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Head Cheater Race Skis - Slow??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

My 16 year made the switch to Head skis this year.  He went with the iSpeed and iSL.   His coach says that the skis are fine, but his race times are not what he expects or in the past was capable of when he raced on Volkl and Nordica skis. Boots are the same as last year.

 

After tuning these skis, the bases never feel "fast" compared to the Dynastars that my other kid is using or other brands of race skis that I've tuned in the past.

 

In reading the posts about cheater GS skis for Masters racing, there were several posts that Head's cheater race skis (iSpeed) are slow.   

 

Any thoughts?

post #2 of 11

Are the skis new?  How is the base structure?  Is wax well matched to conditions?  Are they well brushed out (glossy bases) Have they been hot-boxed?  Is he losing speed in the turns or straights?

post #3 of 11

I have 2 pair of Head RS skis. 1 GS & 1 SL both are very fast.

post #4 of 11

I would think that the base material on both Head and Dynastar would be no different when new.  Gotta be the tune or the skier amplifying any differences.  I suppose it is possible that the bases on the Heads came burned if you got them used though.

 

 

And hey look!eek.gif  Ritchie-Rich is back.  Cool!yahoo.gif

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks

 

The skis were bought brand new and I'm waxing these skis the same as the Dynastars.

 

The comment about Head skis being slow was posted here http://www.epicski.com/t/100804/talking-masters-cheater-skis-again-rossi-atomic-head by Epic.   

 

Im going to put the skis through a series of hot wax cycles to see if it makes a difference in gliding.  I did notice that the factory put a different base structure on the Head skis than the Dynastars. 

 

 

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post

I would think that the base material on both Head and Dynastar would be no different when new. 


Yes and no. Truth is that there's only few (if I remember right 2 or 3) manufacturers who produce base material. So yes, base material is basically same on all skis. But there's another issue. Base material comes in big roll, from which it's cut to thin base sheets in factory. It really matters from which part of that big roll material is cut. Normally top part is used for low end skis, and part in middle is used for race service skis. Which part, and how things are cut are factory specific so that's basically reason, why you actually have two same pairs from same company but they have different base. With xc skis, where glide is much more important then with any alpine skis, you have 20 or 30 different (talking about race service skis) bases (even though they are all cut from same block) where some of them are great for dry and cold snow, others work well on wet snow etc.

With GS or SL skis, noone is doing glide tests, even in WC, since glide is least of factor for great GS/SL ski (SG and especially DH are different), so I don't think in this particular case, base of ski has much of importance. There's really too many factors involved in ski being fast, so it's impossible to say it's just base. But if someone likes it or not, Head is not really known for great skis, at least when it comes to race service skis, and somehow I don't see why things would be much different with store/recreational skis either ;)

And there's another issue with all this. What does "it's not as fast as Dynastar" really mean? Did you or your kid do glide tests, or it's just "I feel they are not that fast". Race times are not factor to say ski is fast or not. At least not directly. First, some people have feeling for skis, some don't. From my own experience, I was working with guys and girls competing in WC (and not being all that bad), which had completely no feel for ski, but on the other side, I had racers, (also not that bad in WC) who didn't need any of glide tests to tell which ski worked and which didn't. Personally I don't need watches, glide tests etc. to tell which ski works and which doesn't. Few meters of gliding is enough to tell if it works or not. But this things come with years of testing, and with a bit of feeling. And it depends on people.

Second, as I wrote, there's way more then just base to tell if SL/GS ski works. Skis are more complicated then they look, and ski with exactly same measurements will feel different. Maybe Dynastar skis fitted your kid's sytle, and Head don't, so this could be reason. It's just too much to easily say "this are slow, these are fast".

post #7 of 11

You mentioned the structure/grind was different. That can have a big impact on performance. Grinds can be optimized for temperature, moisture, and turning. So in addition to the ski flex, responsiveness, sweet spot, etc. etc. that could be impacting a specific skier, you have the different grinds between the new skis and the old in the mix. It could be that the grind on the old skis are more in keeping with whatever weather/snow conditions you have been having or it could be that the grind on the new skis is just not optimum for the skier. Assuming you have a single set of skis you want a grind that works at least OK in whatever conditions you are likely to encounter. You may want to have the new skis reground to match the grind on the old skis but you have to then go through the process of "breaking in" that ski again.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

The base on my other race skis have a "broken" structure pattern and the Head skis don't appear to have any base structure (or maybe it is a very fine "linear" structure).

 

A couple of the race hills have steep sections with long flat bottom sections.  I've seen racers pole planting and skating in the bottom sections.   

 

I'd agree with Primoz comment that "Head is not really known for great skis".  They may have a stable of fast world cup racers, but I'm not overly impressed with the quality of materials and finish on their skis.

 

 

post #9 of 11

I've been a Head fan since my first pair 11 years ago, and while I would not compare them to the quality found in hand crafted $5000 boutique skis, for a mass produced product I feel that they are as good as any.   All my head skis have a base structure, from my race sock, to my recreational race skis, to my Monster 88s.  The only time I feel that they are not fast is when I get the wax wrong.   Head skis tend to be stiff (across the board), if your son is having a hard time bending those skis it might explain his loss in speed.   Atomicman, is also a Head fan but has a big problem with the state of tune the edges come in, I have not had that problem, but I always reset my edges to 3/1 anyway.   I have also read that the bases my not be true, though this issue is not exclusive to Head skis....has to do with curing rate and how fast they get them out of the factory and into our hands.   Those serious about getting every ounce of performance may want to get a base grind and custom structure to <gasp> brand new skis....I am not that brave.

 

This past weekend I took out my Supershape Speeds and they felt very slow, in spite of me waxing them the night before.   As the day progressed they got much faster.....wrong wax for morning conditions perfect for later conditions.  Friend on Dynastars, had same experience, I had waxed both our skis.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

What got my attention and the reason for my orignail post was the comment that Head race skis are slow.  Good equipement cannot make up for poor technique or for a mismatch between skier and skis.

 

I agree with Atomicman.  The factory edges needed a lot of work but I've finally gotten them to where I am happy (I actually took them in for a complete retune). 

 

As a general observation, these skis have required a lot more prep work than any other pair of skis I've ever owned.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiNut View Post

What got my attention and the reason for my orignail post was the comment that Head race skis are slow.  Good equipement cannot make up for poor technique or for a mismatch between skier and skis.

 

I agree with Atomicman.  The factory edges needed a lot of work but I've finally gotten them to where I am happy (I actually took them in for a complete retune). 

 

As a general observation, these skis have required a lot more prep work than any other pair of skis I've ever owned.



Heads are great but in my opinion, they can kick a lighter person in the back seat really easily with the KERS system.  They should have been stoneground and edges tuned before you ever took them out.  Then they should have had a few infrared or hot box cycles before they were hot waxed and then they should have been taken out.  The skis could also just not fit your racer's style!  Do you go through a full brush sequence?(pre-wax steel,post-wax brass,stiff nylon,felt,horsehair,blue nylon)

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