Friend, 189 cm (18/19)
2346 & 2351 Nordica Enforcer Free 115, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
2370 & 2382 Volkl Confession, 193 cm (17/18–19/20)
2382 & 2395 ON3P Billy Goat, 184 cm (17/18–18/19)
2408 & 2421 ON3P Jeffrey 116, 186 cm (17/18–19/20)
2438 & 2480 DPS Foundation Koala 119, 189 cm (19/20)
2438 & 2492 Rossignol Black Ops 118, 186 cm (16/17–19/20)
2490 & 2529 K2 Catamaran, 191 cm (17/18–19/20)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(1) We found the Commander 98 & 108 to be pretty accessible skis, but will the Commander 118 be something different, given its straighter shape, larger size, and heftier weight?
(2) What kind of turn shapes will the Commander 118 be capable of doing? Can it only go straight or sideways, or could you bend it into some tighter carved turns?
(3) The Commander 118 doesn’t have a ton of tip rocker and it’s pretty stiff, so how will it compare to its competition when it comes to float in super deep snow?
(4) On that note, should we think of the Commander 118 as a pow ski, or more as a wider all-mountain ski — especially given Moment’s lack of talk about how well it’s supposed to float through pow?
(5) The Commander 98 & 108 are pretty playful for directional, metal-laminate skis, but will the Commander 118 feel pretty different in this regard?
(6) The Commander 118 effectively replaces the Moment Governor, a ski many of us really liked. So what are the key differences between the two?
(7) How will the Commander 118 compare to similarly stiff skis like the Head Kore 117, Volkl Confession, DPS Koala F119? What about more playful skis like the Moment Wildcat, Faction Candide 4.0, and Liberty Origin Pro? Or just the rest of the pow skis in our 19/20 Winter Buyer’s Guide?
Bottom Line (For Now)
Moment is certainly talking a big game about the hard-charging capabilities of the Commander 118, and based on its specs, that hype actually seems like it could be warranted. This is a big, stiff, straight, and fairly heavy ski, and we’ll be getting it on snow ASAP to, in Moment’s words, “feed the beast.”
Blister Members can now check out our Flash Review of the Commander 118 for our initial impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.
Eric Freson (5’10”, 180 lbs): I spent several days on the 188 cm Commander 118 this year at Crested Butte, and reviewers Jonathan Ellsworth & Drew Kelly also put time on it this season. We’re all in strong agreement about it, and it’s proven to live up to Moment’s claims about it being both “not being for the faint of heart” and its suitability for those who “don’t so much ski the mountain, as they do assault it.” So let’s get into the details. (Most of the words here will be mine, so that we don’t just say the same thing two or three times in each section, but consider us all in agreement. And of course, Jonathan will still butt in here on occasion, just because he can’t help himself.)
Powder & Softer Snow
If you read Moment’s copy about the Commander 118, you will notice that there is little touting of the skis “powder” performance, which is particularly notable given the width of this ski.
I got to ski the Commander 118 in Crested Butte’s biggest storm cycle of the season, and in those deep, soft, and slow conditions, the Commander 118’s minimum required speed limit was the most obvious. It was fairly difficult to maneuver in tight spaces at low speeds, and its tails tended to auger down into the snowpack, making it tricky to find my balance point. I felt that the minimal tail rocker (relative to most other ~118mm-wide skis) was definitely a large contributing factor in the Commander 118’s performance in these types of situations. But…
In more open places and at higher speeds, the Commander 118’s fairly wide shovels rose above the snow and the ski would come alive when I was able to flex and de-camber it, but it took quite a bit of input, energy, and speed to do so. As will be a theme here, the Commander 118 feels best when you are pushing it hard and you can bring it up to speed.
The Commander 118 was much more manageable in soft snow where the firmer bottom of the snowpack was easier to reach. I could more easily build up speed, and more quickly bend the ski. The Commander 118 is a powerful ski with the ability to smash through any piles of soft snow, other tracks, or simply slash those leftover and untouched pockets of pow. But it wouldn’t be my first choice on a bottomless and blower pow day.
