3rd Look: MOMENT Night Train

Review of the Moment Night Train, Blister Gear Review
12/13 Moment Night Train

Ski: 2012-2013 Moment Night, 186cm

Dimensions (mm): 140-123-135

Sidecut Radius: 27.5 meters

Actual Tip to Tail Length – straight tape pull: 184.2 cm

Weight Per Ski: 2,296 grams / 5.06 lbs

Mount Location: Factory Recommended

Boots / Bindings: Black Diamond Factor 130/ Marker Jester (DIN 9)

Test Location: Eaglecrest, Alaska

Days Skied: 8

(Editor’s Note: Our review was conducted on the 10/11 Night Train, which is unchanged for 12/13, except for the graphics.)

A lot has already been said about the Night Train. Jonathan Ellsworth wrote the first review of the Moment Night Train, in which he compared it to the Jaguar Shark and Bibby Pro; Sam Shaheen wrote a second look of the Moment Night Train that delved deeper into the specifics of the NT’s performance. For the most part, I agree with what has already been said, and overall my experience with the ski was positive. My review will expand on points made in our first two reviews, discuss some of the things that the Night Train didn’t do very well, and hopefully help to define the type of skier who should consider this ski.

Usually the Moment Night Train is the kind of ski that I prefer for everyday skiing at my home mountain, Eaglecrest, in Juneau, Alaska. The ideal ski for me can charge in a variety of soft snow condition, yet still retain a good amount of playfulness and jib-ability. At first glance, the Night Train seems to be a ski that fits this description: it is a stiff backcountry jib ski whose flex profile is better suited to charging than to play.

It turns out that the Night Train matches my skiing style well. So much so, that it took me a few days to pick up on some of the areas where the Night Train felt less at home.

Turning Speed

I like to make fast, open turns down the fall line, making quick, precise turns when the terrain demands it, and periodically making quick slashes in choice patches of fresh. In general, I like to playfully interact with terrain, spending a lot of time with my skis off the snow as I bounce off whatever features I can find.

This kind of skiing requires a lot a skier input. During my first few days on the Night Train, the stoke factor was high and I didn’t initially notice the amount of work it took to ski the Night Train: my knee was feeling strong after ACL surgery last April, I was surrounded by good friends, the snow was soft and fast. I was having a blast.

Andrew Gregovich, Moment Night Train, Blister Gear Review
Andrew Gregovich on the Moment Night Train, Eaglecrest, Alaska.

Toward the end of a typical skiing day, when freshies were less plentiful and conditions became more variable, I started to realize that the Night Train was actually pretty sluggish in some instances—much slower, say, than the Line Mr. Pollard’s Opus, a ski that practically turns itself. With speed, the Night Train became easier to turn, but at slower speeds in tricky terrain—exactly where you’d want a ski to be quick—it wasn’t particularly nimble. (Of course, it is 123mm underfoot….)

I mostly noticed the Night Trains general lack of agility when I kept my edges engaged through a turn. With a 27.5 meter sidecut radius and only a moderate amount of splay (compared to similar BC jib skis like the ON3P Caylor), it makes sense that the ski didn’t want to just whip around.

Two subtleties in skiing style help me to speed up turns: airing through a turn, and breaking the edges free and slarving. I do both quite often in steep terrain anyway, hence the reason I didn’t initially pick up on the Night Train’s lack of speed from edge to edge.

With a certain skiing style, this minor turning issue will go largely unnoticed. This is the part of the reason that Jonathan Ellsworth says that most people prefer either the Night Train or the Moment Bibby Pro, but rarely both. If you generally keep your skis glued to the snow and expect them to provide a smooth, consistent ride, you’ll probably like the Bibby better. But if you ski similarly to me, bouncing your way down the mountain and throwing your skis sideways every once in a while to scrub speed, the Night Train might be right for you.

Here’s another anecdote to further describe the style of skiing that the Night Train prefers: In steep, chopped-up terrain, I felt most comfortable when I either skiing with bases relatively flat, or when I made quick, tight-radius turns. On steep slopes, I had trouble finding an intermediate-length turn that felt good. I frequently found myself in a position where I wanted to make intermediate-length turns, but the skis weren’t having it. The Night Train just didn’t track well, and I had a difficult time holding an edge in steep, skied-out sections. I found that the best solution was to link a series of quick, precise turns and then open up when the terrain allowed.


11 comments on “3rd Look: MOMENT Night Train”

  1. I have the Wolf NT’s (-1.5cm) which are same dimensions and very similar splay but with a slightly different construction and completely agree with your review. I’ve been trying to figure out why a 12″ day at Stevens pass when it’s 30 degrees feels like such a chore for such a large ski. I am preferring to ski my 182 Atomic Atlases for their tip splay and taper even though they’re a narrower and shorter ski than the night trains. I take myself to be one that enjoys driving the front half of the ski and the night trains are not that. I’m at odds what to do with them as I’m constantly thinking I’ll “get it” soon with more time on them, but I’m not sure I will, like my atlases which are second nature to me.

