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2004 Head i.M75 Monster

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
Ski Make: Head
Ski Model: i.M75 Monster
Ski Length: 170
Snow Conditions Used In: powder, groomed, crud, ice, trees
Number of Days Used: 6
Your Ability: Level 7-8
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 15
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 25
Other Skis You Like: Atomic 9.22, Atomic Supercross9
Your Height/Weight: 5'9" 180 lb.
Comments: Who ever would believe that a ski with a 114-74-103 footprint would not only float well in powder and crud, but would also have the most amazing ice hold I have ever experienced (for all of us eastern skiers). I used these skis for four days at Sugarloaf early in February. Conditions were stormy Maine eastern conditions with a two storms of about a foot each with dry fluffies and wet cement mixed in with windblown conditions and the resulting hard pack. With a 15.9 radius these skis will carve short, medium or long turns. They do take a little more work to go from edge to edge, but once you dial them in, these skis will do it all. I am able to make short quick turns or longer radius arcs on these skis. With the windblown conditions I would go from blown powder clumps to ice. The chip in the i.M75 must really work, because the ski would stiffen up dramatically when running out of the windblown powder on to the stretches of ice. I also hit the trees and found the wide platform and 170 length to float well in those conditions. These skis are heavy - so they work well in the powder and on the ice - they are a little more difficult in the trees because they are not quite quick enough due to their weight. But, if you tread a little slower in the trees - they work well. Overall, for an eastern skier who hits the west and/or Europe at least once a season, this would be the one ski I would want in my quiver. Head is obviously doing something right with their new designs. This ski is definitely very different from any other ski on the market today.
post #2 of 35
[Please note: Partially reprinted from another thread]

The Head Monster i.M 75 Chip was shown to me at the New England trade show at Killington. The Chip was added for the 2003/2004 season.

As it is well known in these forums that I have been skiing the Rossi Bandit XX, here's my comparison of the 2003/2003 Rossi Bandit XX and the 2003/2004 Head Monster i.M 75 CHIP Super Railflex back-to-back:

Grip and carving: Especially considering the 74 mm width of the XX, I thought it's grip and carving weren't all that bad - good, in fact. However, in that category, it can't carry the 75's jock strap. I skied the 74 only on hard frozen corduroy and "Son of Death Cookie" ungroomed. The grip and carve of the 75 were simply the best - and I also skied an Atomic cross-type ski the same day, for comparison. The 75 felt like I was ice skating with figure skates on a flat rink a few minutes after the Zamboni left the building. Not only was that grip tenacious - it was SMOOOOOTH. In other words, the 75's grip and carve were not only good for a ski with a 75 mm waist - it was good for ANY ski. I gotta tell ya, it was a great feeling. If you decide to get into the railroad business, these guys make great tracks.

Skidding: I can't say that one was any better than the other. However, in reading this, please bear in mind the very hard surface on which I was skiing.

Stability: Both at speed [meanng FAST] and at slow speeds, the 75 again was way ahead of the pack. This felt solid as a rock - and, again, smooooooth. Head claims that the "Intellifibers" react to the snow conditions in milliseconds, stiffining tortional ridgidity when required - and the Chip is claimed to magnify that times five [or some such thing]. The confidence I felt running the 75's as fast as I could was unbelievable. They absorbed every smidgeon of roughness, stayed on course precisley, and felt like Mother Earth herself. My most notable complaint about the XX is its greater likelihood to chatter in sharper high speed turns on hard snow.

Edge-to-edge/maneuverability. The ease and speed of changing edges is related to maneuverability - but they're not the same. The XX was the more nimble and had a lighter feeling. However, while the 75 had a definitely heavier feeling, it could be guided easily in carved turns. It's hard to compare them edge-to-edge. This is not a matter of "better" or "worse" - it's just that they're palpably different. The XX swishes back and forth more quickly and easily - but the 75 CARVES back and forth more quickly and easily. The XX makes short turns more easily, but not by carving. To label one as quicker than the other is less useful in comparing these skis. The 75 is definitely the more powerful feeling of the two.

