182 vs. 187 vs. 192: Some Guidelines / Recommendations:
I wrote in my review of the 182cm Belafonte something along the lines of, “At 5’10” and 185 lbs., the 182 Belafonte does not feel like too little ski for me. It doesn’t feel short, it feels stable.” But writing this now (5.18.14), having spent another season on the 187cm Belafonte, there isn’t a single instance where I personally would choose the 182 over the 187. I really, really like the 187. But that’s just me.
If you are deciding, then, between the 182 and 187 length, I wouldn’t be quick to dismiss the 182 length. I think that skiers who are heavier than I am will likely want to move up to the 187 (or 192), but you should think hard about three questions: (1) What sort of terrain will you primarily be skiing the Belafonte in? (2) Will you be breaking these skis out on days that are deeper than 12 inches? And (3) What does the rest of your quiver look like?
Garrett Altmann (who weighs less than I do) liked the 182 Belafonte in pow, but certainly felt that there were times when he could have used more flotation.
I wouldn’t tend to break the Belafonte out when there is more than six inches of fresh new snow. But the Belafontes are perfect for days when there are a couple of inches of dust on crust, and they become an increasingly obvious choice for me as we get a couple of weeks away from a storm.
And if the Belafonte is going to be used as a one-ski quiver—or as the larger ski in your quiver—then the 187 is a really sweet option, and those extra five centimeters don’t suddenly transform the Belafonte into a crazy, totally overwhelming ski. The differences are subtle. There isn’t a noticeable uptick in stiffness, you just get a slightly longer platform and a bit more stability. (Though again, I wouldn’t be interested in skiing the 182 Belafonte on 12-inch-plus days, and would definitely prefer the 187s here.)
Warning: I’m about to say something slightly dismissive of the 192 Belafonte, and it’s important to keep in mind that I haven’t actually skied this length of the Belafonte, so I don’t really know what I’m talking about….OK, then!
My hunch is that few people really need the Belafonte in a 192. While I think the 192 would be a blast on huge, open firm lines in AK or Las Leñas, if you ski in places with some tight trees or chutes or bumps, the 187 is still awfully stable and not a complete beast to turn. If you need to give up a little bit of quickness for even more stability than the 187 offers, well, it’s pretty safe to say that you are a very big dude or you just really like a lot of ski. Now, to support this assumption:
Factoid #3: Effective Edge and You
I hear few people complain that the 190cm MOMENT Bibby Pro is too little ski for them. It has a relative flex of “8” and its effective edge measures at 156cm (it’s tail rockered, after all). The stiffer Belafonte that does not have tail rocker has an effective edge of 168cm in the 187 length. The 182 Belafonte has an effective edge of 163cm—still more than the 190 Bibby Pro—and the 192 Belafonte carries 173 centimeters of effective edge. I’ve crunched the numbers on my super computer and made up some complex calculations, and the data shows that the 192 Belafonte is…a lot of ski. Just something to keep in mind before you pull the trigger.
(Bonus Factoid: The only ski in the entire MOMENT lineup with more effective edge than a 192 Belafonte is the 196 Governor. The Governor’s effective edge is 174cm; the 192 Belafonte’s is just one centimeter less: 173.)
One of the things we like to do around here is evaluate how well companies describe their own products. Well, MOMENT describes the Belafonte like this: “Lighter and more agile than a pure comp design, the Belafonte is easier to manage on a daily basis, but it is still a powerful, stable ski best suited for hard-charging experts.”
This is exactly right, and I think MOMENT has perfectly achieved their intended aims with the Belafonte. So rather than tinker with it and risk messing it up, they opted to offer an additional length.
Smart move, guys.
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