2nd Look: Moment Bibby Tour vs. Moment Bibby / Blister Pro

Noah Bodman reviews the Moment Bibby Tour and Bibby / Blister Pro for Blister
Moment Bibby Tour (left) and Blister Pro (right)

Ski: 2017-2018 Moment Bibby Tour, 184 cm

Available Lengths (cm): 174, 184, 190 cm

Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 180.5 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 1800 g (184 cm)

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1795 and 1817 grams

Stated Dimensions (mm): 141-116-131

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 142-116-133

Stated Sidecut Radius: 25 meters

Core: Paulownia/Pine + Carbon Stringers + Fiberglass Laminate

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 71mm / 63 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 6 mm

Recommended Mount Point: -6 cm from center; 84.2 cm from tail

Boots: Dynafit Vulcan

Bindings: Marker Kingpin 13

Test Locations: Whitefish, MT; Kootenay Pass, British Columbia

Days Skied: 15

Ski: 2014-2015 Moment Blister Pro, 184 cm

Available Lengths (cm): 164, 174, 184, 190 cm

Blister’s Measured Length (straight tape pull): 182.4 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: 2140g (184 cm)

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2100 & 2103 grams

Stated Dimensions (mm): 141-116-131

Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 143-117-134

Stated Sidecut Radius: 25 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 66 mm / 65 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: 2 mm

Recommended Mount Point: -6 cm from center; 85.25 cm from tail

Boots: Salomon X-Max 130

Bindings: Salomon STH 16

Test Locations: Mostly around Montana and British Columbia

Days Skied: 100-ish

Intro

The 184 cm Blister Pro / Bibby has been my go-to ski for pretty much any decently soft day for the last few years. Even though I mostly write about bikes for Blister, a pair of Blister Pros is issued to every Blister reviewer, and if we say anything negative about the ski, we’re shown the door.

Just kidding.

If we lie about the products we’re reviewing, our editor-in-chief will murder us.

(Our editor-in-chief added that last sentence.)

But there’s a reason lots of us around here are fans of the ski, and since we’ve written plenty about the Blister Pro, I won’t belabor the point. Suffice it to say that I’m fully on board with the description of “playful charger.”

Since I’m mostly skiing in Whitefish, Montana, which has an abundance of foggy days and tree skiing, I’ve stuck with the 184 to keep things a bit more maneuverable in tight spots.

Quick Note about Names

I’m going to refer to my skis as the Blister Pro (since that’s what they are), but they’re identical to the original Bibby Pro, which is now called the Wildcat for 2018/19. And for 18/19, the Bibby Tour will be called the Wildcat Tour, though the shape and construction are the same.

So when I was in the market for a new touring ski, and given the caveat that I don’t generally bother to walk uphill unless there’s likely to be good pow on the way down, I picked up some Bibby Tours in the same length as my Blister Pros — 184 cm. Moment says the Bibby Tour is everything I love about the Bibby Pro, but with less weight, and in the context of a touring ski, that sounds pretty great. Cy Whitling’s review of the Bibby Tour, along with his comparison of the Bibby Tour and Blister Pro piqued my interest even further, so here we are.

I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 days on my Blister Pros, and around 15 days on the Bibby Tours, so it’s time for an assessment of whether the Tours are actually everything I love about the Blister Pro, and whether the Tours could serve as a one ski quiver replacement for the more portly Blister Pro.

A quick caveat: as noted at the outset, I have the Blister Pros set up with alpine bindings (Salomon STH16), and I ski them in alpine boots (Salomon X-Max 130). The Bibby Tours are setup with touring bindings (Marker Kingpins), and I ski them in Touring Boots (Dynafit Vulcan). So this isn’t a 100% apples to apples test, and I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t ski as hard in my touring boots on pin bindings as I do in my alpine setup.

Shape Differences

The Bibby Tour I have is essentially the same shape as the Blister Pro, with a couple of subtle differences. The sidecut and rocker lines are essentially identical, but the Bibby Tour has significantly more camber; about 6 mm on the Bibby Tour, vs. 2 mm on the Blister Pro.

