First Impressions: 2011-2012 MOMENT Bibby Special, 196cm

Ski: MOMENT Bibby Special, 196cm 

Dimensions: 150-116-123mm

Boots / Bindings: Salomon Falcon Pro CS / Marker Jester (DIN at 9)

Mount Location: Recommended

Test Location: Las Leñas

Days Skied: 1

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

The MOMENT Bibby Pro is an awesome ski with an uncanny degree of versatility as a playful pow-board and a big-mountain charger. (You can see my review of it HERE.) This Bibby, the Bibby Special, is an evolution of that ski. Its design is more focused, purpose built to charge harder and tackle bigger lines.

Between Friday August 5th and Saturday the 6th, Las Leñas picked up 30+ cm of fresh snow. Sunday night brought a light sprinkling of rain at the base. Yesterday, Monday the 8th, conditions were gorgeous with warming temperatures. The new snow was very heavy with a pretty healthy sun crust in open areas, and a thinner wind crust on the windward side of ridges.

Setting out on our first run, we headed for a face called Cenidor, skiers right off the Caris lift. At 116mm underfoot with a 150mm wide shovel toward the tip, the Bibby Special is huge. Riding the lift, these things looked imposing on my feet, and Jonathan’s 195cm Armada AK JJs looked almost dainty by comparison. Hefting the skis from the chair, however, I found the Special’s swing weight to be moderate, certainly lighter than expected given their 196cm length.

Traversing along Cenidor, we chose a line down a gully on the leeward side of a prominent ridge. Thanks to some strong cross loading, some lighter windblown snow was filing in the older chop from Friday night’s storm.

I started in with some tighter turns and immediately noticed how easily the Special’s tails (a tiny 126mm compared to the 150mm shovel width), tended to slip out and point the tips down the fall line. I might compare the sensation to that of driving a forklift, in which the rear wheels do all the maneuvering. Immediately, it became clear that the Specials were not responding like other big mountain boards might when it comes to shorter, scrubbed turns. Any quick input to initiate a turn across the slope came from releasing the tails, rather than a more familiar slarve turn that engages a grater portion of the skis running length.

We made several runs down Cenidor, and I made a point of opening things up in the run out. The lower section of Cenidor hadn’t been getting any real wind loading and was more tracked out than the upper pitch. Bringing the Specials up to speed through the heavy chop, I had to maintain a more forward stance than normal through the apex of wider turns, otherwise the huge shovels tended to seriously overpower the narrower (and much softer) tails, throwing me more backseat and taking me along for the ride. (I’ve given you the forklift analogy, now think dragster).

Keeping that more forward stance, I was glad to find that the Special’s shovels stayed quiet on a couple exits as I nuked through crud and chop. I can confidently say that MOMENT has done a good job with the tip-rocker profile on the Bibby Special, both in stiffness and shape. Given their slight taper, the shovels easily powered through some nasty sun crust we encountered on Pala Vulcano.

Know this: the word from MOMENT is that they plan to stiffen up the tails on their final production models of the Bibby Special. This should significantly help their overall stability at higher speeds, and give the ski a more balanced ride through big, fast turns.

Today I’m jumping on the Bibby Special again. My first order of business is to move the mount point forward by 2 or 3cm. This should help keep the massive shovels at bay against the narrower tails without having to adopt such a forced forward stance. Yesterday we saw lots of soft snow and off-piste terrain. Today, I’ll show the Specials a few more groomers in order to really examine their edge response. Also, with the “normal” Bibby Pro’s much more symmetrical dimensions, performance comparisons of the Bibby Pro to the Bibby Special are certainly in order, and I’ll have more to say on that front, too.

And one other thing…we’re hoping to hit up the Marte chair today, so stay tuned, updates and pics to follow.

(Click here to read Part 2 of Will Brown’s review of the MOMENT Bibby Special.)

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