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2004 Head i.SL ---> Pictures!!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone..

I was lent these by our local Head rep, for two slalom races I'm racing in this weekend. I've yet to ski them, and tomorrow morning will be my first turns on these beauties!

I figured I'd post some pictures for everyone to take a look at, then do up a review after the weekend with my impressions. The skis are 160cm. With 118.8 - 64.4 - 102.0 dimensions. The radius is 11.1m.

Well.. Enjoy! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]

post #2 of 13
they look like they're already turning.
post #3 of 13
An example of pictures being better than the reality!
I saw the same skis, along with their GS (i-Race) brothers, in a shop last week, and did not like the Blueish colour...
I prefer the steel gray of this year models.
Which, btw, will be on my wife's feet in few days (i-race 164 cm)
post #4 of 13
Anyone skied the i-SL laminate slalom ski? Is it the same as this year's ski, or changed for next season? I heard that is a great ski-a guy I know retired his Elan SLX's for the i-SL laminate.
post #5 of 13
I just demo'd this year's I.SL in 155 and was very impressed with this ski. Held the edge on steeps in medium arcs and was very quick. Good rebound and fairly light. If they've kept those characteristics, next year's should be just as good - and the wider dimensions should make it more versatile.
post #6 of 13
This ski is the replacement for the iSl RD of last year. With the FIS minimum length changes for 2004 (Men 165 and Women 160) most of the manufacturers have had to increase the dimensions to come up with the same turning radius. I wonder if this will make them more or less versatile. Head will have two iSL models for 2004. The iSl Chip shown above which has the full chip system and the iSL which is identical to last year's (109-62-97) and is still silver in color but has the same graphics as the greenish one above. I know because I sent my 2003 iSL back on a warranty issue and they replaced them with the silver 2004 model. My only complaint with this otherwise amazing 2003's was I felt too far back on the ski. I actually remounted the raceplate forward and it felt like a new ski. The one change I noticed on the 2004's is they moved the raceplate forward one cm. Interesting! My guess is the iSl Chip will be marketed as full race and the iSl as a recreational slalom. I suspect the iSl Chip will be hard to come by. I look forward to the reviews.
post #7 of 13
Hey Powderhoundin,
Where's that review on the iSL Chip?
post #8 of 13
After viewing "live" the skis, I must take back what I said.
The skis look beautiful.
post #9 of 13
Hey, Powderhoundin. Park the roller blades for a moment. We're still waiting for that review.
post #10 of 13
Well, I know who I'll never lend skis to. The disrespect shown to the ski and the owner by laying the skis base down on such a surface is overwhelming.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

Sorry about the slow review! But here it goes.. Just to clear up something that was mentioned above, the ski ( pictured above)that I skied was the shelf model that replaces this season's i.Sl, not the i.Sl RD. The difference between the two is that the Race Department ski is sandwich construction, w/ 90º sidewalls, while the regular shelf model (pictured above) is cap construction. I believe there is also a difference in the bases, and the RD ski is stiffer. I got two days on these bad boys, including a live race course with timing.

My initial impressions (freeskiing blue terrain):

When I first slapped on the skis they felt light on my feet and my first few runs they were fairly snappy. The conditions were soft granular, with an icy layer underneath. The dimensions allowed the Heads to initiate quickly, and the sweetspot was large and centered. I was impressed, however I had yet to ski them on anything firm.

Second Look (slalom course, hardpack/ice/softspots/ruts)

In the course, the skis were quick. The first thing I noticed was they were great at holding an edge, they were lively but dampened vibrations and ate ruts well.

Final conclusion:

I'd definitely say that the ski was very stable. The one thing I did notice was that the ski was a little softer than I would prefer. Just for reference, I'm 6ft tall and weigh about 185 lbs. I think I'd be more inclined to go for the RD version which is a little stiffer. After skiing the Heads I also had the opportunity to ski this years Atomic 11.12 in the same lenght (160cm) and the same race course. In comparison the Atomics were much snappier and had more energy, however were not quite as damp although the damping was still good because they were slightly stiffer.

The same weekend I also had the opportunity to take next years salomons (164 cm, off the shelf slalom ski) and rossignols (160 "worldcup" slalom ski, 90º sidewalls) for a couple of runs. In comparison, I like the rossignols for their increased stiffness and energy. Out of all 4 pairs, the salomons felt the most natural for me, and my style of skiing, and I had to make little to no effort to make em' rip, as soon as I pointed them, I felt like I was in the sweet spot for the rest of the run. But I also would be interested to try salomon's race stock ski for next season.

In conclusion, the Head ski was an excellent pair of slalom skis, and had all the characteristics I like in a slalom ski, however, I will definitely buy the RD ski if I choose to ski on Heads next season. Perhaps these skis would be an excellent choice for someone a little lighter, or lighter on their edges than I am, or someone who wont be crashing too many gates but still wants a quick turning, well damped slalom ski that has great edge hold.

Cheers! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by BetaRacer:
Well, I know who I'll never lend skis to. The disrespect shown to the ski and the owner by laying the skis base down on such a surface is overwhelming.
I'll have you know that the skis were untuned, and were laid on the tile with the utmost care and caution.. It's awful hard to find a good photo location when you live in a small cramped apartment! Besides, right after the photos were taken they received my best race tune.

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › 2004 Head i.SL ---> Pictures!!