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2008 Head Raptor 120 RS boot review

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
So, I recieved a pair of the new Head Raptor 120 RS last boots, in a size 25. The sole length is 293mm. The last on this boot is supposedly 99mm, with a moderate thickness leather liner. The flex is 120, and is available in 130 and 150 in the narrower 95mm RD last (not sure if it is available in the 99mm last in the stiffer models).

The Raptor is a revamped boot for Head. The cuff is more upright, and the ramp angle has changed. It is based off the boot that Bode and the other Head athletes are skiing. For comparison, it is a bit more upright than my Head RD96, and I have a 3mm lifter on the toe for my RD's. It also has an adjustable spline angle, and can be straightened via screws by another 1-2 degrees (I haven't played with this feature). Other than that, it is a stripped down, bare-bones boot with the cool double-power strap and the bale-style buckles.

Fit-wise, this boot is almost identical to my RD96's, which have been streched in the toe by about 2mm. The Raptor feels more like 97 or 98mm in the forefoot: my foot fills up the footbet entirely. The heel is of similiar width to the old RD. It is very snug without being uncomfortable in any way (I have a C-width foot). I have a little less than 1 finger width behind my heel in a 25, and I wear a size 8/8.5 shoe. The calf is fairly narrow as well. The biggest difference over the old RD/RS is the slighly more forgiving forefoot.

Flex-wise, this boot is much, much softer than the old RD, which is known as a burly boot. The cuff is only about 1/2 as thick of plastic as the RD (which I had to soften considerably). Even after softening the RD (I thinned out the split tounge of the lower by at least 1/3, shaved the cuff down, and cut a huge V in the back of the boot) the new Raptor is about 5% softer. It was a perfect freeskiing flex, if not a little soft for the gates I ran. I will be using this boot exclusively on freeskiing days.

Responsiveness is equal to the RD, as would be expected. If I think "turn", I turn. There is no lag that I usually get in the consumer boots I have recently owned (XWave 10, Dolomite ProZ130). The boot goes wherever I ask it to, without questions or unneccesary bulkiness. As it is a fairly stripped-down boot, it feels light without being unstable.

The ramp and forward lean angles really worked for me on this boot. Out of the box, it skied noticeably better than my current RD, even though I have had work done to that boot to get my stance as neutral as possible (3mm toe lift, sole planing on R and L boot). I just felt very neutral in this boot: I am right on the cuff when I want to be, and can get my hips forward more naturally than in the old RD, which was my previous standard. I am able to get into the turn earlier and more powerfully than previously on my old boots, which made a huge difference in stability. Once I get dialed in with my bootfitter (Jim Mates of Seattle) I expect things to improve even more. I would prefer a bit more stiffness for running gates, but I will keep my RD's for that purpose. The Raptor 120's will be my everyday freeski boot.
post #2 of 19
Are they going to have a 103mm last variant?
post #3 of 19
I see that you have a C width foot. I'm between a C and D. Would this boot be too snug?
post #4 of 19
post #5 of 19
I also skied this boot on wed. My current boot are Krypton Pro's as stiff as we can make them. I found this boot fit a lot better than my old Head races from three season's ago ( forgot the name). the quickness is different than the Kryptons but in a good way on hard snow. Dawg, there is a set of extra screws to supposedly stiffen the boot to a 130. Being a demo boot I could not change this but I'm not sure how well it will work anyway. did you have any soreness in your ankle bone area compared to your 96's?
I think this may be my home area boot for next season just using the others for out west.
post #6 of 19
Hey there dawg man can you compare the fit to some other sorta narrow boots for us skinny foot people like say I dont know maybe a Flexon Comp or a Krypton Pro or a Rossinol Elite Pro1 cause its hard to find boots that are narrow enough without going through that pain of plug boot mods.
post #7 of 19
I am looking at a picture of the boot in a French catalogue and I see mention of the double power strap but I dont see it. Looks like nearly the same boot at now just a different color. http://www.alternativemedia.fr/data/...ver_1206OK.pdf
post #8 of 19

Great Boot - Highly Reccomend

Hi There,

Writting in from California. I am a seasoned skier, and fit boots are some great shops including Any Mountain, Aspen Sports, and Hoback Sports. I have primarily skied on racing boots from Rossignol, Salomon, and Nordica. I have a "c" width foot.

I used to ski approx 120+ days a year, but now a weekend warrior caught up in the corporate life.

I picked up a pair of these up in Whistler this fall, also had the toe punched out a bit. Got it in a 27.0, which has been my standard size.

I immediately found this boot to be highly responsive, snug fitting, and instant turn feel. Just think about turning, and they go. Flex is perfect for me - 100% freeskiing. Stiff enough to take the boards up to speed on the hard pack, and soft enough for the junk, pow, and bumps.

