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HEAD im 82, 172

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All,
I copied this from my response in Noodlers 10 ski thread, and since there's a brief review in here felt it deserved a new thread as well.

So, I've enjoyed Noodler's opinion in the past and felt it is accurate on many skis that I've skied as well, so I was especially mindfull of his Head im 82 review.

After more deliberation I decided to pick one up (Dawg helped as well), and am very glad I did.

ME: 6ft, 167lbs, 38 years old, level 3 ski instructor, level 9 skier, teach and ski mostly off piste for Eric Deslauries All Mountain Ski Pros and a bit at Northstar. Ski all speeds, but rarely super fast anymore, I like a ski that I can ski slow motion billy goat turns, with plenty of skidding, then open it up into fast crud carves and quickly throw it back into a short swing at will, along with all the blends in between.

SNOW: new, wet rain on top, some pow to 12in, cut up heavy crud at Sugar Bowl plus groomers.

SKI: 172 IM 82
I was leary to go too short, but I have decided my 178 Jetfuel is too long and heavy feeling. i was thinking of going to the 170 and maybe even going back to the top fuel but in a 170 (i skied the 178 much of last year). I felt like i wanted a length between the 2 and a width between the 2, which is what brought me to the im 82. (I demoed hte 183, but felt it was tuned badly (railed) and too long)

and, It's GREAT! I didn't have the slow speed issues Noodler had, but it definitely is great at faster speeds as well (which was comforting on the shortest wider ski i've ever owned).

on the groomed it was solid in all shapes and radius of turns, it loved two footed railed turns, but didn't talk back when i shot it out of those into short swing. In the crud, it was unshakable while being friendly. The tip bends up way better then i anticipated based on previous Head experience and reveiws including Noodlers. It's a great crud ski, in all shapes of turns and speeds.

In the pow, WOW, this is one of the shortest narrowest skis I've skied pow in recent years (OK, the 178 top fuel last year), and it's great. the shovel bends up nicely and allows you to vary your input according to your desired path. it exceeded my expectations.

So, I haven't skied it in hard snow yet, but it's a wonderful midfat ski. I'm very happy with my choice and I don't have any head bias (except maybe slightly negative)

Maybe Noodlers ski he demoed was too sharp or railed or something so it only wanted to carve fast turns.



cheers,
wade
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post

Maybe Noodlers ski he demoed was too sharp or railed or something so it only wanted to carve fast turns.

cheers,
wade
Very nice review, Wade.

That last sentence got me to thinking.

I demoed three pairs of skis today, the Volkl AC-4 (in 184cm), the Head iM82 (in 183cm), and the Volkl Mantra in a 170cm, which was the only length they had. I'm 6'1", 195#. The day was a wonderful mix of blowing new snow, soft bumps, junky crud, and a little bit of hardpack.

Also, I *am* a rep for Head so I definitely am not necessarily completely objective. I was demoing the two Volkls because they're very popular skis and I like to have at least a little bit of an idea what I'm comparing to when I recommend skis to someone.

All that is a prelude to my own observations about the Ac-4. I didn't like last year's version at all and, while I liked this year's quite a bit more, I'm still not a big fan. It just seemed like the tips constantly want to try to start into a turn, even when I'm not really ready to. There seemed to be this ongoing feeling that the skis were trying to take *me* somewhere, rather than vice versa.

Your observation about tuning got me to wondering if that might have been the case with these AC-4's, even though the shop I got them from has an extremely good reputation on that sort of thing. Whatever it was, I just never had the feeling that I could relax and *ski* them without wondering where they might decide to go next. And I definitely didn't feel that their soft-snow performance was anywhere near the other two skis.

The Mantras, on the other hand, are VERY nice skis. Fun, quick, and predictable. I had a great time on them in the soft bumps but they still worked just fine on the little bit of hardpack I skied.

The iM82's were also very, very nice. I knew where they were going at any given point of the turn and they did everything I asked of them and more. Really smooth, surprisingly quick, and very stable at whatever speed. I ordered a pair.

Have fun on yours.
post #3 of 6
I had similiar impressions with regards to Volkl's Mantra, AC4, and Head's iM82.

I am a big Mantra fan-I think it is a great ski for really cruddy, deeper conditions, similiar to when I would use my Elan 777's, although the Mantra has a bit lighter snowfeel, IMO. I enjoy the Volkl AC4 every time I ski it, and it would be a great 1-ski choice for somebody out west who wants a super-versatile wide ski. I feel it is best suited for a skier who is skiing 50% on/50% off piste, and who wants something on the wider site. I wouldn't buy the AC4 as a quiver crudbuster ski-it just feels a little hooky, seemingly wanting to constantly turn. A friend of mine who manages the Volkl shop here owned the AC4 last year (he also has a Superspeed) and sold it in favor of a Mantra (he kept the Superspeed for is 2-ski quiver). His opinion was that the Mantra runs straight while the AC4 is touchy in crud, which I would agree with. I am of the opinion that less sidecut and a smoother feel is a bit better choice than a wide do-it-all carver for crud at speed. The iM82 also falls into that smooth, less-sidecut category for crud.

