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Head i.XRC 1100 Chip System

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ski Make: Head
Ski Model: XRC 1100 Chip w/ Tyrolia HD-14 Railflex demo bindings
Ski Size: 170
Snow Conditions Used In: Spring Conditions
Number of Days Used: 6
Your Ability: Advanced
How Many Years Have You Been Skiing: 29
Avg. Days per Year Skiing: 120
Previous Skis: Head Monster I.M 75 Chip (177), Mad-Trix Mojo (176), Atomic SL9 (160), Atomic REX (177)
Your Height/Weight: 6' 170#

(115 / 67 / 99) Radius 14.4

Company line: The XRC series are expert level skis that can be skied by non-experts.

The statement above is a good way to describe this ski. The 1100 Chip has good edge hold and lively rebound at speed, is solid, damp and stable in rough conditions and forgiving in bumps. Looks like a good choice for a one ski quiver, although testing in powder snow will have to wait until next season.

At slow speeds, this ski is somewhat lifeless. When the pace picks up, it suddenly comes alive with energy and rebound. Might be a characteristic of the chip system. An expert skier I talked to at Mammoth was on the XRC SW model, as he preferred the slow speed feel of the non-chip version, but commented that the 1100 Chip would "blast through anything" at speed.

This ski feels heavy on the lift ride up, but does not ski heavy. Quick short radius turns no problem.

It would be interesting to do a side-by-side comparison of the three XRC 1100 models and the XRC 800. Perhaps someone out there has more detailed information as to the performance differences in the new XRC line.
post #2 of 8
I demoed the 04 model and really liked it. It was a really fun versatile ski. Very quick and stable in all sorts of snow. Head skis are really incredible. I used to be a Volkl guy.

I would be interested in whether there was a lot of difference between the 04 & 05 model.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
This is the 04-05 ski.
post #4 of 8
Yeah, the one I demoed was the 03-04. Did you demo last year's model? It can probably still be had at a great price. There is a shop in Stowe that has a great Head sellection and probably still has some of last years models priced to sell. I can't remember the name, but I bought from them over the phone & everything went down really smooth.

I don't know why Head doesn't get more attention.
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
I did demo last years XRC, but in a 163 which was too short for me. Very quick in moguls, however. I also had a chance to briefly demo (only 1 run) the new Monster I.M 75 Chip in 170, and was similarly impressed.

Head is making a great product right now and is worth a look. Overall, all major ski manufacturers are producing good gear - and we get to benefit!
post #6 of 8
If anyone has first-hand experience testing the 1100 SR2 (black top sheet) please post your review.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
The ski I reviewed is the 1100 chip, SR2 with the black top sheet.

Head's XRC line is somewhat confusing. For 04-05, the brochure lists:

i.XRC 1100 SW 113/67/99 Sandwich construction (pg 110 and 128 of SKI mag)
i.XRC 1100 SR2 116/68/100 "X frame" metal jacket (pg 135 of SKI mag)
i.XRC 1100 chip SR2 116/68/100 "X frame" titanium jacket
i.XRC 800 SR2 117/68/101 "X frame" carbon jacket
i.XRC 500 R2 115/69/99 "X frame" carbon jacket

All the XRC's except the 500 have intellifibers, but only the 1100 chip has the amplifying chip.

The Ski Magazine buyers guide on page 135 erroneously identifies the i.XRC 1100 as having "traditional sandwich construction" (only the i.XRC 1100 SW has sandwich construction, the others are "X frame") and as having "... chip buried under the topskin" (only the i.XRC 1100 chip has the chip) In addition, the sidecut spec is for the SW model. The 1100 sidecut is 116/68/100. Also, the 1100 only goes up to size 177. I'll bet a six-pack of homebrew that the review is for the i.XRC 1100 SW model, and the i.XRC 1100 SR2 is pictured by mistake.

