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.
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.
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.