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Review: Head iM82 (2007) vs. iM77 Chip vs. iM88

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
Skis reviewed: 2007 Head iM82 172cm, 2006 Head iM77 Chip 170cm, 2006 iM88 175cm
Conditions: 3-10" of moderately-heavy fresh, soft courdoroy on the groomers, soft bumps, first sunlight I had seen here in a month!
Skier height/weight: 5 foot 9, 155lbs
Skier ability: high 8/racer
All skis set up with 1 degree base/2 side, Railflex binding

The new Head Monster iM82's came in yesterday, so it was time to get these skis mounted and up on the hill. I have also been skiing the iM77 Chip and iM88 alot recently (and today) so time for a comparison.

Head Monster iM82 (2007 model) 172cm:
Full Laminate ski, 1610 flex, radius 17.76m, dimensions 122/82/108. First off, this is a sharp-looking ski. Pictures don't do it justice: the topsheet has kind of a metallic 3D graphic that really looks quite different (I like it). Even a co-worker, who hates most ski graphics, said it was growing on him (the only ski he likes looks-wise on the wall is the Elan 999 (cherry-laminate topsheet)). I like the iM82's graphic better than the other Monsters, but I really could care less about how the skis look. Thought I would mention it, FWIW.

First two turns on this ski, and you know it means business. It just wants to run, run, run. You know how people describe the iXRC 1200 SW as a ski that just won't slow down? Well, here is your all-mountain counterpart. Not that this skis like the 1200 SW: it doesn't, but it does like to go fast, and definintely is "race bred".

There just wasn't any speed limit to this ski. I was flying through crud, and no deflection, no instability, no worries. Wide enough to float really over any of the crap I was encountering. Quite smooth, not real damp. Feels similiar to the iM88 in this regard (same speed limit-very, very fast). Not really quicker edge-to-edge than the iM88 off piste, but definitely moreso on groomers. Basically, it will blast through anything, at most any turn radius. I found it to be more versatile than the iM88 in this regard. The iM77 is a little heavier (with the same bulldozer feel) and a shade more quickness, although the iM82 is more stable in a similiar length (172 vs. 170) but also more work. For crud, I may move the binding upward: skiing it off of the tail in crud just doesn't work well: the ski is pretty stiff and not too forgiving, and the tip isn't soft and easy to initiate like the K2 Outlaw. You had better be rolling this thing up onto edge with good initiation/inside foot movements, otherwise it balks.

On groomers, the iM82 was much quicker edge-to-edge. I could crank out any sort of turn radius on this ski: carved SL turns on steep pitches, GS rippers on wide groomers. The tail was very powerful, and had a little more snap than, say my i-GS RD's. Even a little livelier than the iXRC 1200 SW, and I dare to say a bit more fun-it didn't seem to be as GS-turn oriented. Great deep-trench carver, at least on the soft snow. If skied from the midpoint, it makes for a powerful ski on groomers, but you will need to be in good position to initiate. It doesn't like to be driven from the backseat-another indication that this ski is race-bred and for good skiers only. Wickedly-stable once the groomers became cut-up: I hardly noticed the rough snow on the iM82. For anything but sheer ice, this will replace a race ski on rocket-speed groomer skiing, and be just as stable, less work, and perhaps more fun. Definitely more forgiving than a full GS race board on steep pitches, and if the snow is fairly soft-no contest.

In bumps, the ski was more workable than the iM88, and not quite as easy as the iM77 (which will carve nice lines in bumps). The iM82 isn't going to be a bump ski, but you can get down a mogulfield in decent style. The iM88 is more or less a handful-big radius, stiff/wide tip, just not a bump ski.

Quick Comparison:

Monster iM77 Chip 170cm: A bit less stable than the 172 iM82 (exactly what you would expect) but still isn't going to be outskied, even by aggressive experts. Heavier feel underfoot, similiar quickness, a little tighter turn radius. Better in bumps (softer tip) and similiar crud performance. Smooth, almost as powerful in the tail. Definitely more forgiving, and doesn't always want to run like the iM82. Softer tip is easier in the bumps, the ski is powerful underfoot on groomers (almost as much so as the iM82). You can relax on the iM77 much more and be lazy if you prefer, and the ski will let you get away with it. The iM82 wants your "A" game. I would say 90% plus of the sheer performance of the iM82, much more forgiving, a better choice for advanced skiers looking for an all-mountain ride that is rewarding yet not as demanding. You could basically say the iM77 is the iM82 "lite".

