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Head reviews from a Head agnostic

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
OK, so I'm not a big fan of Heads. Y'see, the last Heads I owned were those red Killy's (popularly regarded as the Worst Ski Ever Made), and the last I demoed were a pair of early iM75's that were total planks. But ironically this past week I had opportunity to demo for free nearly any 07 Head. Can't pass up free demos, so here are the reviews.

Conditions: Mt. St. Anne, Quebec, 6-10" heavy chopped fresh over man made ice, 15 F, windy.

Me: 6', 165, advanced, middle aged with funky knees, like to turn. Since the mid-90's have owned mostly Volkls and Fischers. Currently leaning toward Stocklis, still like Volkls over 80 mm.


iXRC 1200 (170): Surprisingly lively and tractable for a beefy ski. Quite good in bumps. Will carve any size turn you throw at it, but thrives on speed. Will skid but doesn't much like to. Cons: Not as smooth as I expected, and don't even think about skiing this from the backseat. Not a forgiving ski in terms of weight distribution.

iXRC 800 (170): Several instructors skied this. Most of the above applies, but softer and a bit more forgiving, a touch less confident at - or demanding of - warp speed. Probably a better pick for recreational, teaching, or a lighter skier like me.

C240 (156): My wife tried these, said compared to her 161 5* they were very light, easier to carve and just as secure on ice, surprisingly stable in crud. Cons: Have a speed limit compared to the 5*, lack that ski's rock solid feel transitioning between snow types. Good ski for intermediates who cruise on hardpack.

iSupershape (165): Whoa! Simply the best all purpose carver I've ever skied, and that includes the VS9, B5, SX11, RX8, 6*, 5*, Stockli Spirit. Smooth as a baby's butt, handles crud and chop like it's not there, dials in as much or as little power at turn's end as you ask. Even skids and pivots bumps if you want. One run I ditched my poles and did swooping arcs at crazy edge angles, patting the snow with my gloves - bliss. Cons: Not many. Could have a better grip on serious ice; not really a race ski although Head markets it that way. Will tolerate low edge angles and skidding, but a waste of money unless you carve hard and often.

iM82 (172): Mixed - mostly positive - feelings here. The proper comparison is to a AC4 at 177, not 170; both have the same turning radius and the same GS feel. The Monster's lighter and easier to initiate, probably because it's 5 cm shorter and has a softer front end, but it's noticably beefier from the binding rearward. That softer shovel made it nicer in what pow I could find along the sides. Has a more abrupt - and thrilling - kick from the tail than the AC4. Both are happy at ridiculous speeds on groomed, but the Monster prefers to carve (yes you can), while the AC4 is more tolerant. Better in soft bumps than the 177 AC4, but both are in the "managable" category. Cons: That tail can thrust you into the next dimension after a few turns; pay attention. Forgiving but heavy at low speeds. And like the XRC 1200, don't even think about backseating.
post #2 of 4
Nicely done!
post #3 of 4
Nice reviews. I too was surprised by the Head skis of the past several years.

So it looks like an agnostic becomes a believer?
post #4 of 4
I'm 6', 205#, ski the whole mountain, and my 170 cm. Head i.SuperShapes take me everywhere including fresh powder up to a foot deep...maybe deeper. Head did something very right with this ski. I tried my wife's i.XRC 800, 156 cm, and wow, do those hold an edge for me.

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