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Ski Review-Head im77

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Head im77 non chip flat- Mounted w/ Tyrolia LD 12 Railflex II bindings

Reviewers Ability: Level 7 recreational skier
Reviewer’s Height/Weight: 6’4”/250+lbs.
Conditions: Groomed man made/ 4-6” wind blown/chopped up man made
Ski Dimensions: 119-77-104 Length: 177 w/ 17.5 meter turn radius
Other skis I like/Own: Fischer RX 8, Dynastar Legend 8000 & 8800

Review:

This ski absolutely shined in the conditions that I skied it in. It handled the groomers amazingly well for a ski of this width. If I hadn’t known better, I’d have thought I had a much thinner waisted ski attached to my feet. It was smooth, powerful, and quick in both short fall line turns, and long GS turns as well. It did well at both slower and higher speeds, but at speed is where this ski really shows its colors, IMO. The edge grip was great at all speeds.

As much as I enjoyed this ski on the groomers, it was its performance in the chopped up/wind blown snow that blew me away. I’m unsure as to what I expected, but this ski blew through these conditions without missing a beat. No tip delflection what-so-ever. The im77 handled these conditions as easy as it did the groomed runs I had skied earlier in the day.

While I don’t proclaim to be a skier of great ability, I have to admit it took me a few runs to get a handle on these skis. While I think they are fantastic skis, they require more precise skier input than my 8000’s. While I can get similar performance from my 8000’s from a more centered position on the ski, the im77 likes to be driven from more of a forward position and requires you to work the entire ski to get the most from its performance. The sweet spot on the im77 is easy to find, but it’s definitely not as huge as the 8000’s sweet spot.

Overall, I think the im77 would make a great 1 ski quiver for an Eastern skier, or to fill in a void in any existing quiver, which is why I bought them. But I’d have to say that I wouldn’t be surprised if many inexperienced and/or lighter skiers found this ski to be quite a hand full.
post #2 of 11
nice review, Coach!
post #3 of 11
We all appreciate the short concise review. I had some similar thoughts about the IM75 when I skied it.
post #4 of 11
How did you have the Railflex position adjusted? Did you try more than one postion?

Thanks
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RatherPlayThanWork
How did you have the Railflex position adjusted? Did you try more than one postion?

Thanks
I had it centered and have not moved it around as of yet. I'm interested in seeing how moving the binding forward will affect performance.
post #6 of 11

ski all railflex systems in +15

Harb Ski Systems recommends skiing all Head Railflex skis in the +15 position.

Through trial and error, I have found that to be true for my old iC160's and my iM77's).

Dawcatching nailed it in his review last spring. The default binding position is setup for a skier that really likes to drive the ski from the cuff, but the ski behaves completely differently in the +15 position. Much more balanced, larger sweet spot, more responsive.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gandalf
Dawcatching nailed it in his review last spring. The default binding position is setup for a skier that really likes to drive the ski from the cuff, but the ski behaves completely differently in the +15 position. Much more balanced, larger sweet spot, more responsive.
I'll definitely give them a try at this setting, but I'm interested to see how the tail of the ski reacts at this setting.

One of the things I noticed about this ski, along with the fact that I had to be forward to engage the tips, was that if I failed to get back to center or was late getting back to center at the bottom of the turn, the tails tended to skid at speed. Hence, my comment that this ski "requires you to work the entire ski to get the most from its performance".
post #8 of 11
I have the chip version and agree with everything that Coach has said, particularly the crud busting. I have 20 days on mine across 10 mountains and have given them a real hard time. Unfortunately I delaminated 1 of them at Big White. About 40mm under the heel. I believe this was my fault as I have thrown evrything that I could at them so I didn't bother with trying out the warranty. I just had them epoxied up so I could back into it.
I love these skis and I am positive that they will suit my needs back in oz when I get back there sometime in '07. East, West, these skis can do it all.
post #9 of 11
Coach, did you get a chance to try the 181cm's of this ski?
post #10 of 11
I tried those at Jay Peak about 3 days after a 3-foot storm, and I hated them. They are noodles on groomers, incapable of making short turns, and were mediocre off-piste.

Granted, the noddle assessment was made after coming from race stock SL:11s, but I don't really like being able to feel the ski twist as I pressure the tip. Edge-grip was fair, but the skis have no power.


They were better than the slaloms in the trees : , but my buddy's 1080s were a lot more enjoyable.

I'd like to try the IM82, as I think the laminate setup would probably be less noodle-like.
post #11 of 11
I agree with some other posters about this ski. but now that I read again..i wish I could have tried +15 binding position. The guy at the shop told me the demos didn't have the rali bindings and I couldn't adjust, but later I saw markings for +15 and -15..so maybe he was wrong and I could have tried +15. At center position the ski was definitely a bit difficult to initiate turns unless I was really on top of it..then suddenly it would slither turns easily. I didn't feel like I particularly had to be going fast for that to happen..I just had to make sure to get an effective down-unweight happening and probably a bit more forward in my cuff (we were skiing in deep pow and crud so you'd think everything would be different in that situation). But I found myself constantly thinking in my head the skiis would turn more then they wanted to...except for suddendly I'd hit a little line and make 8 or 10 perfect turns and they would turn easily and smoothly. Wierd. It was extremely varied conditions...so hard to pinpoint the reason. here is my lenghthy head-to-head comparison against a legend 8000 from yesterday on the hill:

http://www.realskiers.com/quest/viewtopic.php?t=65

I surmised that I like the feel of the iM77's better, but that the 177cm is probably too long for me..compared to the 178 Legend. I'm afraid of 170cm, but I will try it. I guess (sigh) I need to try the 177cm in +15 binding position as well. But something tells me the shorter one in middle position might be right..as long as it can handle my 195 weight. I will try it. Otherwise, really smooth ski..I liked it a lot.
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