Chop / Crud
Chop and crud are where this ski really shines, and heavy, chopped-up, or solidifying snow all disappeared underneath the Commander 118. It’s a ski that I’ve found to have no perceptible speed limit, and as a result, the Commander 118 inspired me to constantly straighten out my lines and see just how few turns I could make. In chop and crud in particular, I also really appreciated its significant amount of traditional camber underfoot — I found it really helped to smooth out the ride while navigating variable snow conditions.
The Commander 118’s powerful flex pattern was also an asset in chop, crud, and mank, and I feel as though it does a good job of finding that sweet spot of having a powerful flex pattern without going too stiff and feeling harsh (at least for my weight and ability). The tip and tail are both strong while being accessible, especially in more open terrain and at high speeds where it’s easier to flex the ski. I think Moment especially nailed the flex pattern of the shovel for this ski — I felt it was jusssssssst right, baby bear.
I tend to favor skis with a longer sidecut radius, and got along great with the 188 cm Commander 118’s 31-meter sidecut radius. At low speeds, the Commander 118 is happy to slarve and pivot in soft, shallow conditions on top of a firm base, but once I could start to really flex the ski, I found that it liked to stay in the realm of larger-radius arcs. This is not a ski that is so soft in the tail or shovel that I could make it form any turn shape I wanted at any time in soft snow.
So what is probably evident to you by now, the 188 cm Commander 118 definitely feels like a comp ski. It’s length, width, longer effective edge, weight, long sidecut radius, and powerful flex pattern all add up to a tool that excels when you are going to ski really fast, go really big, and may not really know what types of snow conditions you are going to encounter on the way to the bottom. It’s hard for me to imagine overwhelming the Commander 118 with whatever I might throw at it in those “ride the lightning” moments.
The other thing to say (that is also probably already apparent) is that the more open the terrain you’re skiing in — or the more able you are to keep this ski tracking down the fall line — the more this ski feels like the right tool for the job. Fairly shallow rocker lines, moderate taper, slightly progressive mount point, and quite a bit of camber all support this.
I found that the Commander 118 is best for the times when my patented Torksmash™ energy output index was in the 7-10 range (see below for an explanation). The ski smooths out rough terrain in a way that encourages a lot of speed and brute force over “style,” and the overall size, weight, and power of the Commander 118 required me to be focused especially if skiing soft snow in cramped quarters. This is a ski that can beat you up a bit and take a toll on your knees over the course of a full day, particularly if you ski a lot of tighter terrain. It’s a handful … until you really open it up. And when you do, it very much rewards you with power and stability.
[In case you’re not familiar with this extremely common [editor’s note: extremely dorky] grading system, the Torksmash™ energy output index is a personalized 1-10 scale, with “1” representing the effort I put forth when skiing to the lift with my boots unbuckled, and “10” being when I’m about to ski a line where I’ve put my mouthguard in and have clenched my jaw real tight. For a deeper explanation of this term, check out episode 98 of our GEAR:30 podcast.]
Moguls, Trees, & Tight Terrain
Crested Butte’s terrain skews very heavily to the tight and steep side of the spectrum. So in general, a lot of what I ski on a day-to-day basis here is very tight and I am working to shed speed in most instances rather than build up speed.
So when the terrain did get tight and I was skiing at slower speeds, it was a lot of work for me to stay on top of the Commander 118 and in control. At least for me — and coming from skis with more rearward mount points — the biggest factor seemed to be the Commander 118’s -8 cm mount point. There is quite a bit of tail behind you on the Commander 118, and with its shallower tail rocker line and stiff flex pattern, that tail is not super easy to release and requires really pressuring the shovel across the fall line to get it to pivot. The result was that I often felt like the ski was running away from me down the hill because I couldn’t always get over the front of the ski quickly enough to react. And if you are over the front of the Commander 118 all the time, you are going to be skiing real, real fast everywhere.