This is noteworthy because Cy Whitling noted the opposite in his comparison; his Blister Pro had more camber. I would say there’s a decent chance that some of that difference is just due to the fact that my Blister Pros have a fair number of days on them, and may be somewhat de-cambered from use. We asked Moment CEO, Luke Jacobsen, about this, and he said that the difference in camber is likely due to minor changes in the production process (e.g. the switch to a micro-cap construction), but that the skis should perform very similarly.

The Bibby Tour also has a slightly more rounded tip, and a shorter, notched tail. Both of those changes are just to aid with climbing skin retention, and I don’t think they make any noticeable difference in how the ski handles. It’s also worth noting that the notched tail accounts for the slightly shorter measured length of the Bibby Tour, although it doesn’t feel like a shorter ski on snow.

Construction Differences

Externally, the Blister Pro has full vertical sidewalls, while the Bibby Tour uses a partial cap design (since the 17/18 production year, nearly all of Moment’s skis switched to micro cap construction). Internally, the Bibby Tour has a core that uses Paulownia and Pine, while the Blister Pro uses Aspen and Pine. They both use triaxial fiberglass and carbon fiber, but it’s a safe assumption that the proportions of glass and carbon in the Bibby Tour are a bit different to keep things lighter.

Weight Differences

The weights are listed at the top, but I wanted to call attention to the fact that my Bibby Tours are substantially lighter than the ones Cy Whitling initially reviewed. His weighed 1903 & 1929 grams, while mine weigh 1795 and 1817 grams (which is more in line with Moment’s stated weight for the ski).

Moment clarified that all Bibby Tours (and the renamed Wildcat Tours) should be coming in closer to the 1800 g mark.

Noah Bodman reviews the Moment Bibby Tour and Bibby / Blister Pro for Blister
Noah Bodman on the Moment Bibby Tour.

Flex Pattern

When A/B-ing and hand flexing the two skis, my Bibby Tours are a bit softer throughout than my Blister Pros, but the difference is most noticeable in the tails. I’d say the Bibby Tour would be 1 point softer in the tips and underfoot, and 2 points softer in the tails.

By touring ski standards, the Bibby Tours are fairly stiff, but certainly not overbearing. I don’t think any moderately strong skier would have any problem driving the Bibby Tours, particularly in the softer snow they’re intended for. I do, however, think that bigger and stronger skiers could overpower them. And it might just be that I’m so used to the Blister Pro, but I find myself wheelieing out of landings and wishing for a bit more stiffness in the tails on the Bibby Tour.

Conditions That Aren’t Clean Powder

These are my touring skis, and as I noted above, I’m generally disinclined to walk uphill for tracked up, cruddy conditions. But I do a lot of touring off the side of my local ski hill, so I’ve spent plenty of time skiing inbounds with the Bibby Tours on my way to fresher snow.

My first few days on the Bibby Tour were a bit frustrating — the basic DNA of the Blister Pro was there, but the Bibby Tour felt hooky and a bit squirrely on firmer snow and cut-up conditions. A true bar revealed that the bases weren’t completely flat, particularly in the front half of the ski. Some quick base work and a bit of detuning helped the situation, and now the ski is considerably calmer on firmer snow.

Compared to the Blister Pro, there’s no question that the Bibby Tour feels softer and a lot lighter. It gets kicked around in chop, and it doesn’t have the damp stability that the Blister Pro offers. One of the areas that the Blister Pro really excels is blasting through soft chop at the end of a powder day, but the Bibby Tour doesn’t feel nearly as stable and collected in the same conditions. The Bibby Tour also isn’t as torsionally stiff as the Blister Pro, which is noticeable on firm snow — pushing the Blister Pro sideways, especially through non-smooth snow yields a relatively consistent smear. The Bibby Tour is a bit less consistent in that situation, some of which I attribute to the ski flexing a bit torsionally.

I will say, however, that I’ve skied a number of “tour layup” skis that just feel harsh and terrible on firm snow. It feels like the manufacturer chucked a bunch of carbon into the ski to keep it stiff and save weight, but that comes at the cost of any semblance of a smooth ride.