Soft snow/powder/crud. Sorry, folks. I only got to demo the 75 in the hard snow conditions I've described. I'm chafing at the bit to ski it in soft snow conditions. But let me guess . . . in heavy, chopped snow, the power of the 75 would be significantly greater than the XX. That's a guess.

Forgiveness. This is a toughy. The XX is the easier short turner, but the 75 treats you like God - you can do no wrong.

Bottom line: If I had to choose between the XX and the 75 . . . I'd choose the 75 without hesitation . . . but I don't need to choose one or the other, so . . . I expect to choose . . . neither. More on this in another thread at another time.

For the record, Gostan's post above is consistent with my own experience with and expectations of the Head iM 75 Chip. Bear in mind, however, that although he has thirty pounds on me in weight and is a more capable skier, he was, nevertheless, skiing the same ski in the same length.
post #3 of 35
Let me also mention that the 2002-03 Head iM75 (with the intellifibers but not the chip) is a damn fine ski. I'm 5'-7", 180 lbs. and demoed this ski in a 170 cm length at Whistler. It was at the end of a week when there had been several snowstorms. It was a great off piste ski and a fun ski on the groomed because of it's carving. I only demoed it because my other skis were getting tuned. But I liked it so much I bought a pair. The price had just come down to about $350 US. (So bargain hunters take note)

I bought it for use in Lake Tahoe area where we can get dumps of wet snow and for the spring mush. In a 170 it was agile enough to have fun in the bumps (normally I don't seek out bumps) but I was purposely looking to ski McConkeys and other bump fests.

I've skied it once so far in Tahoe and still love it. BTW for the binding geeks, I put on a Salomon 912 Ti. I haven't used Tyrolia bindings, but mostly I got the skis in Whistler without the bindings so I can bring them home in the bag with my other skis since the pack so nicely w/o bindings. I just went to my favorite local shop and had a choice of Markers or Salomons.

These skis will be replacing the 2000 model year Atomic Beta Ride 10.20 (original year) in a 190. They can go fast, but they did not float as well as I had hoped and they were not fun in the bumps.
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 

I really enjoyed your well-thought thorough review. You hit it right on when you stated that you can do no wrong on the i.M75. I feel so in control on the 75's no matter what the condition(s) may be.

But, my question to you is: what do you expect to choose? I guess the problem we all have is that there are too many great skis out there. Such a nice problem to have.
post #5 of 35
OK, Gost, you're going to force this out of me, aren't you? Look for more on this subject later on another thread. For now, it may be known that I'd been skiing on my Bandit XX's for a long time now [which in my case means longer than three months]. At the trade show, devoting my entire attention to testing many different skis, I couldn't help but notice that skis with waists at 70 mm were a lot of fun to ski on the frozen corduroy and much easier on me than those of 74 mm and up waists. Because of the awesome rides on the Head Monster iM 75 Chip, I still am sorely tempted . . . but then, the Head Monster iM 70 Super Railflex was very stable and made such neat and easy short carved turns.

In the interests of research as a boon to my fellow skiers I have taken the pledge of sacrifice and will forego the 75 Chip. Thus, I shall devote much of the next several ski/months to the comparison of two models of skis with nominal waist widths of 70 mm.
post #6 of 35
I would be interested if any of you have had a chance to ski the IC200 and can give me a comparison between that and the IM75 Monster? Thanks.
post #7 of 35
oboe: I think the choice between 70mm waists and 75 mm is one of the big questions in ski gear right now. All of the instructors and knowledgable people I talk too, say that 70mm gives you every thing you need in pow and better performance edge to edge. I am not advocating that position, I know there are mnay devotees of wider waists. Personally, I have skied 15 plus inches of great pow on my 70 mm waisted Atomic 11.20s and then carved up a storm on the hard snow too. I have Pocket Rockets too, but prefer the Atomics, even in the deep stuff, better feel for the snow. But have never tried a 74 or 75 mm waist. Have been discouraged to infact, by said people above.

