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Skis most like the Head Monster 82?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of 183cm Head Monster 82s that I absolutely love for early season and long-duration high pressure periods, with up to a few inches of fresh snow (before the BC is ready to go). Unfortunately, they'll probably only last another season.

 

What ski this year, up to the last two years will be most like the Head Monster 82, including feel/personality (i.e. heavy/damp/grounded/smooth but with some energy when pushed)? I would prefer to not have anything with tip rocker, either, for this sort of ski. It makes absolutely no sense, IMO. I'd also like to err on the more damp/smooth side of things.

 

I've heard that series called the poor-man's Kastle, but I'm a poor man, so Kastle isn't an option. Bummed that there isn't a poor-man's Kastle anymore.

 

I've also read two things about the Monster series versus the Peak series. That the Monster 82 is identical to the Peak 82, and that the Monster 88 is different from the Peak 88. Is this true? Would the Peak 82 be a suitable (near identical) replacement for the Monster 82? Which Peak 82 would I want, or are they all the same?

 

Also, if anyone has a pair just floating around that hasn't been stone-ground to death, I'd be interested.


Edited by Brian Lindahl - 11/12/12 at 10:25am

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #2 of 13

You didn't mention what size you were looking for, but they don't seem all that hard to find. There seems to be a lot of them floating around in cyberspace. I've owned a few pairs of the Monster series, I still have a pair of the IM78's. Head seems to have a unique feel to them, I don't hear a lot of people say that they feel like this or that, or feel just like something else. I also have a pair of last year's Peak 84's. Can't say that I think they are exactly like the old Monsters, IMO they seem to be a little more lively and not quite as damp, but a fine ski none the less.  I find that some of the Kastle's have the same type of feel as the old Monsters without the weight. Damp like the old Monsters, but lively at the same time. But that's just my opinion. Someone else will probably have a totally different take on it. 

post #3 of 13

I, too, loved my 183cm Monster 82's for the six years I had them.  I also skied on two lengths of Monster 88's.

 

When it came time for new skis I tried replacing them with Peak 88's and HATED them.  They didn't have the damp-metal, glued-to-the-snow feel, and their tips were too stiff.   And my understanding matches yours about the Peak 82s-- they're supposedly a re-named Monster 82.

 

Are you SURE that you don't want a little tip rocker?  I'm a hard-charging skier and hated the couple of fully-rockered skis that I tried.  Then I found some skis with slight tip rocker (making them MUCH better off-piste), but that were also conventionally-cambered and powerful, damp carvers: Salomon Enduro 850 (my favorite ski), last year's Head Peak 84, Volkl Kendo, Rossi E88, Line Influence 105...

 

And the technology has marched on:  all of these are softer or equal to the stiffness of the Monster 82's, yet have equal or better edge grip.  It's a win/win!

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/102886/demo-day-briefs-50-50-skis-84-to-88mm-wide

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.


Edited by crudmaster - 11/12/12 at 2:44pm
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post

I have a pair of 183cm Head Monster 82s that I absolutely love for early season and long-duration high pressure periods, with up to a few inches of fresh snow (before the BC is ready to go). Unfortunately, they'll probably only last another season.

 

What ski this year, up to the last two years will be most like the Head Monster 82, including feel/personality (i.e. heavy/damp/grounded/smooth but with some energy when pushed)? I would prefer to not have anything with tip rocker, either, for this sort of ski. It makes absolutely no sense, IMO. I'd also like to err on the more damp/smooth side of things.

 

I've heard that series called the poor-man's Kastle, but I'm a poor man, so Kastle isn't an option. Bummed that there isn't a poor-man's Kastle anymore.

 

I've also read two things about the Monster series versus the Peak series. That the Monster 82 is identical to the Peak 82, and that the Monster 88 is different from the Peak 88. Is this true? Would the Peak 82 be a suitable (near identical) replacement for the Monster 82? Which Peak 82 would I want, or are they all the same?

 

Also, if anyone has a pair just floating around that hasn't been stone-ground to death, I'd be interested.

I have heard some reviewers on this site refer to the Kendo as the poor man's kastle; however skiing isn't really a poor man's sport

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by crudmaster View Post

I, too, loved my 183cm Monster 82's for the six years I had them.  I also skied on two lengths of Monster 88's.

