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2012/2013 Moment Tahoe 180cm

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
*Location of review: Keystone, Saturday/Sunday
*Runs Taken: Blue groomers, though the lower pitch is more like a black, and a half-mountain slopestyle-like course with hip jumps, rollers, transitions, moguls, etc.
*Snow Conditions: Hardpack with soft man-made cover, scraped off and pushed into piles

Me: 5'10, 170lbs, 30 yrs/old, 28 years skiing, expert skier with an athletic, dynamic powerful style. Parents were both pro bump skiers. Prefer damp, charging skis with good high-speed stability.

194 Dynastar Big Dumps
186 ON3P Billygoats
183 Head Monster m103s
186 Stockli XXLs
183 Head Monster 82s
181 Atomic Rec Race GS Ski (not sure what model)

183 Volkl Gotamas ('05/06)
178 Volkl Pro 724s
178 Dynastar Troublemakers

I got a chance to hop on Bendtheski's Tahoes this weekend:

First impression:

When I first dropped the ski to the snow, and went to click in, I knew that I'd likely be better off on a 188, with a -1cm (or more) mounting point. It looked pretty short. There's a ton of tail rise on this ski - it's pretty much a tail rockered ski (boo!). There's about 15cm of tail that doesn't touch the snow. It's also pretty center mounted, and would be best mounted at least -1cm for anyone who likes to find the front of their boots. On the other end, the tip has a great profile for the size and target conditions - a nice consistent low rise.

Skiing impression:

Yes, this ski does ski short. It skis like a 170-175. The patrollers and yellow jackets surprisingly didn't bother me at all over the entire weekend, and I was easily hitting 40+mph, probably into the low 50s. The Tahoe was very damp and stable for it's length. While I would have preferred more edge and slightly more stiffness, I didn't have to pull any punches, except in really scraped off sections where a little bit of pointing-it got around the lack of edgehold.

In the 'slope-style' area, I took plenty of ~10+' airs to hardpack at speed, including some mogul field landings. Felt very comfortable in the air and had a great pop off lips and rollers. A longer tail, and a stiffer tail would have been appreciated for those off-balanced airs. Aside from that, the ski had a solid stomping feel. It was great in the moguls - the tip rocker profile is perfect for absorbing terrain variations. Airing into mogul fields at speed was not a problem at all.

Out in the open, especially on the face of the lower run, where the pitch steepens, I could crank out some big turns, and tried out both absorbing and launching off the snow piles that were slowly turning into sparse moguls. The ski was comfortable doing both. It was here, I most noticed the lack of length. It was enough to reduce my confidence in the ski, but not quite enough for me to take it down a notch. I could easily see other skiers not being as comfortable at these speeds on this ski.

Deep in the middle of high edge angles at 40+mph, the tip profile easily absorbed the bumps and variable soft snow. Flattening out the ski to air out the end of the turn off a pile and slamming right into the start the next turn had a solid feeling that reminds me of a race-constructed ski like the Legend Pro, but with a noticably softer, more-compliant, feel.

In these open spaces at high speeds, at the exit of the turn, you could really throw some energy into the ski and get some air in the rebound while entering the next turn. I found I began turning it into a game to see how much rebound and air I could get in the transitions - pretty fun.

The ski was lacking edgehold in the scraped off sections by the end of the second day. Feeling the edges at the end of the day, I'm not entirely sure it was a tuning issue - they still felt pretty sharp. I think this was mostly the short running length and the somewhat softer flex. At similar speeds, in similar snow, the 180cm Volkl Explosiv (more like a 176) I had tried the weekend before definitely held an edge better - but I had tuned that one, myself, so it's hard to be 100% sure.

Final thoughts:

Overall, the Tahoe felt like a slightly softer, slightly less damp ON3P with a short running length. Very similar feel overall when charging hard - stable, planted, damp, but with rebound when you asked for it. It was a bit more lively than the ON3Ps that I've tried, which means it had more unrequested rebound, but not a lot.

This ski, as designed, is pretty much a park ski, which is a shame, since Moment already has quite a few park skis. It feels like it's designed to ski in reverse just as much as forward, and is softened a bit in the tail to generate more pop.

If I were to re-design this ski, it would have a flat tail but still have a small kick to help see-sawing through skinny rock-strewn sections. The ski would probably gain 10cm or more of effective edge and ski a lot more true to length. I'd also consider stiffening it slightly - at least in the tail. The mount point would obviously be moved back as well.

After reading a few reviews this morning, they all pretty much say the same thing. It needs to be a bit stiffer (at least in the tail), and skis a lot shorter than it is (i.e. get rid of the tail rocker!).

Unfortunately, for a ski that's versatile enough for spring/summer touring, it needs to go on your pack while you hike some dirt. The huge useless tail does not help here. I'd have to buy the 188 and then cut off about 5-8cm of the tail to make it work for me. I'm not even sure if this is possible, as I'm sure I'd be cutting across the core at that point.
post #2 of 2

Nice review, Brian. Agree that Moment seems to have a design commitment to those high tails, had hoped the Tahoe would remain more of a do-all design. So it goes. 

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