The Bibby Tour is different in this regard, and in a good way — it doesn’t have the dampness that comes with a bunch of extra weight, but for being a lighter ski, it’s still pretty smooth. With the Bibby Tour, Moment managed to avoid the chattery harshness that I tend to associate with light skis with a lot of carbon.

Pow

There’s no question that this ski is mostly built with soft snow in mind, and hopefully if you’re touring on it, you’re skiing mostly untracked pow. And in those conditions, the Bibby Tour is exactly what I want it to be.

Here, the ski’s weight becomes an advantage. It’s acceptably light for walking uphill (at least for my purposes), and on the way down, the lack of heft isn’t really much of a liability when it’s in clean snow. The Bibby Tour is easier to swing around, and it feels lighter in the air compared to the Bister Pro, both of which I consider upsides. The only real downside of the Bibby Tour’s lower weight that I notice in a backcountry setting is when I encounter some funky snow, like blasting through chunky tree bombs.

As I noted earlier, the Bibby Tour still isn’t as stiff as it’s heftier brother, and if you’re really pushing it, that softer flex is noticeable. But for 99% of the pow skiing I’ve done on the Bibby Tour and Blister Pro, I can’t say I notice a huge difference between the two skis. Or, to put it more accurately, the differences in my boot and binding setup are far more noticeable than the differences between the Bibby Tour and Blister Pro.

Noah Bodman reviews the Moment Bibby Tour and Bibby / Blister Pro for Blister
Noah Bodman on the Moment Bibby Tour.

But purely in terms of the skis themselves, while the differences aren’t huge, I think they mostly stem from the softer flex of the Bibby Tour. The Bibby Tour bends into shorter radius turns more readily, and when throwing the ski into a high speed smear, it’s a little less composed — the extra stiffness of Blister Pro means it’s less inclined to fold up in that situation. But I don’t want to overstate these differences; the skis are definitely similar, but (at the risk of stating the obvious), they’re not identical.

Corn

My time on the Bibby Tours has been through the depths of winter, so I haven’t gotten them on any spring snow. But at 116 mm underfoot and with a decent amount of tip and tail rocker, these wouldn’t be my first choice for spring skiing. A narrower, more traditional ski is probably going to work better in those spring conditions where you’re often encountering some firm snow.

That said, based on the various conditions I’ve skied with the Bibby Tours, I’m confident that they’d be plenty of fun for some sunny spring corn laps.

Weird Snow

As will happen, sometimes my tours don’t yield the pow-filled bonanza that I’d hoped for. Most of the crusty snow (both from wind and sun) that I’ve encountered on the Bibby Tour was before I got the bases flattened, and thus I found the Bibby Tour to be a bit hooky and somewhat challenging. I think that’s probably significantly improved with the base work on the ski, but fortunately for me — though unfortunately for this review — it’s been snowing a lot so I’ve only gotten them back out into nice snow after the fix.

But all signs point to a significant improvement on that front.

Brief Thoughts on Replacing my Blister Pros with Bibby Tours

Am I going to get rid of my Blister Pros, and use the Bibby Tour for both inbounds and out of bounds duties? Nope, not gonna happen. I’m a fan of the Bibby Tour for what it is — a touring ski. But for me, it’s not a replacement for the Blister Pro. The Bibby Tour doesn’t have the dampness or stiffness to deal with inbounds choppiness, and the lack of weight means it gets kicked around far more. It’s noticeably less stable at speed, and it just doesn’t quite have that easy-going chargeability of the Blister Pro.

Now, I don’t consider the Blister Pro to be an especially demanding ski — for being fairly stiff, it’s fairly easy and intuitive, and it doesn’t tend to punish mistakes too severely. But if you’ve found that the Blister / Bibby Pro is a bit too much ski, you might want to consider the Bibby Tour, since I’d say that it offers the same basic premise in a toned-down package.

Bottom Line

I love my Blister Pros, and I wanted a lighter version to tour on. That’s exactly what the Bibby Tours are advertised as, and it’s more or less what they deliver. Cutting somewhere in the neighborhood of 350 g per ski is going to change how the ski performs: less mass generally means less stability, so that was to be expected. But as long as this caveat is kept in mind, I don’t think anyone who loves the Bibby / Blister Pro is going to hate the Bibby Tour.