 

When it came time for new skis I tried replacing them with Peak 88's and HATED them.  They didn't have the damp-metal, glued-to-the-snow feel, and their tips were too stiff.   And my understanding matches yours about the Peak 82s-- they're supposedly a re-named Monster 82.

 

 

 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

How well you are able to ski is related to how hard you are willing to fall.

 

Head went through a year where they were transitioning from the Monsters to the Peak series where they basically dumbed them down to give the ski a more user friendly feel, but it didn't play well. So they basically went back to more metal and the more tradition Monster feel in the more current Peaks. I have a pair of last season's Peak 84's, and I think that they are a great ski. But if you're looking for a poor man's Kastle, the new Head Rev line would probably be a good place to start, considering they are made in the same factory. I was talking with someone in the business of testing skis the other day, and he told me that the Head Rev's are a great alternative to the Kastle's, for a lot less $$$. 

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eastcoastdad View Post

I have heard some reviewers on this site refer to the Kendo as the poor man's kastle; however skiing isn't really a poor man's sport

I am not in that crowd. The Kendo doesn't ski anything like an MX series.  Way underdamped.  It skis more like a Nordica in terms of feel, light and lively; reminds me somewhat of the Steadfast, although the latter is a better carver. 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Lindahl View Post

I have a pair of 183cm Head Monster 82s that I absolutely love for early season and long-duration high pressure periods, with up to a few inches of fresh snow (before the BC is ready to go). Unfortunately, they'll probably only last another season.

 

What ski this year, up to the last two years will be most like the Head Monster 82, including feel/personality (i.e. heavy/damp/grounded/smooth but with some energy when pushed)? I would prefer to not have anything with tip rocker, either, for this sort of ski. It makes absolutely no sense, IMO. I'd also like to err on the more damp/smooth side of things.

 

I've heard that series called the poor-man's Kastle, but I'm a poor man, so Kastle isn't an option. Bummed that there isn't a poor-man's Kastle anymore.

 

I've also read two things about the Monster series versus the Peak series. That the Monster 82 is identical to the Peak 82, and that the Monster 88 is different from the Peak 88. Is this true? Would the Peak 82 be a suitable (near identical) replacement for the Monster 82? Which Peak 82 would I want, or are they all the same?

 

Also, if anyone has a pair just floating around that hasn't been stone-ground to death, I'd be interested.

Of the stuff I have skied, similar skis that had a Kastle-like feel
 

Outland series from Dynastar

 

Amphibio 88xti from Elan (this is one of the best new skis this year, nobody is talking about it, since Elan's marketing doesn't match the quality of their skis).  Quite similar to the FX series.  999 similar in feel to the BMX98 (sold a pair to a friend who loved the BMX98 but couldn't justify the price difference, he thought they were basically the same w/different cosmetic).  888 similar in feel to the MX88, not as stable, grippy, or smooth though. 

 

Head Rev 85 Pro (although w/o metal, they feel more like a BMX series than MX)

 

Stockli; somewhat similar, VXL is a worthy competitor to the MX88

 

Blizzard: old Magnum series somewhat similar, Flipcore skis way different in feel.

 

Salomon: the XT850 Enduro and Sentinel are quite close.  Perhaps not quite as smooth and refined, but in the ballpark.  

 

Nordica/Volkl: too light and lively, not really close to any Kastle I know of.  I have only skied the meat of each line, though, not every ski. 

 

K2: more damp than Kastle (save for BMX series)

 

Atomic: no opinion

 

Rossi: S7 is more lively and quick than BMX118, latter is better in rough snow and more stable. 

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dawgcatching View Post

Of the stuff I have skied, similar skis that had a Kastle-like feel
 

Outland series from Dynastar

 

Amphibio 88xti from Elan (this is one of the best new skis this year, nobody is talking about it, since Elan's marketing doesn't match the quality of their skis).  Quite similar to the FX series.  999 similar in feel to the BMX98 (sold a pair to a friend who loved the BMX98 but couldn't justify the price difference, he thought they were basically the same w/different cosmetic).  888 similar in feel to the MX88, not as stable, grippy, or smooth though. 

 

Head Rev 85 Pro (although w/o metal, they feel more like a BMX series than MX)

 

Stockli; somewhat similar, VXL is a worthy competitor to the MX88

 

Blizzard: old Magnum series somewhat similar, Flipcore skis way different in feel.