But I am sure you know Keelty raves about this new 75 mm Head and if its enough to get you to switch your religous like devotion to the XX's, which I admire, then perhaps they're worth a look see.
Is the 70mm Head substantially the same ski--just faster edge to edge? Maybe that would be really good to. Hope you're having a good season. I am off to Jackson Hole this weekend. Maybe I can try 'em.
post #8 of 35
enquirer, the 70 and 75 Heads are not quite the same - meaning that the Head Monster iM 70 Super Railflex is not precisely a slimmed down version of the 75 Chip . . . but they have some striking similarities. They feel like brothers. While nothing I ever have experienced is as smooth and powerful feeling as the 75 Chip, the 70 does share its tanacious grip and ice skate smoothness in turning. The 70 and the 75 that I skied both had the Super Railflex, but only the 75 had the Chip. Head tells me the 70 is not about to get a chip . . . but who knows what the future might bring. Anyway, for the foreseeable future, no chip for the 70.

The main differences between the 75 Chip and the 70 are this:

The 75 Chip is mother earth and treats the skier like God - absolutely rock solid at any speed I was able to generate that day. While it was easy to turn, the turns were larger and felt heavier. They required more of my effort and energy.

The 70 surpised me - the turns were easier and shorter, quicker turns were made with less effort and still had that ice skate feel. I was delighted when I made that discovery. Although the 70 did not have that Abrams Tank-like authority that the 75 Chip had, they were nevertheless stable at speed. While I felt confident on the 75 Chip because everything was so smooth, I felt confident on the 70 because I could - easily - make any turn shape I desired any time I desired with any edge-to-edge speed I desired . . . or, you know, account for my tendency to hyperbole and you get the idea.

The 75 Chip was like an Indy 500 car in its element, while the 70 was more like a winning vehicle at Watkins Glenn - maybe a gymkana [never can spell that right]. The 75 Chip was more like a steeple chase winner, while the 70 was more like a cutting horse or barrel race winner.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 

I have skied the new Atomic R-11's and the new Head i.M 75's and my opinion is that in the 75 v. the 70 waist wars that the Head 75 wins hands (feet) down.
They are not as quick edge to edge, but they are so secure and stable that they allow the skier to dream of the waves hitting the beach on a carribean island while streaming down the mountain.....what could be better?

I will have the opportunity on Friday to demo next years full line of skis from most manufacturers at my local ski shops' demo day.

I will be able to report on a multitude of new equipment.....but I, for one, am, right now, in the 75 camp.

post #10 of 35
Originally posted by Gostan:
new Head i.M 75's are not as quick edge to edge, but they are so secure and stable that they allow the skier to dream of the waves hitting the beach on a carribean island while streaming down the mountain.....
Gostan is right, and it's tempting to have pair of the 75 Chip just to feel that phenomenal security, stability and smoothness while barrel assing down the hill. . . it's really quite a feeling. For the lighter weight so-so skiers like me, however, it may not be practical. The 75 Chip does require more work and is definitely not as easy a short turner as the 70. In a situation where you'd better NOT be "streaming down the mountain" but rather need to travel slower and make shorter or quicker turns, the 70 is the more comfortable ski. Also, bear in mind that the 70 itself is no slouch at high speed.

If you're a heavier, stronger and more skilled skier whose main venues are more open, then you can make the occasional short turning effort in the trees, and the Head Monster iM 75 Chip would be a thrilling ride.

For me . . . it's still tempting, but . . . gotta be realistic.

[ March 13, 2003, 05:41 AM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #11 of 35
Thanks Gostan...I am really surprised at the universal acclaim these skies seem to be getting. I am going to try to demo them this weekend. One question, were the new R11's that much changed from last years..do you know?
post #12 of 35

Go to the Head website - they have a download (it's PDF file) which will help select the range of lengths. I am 180 lbs and Head recommended a 170 to 180. I tried and liked the 170 so that is what I got.
post #13 of 35
Well, it's done - In addition to my famous Rossi XX Bandits, I now have the X, and the Head Monster iM 70 Railflex plus bindings is on the way, thanks to Powdigger. So there are two pairs of 70 mm waist skis to compare, and one pair of 74 mm waist skis to compare with them both.

I really want to work this one out over an extended period of time, not just a few runs. When I've beaten myself silly with this, I'll check in with my conclusions. This will take awhile, so you do have time to run to the loo.