It’s a series of tradeoffs, and all in all, I think Moment did an admirable job of walking that fine line. The Bibby Tour is light, but not so light that it starts to feel harsh. And it’s a little softer than the Bibby / Blister Pro, but not so soft that it feels like a noodle. As the name implies, the Bibby Tour is not intended to replace the Bibby / Blister Pro, and as long as you don’t hop on the ski thinking it’s going to be an identical ski that’s magically way lighter, I think most people will be pretty excited about the result.

11 thoughts on “2nd Look: Moment Bibby Tour vs. Moment Bibby / Blister Pro”

  1. Thanks Noah for the interesting review / comparison. I was interested to see your comment about the bases on your Bibby Tour not being completely flat. I recently bought a pair of ON3P Kartel 116s (largely based on the reviews on Blister), and the bases weren’t flat on those either. Do you guys have any sense for how common of a problem this might be with brand new skis from the factory?

    • Hey Tristan,

      I’m certainly not an expert on this subject, but particularly on wider skis, I think the bases being not 100% flat is more common than most manufacturers would like to admit. Just for kicks, I checked a handful of skis in my garage, and a good number of them were edge high to some degree (and for the record, that includes skis from both smaller and larger manufacturers). That said, those are all skis that I’ve spent a lot of time on and haven’t had any issues with, so I think it’s important not to overstate the problem. A ski that’s significantly edge high / railed can ski really poorly, but if it’s just a little edge high, I think most people won’t really notice. And the softer the snow is, the less noticeable it tends to be.

      I know some people advocate for flattening the bases on all new skis, right out of the plastic. Personally, I think that’s overkill – I’d rather ski it a bit, and if the ski is doing something weird, then I’ll see if there’s anything in the tune that seems out of whack and go from there.

      -Noah

  2. Hey Noah – thanks for the perspective. Of course I’m not buying new skis all the time so this isn’t something I’ll run into too often, but between my experience on your review I was curious. In my case, I only noticed the skis being edge high on groomers / firmer snow, and in particular when trying pivot or skid the skis, and hard snow performance obviously isn’t a priority for a powder ski. Anyway, thanks again!

    • I think the Blister Pro / Bibby, in its current iteration, is here for the long haul. They got rid of it once and it came back. It is far and away their best selling ski, and arguably the best ski they’ve made. Think you’re safe

  3. Yo Noah! Great review. Shout out from Missoula.

    So the 184 Tour came in at 180.5cm. That’s -3.5cm

    Do you think this will be true for the 190 Tour as well? I.e. 186.5? Can you check with Luke?

    Because I sure hope so. My 186 Kartel 116s (186.5 measured length) is the perfect length and flex for me. I demod the 184 Blister Pro in Reno and it was amazing on my demo days, but I sized up to the 190 Blister Pro when I bought, and it kind of kicked my ass.

    I’m in the market for a wide touring ski and the 184 Tour (at 180cm) is just too short for me. I’m hoping “190” means 186.5 because that would be perfect.

    • Hey Taylor,

      Yup, I think it’s safe to say that, with a straight tape pull, the 190 Bibby Tour will come in right around 186 cm. We measured the 190 Bibby Pro to be 187.9 cm, and the Bibby Tour is a bit less than 2 cm shorter than that due to the notched tail.

      So yeah, it should be right around what you’re looking for!

  4. Hey anyone had any time on the 190 Bibby tour? Interested on differences between this and the 184. Some others say it’s a different beast.
    Thanks.

  5. I was hoping to get your advice on what ski to buy. I’m debating between 190cm deathwish or the 190cm bibby. I’m 6′ and 180lbs, consider myself an expert skier. I’m looking for a ski I can ride everyday through the year in Western Montana. My mountain is a good mix of tight tree skiing, cliffs, and a few open bowls. I want something that I can charge and will be maneuverable in the trees, I like to pop off natural features whenever I get a chance, nothing crazy big, just having fun. What’s the right ski for me?

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