Monster iM88: pretty darn similiar to the iM82. A shade more forgiving (maybe longer ski has more tail?). A bit better float in crud, slower edge-to-edge, not as good in short turns, identical speed limit, same overall feel, a little lower energy ski. Better performance for lighter skiers (IMO). I would take the 82 over the 88 due to it's more agile nature, as I don't need extra float in most conditions. If I lived on a bigger mountain, though, I might feel differently.


If you are considering these three: choose the iM88 if:
1)you ski off-piste more than on-piste and really place crudbusting as 1st priority
2)you ski in wide-open spaces, don't tackle bumps, and don't need a ski that really shines in tight spaces
3) you weigh quite a bit and would like extra float
4) you want GS stability and a big GS feel in your skis

Choose the iM82 if:
1) you split time between groomers and backside conditions, and ski very fast in both conditions
2) you need a ski that can navigate tight spots and bumps occasionally
3) you place a high priority on the carving ability of a ski, and want the power of a race board underfoot at all times.
4) You are a solid level 8 or above skier (or are planning to get there in short order)

Choose the iM77 if:
1) you are a 50% groomer/50% backside skier, or want a great carving ski for hard snow that can go out West a few times a year.
2) you ski fast, but like to relax from time to time.
3) you need a bump-navigable ski
4) you are regularly dodging other skiers on small hills/narrow runs.
5) you are a level 7/8 skier looking to improve, or a level 9 who doesn't want something as demanding as the iM82/88
6) you are looking for a GS/SL hybrid feel, that combines some of the best attributes of each.
post #2 of 47
As expected always from dawg, what a great review!

I'm feeling particularly pleased that I bought the 77 Chip and only regret that I'm not in Utah or Colorado at the moment. When the east has snow, the 77 Chip also skis great.
post #3 of 47
Dawgkatching:

What a superlative review. If I had not already got a pair of 82's, I would have called you to score a pair. I will be breaking them in at Alta over the next week beginning tomorrow.

Stan
post #4 of 47
Scott, nice review. I am about ready to call you and move on some skis. Could you comment on how the Head 77/82/88 series compares to the Elan 666/777/999 series based on what you learned from this review?

thanks, Craig
post #5 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219
Scott, nice review. I am about ready to call you and move on some skis. Could you comment on how the Head 77/82/88 series compares to the Elan 666/777/999 series based on what you learned from this review?

thanks, Craig
The 999 is much softer in flex and more of a powder/crud board. Nice carver, can be overpowered on hard snow, and isn't really comparable to the Head's listed above. A couple of PSIA L2's that borrowed the ski loved it even on soft groomers, but they weren't skiing Mach 3. It definitely isn't a race board. Elan 777 is most similiar to the iM88, a little more damp and heavy-feeling underfoot, just as stable, maybe even moreso. The 777 feels more like the iM77 in feel, but is more like the iM88 in performance: it has kind of a blast-through it feel, vs the lighter, slightly more nimble iM88 feel (but smoother than either of the Heads). The iM77 is a little turnier than the 666, more stable in a shorter length (176 666 is equivalent to 170 iM77 stability-wise), a little heavier underfoot, not as smooth, with a bit more "pop" in the turn. I think the 666 makes more round turns, a little softer in flex (better in the deeper stuff), you can work the ski a little more (the flex on the iM77 is a little stiffer and I end up skiing the sidecut more than anything). The iM77's shorter sidecut can bail out lesser skiers, while the 666 needs to be arced cleanly for best performance (although groomed-snow cruiser types love it too). The iM82 is somewhat close to the 666, but wider, a little more float, just as quick, not as smooth, a little stiffer and more powerful, and a shade more demanding. The easiest way to explain the difference is that the 666 feels more like a traditional GS ski that is smooth, stable, and doesn't red-line you. The iM82 just is a little peppier, but with similiar performance. I think that if you took a 666 and 777, combined their best attributes, and added a little more stoutness to the flex and made them a shade livelier, you would have the iM82. All of the Head's I have skied have been closer to Atomic and Nordica in terms of power, the Elan's closer to Volkl: smoother but with energy, not damp like K2/French skis. Due to the stouter flex, they just seem to ski a bit differently. One day next week, I will get more time on the iM82, and ski it back-to-back against the Magfire 12 (my current personal ski), and follow up.

Also, I will be attending the Vegas show, but you can PM me. I won't be back in the shop until Thursday, but if you know what you want, there will be somebody who can take your order. Thanks!
post #6 of 47
Great review set up. I love the "Choose XXX if..." section
post #7 of 47
Great thread!