[ March 14, 2003, 06:46 PM: Message edited by: oboe ]
post #14 of 35
This past week i had the chance to get on a pair of 177cm Head IM70X skis. I noticed that these skis had an X added to the end of the name so it may in fact be a different ski than you are all talking about, but i thought it was horrible. It didnt have any pop, it was too soft, and it wasnt stable on groomed snow. It had a very poor tune so i cant comment on it edgehold. After a few runs top to bottom at Jay i ditched them for a pair of 177 bandit XX's. I figured Id go with what i knew worked - then after a really really nasty fall due to a pre release with the XX i went back to my own XScreams after a sit in the lodge with a really bad headache. I still prefer my 179 Xscreams over any other freeride ski i have been on - other than maybe the XX - but it has to have a good tune on it.

I really would like to try the IM75 chip. You all seem to hold it in very high regards, along with the other head models. Oboe, i deffinitly trust your comparison of the ski to the XX, but if you or anyone else can add insight as to how the ski compares to the 70 it would be great. My next pair of freeride skis are going to be around 75mm in the waist and have to have great edgehold. So everyone, toss out some suggestions out of the group of 75mm waisted midfats that have the best edgehold and stability at speed.


post #15 of 35
Heluva.... you had to know this was coming....
Supersport 5 stars. I just skied on a pair for a week out west. Great in powder and crud. Edgegrip and stability like a race ski on the groomed.
If this ski doesn't make you a Volkl fan, nothing will.
post #16 of 35
I would look to a ski like the 5 or 6 star, but i want something with a wider waist. That is the type of performance im looking for but i really want a ski that is wider, i love the feel of a wider ski like the XX. Ive actually been thinking that stockli stormriders might be the best way to go...
post #17 of 35
Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity to try out the im75 Monsters in a variety of conditions.
Length at 177 (Is this the longest offered?)
I am about 190# and 6 feet tall. Volly Patroller.
I also alternated runs with the Volkl G3 at 184 cm, My daily drivers.
One of the other patrollers, of much experience, was impressed with the ski enough to say "they put a smile on my face". I wanted to know what he knew!

first impressions: These skis are a bit heavy. Just Clicking in, I felt that the tip flex was "weak".

First run was a moderate slope with 4 inches of fresh left at the edge of the groomed to perfection main trail.
The snow was cold and dry.

This ski could do no wrong in these conditions, VERY smooth.

Back on the G3's for run two, same snow conditions, but different trail, black rated and the crap at the edge was very narrow. turns were tight, and the snow did everything it could to make me look good. This run confirmed the snow as Smooth and grippy, and I was not off my mark.

Third run, back on the Heads. Smooth, black run. These babys really hang an edge! Very predictable. Boosting the fun factor for carved turns. Better than the G3's? maybe. maybe not. surely smoother though.

Fourth run, Heads, tight glades fressh snow, soft and quiet, moderate pitch. Wee ha! fun ski, goes where the tips point!

Fifth run, Heads tight glades, steeper, well, actually, steep. These things are heavy and slow to get around. Fewer last minute changes allowed. Plan a head (pun intended)

Sixth run, G3's again. Same steep glade Ahh, these are good skis! Responsive in tight bumpy glades. I can keep up my speed, and figure out where I'm going as I get there.

Seventh run, back on the Heads, smooth and steep, but traffic has left the surface a bit noisy. No problem, Big GS turns on rails! I slid the tails a couple times looking for the limits. No problems.

I did a few bump runs as well, crud snow, my favorite. The head ski's did well. but less quick.


At 177 cm, these skis "felt longer"! It was pleanty of ski for me, and I "like 'em long".

The Head im75 monster was a romance I wish I wanted. smooth and stable.
Unfortunately, the crud busting feature of these "heavy" skis works against me in the stuff and style I really like to ski.

Confessions: I am very slow afoot anyway, and need all the help I can get.
I will take the Monsters out again on a big snow day if it comes this season. I believe the head im75 could be a great western ski and a spring snow ski for those who like to motor. Seirra and PNW skiers should look into this one.



