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Head XRC 1100, Comparison of models

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I guess this ski comes in three models, the cap with and w/o a chip and the sandwich. Anyone ski all of them who can give a good comparison?

I demoed one of the cap models (forget which one, think it was without the chip) in 170cm. I liked it the most of skis I've demoed so far. It was noticably soft compared to the Atomic R11 I'm on now (which is painfully stiff but also rock-solid stable). I am looking for something a bit softer so my 45 year old self doesn't get so beat up in the bumps. I'm thinking about the 1100 cap but maybe if the 1100 SW is a bit stiffer (but not so stiff as to be like the R11) I might like it better. I'm probably going to demo them all but also want to see what other skiers think of the three models.


level 8
ski mostly blue/black cruiser at home mountain but mostly play in the bumps and trees when I'm up north.
post #2 of 10
I tried the non-chipped 1100 in 170cm last week at Killington. I thought it was a very comfortable ski - easy turning, solid and agreeable. I am your weight and vintage, though you have a few inches on me. Like you, I am looking for an alternative to my 175 Volkl Supersports which are the poster child for "painfully stiff." I feel your pain. As for the Heads, I thought they were quite capable, but rather uninspiring. Perhaps the chipped version has more life. I did these back to back with a pair of 170cm Fischer RX9's. These were a beautiful ride. Solid like the 6*but forgiving. Full of life and razor sharp. They made the Heads feel like a station wagon (remember those?). I would strongly recommend giving these or the RX8's a go. I can see how you would go for the Heads after being pounded by the Atomics. At the risk of a bad analogy, you are coming out of a difficult relationship. Do not jump at the first pretty face.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
I actually had demoed the RX8 in 170cm. I was a particuarly sloppy afternoon about 45F a couple weeks ago. In that stuff, they were kinda a pain. They really wanted to carve at a very specific edge angle. It's like there was one thing they wanted to do well but didn't want to do anything else. They didn't seem that versatile. Of course it could have been the snow (or me). The Rx9 has a longer radious than what I'm looking for. I'm looking for mayb 14.5-16.5m.

It's not that I don't like the Atomics, everytime I demo and then go back to them, I say it's really nice to be back on "my" skis. It's just that some of the stuff I like to do is too much work on them.

Skis I've demoed this year-

RX8 -- Too carvy for my taste.
Super Hot -- Worked well in crud and carved okay but nothing special. Kinda sat there on the now like a plank, but nice plank.
Extra Hot -- Like the above but wider.
1080 -- Very interesting ski. Wide. Real nice smooth flex. If I had a quiver, I'd definitely have a pair of these. Not sure I'd want it as my single all-around ski.
Solomon SC -- I'm so used to a stiffer semi-GS ski that all I did with these things is make a gazillion turns and go about two miles an hour. I'd definitely have to learn to do things a bit different with a slalom ski.
Head 1100 (non chip cap model I think) -- my favorite so far. A bit turnier than my Atomics as the radius is about 2m shorter. Nice flex, maybe a tad softer than I want to go.

All between 165-170cm
post #4 of 10
I recently purchased the Head XRC 1100 SW (163 cm), after demoing several skis- including the monster 70,Rossi 9s and Volkl 5 star. I've found the XRCs to be very quick and stable, with great edge grip on hardpack. In the few bumps I tried they were ok (as long as the bumps were rounded and spaced apart )- just avoid getting in the backseat or encounters with tight, irregularly shaped bumps. They're a great ski,but they are fairly stiff. The stiffness in bumps may be less of an issue for you since I'm about 20 lbs lighter. I also figure that at 46 years old I probably shouldn't be blasting through too many bump runs anyway(not that I ever really could).
post #5 of 10
You noticed they have no back seat either!
That was something I discovered very quickly.
Although, how many sports cars have back seats?

I'm similar height, a decade younger and a few lbs more, and on the 1100SW in 170.
post #6 of 10
learn2turn, while you folks in Mass my be concerned with the turning charactersitics of a ski in 45 degree weather, we here in Maine are on the beach when it hits 40.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by deliberate1
learn2turn, while you folks in Mass my be concerned with the turning charactersitics of a ski in 45 degree weather, we here in Maine are on the beach when it hits 40.
What? I have friends in ME and get up there many days all year long. I hook up with them as late as mid-April and we're up at SR banging off run after run after run. It's too muddy to play golf so might as well keep skiing.
post #8 of 10
Of the three, the 1100 Chip was my favorite. A little higher fun factor than the chip-less 1100, and a little less demanding than the 1100 SW, which was great on the groomed, but I felt that the 1100 Chip was the most versatile in terms of variable conditions, which is what I'm looking for in a ski.
post #9 of 10
You may want to check out Peter Keelty's review of all 3 versions of the 1100. He also seems to think the 1100 chip may be the most versatile model. However, it may not have quite the same quickness or edge grip as the SW.
post #10 of 10
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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