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Head Rev 98 vs Blizzard Bonafide...any thoughts.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

Hope all is well with you. First I must thank you for all your great reviews, feedbacks and opinions on variety of topics on this website. I have been a silent observer for a while and recently decided to join this wonderful community.

I am 44, 5' 10", 185lbs and fairly athletic. I am advanced intermediate (level 6-7). I can come down the blue runs (always parallel, often carving when the snow is softer and in better conditions, but lots of skidding on icy stuff and hard pack). I can also ski black diamond groomed ones with proper form and style (as I was told). Currently aiming at and working my way up to the ungroomed runs, moguls, off-piste, bowls, trees and more steeps. I like to go faster and charge and maintain my technique, but occasionally I get scared of speed and my technique gets thrown out of the window and I slow myself down. I enjoy cruising at the end of the day.

My current ski is Volkl RTM 80 (126-80-17) @171 with TR=16.7m. I live in Northern California and mostly go to Tahoe resorts. I enjoy carving my turns and love the medium turns, but as I said I like to charge and become more aggressive in my skiing, and be More off piste.

I am looking to get a wider ski for my off-piste/all-mountain adventures. I know that wider skis are confidence inspiring so i can go faster . I have tried blizzard bonafide 180 in Utah as well as The Volkl mantra (only these two skis in the 98mm width range). Enjoyed the bonafide (gave me more confidence and wider platform to have more contact with the snow), but found the mantra (expectedly so) to be way too fast, stiff and challenging to control and have fun at my level. I still had fun on it, but I had muscle soarness at the end of the day which typically doesn't happen much to me and realized its way more of a ski for me at this time.

I have recently read some reviews about "Head Rev 98", however since this is a pretty new (year 2014) width for the Head rev line, there is not much info about it out there. Also, as this is not a ski that you can typically find at demo shops (unlike Mantra, Bones, soul 7, RTMs, etc), i don't think I will have a chance to try the ski. So I would like to know if anyone has tried this ski and/or can provide any feedback or comparison with the bones. What did you like or dislike about this ski? Do u think its a good one at my level and for my goals and improvements? I am also thinking of getting Head/ tyrolia Attack 13 at 97mm to go with that Ski. Your thoughts are really appreciated.
post #2 of 12
Last first, that Attack 13 is a fine binding choice for either ski, so you struck oil there. If you didn't feel the Bonafide was too much ski when you skied it, you very well struck oil there too but the Rev 98 is a bit softer and more complant off piste and a pretty good choice but like you said, tougher to find to demo here in Tahoe. I am not going to confuse you with a ton of options, especially this late in the season and with good sales going on, but most of the 98's will do every thing you are looking for with some nuance differences (except the Mantra on the very stiff end and the Rossi Sin on the soft side). You skied the Bonafide, liked it so I would say just get it and start skiing it like you stole it.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks much for your reply. I will be very happy with the Bones and you are absolutely right about that. The main reason I am considering Head Rev is it's relatively short radius turn and especially it's progressive side cut which makes it easier to turn and easier to carve (with less ankle angulation): two things that I enjoy in skiing.
I guess I will keep looking for an opportunity To demo this ski (perhaps in whistler where j am going in 2 weeks) and decide between the two.
post #4 of 12

Regarding the Head Rev 98... I demoed it twice last spring and bought a pair from Dawgcatching on a Cyber Monday special.  Last spring I had the stiffness of the Rev 98 as being similar to a Line Prophet 98 (demoed 3 times).  However, the pair that arrived from Dawgcatching is very stiff, like a Rossi Experience 98 - I've hand flexed both skis back to back and can't tell a difference.  There is a thread at Teton Gravity where a poster quotes a Head rep. as saying the skis sent out as demos last spring were soft, and that Head then stiffened the Rev 98 up when they went to production.