Perhaps we can read a comparison of the 1100 chip / 1100 SW / 1100 in an upcoming publications review.
post #8 of 8
I just recently compared the following 2004-2005 skis on ultra-hardpacked eastern-type conditions (no noisy boilerplate...just squeeky-clean, ultra-fine grained re-groomed, re-groomed, weeks-of-cold weather PERFECT edge-tracking surface in wide-open, smooth terrain). All skis had demo bindings.

My stats:
185lbs. 5' 11" tall 45 year old Masters-racer/coaching type skier...craving clean arcs on groomed surfaces under pressure at speed.

Atomic SX-11 SuperCross
170cm (105-65-95 16m radius)

Stoeckli Laser Cross 170cm (not the Pro)
(111-67-93 17m radius)

Head iXRC 100 Chip SR2 "X-Frame" titanium jacket 170cm and 177cm
(116-68-100 15.6m radius@177cm)

The Atomic SX-11 was indeed the muscle-car race-bred board with a rowdy kick in the tail at the end of the turns when prompted to "go". Excellent grip and quick. Tiring if you don't watch your touch, and definitely not happy in the crud off the groomers. Superb high-grip powerhouse not bothered by anything. Quick quick quick when driven hard...the more you put into it, the more it performs...no wonder they own skiercross titles...definitely a railing thoroughbred. Damp, but with that "high-tension carbon-wood-foamy" typical Atomic feel underfoot...lots of energy...don't get in the back seat! Could vary the turn radius quickly with the proper input. The ski seems to have a front-half and a back-half...the front is used to feed into the turns, then the tail is used for hookup and musclular acceleration. Wicked fun and endless power. Kinda ugly-but-cool-and-rowdy power graphics.

The Stoekli LaserCross was a different feel, typical germanic-euro wood-metal-fiberglass dampness and response underfoot. A very strong, very smooooooth carving tool. Somewhat more reluctant to start the carve than the other skis...took more effort to get it "on-line", but once hooked-up, produces a wonderfully smooth, perfect arc unfettered by changes in the surface conditions. No kick or rowdy tail acceleration, just smooth power for as long as you want to pressure it. Feels like a fine european automobile when carving hard...never distracting or surprising...fairly versatile, able to make quick turns with the proper input. Happier off-piste than the Atomic Supercross...not as single-minded (the "Pro" version may be more like the SX-11...I didn't ski it). Beautiful, high-quality ride, but unexciting. Very nice. Nice, clean, sophisticated graphic design colors. Very nice workmanship.

The Head i.XRC 1100 Chip SuperRailFlex 2 in 177cm was next. I immediately noticed these things RAILED. The instant I rolled an ankle in, the ski immediately went into slot-car mode on edge and wanted to follow its radius like it was being pulled on a string. It immediately wanted me to put more pressure on my uphill ski to create a matched pair of edge grips on the surface, then begged me to roll them both over, drag my hips on the inside, change direction and create a locked-down, slingshot, "slot-car" feel (it's the best description I can think of). Smooth and unfettered arcs across any surface irregularities. Really addictive edge grip and carving behavior. Endless, powerful pressure and kick in the tails if you wanted it, but it seemed to come from the whole ski instead of the tail like the Atomic SuperCross. The faster you rolled both skis from edge to edge, the faster they would change direction...short radius...long radius...it didn't matter. They wanted to be hooked-up and "on-radius" at all times. Not happy with any type of skidding turn...but handled off-piste crud very nicely without wanting constant muscle power to change direction. The 177cm was a high-speed cruising machine...beautiful. Not happy in short turns unless you really flexed it hard on-edge or had crud to float in. I switched to the 170cm version for a quick experiment. The 170cm had the same rail-to-rail slot-car feel, but would allow even tighter radius turns on edge. Still not happy with a sliding turn, but quick, quick, quick. You basically keep your hips in one place and your feet move from full-extension left to full-extention right on rails...fascinating. These skis reset my opinion on what a "carving ski" really does. Graphics are non-descript with basic lettering on black background...not fancy...not boring...no comment...
I like the comment "This is a ski for those who wish to tear through groomed terrain, just to get on the lift to look back and see the tracks that you just left." from http://www.huckzone.com/equipmentreviews.php.
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