Dawg's thread also compares the Elan 666 & 777 to the Head iM 77, iM 82 & iM 88. That provides the reader with 5 expert-level all-mountain/deep snow skis to consider.

He likes all of them and indicates what kind of skier and what conditions are a match with each model.

Cheers,
Michael
post #8 of 47
Thanks for the reviews, Dawg. Im still loving my 77chips; yesterday I finally got around to moving the bindings forward +15 after 20 days on 0. I noticed a positive difference on the groomed and it didn't seem to affect off piste performance in the trees and steeps. A very verstaile ski.
Cheers.
post #9 of 47
Dawgs reviews are what the "ski-mag-rags" should be striving for!

I felt like I was on the snow while reading them. Now, 82 or 77?????

I loved the "need to dodge skiers" comment!
post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by craigr
Thanks for the reviews, Dawg. Im still loving my 77chips; yesterday I finally got around to moving the bindings forward +15 after 20 days on 0. I noticed a positive difference on the groomed and it didn't seem to affect off piste performance in the trees and steeps. A very verstaile ski.
Cheers.
Great review. Makes me feel good about choosing the 77's.

I tried my 77's in the +15 position yesterday and hated it. While that was the only way I could ski my older 75's, on the 77's the tails skidded all over the place when set up +15. Probably is my (lack of ) technique, but put them back at 0 and they ripped. These do love to go fast. My older 75's didn't have the chip.
post #11 of 47
Great review !
Thanks
post #12 of 47

Which size? and chip or not?

In my research, I am heavily headed more and more towards the iM77 as the ski for me. I plan to demo a chip version this saturday. They don't have the non-chip at that particular store.

Two questions for you guys.

1 - Chip or non-chip? Who has experience riding both sets of boards and can elaborate on how they will each handle. A store rep just told me that some head rep told him they are discontinuing the chip version next year because they feel there is not that much difference between the two. I've read elsewhere that the non-chip is perhaps softer and more forgiving while the chip is perhaps quieter and smoother and perhaps holders better edges on hardpack, etc.. But that could be old marketing hype. I'd really like to hear real world experiences.

2 - Regarding size on this ski...who is skiing in 177's? Normally I ski in the 2nd longest size of just about any kid and its usually about right for me if not a tad too short. This ski people are saying the 170, but that is the 3rd size down from the top. There is a 177 and 181. I'm inclined to try the 177, which is what I'm demoing this weekend, but I'd love to hear from other people that have tried the various lengths and can comment. For comparison I am 190 pounds, 5'10", aggresive/expert skier, all types of terrain. I want to be able to cruise, do quick fall line, handle the bumps down the zipper line, hit the powder and crud..pretty much do it all.. I'm thinking I'm used to 187 midfats...so the 177 will probably be fine for me...but who knows.the technology is always changing so fast its hard to know.

thanks in advance!
post #13 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewdman42
In my research, I am heavily headed more and more towards the iM77 as the ski for me. I plan to demo a chip version this saturday. They don't have the non-chip at that particular store.

Two questions for you guys.

1 - Chip or non-chip? Who has experience riding both sets of boards and can elaborate on how they will each handle. A store rep just told me that some head rep told him they are discontinuing the chip version next year because they feel there is not that much difference between the two. I've read elsewhere that the non-chip is perhaps softer and more forgiving while the chip is perhaps quieter and smoother and perhaps holders better edges on hardpack, etc.. But that could be old marketing hype. I'd really like to hear real world experiences.

2 - Regarding size on this ski...who is skiing in 177's? Normally I ski in the 2nd longest size of just about any kid and its usually about right for me if not a tad too short. This ski people are saying the 170, but that is the 3rd size down from the top. There is a 177 and 181. I'm inclined to try the 177, which is what I'm demoing this weekend, but I'd love to hear from other people that have tried the various lengths and can comment. For comparison I am 190 pounds, 5'10", aggresive/expert skier, all types of terrain. I want to be able to cruise, do quick fall line, handle the bumps down the zipper line, hit the powder and crud..pretty much do it all.. I'm thinking I'm used to 187 midfats...so the 177 will probably be fine for me...but who knows.the technology is always changing so fast its hard to know.

thanks in advance!
Chip or non chip? I just went through this same decision, and ended up getting the non chip. I had skied the chip version and thought that it was a little damp for my liking. I prefer a ski with a more lively feeling, and probably would not have bought the im77 had the non chip not been available.

I ended up buying the non chip based on a friend's recommendation and plenty of research since I could not find the non chip to demo. I couldn't be happier with my decision. The non chip version is plenty damp and extremely stable at speed, but with much more rebound. FWIW-Keelty's site gives these skis exactly the same marks in all categories except rebound and forgiveness, in which he favors the non chip.

