Big, Soft Bumps & Trees
Given what Jonathan said in his review, and everything I’ve said above, how the Supernatural 108 and Belafonte compare in trees and bumps shouldn’t be too surprising.
The Belafonte doesn’t feel out of place in the trees or in moguls, and I think this is where it feels most distinct from the older version of the ski. Skiing big bumps on the new Belafonte is no walk in the park (you have to execute your turns well, as the ski isn’t forgiving of a weak, backseat turn), but it does feel a little more manageable to me than the old one.
When I could pick my lines well and be deliberate and strong with my turns, the Belafonte did very well in trees and bumps. I remember having to work a little harder to ski the same sort of terrain on the old Belafonte.
The Supernatural 108s are simply easier to ski in bumps and tight spots, which is consistent with the fact that their low-speed maneuverability is more accessible everywhere else on the mountain. But while little about the Belafonte’s bump performance is all that surprising, the 108 continues to impress me with how quick it is given how stable it is at speed.
If I were considering either of these skis as a one-ski quiver, and I planned to be skiing a lot of bumps as well as a lot of open terrain, I think I’d pick the Supernatural 108 over the Belafonte. If I didn’t care as much about easier low-speed maneuverability or the Supernatural 108’s slightly playful side, and I just wanted a ski to break out and ski hard and fast in anything from firm to soft, chopped conditions, then the Belafonte would be the better fit.
What About the Cochise?
The Blizzard Cochise is definitely a ski that sits in the same class as both the Belafonte and the Supernatural 108. But of the three, I’ve spent the least amount of time on it, and I don’t feel like I’m in a great position to make direct comparisons. In general, though, if we’re working on a spectrum of Playful / Forgiving vs. Stable / Demanding, I think I’d put the Belafonte closer to the Stable / Demanding end, with the Cochise in between the Belafonte and the Supernatural 108, which is on the more playful end.
The Cochise isn’t going to float as well as the Supernatural 108 in fresh snow (it’s probably more like the Belafonte in this respect: not ideal in more than 6-8″), and it isn’t going to be as energetic on groomers as the 108. The Cochise will be more stable than the Supernatural 108, though, and a bit more forgiving than the Belafonte on the whole.
If you’re looking for a more “classic” feeling (camber underfoot, no tail rocker), directional ski to go fast in firm and choppy, variable conditions, the Moment Belafonte remains my #1 recommendation.
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