2011 Head Peak 78 FLR Pro Ski
|Lengths||159, 165, 171, 177, 183|
|Turn Radius||14.6 @ 171|
|Binding System||Head Power 12 D|
|Recommended Use||50% backside, 50% frontside|
|Sidecut||124/78/110 @ 171|
Head Peak 78: new ski, updated for 2011. Mainly the same shape, but much, much softer in the tip. The metal is now gone from this ski, and it has a pseudo-rocker tip instead. Tested in 177cm, waist is 78mm.
1st day: manmade, hard snow at Winter Park, at the US industry demo. Definitely the skis of choice for these days: most everyone was ripping around on frontside type skis, and I don't think I have ever seen such a high concentration of reallygood skiers (like ex-World or Europa Cup level) in one place. These conditions were made for the skis tested here; a good carver makes a bulletproof day a hell of a lot of fun. Definitely the most fun skis, especially on that kevlar-vest like groomer down to the base area, were the most powerful, pseudo-race skis. We all had big grins on our faces.
2nd day was in mostly softer snow and groomers, at Alpine Meadows. These skis still performed well (4 inches of crud isn't going to slow down a frontside type ski), although it wasn't the pure hard snow of Winter Park.
3rd day was mostly hard snow (rain over snow, then frozen) with some crud thrown in. Pretty good conditions to test out edge hold, although the snow wasn't as predictable as the 1st and 2nd demo. Still worth demoing these skis though, especially on groomers.
About me: 5 foot 9, 155lbs, competent all-mountain skier, and could zipper-line expert-level bumps for the first time in my life by early spring. Probably ski 40-50 days per year. I tend to enjoy big open, high speed bowls, bumps, trees, fast groomers. My skiing speed is fast to full-on.
This ski has been dumbed-down, for better or worse. If you loved the old iM78, you won't love this ski. Too soft for aggressive skiing: the 177cm felt like a 170cm at best. The ski really loads up poorly, as the flex point just gives away the tip of the ski, and it skis short. It was pretty fun as a short-turn carver, but there are more powerful, more stable skis in that category than this one. As an all-mountain ski, it did quite well in crud, as long as the speed limit is low. Same for bumps: this is a very good bump ski, owing to the soft tip and soft overall flex.
I can see how it would be a confidence builder for many when 1st venturing off-piste, or for those who like to cruise the groomed with mid-energy. It is comparable to the K2 Ricktor, in that it has tip rocker and a softer overall flex, skis short, and is extremely forgiving. But, it isn't really an expert-level ski. That doesn't mean it is a bad ski, it just puts it more in the range of something like a Sultan 80 from Dynastar, and takes it out of the Kastle MX78 performance range.