All of the wide all-mountain carvers I have tried have given up a little crud performance for more a more sporty, exciting groomer feel: this includes the Nordica Top Fuel/Jet Fuel, Volkl AC4, Atomic B5, Head iM77 (the newest version). It just goes to show us that we can't have everything, but can get perhaps 85-90% of the way there with one pair of skis!

If I was building a Volkl quiver, I would probably buy a Mantra and something from the Racetiger line, maybe an SL in 170cm or so. That would rock most every condition.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

more on 82

Thanks for the responses, gentlemen and once again, thanks for assisting even when you knew i wasn't a retail customer, Dawg.

I think your making a great choice, Bob.

I had another observation of the 82 and the head construction in general...

First off, this is feel thing... I feel seem to like "beefy" skies right now. Last year I had a nordica top fuel, a stockli SS and the mantra. All relatively beefy construction skis, so that gives you an idea of what i like. Interestingly, i'm a finesse skier who likes to soften the edge at will, but when i hit a hard edge, either to set an release or to ride, I want it be confidence inspiring.

so, with that background, i think some of these skis "track" terrain better then others. By track, I mean they almost tend to be able to mold themselves to the contours of the snow. I feel many skis only like to be flexed one way and then released. they don't like to mold to the terrain or skier input. That is why i'm so drawn to laminate skis, and some seem more supple then others without being soft. the 82 has a supple feel, while not being soft. It almost reminds me of volants i liked in the past that tracked terrain so well while being stable and quiet.

I like the nordy's but i feel they have a much simpler, more linear flex pattern that isn't a supple and terrain absorbing.

anyway, i don't know if this makes since and it's touchy feely, but i sure to like it. does this make since to anyone?

I also like the thinner beam of the head. it's almost low profile compared to the nordy and others...

since i'm on the 82 now, the head rep is trying to get me on the mojo 90 to replace my seth pistol (actually hippy stinx). Anyone have experiences with this ski? Bob, i'm thinking the mojo could be a good AT ski? thoughts...

cheers,
holiday
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post

since i'm on the 82 now, the head rep is trying to get me on the mojo 90 to replace my seth pistol (actually hippy stinx). Anyone have experiences with this ski? Bob, i'm thinking the mojo could be a good AT ski? thoughts...

cheers,
holiday
I know what you mean about the "feel" of Head skis - that's why it's so important to demo. There are literally dozens of really great skis on the market, but each has a distinctive feel. Each ski likes to be skied in a somewhat different way (some actually DEMAND it).

Some people really love that Head feel, a few don't. I've found just in the last week that about three out of four of the skiers I've talked into demoing various models (the 82, the 88, the SuperShape, and the Sweet Fat Thang) have loved the way they ski. That almost-instantaneous "WOW" factor. Many have already bought Heads.

A few, however, just didn't like them. These are good skiers whose opinions I respect. There's just something about their criteria and the way they generate turns that didn't mesh with Heads. That's what makes demoing so productive.

As to the Mojo 90 for a backcountry ski, I think it would be almost ideal. It's pretty lightweight, has a really nice, smooth flex to it, and is capable of skiing lots of different conditions. I'm considering a pair for backcountry myself. My only hesitation is that I really intended to go shorter this time with my backcountry skis. At my weight, the Mojo 90 in a 186 is the nearly perfect ski for descents, but I don't want to hike around with that longer, heavier length. I'm concerned that the 176 is just a little too short for my weight. I'm still debating. Actually, those iM82's felt so good in a 183 that I may just mount Fritschi's on them and call it good.

Just as an aside, did you know that Head will be introducing an iM95 in January? It's meant to fill the gap between the iM88 and the SuperMojo 105. I can't wait to give it a test run. It's a ski that should fit very well here in Wyoming, not to mention Utah, Montana, California, the PNW, and BC/Alberta.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holiday View Post
... since i'm on the 82 now, the head rep is trying to get me on the mojo 90 to replace my seth pistol (actually hippy stinx). Anyone have experiences with this ski? Bob, i'm thinking the mojo could be a good AT ski? thoughts...

cheers,
holiday
Holiday,

My daughter (potential big mountain ski competitor) is on the mojo 90 and loves it. Since we have the same boot size I've changed with her for a few runs. I can't say that I know the ski well but I will say that I have found it to perform very well in both soft snow and hard pack. Over Thanksgiving I was skiing my Metron B5's and traded with her on a very hard packed semi-steep slope. I was pretty impressed with the edge hold which was very close to the B5 but with noticeably less effort. I also know I have found it very easy to ski in soft snow the few times we switched last season. Sorry I don't have more info for you but I've chosen the Snoop Daddy as my second ski/soft snow/AT ski based on what I've read and it's extrememly light weight - which is why I haven't borrowed the mojo 90 more. If the Snoop Daddy skis as well as I think the mojo 90 does I may be on it a lot more that I originally anticipated.
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