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Head IM72 or Elan M666

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Time for new skis. I currently ski on an Atomic 10.20, 170cm that I like ok. However If I recall correctly it has a 67 waist and a 20m radius and I think would like something a little wider and a smaller radius. The majority of my skiing is on small Midwestern hills with an occasional week in Colorado. I’m 49 years old 5’6” and 160 lbs. and consider myself an advanced skier, but certainly not an expert.

After considerable research on this forum and Real Skiers I’ve narrowed my choices to the Head Monster IM72 in either a 163 or 170 and the Elan M666 in a 168 (maybe a 160).

Unfortunately, my local shop has a minimal number of skis available to Demo. I hope to demo the Elan this weekend, but they do not have the Head. Compounding that my current skis are canted approximately 3 degrees so I’m not sure if a demo would be entirely meaningful. I guess I can use duct tape to cant temporarily.

I’m kind of leaning towards the Head, but would like to know if the railflex can be canted. I’d considering having my boot sole planed but would prefer to just cant the bindings. Seems to me it’s a lot easier to fine tune the canting that way. I also understand this ski can be ordered flat, but I like the idea of being able to move the binding in order to better align my BoF with the center of the running surface.

The M666 is a little wider and has a larger turn radius but it’s comes flat.

So how do these two skis compare to each other and to my old 10.20.
Can the railflex be canted?
What length should I consider?
What bindinds do you recommend if I choose the Elan.

post #2 of 11
Both the Head Monster iM 72 and the Elan M666 are top quality skis. Both will outperform your existing ski in every situation. Both reward skill but are forgiving. You cant go wrong with either, based on your description.

The Railflex can be canted ONLY if you buy the flat ski and have the dealer install the binding. If either ski has a premounted plate, you will not be able to cant the ski by using shims.

Having said this, It would be better to cant the boot by planning the sole. Finding a midwest ski shop with the skill to do this is not easy. You might consider having this done at a major resort. For example the GMOL at Stratton or Superior at Snowbird will do an expert job at a fair price.

This eliminates the conflict between ski & binding type; the gear selection should be based on performance requirements and not the ability to place a shim between the ski and binding.

I would consider the iM 72 in a 163cm and the M666 in a 168cm.

Hope that helps,

post #3 of 11
Do a search for member Dawgcatching and drop him an email or PM.
He sells both Head & Elan and offers some of the best advice, service & prices on this board. I recently purchased my 666 from him and am thrilled.
Start by looking here:
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice so far.

I have talked to Dawgcatching. It’s in a large part due to his posts and our conversation that I narrowed my search to these two skis.

I agree that boot sole planning is the preferred option. However, at some point I’ll be replacing my existing boots (Technica Innotec 9x, I believe), but that’s for another thread. Therefore, I’m reluctant to send my existing boots out to have them planed only to replace them, not to mention not skiing for a week or so. Furthermore, I feel it might be easier to fine tune my canting requirements by canting the binding and experimenting with duct tape. Then when I’m dialed in send the boots out to have them planed and remove the cant strips from the skis. Not sure my local boot fitters are the best in determining alignment needs and not sure when my next trip to a major resort will be. Alternately, I might just wait till my next trip which probably won’t be till next spring and buy boots along with a complete alignment analysis then.

Anybody have any other recommendation on where to have my soles planed if I go that route. If I send my boots out I won’t need an alignment analysis so I’d like to keep the cost as reasonable as possible, especially since I will be replacing my boots.

I’m in agreement with the length recommendations (163/168). Any body else care to comment.

Any other thoughts or recommendations on these two skis? Any factor to help tip the scales in one direction?
post #5 of 11
i am exactly your weight and for me the iM72 felt correct in the 170 length. shorter would have worked on groomers too but we want some float, don't we?

they ski long icompared to my k2 skis.

but again, if you in fact ski smaller hills most of the time and want it to a bit easier going, the 163 will be just as good except in pow and crud.

teh ski has some decent edge hold, carves nicely and floats better than expected. very solid feel.
post #6 of 11
Originally Posted by ski205
Anybody have any other recommendation on where to have my soles planed if I go that route. If I send my boots out I won’t need an alignment analysis so I’d like to keep the cost as reasonable as possible, especially since I will be replacing my boots.
Where do you live?, I'm in Chicago and can recommend 3 shops with good reputations.


post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Near St. Louis.
post #8 of 11
Here is a good discussion of sole planning

This website is also helpful

Snowcrest in Crestwood ; Viking in Chicago ; and Vertical Drop in St. Charles

These provide average to above average selection & service. Some closeouts but few bargains. All cater to the "Doctors & Lawyers" clientele profile.

Flint Michigan has a great ski shop, Shumakers has a superb selection including a range of closeouts

Will you ski out west this year?


post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the leads. Unfortunately I don’t fit the "Doctors & Lawyers" clientele profile. Very much on a budget.

I don’t have anything planned for out west this year yet. If I do go, it won’t be until my son’s spring break the end of March. We do have two race weekends in Wisconsin planned for February. He races and I mostly volunteer/watch. Afterwards we get to ski together, if I can keep up. How is it that my kid has better equipment than me?

Still looking for additional comments regarding these two skis and the appropriate length.

post #10 of 11
basically the 163 will hold but the 170 will be easy enough, too. my suggestion is 170.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Any comparison of these two skis. What diferences would I expect between the two.
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