 

Salomon: the XT850 Enduro and Sentinel are quite close.  Perhaps not quite as smooth and refined, but in the ballpark.  

 

Nordica/Volkl: too light and lively, not really close to any Kastle I know of.  I have only skied the meat of each line, though, not every ski. 

 

K2: more damp than Kastle (save for BMX series)

 

Atomic: no opinion

 

Rossi: S7 is more lively and quick than BMX118, latter is better in rough snow and more stable. 

 

Was really looking forward to your input. I'm actually looking for something similar to the Head Monster 82. Not something similar to Kastles across the board (of width). I noticed you had an iPeak 78 Pro for sale on yours site? Anything else I should be looking at?

post #9 of 13

Brian - I'm also one of the guys who really appreciated the Monster construction and the way those skis felt and skied.

 

My very strong recommendation is to buy the Head Chip 78.  It's the practically the same construction, thus the same feel.  Head no longer makes this ski, but there are new ones available from Colorado Discount Skis (dwskis on eBay).  He's got the 183cm and I think that's probably what you're looking for.  I own it in the 170 and 177.  I affectionately refer to my 177 Chip 78 as my "battleship" ski - it's practically unstoppable yet under the guidance of a strong skier can actually be quite nimble (and somewhat versatile).  The Chip 78 is a beefy ski, but not overly stiff.  There's tons of metal in the construction (including metal tubes that run crosswise underneath the boot.  It's a damp and powerful narrow charging ski - and I'm willing to bet that you'll be quite happy with it.

 

Here's the link to the 183cm from dwskis.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Ended up getting a little lucky. A pair of 186 Stockli XXLs popped up on local craigslist for 120$. Less than 30 days on em and in real nice shape. Always wanted to try Stocklis but never wanted to pay for em.

Sounds pretty much exactly what I am looking for, per dawgcatching (similar to Head 82s right down to preferred usage):

First time on this ski; 1st and 2nd runs were in choppy, soft crud, trees, and small bumps, with a couple of chutes thrown in there as well. Impressive ski! It had a nearly identical feel to the VXL, and could be characterized as a ski similar to the old Monster im82 from Head. It feels a touch lighter on the snow, a touch more lively, but has that overall feel to it. The XXL inspires confidence; it is narrow enough to turn quickly in any situation, has a large sweet spot, a forgiving tip, but excellent stability. Like most Stockli skis, it hugs the snow, is damp, and forgiving. In choppy crud, it barely noticed the lumpy snow, and would glide right through with minimal effort. I skied this down Sympathy Face at Alpine (off the shorter lift), which is steep for a few turns, and it was extremely nimble in the tighter spots up there, yet really allowed me to open it up once down lower. Over in the 3 Sisters area, it was great up top into the initial tight few turns, as the ski was very nimble, and I could really flow with the widely spaced bumps down low. This is one of the smoothest skis I tested, and one of the more stable, although I wouldn't quite as comfortable at the very highest speeds as a few others tested here. Mostly, in the type of terrain we were skiing at Alpine (steep turns, small bumps, little opportunity to really open up the throttle except when hiking the ridge), it was just about perfect. On the groomer run, it held like glue, and felt like a little brother to the bigger VXL. Being a little softer, I was getting more pop out of the tail. Truly, this is a world-class all-mountain ski. It was perfect for this particular day: around 6 inches of new, over fairly firm, yet not frozen, snow, and it reminded me why a good 80mm ski is extremely versatile when there isn't a whole lot of snow to have to float through.
post #11 of 13

www.expertskier.com states that the iSuperShape Titan as close in feel to the IM78 as any ski currently available.  These guys do good review work and their subscription is definitely a good investment.  

 

BTW, If you're interested, I have a pair of 177cm 2005 Monster IM75 in very good condition, with a fresh tune at the end of last year by a former World Cup ski tech.  The bases are in perfect shape, and the skis probably have fewer than 12 days on them total.  They're mounted with Salomon bindings.  PM me if you're interested  -- we can definitely work something out to fit your budget.

post #12 of 13

Pair up on eBay for $199 if anyone wants to sniff em out...

Head Monster M82 183cm ski with Tyrolia Free Flex bindings

post #13 of 13

Nice score, Brian. Hard to beat Stocklis. Haven't skied the XXL, but based on the others, like the VXL and XL, would guess that it'll do everything the iM82 could, but more smoothly. 

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