THOMAS ARMENTOposted a video about Moment Governor Ski on September 27, 2012
Footage from a weekend in early 2012 off Peak 7 and Lake Chutes
"If you're not living close to the edge, then you're taking up too much space."
Footage from a weekend in early 2012 off Peak 7 and Lake Chutes
POV footy from a few hits at Breckenridge off Lake Chutes and Peak 7
I was fortunate to spend the majority of the 2010/2011 ski season on the 182cm Jaguar Shark. My intended use for these was for the backcountry and with my prior bc setup being the 190 Bibby, I wanted something shorter with a flatter tail: enter the Jag Shark.
For their maiden voyage, I took the Jags down a 45-degree couloir with snow ranging from head-high blower to cream cheese recycled pow to a super rippable apron at the bottom. The learning curve on these was incredibly short and was able to fully understand the ski immediately. Compared to the Bibby, the Jags like to turn more which shouldn't be a surprise with the lower turn radius. Once I got these in deep snow, I easily fell in love. Yes, the Bibby Pro slays it in powder, but the Jags are slightly softer and plane far quicker at slower speeds. Once conditions get tracked out, the Jags still hold their own and for someone at 170lbs., the 182cm length was a solid fit. However, if I needed a inbounds-only ski, I would likely opt for the 192cm length.
Aside from a season spent almost entirely in deep snow, I had more than a handful days on firmer, steep snow and the Jags held an edge with the best of them. Yes, 116mm in the waist is likely too wide for most mountaineering types, but I had no complaints especially with the ability to slarve your way down sideways. At 9.0 lbs., these are likely far lighter than every other comparable ski on the market within the price range, something to consider when making a choice for a backcountry ski where tip rocker, camber underfoot, and a flat tail for anchoring is ideal.
As far as durability goes, I put in a good 40 days on the Jaguar Shark and they show no sign of use or abuse. The topsheets are in great condition, edges like new, and the bases lacking any core shots.
"How would you describe the Bibby Special in one word"?
As someone whose everyday ski for the past 2+ seasons has been the 190 Bibby, I was beyond stoked to hear of this new design since it's pretty much everything I've ever wanted in a ski that no one has yet to make. After 12 days of slaying groomers at Breckenridge and Keystone, and after a powder day at Vail with 9" of overnight snow, I'm convinced this will be my everyday driver for the life of the ski.
"What makes this ski so awesome?"
The Bibby Special will push you. It will make you a better skier.
Not once have I found a speed limit. The Bibby Special loves speed. It thirsts for it. And it will reward you handsomely for driving it as hard as possible. Unlike the 190 Bibby which I understood after only a few turns, it wasn't until after a few runs did I fully understand how the unusual sidecut on the Special functions: half the ski wants to turn, the other half wants to go straight. But once you allow the ski to travel on its predetermined arc and not force it beyond its capabilities, I feel most skiers will be amazed with how well the Special handles firm conditions.
"How does this ski handle soft snow?"
Simply put, the Bibby Special is a powder destroyer.
The key to powder skiing on the Special is to keep a more neutral stance. I found that when driving the tips hard into the snow, the ski was not reacting favorably. But once I remained centered and allowed the ski to do the work for me, I could not have been happier with its performance. Immediately, I began searching for anything and everything I could jump off of, and once I did, I was amazed by how well the Special stomps. Never before have I been more confident flying off cliffs and expecting to land each and every time regardless of how smooth or sketchy the impact may be.
"But what happens once the mountain gets tracked-out?"
I dare you to find a better powder ski that can bust through crud this well.
While the statement above may seem over-zealous for a few, I have not been on a ski this shape before that sliced through crud so easily and effortlessly. Towards the end of that lone powder day at Vail, I was cruising through chop at unsafe speeds without any hesitation. At one point, I tried my best to point the tips straight downhill through a long mogul field hoping to yard sale and prove a point that the Bibby Special has a flaw. I failed. There are no flaws. In the end, the Bibby Special will elevate your skiing. For those that desire a stiff powder ski that can be used anywhere on the mountain, that can handle any condition, and that will give you incredible assurance in the air and on snow, check out the Bibby Special.
Photo taken in early April 2011 atop a newly-pioneered zone in Rocky Mountain National Park appropriately dubbed Mini AK.
