Ski: 2013-2014 MOMENT Belafonte, 187cm
Stated Dimensions (mm): 135-106-124
Blister’s Measured Dimensions (mm): 129-105-123
Stated Sidecut Radius: 27.4 meters
Actual Tip-to-Tail Length (straight tape pull): 185.4cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 2121 & 2223 grams
Boots / Bindings: Lange RX 130 / Marker Jester (DIN at 11)
Mount Location: Factory Recommended Line
Test Locations: Taos Ski Valley
Days Skied: 7
[Editor’s Note: This review was conducted on the 12/13 187cm Belafonte, which was not changed for 13/14.]
A year ago, in my review of the 182cm MOMENT Belafonte, I wrote:
The only thing that surprises me a bit is that MOMENT doesn’t offer this ski in the popular length of 185-186cm. (The Belafonte comes in 174, 182, and 192cm.) I imagine there are a number of potential buyers who turn into Goldilocks, bummed because 182cm sounds a little too short, but worried that 192cm will be a bit too much.
The guys at MOMENT apparently agreed, and for the 2012-2013 season, MOMENT has introduced a 187cm model of both the Belafonte and the Jaguar Shark to sit between the 182cm and 192cm lengths of both of those models.
Since Garrett Altmann, Will Brown, and I have already weighed in on the 182cm Belafonte, I won’t say too much here about the ski’s general strengths and weaknesses, but I want to say a bit about this new 187 and offer up a few factoids.
Factoid #1: Graphics
Artist Nick Franchi has created an awesome, odd graphic for the 12/13 Belafonte, and it really pops. The original 10/11 Belafonte graphic is still one of my all-time favorites, and this one is strong, too.
Factoid #2: Flex Ratings
For the 12/13 season, MOMENT has assigned flex ratings to each of their skis. This is a relative number, of course, and it’s not the first time that a ski company has done this (PRAXIS Skis, for example, has been doing it for a while). But I hope it’s something that we see more companies incorporate. It’s pretty helpful to be able to situate a particular ski among a company’s entire line.
MOMENT calls the Belafonte a “9” on their flex scale, and it is the only 9 in their lineup. The MOMENT Governor (formerly the Bibby Special) is the only ski with a stiffer flex rating than the Belafonte, so it earns a 10. And to round out the picture, the Bibby Pro and PB&J are both listed as “8,” the Night Train and Eldo are a “7.5,” and the Jaguar Shark, Tahoe, and the new Deathwish are listed as “7.” (Our reviews of the Tahoe and Deathwish are coming soon.)
If skiers interested in the Belafonte formerly had a Goldilocks problem, it seems that they now have a different problem: deciding which length will really work best for them. As Garrett, Will, and I have all said, this is an outstanding ski, but it is not an easy ski, and it wasn’t designed to be particularly forgiving. When you mess up on the Belafonte, the Belafonte won’t quickly turn the other cheek—it will slap you. The upside to this, however, is serious stability at speed. The Belafonte is a ski that will allow you to push very hard in variable conditions and bumped-up terrain, and there are very few (if any?) skis that I’d rather be on in firm, choppy, or somewhat bumped-up conditions.
But I don’t want to overstate how burly this ski is, either. While the Belafonte wasn’t made for lazy or mellow skiing, I’ve had a great time skiing pretty firm, big bumps this spring at Taos on the 187 Belafonte. On steeper sections of Reforma, Blitz, and West Blitz, the Belafonte was most at home when skiing across the front side of the bumps, catching a little air, turning in the air, landing solidly, making a few turns in the troughs, and repeating the whole process. The stiff flex of the Belafonte made for a very solid platform to land and quickly repeat the maneuvers, where softer skis would have been folding up, bucking me around, and making life more difficult.
As I wrote in my original review, the Belafonte is incredibly solid on groomers, and I would like to shake your hand if you have found a speed limit for them.
But where the Belafonte particularly shines is when these groomers get bumped up a bit. You can find yourself going 40 (or 50 or 60+) miles per hour through a chopped runout or on a roughed-up groomer, hit a bump, catch air, and land solidly, instantly tracking on edge rather than landing and feeling squirrely, swimming around, trying to get back into a carved trench.