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Head iSL

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Had my new Head iSl slaloms out on the weekend. Great ski! But it was a little hard to get a good read because of the weird snow. It was +55 degrees and the snow was loose slush over man-made boiler plate. I bought 170cm since I want them as all mountain and don't race much any more. I think I could agree mostly with the ski mag reviews. They are really easy to ski, super stable and rock solid in long turns. What I found though was they needed a forward stance to rip off really quick turns. Here's my question for any techies out there. I prefer to ski a centered stance. What is the conventional wisdom on moving the binding 1cm forward of center on the riser plate? Any racers experimented with binding position? Any other iSl skiers been out on your boards yet?
post #2 of 8
I have my SLX's and my SLX T's mounted a slight bit foreward from the center. The plates are centered but the bindings are probably 3 or 4 mm ahead of the suggested mounting center. Im not sure what difference this makes on the ski but im able to get really foreward and power the skis through the turn. I chose the mounting position because the other set of holes i could use puts me too far back on the ski (for my liking) and i like the extra leverage gained by being a little foreward. I dont find the skis difficult to control at all as long as im centered and driving foreward (read: not in the back seat).
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Here is a further review of the iSL. Most ski mag tests found these skied more like a GS ski. I felt the same way but suspected it had something to do with the binding position. My size 29 boots were in the front holes of the plate and I was still 1cm back of center. I took a chance and had the front half of the plate moved 2cm forward. With my boot now sitting 1cm forward they skied like a different ski. Lightning quick, but still rock solid. Great on ice, stable in crud. This is a great ski. All my Head skis have seemed better for faster skiing and probably wasted on a slow-dog-noodler. I'm telling you I think there is something significant about binding position and radical sidecut skis. What are you gear heads out there finding?
post #4 of 8
I'll be skiing on Atomic R:9's this year with Atomic bindings. I am able to move the binding back and forth about 1.5 inches. I'll report any differences I see.
post #5 of 8
Head first,
Have been on my new iSL three days now. Outstanding ski!! Haven't tried moving binding forward yet ,but may try it. One thing I have noticed, was trying softer flexing boots( Rossi Freeride XX ) for 2 days and then tried my Rossi Race 1 Pro (stiff). Wow!!! That made everything real quick. Just stay centered and rock the knees!!
My boot and ski center mark are right on the money. If I move up one hole on the plate might be too much???
naht [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey Naht,
I finally got out to a big hill (Nakiska, Alberta) and discovered when I got my speed up I was probably too far forward and moved my boot to center. I will probably leave them here as a best compromise as I alternate between my little hill near Winnipeg and trips to the Rockies. This ski in a 170cm likes the MPH cranked up to perform best. I tend to ski fast at all times and I'm amazed a how stable it is ripping down the fall line at scary speeds. What length are yours and how do you find they perform best?
post #7 of 8
Head First,
Been skiing mine quite a bit lately. Right now I'm one hole on the plate forward. Doesn't seem much different, maybe don't have to get as forward. I agree about the speed, faster is where they really shine!! They have taken my level of skiing up by more than one notch. I haven't skied any other slaloms to compare, but everytime I think maybe I should, I ski mine and wonder why would you want to. These skis will ski anything other than deep snow that I ski and do it very well.
I had the WC SL Ti 170 last year and they had a small cosmetic blem in the top sheet. After the season I called Head and was told to ship them back. They called me and said I would have to wait for the new 2002-2003 production line and they would be sending me the iSL 170. Just like they promised I got a new iSL!! Score one for Head skis!!
Some of the reviews I read said the WC SL Ti was better, I disagree. I can ski it slow boot to boot, I can hypercarve slow or fast (a real blast), or I can put them hip width apart rip down the hill rocking my knees back and forth and carve very tight slalom turns. I don't know what their speed limit is, but I haven't found it. I am not a great skier, but these skis have taken me to a new level with alot more confidence. They have also got me wearing my helmet all the time!! It's like they keep getting me to test my ability and try more. I can't say enough good about it. It must be some kind of secret because nobody where I ski has the Head slalom.
I'm sure there are many great slalom skis out there!! In my opinion this is a excellent one. Would like to try it in a 160 just for grins. By the way I'm 5'11, 225, 55yrs and the 170 is a great length.

[ January 07, 2003, 08:28 PM: Message edited by: naht ]
post #8 of 8
Motivated by my daugthers success at ski racing I took the plunge and bought my first slalom race skis in 25 years. I am 51 years young, athletic, 5'6" and 148lbs. Although these are last year's model 2002-WC SL. They are new with the 13mm factory binding plate. The 155cm was a perfect match for me. The skis are very versatile and can teach you a lot. I have only used them one day. However, some things of note for those interested: 1)The more you get them out to the side with good hip angulation and good edge angle the more they respond; 2) the tail response out of the turn is very smooth and positive; edge hold was excellent on very firm snow; 3) it is a center balanced ski with firm, but not overly strong forward pressure required to initiate and steer, you can get sloppy and come off of the tails but the correct (center/neutral with center/forward steering) technique yields impressive results with minimal effort; 4) hip width stance and strong independent leg or 60/40 (downhill/uphill) weighting both seem to work; 5) slalom gates were a breeze and modern slalom turns seem to flow out of the skis; 6) the relatively wide shovel even works well in the off-piste muck and I suspect the skis will work in powder! 7) you can feather the ski for longer radius turns and as long as you are on edge they are quite stable at race GS speeds (if you lay the ski flat at over 30MPH, it tells you that it is realy a slalom ski and stability is a secondary feature). Based on the fun factor, I would say my 178cm P40 F1 GS skis have been replaced!
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