As to size, it's a toss up. I'm 6'4" 250 and I bought the 177 to fill a hole in my quiver between my 8000 (184 cm) and my RX 8 (175 cm). The 177 has worked out great for what I bought it for. Had I been buying the im77 as a 1 ski quiver, I'd have bought the 181cm.

Hope this helps.
post #14 of 47
Coach- thanks, this was going to be my next question to post.
post #15 of 47
Hi Coach,

I am planning to replace my 182cm Dynastar Intuitive 74 this summer and am considering both the Monster iM 77 and Legend 8000.

Like you and Finndog (hi Ron), I use a Fischer Worldcup for hard snow; mine is the RC in a 175cm. So the 77 or 8000 would see almost no hard snow activity.

My data: 6’ 0", 215lbs. male, 40th season skiing, former USSA & High School 7-day-a-week competitor in New Hampshire. I use a modern carving technique and I like ice as much as I like soft snow.

I use medium radius turns at higher speeds. I stay away from shark-teeth like bumps. I like my soft snow ski to be forgiving of the kind of mistakes that come with tired legs and variable conditions. I’m a big guy and I sometimes feel the urge for Super G speeds, so the ski can’t be wimpy. The ski needs to resist diving in bottomless snow, but I like to drop below the surface when in powder and I don’t know why some people like to ski on powder, but that’s another thread. Anyway, I’m not looking for a super-wide, more of a versatile crud buster with bottomless snow ability.

Would you recommend the 8000 or 77?

Thanks,

Michael
post #16 of 47
Just got off the phone with Head usa. Here's what I learned for 07

IM 77- same dims, 119-77-104. New graphics, much in the same theme as the 82. Black top with green and red at bottom.

IM 72- same dims, blue on top with red and orange at bottom.

Supposedly, only very limited distribution of the 07's for now.

If any sees these at any shops please give me a shout
post #17 of 47
Michael, you'd be abler to decide between the two if you told us what kind of "feel" you want or seek in a ski. That's the bigger difference between the two skis you're considering.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv
So the 77 or 8000 would see almost no hard snow activity.
Based on the above quoted factor, I'd probably say the 8000's. They have a little more width for float and they are a tad more forgiving than the im77.

They're both great skis.
post #19 of 47
unless the Coach has an idea to share, that is.
post #20 of 47
Hi UC,

The feel thing is one of those important but vague topics...

On hard snow I like the feel of Austrian & German made skis. I liked everything about my Fischer Worldcup RC, Scenio S500, my son's RX-8, and my Volkl G30. I also use a Rossignol Cobra X and like that the ski; its quick and performs well with very little effort, but its not a ski I would want to push it all the way with.

For soft snow I like the Dynastar Intuitive 74. I consider it competent but a little bland, more Toyota than BMW. But that "blandness" also provides reliable results from less effort. I also liked my Salomon Super mountains from 2001. Effortless in powder, a little heavy and sluggish on-piste, however.

Cheers,

Michael
post #21 of 47
Mike, how about the IM82?
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog
Mike, how about the IM82?
Ron, You know me; It has to be a bargain. I expect the IM82 to sell at near list price for the next 12 months, The Monster 77 & Legend have been in the marketplace for at least a year and can be found at a discount. In-fact the legend can be found at around $400.00 w/o bindings.

I would also want to try the IM82 first. It might be a little too demanding of stamina for high altitude and choppy snow. The Fischer RC is moderately demanding, but in Vermont on groomed snow I can manage. Higher altitude and skiing powder or crud is more of a physical challenge, so the ski needs to be more forgiving. I'm not as young as I used to be!

Cheers,

Michael
post #23 of 47
See Dawgcatcher's price, yes it aint 50% off but I think it's a good price at $559 plus bindings. I think if you are looking at a crud buster, the 82 may be a real consideration. It is actually easier to ski a wider, stable ski in those conditions. I think Uncle Crud can attest to that with his 88's. You are working a lot more with thinner, less stable skis, Think of this, how much is it worth to ski longer and stronger? How much will you actually be saving by having a ski that lets you ski more hours on- Factor lift pass, hours on skis and added hours skiing with great big sh*t eating grin

Trip to Utah-2,000
discounted pass- 45
Skiing an extra 2 hours per day- priceless....
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog
See Dawgcatcher's price, yes it aint 50% off but I think it's a good price. I think if you are looking at a crud buster, the 82 may be a real consideration. It is actually easier to ski a wider, stable ski in those conditions. I think Uncle Crud can attest to that with his 88's. You are working a lot more with thinner, less stable skis, Think of this, how much is it worth to ski longer and stronger? How much will you actually be saving by having a ski that lets you ski more hours on- Factor lift pass, hours on skis and added hours skiing with great big sh*t eating grin

Trip to Utah-2,000
discounted pass- 45
Skiing an extra 2 hours per day- priceless....
Good point. I should also stop spending all those hours combing eBay...