You may have seen photos of me in other reviews where I’m stomping back on the tails of my skis, you may have seen others where I’m way over the front / shovels, and just generally all over the place. This varied “technique” is often dictated by the varied terrain I’m skiing. In these instances, I appreciate being able to make the ski conform to the direction and terrain I’m anticipating. With the Commander 118, I found myself looking a turn or two farther ahead than normal in an effort to be sure to put the ski in the spots it needed to be in, and not so much about where I myself would like to be in to tackle a particular line. I can’t say that this was particularly enjoyable, since most of the time, I like to feel like I’m in charge of the ski / skier relationship. But I think this is going to be much less of an issue for expert skiers who don’t spend that much time in tight, steep spaces, or for bigger humans, or for those who have tree trunks for quads.
Caveat / Public Service Announcement
Jonathan Ellsworth (5’10”, ~175 lbs): One thing I want to jump in to make clear: if we had tested this ski primarily on big, open faces, or in an area that had lots of steep, open bowls, or lines that really made it pretty easy and enticing to ‘just point it,’ this review would be reading pretty differently. We’d just be talking about how f-ing awesome this ski is for going fast down big lines. And Eric, Drew, and I are all in agreement about this. It’s just that we are all also in agreement that in steep, tight, techy terrain, this ski is work, and it requires real commitment, and it requires you to be very comfortable at higher speeds in tight terrain.
On groomers I found the Commander 118 to be quite reliable for a ski this wide. With fairly shallow rocker lines and lots of camber for a 118mm-wide ski, the Commander 118 was happy to slide turns at slower speeds and it provided good grip whether I was going fast or slow. To be clear, the ski doesn’t truly come alive and let you really lay it over until you are making Super-G sized turns at Super-G speeds. But the Commander 118 is a wide ski with a very long sidecut radius, so it’s no surprise that it requires more speed and skier input to really get it on edge and in a carved turn.
At higher speeds and snow conditions that were pretty easily edgeable, the Commander 118 was a freight train of a ski in all the right ways: it was calm and unshakeable, and wanted to carry all the momentum / speed that I could give it. Again, it’s a stiff ski with a long sidecut radius, so it required me to really commit to each turn to truly flex it, though its more forward mount point meant that I didn’t need to put every last ounce of my being into flexing the ski to get it to respond. I wouldn’t refer to the Commander 118 as a snappy or high-energy carver, but rather a ski that rewards someone who enjoys picking a spot of snow far out ahead, aims for it, demolishes it, and leaves railroad tracks in their wake.
As you can see above, reviewer Drew Kelly (5’11”, 160 lbs) managed to force the Commander 118 into some tighter turns. But it’s important to note that most of us who ski at Crested Butte have major crushes on Drew’s ability to flex a ski, and I couldn’t make the Commander 118 do that as well as Drew because I was too scared to commit to that degree of savage attack against the mountain. And even though Drew is not like the rest of us, he still very much agreed about the Commander 118’s preference for high speeds and lots of skier input regardless of the terrain or snow conditions.
The Commander 118’s -8 cm mount point is fairly progressive / forward for such a large, directional, charger of a ski. On the recommended line, it feels like a very directional ski, but one that is a bit easier to engage into a carve on mellower terrain or when working to pivot the ski in tighter terrain at slow speeds. In these instances, I could stand slightly more upright and didn’t have to work quite as hard to flex the shovel vs. a similarly strong ski with a mount point that’s set farther back.
That said, the Commander 118 does still require you to drive its shovels down the fall line when things get tight or steep, and it’s definitely not the ski for people who prefer a forgiving ski that lets them pivot from a totally centered or backseat stance. The Commander 118 is not a ski you can just steer from your ankles or heels.
If I were to own this ski, I’d consider mounting it 1-2 cm behind the recommended line. That is due to personal preferences, rather than a feeling that the ski would objectively perform better in that location, but might be worth considering for skiers coming from similar skis with mount points around -10 cm or farther back from center.