I'm liking the G3"s all the more, and just saved myself hundreds of dollars.
post #18 of 35
Similar to what CalG says about the 75. If the 70 was that bad, it was the tune. The ones I rode were smoooooth, had great edge, and were very good short turners as well as long turners . . . definitely, blame the tune on yours. My 70's should arrive soon. My Bandit single X has been a blast. Wait until I can run them in deeper stuff for a full report . . . might have to wait a long time!
post #19 of 35
Is the I.M.70 a different ski fromt he I.M.70X? The 70X was bright yellowish orange, not silver like this years current 70. Oh well, im still looking, the 75 still intrigues me most of all. The three skis im considering are the Head I.M.75, the Stockli Stormrider Fry, and the Rossignol B2. I'm not sure what i will end up on for a free ride ski after demoing this past week... I still like my Xscreams, but i need a ski with more edgehold that can ski in all kinds of conditions.
post #20 of 35
The 70x skis you describe are the 70 with the Railflex plate and Tyrolia bindings. Otherwise, the same. If you like edge grip, you'd love the 70 that I skied on, and you'd REALLY like the 75. The 75 is just more than I need and rankly is a chore in short turns. I'm convinced that your yellow/orange ski had a bad tune, but we'll soon find out - because my orange/yellow 70x skis will be here in a few hours and I'm skiing them at Jay tomorrow. The mountain weather report suggests winter temps on the hill - much lower than in the valley - so I'm expecting quite firm conditions. I'll be back atcha with a report.
post #21 of 35
Thanks oboe, the snow up there was great last week, i hope its still the same for you. Have fun!
post #22 of 35
Good news and bads news.

First, the good news: The Head Monster iM 70x arrived, and getting the bindings onto the Railflex was easy. I then waxed up with yellow stuff good from 32 degrees F to 50 degrees F so I would avoid that grabby stuff when the snow is warm and sticky.

The bad news: Conditions SUCKED. No warm snow. Frozen hard. Groomers did a good job, but any ungroomed place was awful, and the groomed places were just barely ok in some places, and less ok in other places.

Good news: The wax work anyway and was FAST.

Bad news: It really is not possible to deliver a reliable report on the Monsters in conditions where no skis could make the conditions feel good. I will say that they turn short well but seemed a bit sluggish edge-to-edge, had as good grip as could be expected under the circumstances, are stable both turning and running flat and straight. Since my last two days of skiing were on the Rossignol Bandit X in the same length (170 cm), in comparison, the Monsters felt heavier and not as quick. I'm feeling unhappy that I did not bring the X for a same day comarison, but I will not make that mistake again.
post #23 of 35
Another thought:

After posting the above, I brought the Monsters in from the car. Just out of curiousity I flexed one the the Bandit X's and one of the Monsters. Then I leaned each one against the wall next to each other, just to see what I could see. What I saw was two things: One was the substantially wider tip and tail of the Monsters [compared to the Bandit X] even though the waist widths were the same; and the other was the binding placement.

The binding placement on the Monster was substantially further back than on the Bandit X. The Railflex feature on the Monster allowes the binding to be moved 1.5 cm back and 1.5 forward from the center mounting position. This is very easily accomplished on both skis in five minutes with very little difficulty. Since I had chosen to mount mine at the center position, I've now moved it to the forward position. It's still very slightly further back than on the Bandit X, but not much, and it's much closer to the Bandit X at this point. I'm looking forward to skiing on them in this mode, and I'll let you know what, if anything, I discover.
post #24 of 35
Oboe, Peter Keelty devoted two columns earlier this season in Technical Support for Skiers in regard to where the various companies were mounting their bindings (Atomic and Head were rearward) and suggesting consideration of a mounting position with the ball of the foot over the center of the running surface. In the columns Peter mentions that a large number of top level pros and racers habitually mount skis using some form of BOF.
post #25 of 35
Skier, I've now re-read that column - fascinating!

PM, the rear sea of my 2001 Acura Integra folds down, either one side or both, and I have no trouble hauling skis.

craigr, the 177 will do you just fine.
post #26 of 35
Originally posted by craigr:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by SnoWonder:

Go to the Head website - they have a download (it's PDF file) which will help select the range of lengths. I am 180 lbs and Head recommended a 170 to 180. I tried and liked the 170 so that is what I got.
OK guys, I went to the head site (lots of fun) and the reccomended size for me was 184cm. However, I have just been offered a pair, mint condition, 1 week of use, half an hour drive from here in 177cm length(locating second hand skis is pretty difficult on the Gold Coast of Oz)

Are there any heavier gents out there who have skiied this ski in 177cm and if so what is the verdict.?