    • Thanks for sharing that comparison Chris! I am also someone who likes to drive the front half of my skis. Try adopting a more centered stance when you ski the NTs in soft snow.

  2. Hi guys!

    I own the NT and it is not stiffer than my friend’s Armada JJ. I think it’s a little bit stiffer than my 2010 Sir Francis Bacon.
    Now I’m looking for a pair of similar skis but longer and with a stiffer flex and I was looking at On3p Caylor 191. Are Caylors really softer than NT (or Bibby)? Keep in mind that I have never rode Caylors and never handflexed them, so I would really appreciate your inputs.

    Thank you very much for your great reviews!

    Cheers from Italy!


    • The Night Train skis stiffer than it hand flexes. I just got a chance to hand flex the Night Train and Caylor side by side and the Caylor is indeed stiffer. This surprised me since the Caylor is more playful than the Night Train. Additional splay makes the Caylor feel softer and perform better in dense snow.

      Sorry for the misinformation.


      • Tank you Andrew for the answer.

        I want to repalce my Night Train with something stiffer and more charging oriented, but still nimble enough in trees.
        I like center mounted skis even if I don’t ski/land switch. I was looking at Caylors 191 and 4frnt Renegades 186.
        I know Renegades are stiffer and more directional than Caylors. Caylors should be better on groomers and no-pow days.
        Since I never handlexed them (in Italy there aren’t a lot of fat skis in shop or demo days) can you guys compare the flex of both skis with the flex of the stiffy Bibby 190?

        I want a ski to replace my NT for skiing pow, trees and sometimes groomers (not icy days).
        Wich one do you suggest, Caylor or Renegades?
        Keep in mind I like long turns, hitting cliffs and airs but I would not describe my style as “jibby” and that in Italy snow doesn’t get tracked out as fast as in US an Canada, even inbounds!
        I’m 174 cm, 68 kg, 28 years old, good shape.

        Thank you very much for the help.


        • I have not flexed the Renegade or the Bibby in a while and haven’t skied either, so I asked Will Brown. This is what he had to say about the Caylor vs. Bibby: “The Caylor seemed damper (so maybe a tiny bit softer if anything) and heavier, while the Bibby seemed lighter and snappier/ more poppy through the tail.” He doesn’t remember one feeling much stiffer than the other. The Renegade is slightly stiffer than both skis.

          The Caylors will be more nimble than the Renegade in tight places. I can vouch for the fact that they are a fun ski that holds up to a serious level of charging, but they might take some getting used to if you aren’t used to having a lot of tail rocker. Unfortunately I can’t tell you any more that what you probably already know about the Renegade.

          The Atomic Automatic could be another good ski that combines some of the best aspects of both the Renegade and Caylor.

          Hope that helps,

  3. “Regardless, there are several backcountry jib skis that I’ve found to do better than the Night Train in very heavy snow: the K2 Hellbent, ON3P Caylor, and Atomic Bentchetler immediately come to mind. These skis share two unifying characteristics: they are softer and have more splay than the Night Train.”

    Wow, I have to totally disagree with this. I can see what you mean with the Caylor but the Hellbent and ‘Chetler better in heavy snow? There is not a chance that this is the common opinion among those skis. I have actually found the Night Train to be quite the opposite of what you say for most of this review. It is super agile, easy to smear, and in my opinion, requires much less effort to turn and slash than the Hellbent and Caylor…and I am basing this off of a Night Train mounted with MFDs. It is definitely a really fun ski and may work better for a certain skier type, but once you accommodate yourself to the characteristics of the ski, it becomes effortless and confidence-inspiring.

    • There is a reason that the Hellbent was, and still is, a very popular ski in Juneau. Have you ever skied the Hellbent in two feet of already heavy snow that has been rained on? The ski makes these normally tricky conditions very manageable. The Night Train is not as good in heavy snow, but overall it is a good powder ski. In general, skis that are softer and have more splay are more forgiving in really heavy snow.

      The best you know is the best you’ve ridden. The NT is a good ski, but there are better skis for heavy snow. A lot of positive things have already been said about the NT. One of the goals of my review was to hone in on some of the things that they didn’t do so well.

  4. I stinking love the Night Trains. I just got this years model after my 08 Moment Melee’s broke (They were a very similar ski, but softer and had symetrical dimensions 135-120-135). Like the reviewer, I mostly stick to either really long arching turns or shorter turns to scrub speed so the Night Trains fit my style perfectly. The stiffness is just right for most of the airs I do and they have a good amount of pop for getting air off anything. They can take it out of you though if you’re skiing packed snow and making lots of turns though, but the fun factor makes it worth it.

  5. I ski the Tahoe area and used to own both the 2011 Hellbent and night Train, The Hellbent was much better in heavy powder and chopped snow then the NT, The only place the NT was better was in dry snow in tight tree’s because it was a little quicker to slide around, But I felt overall the Hellbent was a much betterpowder ski.

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