Update: 2011-2012 MOMENT Bibby Special, 196cm

To read Part 1 of Will’s review of the MOMENT Bibby Special, click HERE.

Ski: MOMENT Bibby Special, 196cm

Dimensions: 150-116-123mm

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

Mount Location: +3 of recommended

Test Location: Marte chair, Las Leñas

Days Skied: 2

The Marte chair was open this morning, and our guide, Pablo Thomas, introduced us to its insane expanse of off-piste and backcountry terrain. Looking around as we rode up the lift, I was awestruck by the number of sick couloirs and jagged, toothy peaks. I hoped my adjustments to the Specials’ mounting position (3cm forward of MOMENT’s recommended line) would correct some of their touchy, imbalanced tendencies in chop and variable snow.

We crested the ridge and headed toward Mercurio making slow, short, rounded turns through some firm wind affected snow. The skis reacted much more uniformly from tip to tail, with a more consistent edge response through the turn. At these slower speeds, the tails demonstrated less of a tendency to wash out, no longer totally dominated by the shovels hooking up and pulling the ski across the hill. The shovels’ width was still very apparent to me. The imbalance between their stiffness and the comparatively skinny tails still felt a little awkward, but it was certainly more manageable now that I was in a more centered position.

The snow on the first pitch into Mercurio was great. It was consistent and firm, and it sluffed off nicely. In these conditions, the Specials were able to make both long, skidded turns, and tighter, more aggressively-edged ones. But just to be clear, these skis have a very specific feel when moving through a turn. The high-speed, tail-riding sensation that I’d experienced yesterday was not totally gone, even with a more forward mount. Throughout this second day of testing, I decided that I had to accept it as a defining characteristic of the ski.

In softer conditions, as you lay the skis over and the shovels plane up and cut across the fall line (motoring over almost anything in their way), the narrower tails sink. As a result, the Bibby Special feels more restricted than stable at high speeds. I felt forced into a position that wasn’t exactly confidence inspiring.

Will Brown, Mercurio, Las Leñas

To charge big lines, a ski should be able to be thrown sideways and shut down speed on command, predictably scrubbing speed with a relatively even resistance from tip to tail. I did not experience this with the Bibby Special.

Granted, its dimensions are not unheard of, and a huge shovel and pintail yield awesome flotation. But the Special ought to be able to do more than just float if its purpose is to take down lines better than the Bibby Pro.

Mercurio, Marte chair, Las Leñas

What’s more, on harder snow, the Special’s energy transfer through the turn is hindered by its tails’ lack of width. In contrast, the Bibby Pro, which has more symmetrical dimensions, does remarkably well railing groomers for a ski that is 118mm underfoot. It is a far more energetic ski. With its wider tail, the whole length of the Pro’s effective edge aids in driving the ski through the turn. With the Special’s large shovel and small tail, it felt like the ski was fighting itself through every turn.

Moving the mount point forward and stiffening the tail will help to balance the ski to some degree through chop. However, it seems that if you’re looking for a ski than can go bigger and charge harder than the Bibby Pro, having a tail that is just as substantial (if not more) than that of the Bibby Pro, would be a plus. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m a little confused as to why this monster of a Bibby was given a smaller tail than that of even the largest Bibby Pro.

The Bibby Special is very, well, specialized. If you plan on taking heli drops in AK to ski a huge spine dusted with a smooth and consistent maritime snowpack, I imagine this ski could work. Above all, you’ll have to decide whether its pintail profile appeals to your riding style and preferences.

For the vast majority of people out there looking for a versatile powder ski that can pretty much do everything, I’ll still be recommending the Bibby Pro.

 

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4 comments on “Update: 2011-2012 MOMENT Bibby Special, 196cm”

  1. The shape sounds like the pontoons, similar design philosophy? Just I never heard anyone having the same problems with the pontoon. A comparison between the two would be interesting.
    McDee

    • Hey McDee,

      I have not ridden the Pontoons. However, based on a little research I would imagine that they’re slightly more manageable than the Specials. The Pontoons have 11mm less sidecut, less pronounced tail rocker, and less taper than the MOMENTs from tip to tail. What’s more, the largest size they’re offered in is a 189 (of course, we’re talking K2 sizing here) as opposed to a more formidable 196 with the Special.
      In comparison to previous years, K2 is hoping to give the 2012 Pontoon a “more predictable turn initiation”, which is exactly what I would want from the Bibby Special. I think you’re right, a vs. review may be in order. Thanks for reading!

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