I skied the 75 chip in a 170cm And liked them so much I bought them

I am 42 6ft 190 lbs

The skis were stable,quck and fun in the bumps!

In this ski shorter is better!

post #27 of 35
Oboe:>...I'm feeling unhappy that I did not bring the X for a same day comarison, but I will not make that mistake again...

So when are you buying a big roof top box? [img]graemlins/evilgrin.gif[/img]

Tom / PM

PS - Don't feel bad. My name is Tom, and I own a Thule.
post #28 of 35
I guess that's as good testimony as you can get showing that the 75 Chip is a verrrry beefy ski and why it's not practical for this 61 year old 5'8" 150 pound average skier. The 70 is all I'll evr need.
post #29 of 35
Skied the new 75 Chip Thursday at Killington. Conditions ranged from loose granular on the north side to typical spring soup over at Bear Mtn. I'm 6'1, 205 lbs, 51 years old, and ski fairly aggressively. Skied the 177. Found that these skis were incredible on the groomed and in light crud, unbelievably smooth and stable, gave me total confidence. However, in the heavy, wet spring conditions or in bumps, these skies just overpowered me. Felt very heavy and cumbersome in those difficult conditions. I routinely ski late into the spring, so these conditions are nothing I haven't regularly encountered before, but these skis really just wore me out. Tried them in the trees after lunch which didn't go too badly, other than the weight of them was apparent. I've learned not to judge a ski from just one day, as I've found that my opinion of the same ski can change from day to day depending on the tune, conditions, etc., so I'll usually demo a ski for at least two days before buying.
Anyway, in regards to the previous posts regarding ski length, I think when it comes to this particular ski, shorter is definitely better. I think I would have been much happier on a pair of 170's, even at my weight.
Hope this helps.
post #30 of 35
Yesterday [Sunday, March 23, 2003] I hauled the Head Monster iM 70X's and also the Rossignol Bandit X's to Sugarbush. Both are 170 cm long. I had moved the bindings on the Heads to the forward position.

Spring skiing,with variation in conditions during the day. Ultimately, the last few runs were in wet snowball snow. No grooming, so even the blue cruisers got bumped up to one degree or another. I alternated runs - one run with the Heads, then one run with the Rossis over the same path.

After getting a feel for these skis in comparison to each other, I also took them both down a black bump trail with a few narrow spots.

My impressions so far:

Moving the bindings forward on the Heads made an easily discernable difference - they turn quicker edge to edge that way.

The Bandit X is a very quick, light feeling ski, imbuing the skier with confidence due to the sure knowledge that the things will turn when and as directed by the skier. The Head Monster iM 70X is a very solid ski, imbuing the skier with confidence due to the feeling that they go through anything and will be completely stable at speed - and the faster they go, they easier they turn. They're still pretty decent at slower speeds as well.

While the Bandit X was clearly the lighter and quicker ski, the Monster iM 70X was clearly the more authoritaive in junky snow. Because both skis are lots of fun in their own very different ways, it was not easy to say that one was "better" than the other . . . until the black bumps. To my surpise, I did much better there in the junky snow with the Monsters, and the quickness of the Bandit X's was not of any particular advantage. After that revelation, I changed the bindings on the Monsters back to the central position and re-ran the same bumps. While it was very solid feeling in that mode and got me throught the bumps ok, I missed the quickness they had with the binding in the forward position.

I have yet to take these both through natural deeper snow of any sort, but I'm betting that the Monster 70X would be the better ski there, based upon my expereinces with them compared to the Bandit X's in junky snow. The waist width of both is the same, but the tip and tail of the Monster is even wider than the tip and tail width on the Bandit XX - that's right, wider than the tip and tail of the double X. This is not exactly comparing apples to apples.

Eventually, I'll be fascinated to compare the Bandit XX to the Monster 70X in both hard and deep snow, on flats and in bumps. I've decided to leave the bindings on the Monsters in the forward position and make the comparisons based on that.
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