Cheers,

Michael
post #25 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv
Good point. I should also stop spending all those hours combing eBay...
That's another story.......
post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrettscv
Ron, You know me; It has to be a bargain. I expect the IM82 to sell at near list price for the next 12 months, The Monster 77 & Legend have been in the marketplace for at least a year and can be found at a discount. In-fact the legend can be found at around $400.00 w/o bindings.

I would also want to try the IM82 first. It might be a little too demanding of stamina for high altitude and choppy snow. The Fischer RC is moderately demanding, but in Vermont on groomed snow I can manage. Higher altitude and skiing powder or crud is more of a physical challenge, so the ski needs to be more forgiving. I'm not as young as I used to be!

Cheers,

Michael
I think you're correct on the pricing, outside of what Scott offers of course.

It's hard to decide where to emphasize on crud snow skis. You're correct that forgiveness is crucial if you don't spend most of your time in crud at altitude. At the same time, stability often overcomes the need for forgiveness, provided you're confident enough to guide the skis correctly and hang on for the ride.

the iM 88 is forgiving for a ski of its power and edgehold and stability, but it can be a taskmaster in the crud if you get your fore/aft balance & pressure confused. maybe the better ski for you to consider isn't the iM 88 or 77 or 82, but the Elan M666 or M777?
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncle crud
...
the iM 88 is forgiving for a ski of its power and edgehold and stability, but it can be a taskmaster in the crud if you get your fore/aft balance & pressure confused.
I demoed the iM 88 the other day in pretty deep powder and crud and loved it.

I tried both the 175 and the 186 (I think those were the lengths, anyway). I really, really liked the smoothness and power of the 186, but what I'm really looking for is a new backcountry/skinning ski. I was surprised at how well the 175 seemed to handle even in deep snow, so I think that's going to be the one.

On a completely different note, I also demoed the 175cm Supershape. Oh, my fracking Lord! What a ski. I absolutely must figure out a way to own a pair of those as well.

I love the way Head skis feel. :
post #28 of 47
How is that Supershad in crud and pow?
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Peters
I demoed the iM 88 the other day in pretty deep powder and crud and loved it.

I tried both the 175 and the 186 (I think those were the lengths, anyway). I really, really liked the smoothness and power of the 186, but what I'm really looking for is a new backcountry/skinning ski. I was surprised at how well the 175 seemed to handle even in deep snow, so I think that's going to be the one.

On a completely different note, I also demoed the 175cm Supershape. Oh, my fracking Lord! What a ski. I absolutely must figure out a way to own a pair of those as well.

I love the way Head skis feel. :
isn't it a tremendousl ski? it's just blown me away. I haven't found a condition that creates unease, in the ski or in me. the tip can hook & dive if you muscle your turn initiations in crud & pow, but if you are settled and calm (which still can be powerful & strong) they deliver a great ride.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by dewdman42
How is that Supershad in crud and pow?
Powder:

I weigh 195# so I'm well over 200# with boots and clothes, etc, and the longest Supershape made is the 175cm. So for me, it skis down *in* the powder rather than really float on top. Still, I felt no tendency at all for it to "dive". In the powder, I kept expecting to have to muscle it around but I didn't ever feel that way. It just felt smooth and comfortable. Now, I wouldn't necessarily pick it as my preferred ski for a day of 24" of untracked fluff, but I could sure as heck ski it without cursing the whole time.

Crud:

Aaahhh... crud. This ski was just absolutely bomber. No deflection, no hesitation, it just powered through whatever was in the way. It has this interesting feel that is just glued to the snow. Damp, stable, powerful, and confidence-inspiring.

I had that pair for two days (thanks, Head rep) and skied every kind of condition on our mountain. I liked them so much I even went over to our NASTAR course and ran a few gates for my first time this year. I even beat the pacesetter (okay, it was only by .02 seconds, but he's 35 years younger than me so I was pretty psyched).

Have I mentioned how much I liked the Supershapes? :

I've got to steal them from the rep so I can ski them down in Snowbasin at the Gathering.
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Review: Head iM82 (2007) vs. iM77 Chip vs. iM88