So this review is for the 2011 Flow FX. First impression, love the denim feel/look (currently have the Absynthe color). It's rated at 820 eVent which is a measure of thickness, and I feel more comfortable skiing/skinning through trees without worrying about any rips or tares than I have in any other gear. At a hair over 4 lbs, the Flow FX is indeed on the heavy side but the plush Polartec interior will leave you forgetting that when it's super cold outside.
Second impression, DEEP pockets all around. The Flow FX has two large chest pockets with seamless zippers that are actually a bit hidden for a lack of a better description. The two hand pockets are also voluminous, and Westcomb designed a sleek look with the addition of a single snap button to keep the pockets more streamlined.
Back to the interior - again, plush is how to best word the feel of the material. You definitely sense right away that you get what you pay for. This is a very warm but also very breathable jacket as eVent is superior to anything out there right now. Pit zips are long and again, seamless and waterproof. I'm 5'10", 180 lbs and the large fits roomy but not excessively baggy. I probably could have fit into a medium but opted for a more freeride look.
Overall, I'm very impressed by the warmth, feel, durability, breathability, and waterproofing of the Flow FX. I recently spent a weekend that dropped over 30" of snow in Colorado and was surprised to end the day as dry as I did. Lastly, you can feel good buying from Westcomb knowing they make all their garments in Canada.
Video shot in early 2009 at Loveland, Grizzly Gulch, and Monarch with most of the powder footage from a 24" day at Monarch with 2% snow.
Footage from a weekend at Vail with 30" of super light snow and minimal crowds ... never a bad combination.
I only have two days in this boot, but I'm officially hooked. First impression? LIGHT. Stupid light. Lightest 4-buckle boot on the planet. How light? 6.6 lbs for the pair. Second impression? Wow ... touring was never so easy. Walk mode in the Maestrale is absolutely amazing, almost better than a pair of flip-flops. Third impression? Stiff. While few people will seek out a 130-flex AT boot (Scarpa Mobe comes to mind), I thought the flex on these was perfect for backcountry skiing ... felt almost too stiff (my resort boot is the Salomon Ghost with 130 flex). In the end, the Maestrale skis great and I couldn't imagine having something else under my feet while touring. For reference, I'm 5'10" and 180 lbs. My previous AT boot was the Scarpa Typhoon, and this one is MUCH better for both the uphill climb and the downhill descent. The two are in completely separate leagues.
Bottomline: if you're in the market for a stiff lightweight AT boot that's Dynafit compatible, comes stock with Intuition liners (warmest on the market), and sports a very rugged Vibram sole, do yourself a favor and treat your feet to the Scarpa Maestrale.
This doesn't need to be send again, but god damn Hestra knows what's up when it comes to making the highest quality gloves around. I've only owned Hestra the last few years and will continue to support such a company for consistently pushing out a great product. The Seth Morrison Lobster Claw is no exception. It's super warm yet just as dexterous as a five-finger glove. If you want the warmth of a mitt but with more versatility, go with this glove here ... you won't regret it especially with Hestra's amazing warranty.
So this review is for the 2011 Flow FX. First impression, love the denim feel/look (currently have the Absynthe color). This is also a heavy jacket coming in at a hair over 4 lbs., but the plush Polartec interior will leave you forgetting that. Second impression, DEEP pockets all around. The Flow FX has two large chest pockets with seamless zippers that are actually a bit hidden for a lack of a better description. The two hand pockets are also voluminous, and Westcomb designed a sleek look with the addition of a single snap button to keep the pockets more streamlined. Back to the interior - again, plush is how to best word the feel of the material. You definitely sense right away that you get what you pay for. This is a very warm but also very breathable jacket as eVent is superior to anything out there right now. Pit zips are long and again, seamless and waterproof. I'm 5'10", 180 lbs and the large fits roomy but not excessively baggy. I probably could have fit into a medium but opted for a more freeride look. Overall, I'm very impressed by the warmth, feel, durability, breathability, and waterproofing of the Flow FX.
Granted I've only been on the Belafonte for two days but it's two days plenty that has me beyond stoked on them. I honestly can't say enough awesome things about these to friends and strangers, and you'll likely have to club me over the head to get a chance at skiing them. At 5'10" & 188 lbs, I found the 182 length perfect for everyday non-powder conditions here in Colorado. In one word? SMOOTH. They ski damp yet are plenty lively at the same time thanks to the carbon stringers. What I like most about the Belafonte is the pop you get off little hits and how quickly they accelerate. Yes there is a speed limit, but it's quite near Mach 2.