I hope to post a review on the Rev 98 later this week - been very busy.  In a nutshell, it is a fantastic off-piste ski - incredibly versatile - & I  absolutely love them.  However, the Rev 98's groomer performance is rather underwhelming compared to other 98's.  Tiger69 likes finishing his day skiing groomers, so he probably would be happier with the Bonefides, which is a better groomer ski than the Rev 98 (I've demoed the Bonefides twice).


I put a Head/Tyrolia LX12 binding on my Rev 98's with a 115mm brake.  The 115mm brake fits perfectly as Head/Tyrolia seems to be a bit weird with specifying their brake sizes.

post #5 of 12

Indeed... the 115 brake is a known issue for most shops. :)

post #6 of 12

There is a 97mm brake that will work better. 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you:))

Dave86; what didn't u like about Rev98 on groomers? Is it chattery? Not good grip? Doesn't like speed? Difficult edge to edge? I have read some reviews where the skiers were quite impressed by the groomer performance of the ski. Of course it's all subjective and dependent on the skier and style of skiing, but I like to hear ur thoughts on that. Are you an aggressive skier who likes to charge and goes fast on groomers?

Many thanks,
post #8 of 12

Tiger69 -


Rev 98 on groomers... generally I don't go really fast on groomer as I prefer making turns and enjoy the sensations that come with making turns.  I did ski a week ago with a group of people who enjoy bombing (going really fast) groomers and the Rev 98 did just fine - didn't feel chattery or unstable at all.


Several posters on this forum have noted that Head generally does a lousy job of factory tunes (how the edges are sharpened) of their wider skis.  That may be a part of the issue - the skis probably need a better tune for improved groomer performance.


While skiing fast on groomers isn't a real turn on for me, I do ski much more agressively off-piste.  I like skiing crud and junk snow, and the stiff tips of the Rev 98 can blast through it.  If it's a nasty crud day and there's only one person out there skiing it, then that would be me.


FYI I'm 51 yo, 5'9.5", and 180#.  I'm on the 177cm Rev 98's, and see no need to go longer.



post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dave. Much appreciated.

Our stats (height and weight) are the same so it confirms that 177 is the right length for me. Also if you could get the ski to "bomb" the groomers and u didn't feel an unwanted chatter or instability, that would be good enough for me on the groomers. After all this is an all mountain ski and not necessarily a carving/hard pack ski, like Head rally or speed. My main reason to go to 98 mm width is off piste performance and it seems like u (and other who reviewed this ski) were very impressed. That was very helpful.

Enjoy the rest of the ski season on your Rev 98

post #10 of 12

just a thought: i've skied and owned both heads and blizzards. these skis will probably feel very different. if you really are concerned, you have to try them. No amount of words will make it clear, just give you ideas on what to try. I've demoed a lot of skis over the past two years and they truly have very different feels, sometimes a ski clicks, sometimes it doesn't. or you could just buy the bones and ski and be fine, but once you start the quest, you should demo quite a few boards to find your magic match (in my opinion anyway).

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the thought which makes perfect sense. The problem is that Head Rev 98 is hard to find to demo, at least in Tahoe where I ski most of the time. I am hoping that I can find one in whistler where I will be skiing in two weeks.
I have only demoed Bones and Mantra ( liked former, disliked the latter) in this category, and I am very curious about some of the features of the Rev series (ERA 3.0, short and progressive side cut, etc). Who knows if I like Head more than Bones or not. As you rightfully said, i have to demo. My fingers are crossed that I can find one to demo in Whistler.
Thanks much:))
post #12 of 12

Tiger69 - Last comments for you: I really liked squawbomber's advice in post #10: be sure to demo before you buy.  Like squawbomber, I've demoed about 15 - 18 different skis in the 95mm - 108mm width range the last 3 years - some skis were demoed more than once - and there are a lot of differences between skis.  It's a matter of finding the right fit for you.  Enjoy the demoing process!  Dave

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Head Rev 98 vs Blizzard Bonafide...any thoughts.