Jonathan Ellsworth: I could see mounting back 1 or 2 cm. But personally, I didn’t think the ski felt unbalanced at all on the line. But as Eric has noted, you do have a lot of tail on this ski. So for me, I liked the ski on the line, I just like this ski the most when skiing big, open lines. So maybe we could say something like, there’s nothing wrong with the mount point, just don’t buy a hammer if the tool you really need is a wrench. (Clearly, I am not as good at dropping Zen Koans as Dan Abrams is.)
No. Just no.
Take Offs & Landings
Given its slightly more forward mount point and stiff, round flex pattern, the ski allows you a big margin of error when launching off stuff. There were several instances where the last thing the Commander 118’s bases were on before being in the air was rock (#smokinrocks), and having a slightly more centered mount in these instances meant that it was very easy to keep myself from being pitched back (or forward). In general, this is a ski that is calm, cool, and collected when taking to the air, and lands with authority when you come back down.
At low and high speeds, I could get the Commander 118 to slarve turns and I found myself doing full-on judo-kick slashes into pockets of soft snow. But these actions required a pretty aggressive skiing style on my part, unlike more rockered, softer skis that are super easy to throw sideways no matter how hard you’re pushing them. I’m not heavy enough and don’t have access to large / open / high-speed-friendly terrain that might begin to make me consider referring to the ski as generally “playful.” I can definitely see referring to the Commander 118 as a tranny sniper though, as its strong flex pattern, pop, and stability all create a big margin of error for missing the transition on the other side of some large gap you sent blind and came up short on. Or overshot.
I found the 188 cm Commander 118 to ski long, particularly compared to other skis this wide. As mentioned above, its stiff flex pattern and long effective edge & running length gave me tons of stability, but also required me to think a bit further ahead than normal — the Commander 118 is not a ski I found to reward “reactionary” skiing.
I feel as though this all plays into the ski’s design and intent — on bigger and more open terrain, the Commander 118 was in its element, and allowed me to steamroll through anything I encountered. But the sizing might also be a bit limiting to some people. The 188 cm size is a big ski. I can only imagine what the 194 cm version is like, and I’m not sure where I would use something like that other than making 8 turns on a venue in Verbier. And while, frankly, the 178 cm Commander 118 is likely the best fit for a mountain like Crested Butte, I’m not sure my ego would allow me to ski something under 180 cm. So if you are more self-actualized than I am, I think the 178 cm would definitely be worth checking out if you like to smash into stuff, but don’t ski at an area that gives you lots of room to run.
Who’s It For?
The Commander 118 is an interesting ski. For me, it would need to be part of a larger quiver of skis due to its relative lack of float and maneuverability (for its size) in deep snow, as well as its demanding nature in tight spaces. This is a pretty niche tool that shines in open terrain where you can ski fast. But if you are an expert skier who loves to smash down the mountain and doesn’t ever let the conditions determine your speed limit, it’s certainly one of the top crud-smashing skis available today.
I’m not sure how many people need or want a ski as aggressive as the Commander 118. But if you are that type of person, you probably already know this about yourself. Give the ski lots of room to roam, lots of vertical, and as much aggression as you can muster, and you will be stoked.
The Moment Commander 118 made me long for the days of my own competition skiing, but also reinforced that that time has mostly passed me by. It was refreshing and engaging to never be held back by a ski, but the flip side of this coin is that it was often “work” to ski. It is fantastic when the terrain aligns with the ski’s stability and preference for high speeds, but the ski is a handful when that wasn’t the case.
Folks with more open terrain to let the Commander 118 run will find an extremely capable tool for any off-piste adventures on most any day. It’s just a tool that requires some specific circumstances to show off its full potential, and kudos to Moment for not hiding this in their description of it (“not for the faint of heart,” “assault the mountain,” “feed the beast,” etc.).
In sum, if you appreciate high speeds, big vert, big turns, and don’t give a shit about the snow conditions, this is a ski for you.
(We’re also planning on posting our Deep Dive comparisons of the Commander 118 later this week, so stay tuned for that.)