I really like the upright stance, and works very well for modern ski technique. It felt like an old friend from the first run. Love that it's light weight, and the buckles seem to be very dourable to date. Zero complaints, and a 100% fan of this boot!!
post #9 of 19
An expert skier I know, who is also an expert bootfitter, couldn't get his Raptors to fit him right. There was too much room on top of his foot. When he was thrown back he didn't have the boot/foot contact to quickly re-center himself the way he liked. He's back to his favorite black Head boots of recent past.

I've heard other stories of skier who greatly like their Raptors. They're an excellent boot, but no boot is right for every foot.
post #10 of 19
I love them, best boots Ive owned. I have the 130s soon to be 150s.
post #11 of 19
I am skiing in the raptor 150, set to the factory default 140 with a Booster strap.

best boot I have ever skied on. The most balanced fore/aft I have felt. I find the boot very versatile. jim Mates also does all of our bootwork. he worked on them once (95mm last and my forefoot is much wider then that), he also straightened the boot up some) actually I believe it has more forward lean then the Rd96 my last boot, but much les ramp angle.

Biggest deal is getting the damn things on. I am using the Lace liner which is much much thinner then the 120 Rs. But lets me really wrap the liner around my slim lower legs.

I skied yesterday 23 runs 30,000 vertical fett in the boot from 7:45 AM until 3 PM. toatally comfortable.

To get me balanced I have a small heel lift and am using the spoilers.

Very, very precise and powerful, much warmer then the Rd 96 or salomn X2. I have found it to ski bumps powder and hardpack equally as well. I have skied the boot down to about 13 degrees F and although stiff, the booster strap makes it workable.
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I am still really happy with my pair. The 98 last is just about right, and is narrower than most that are said to be around 98mm. The liner is superb: a little thick at first, but it really wraps around my leg. FWIW, the internal boot boards are canted at least 3 degrees out from the factory, which also helps me (my knees dive to the inside, meaning that I need an internal cant to keep them tracking straight). And, the flex is perfect for all-mountain skiing. I have a small heel lift in there as well, other than that, it is stock. I can't say enough good things about it, yet I have only seen a couple of other pair all season. They don't seem to be that popular yet, which is a shame. At first, I was using a Dolomite liner, as the stock liner was a little to thick and putting my feet to sleep, but the Dolomite liner left a gap around my calf, and I wasn't getting instant engagement with the cuff. The stock liner is definitely the way to go, although if you want the thinner lace-up liner that comes on the 130/150, I hear that it can be ordered.
post #13 of 19
I bought a pair of the Raptor RS 120 boots yesterday and skied them for a couple of hours today. I consider myself a strong intermediate skier, whatever that means. I'm 5'9" and 170 - 175 lbs. Out of the box they are 110 flex and I might drill out the next hole and at least try them at 120. I'm 43 and skied occasionally until 4 years ago and since then I've been getting out about 25 times a year. I've been skiing on the RX8s this year which I bought from Dawgcatching in a year end clearance last year. Great price, great initial set up and a great ski. For the last 4 years, I was in a pair of Dalbello Avanti V10s which was described as a great performance for the price boot. It actually was pretty stiff on its highest setting. Both are mondo size 26. The sole on the Dalbello was 306 and on the Raptors its 303.

The fit of these boots is great. I'm a c+ width though I always wear D in a street shoe. The fit is tight through the ankle and the instep. It seems to match the shape of my foot much better. It's tight everywhere instead of in a couple of spots. My heel is much more secure and the achilles area is much tighter. My left foot does tend to go numb, but I think that will go away after the liner is a little packed in. I also I sprained my left ankle a couple of weeks ago and it's still a little swollen. The forward lean is listed as 15*, but they seem more upright. I tend to be sensitive to too much forward lean and my quads tend to quickly burn out. I had no problems with that.

There is a noticeable difference in the performance of this boot. I thought my olds boots were OK, but these are so much more responsive. Descriptions stating that all you have to do is think turn are pretty accurate. Snow feel is also much improved. I can really feel the edges of my skis as I'm skiing. Of course this means they magnify any poor technique. Overall though I think this will really help my skiing as it will keep me from getting sloppy.
post #14 of 19
 G'day. Picking up my new Peak 78's (177cm) week and also think it's time for new boots. I'm deciding between these and the Head Vector 120. From the Head site, it seems the Vector has a thicker linern and only 2 slightly softer settings (120, 110). This year's Raptor is slightly stiffer with 3 settings (115, 125, 135).

Anyone have a chance to try both of these boots and have any opinion? FYI I am a very similar profile to Skinnydog, 2" inches taller and 10-15 lbs heavier. I will be going from my CSIA level one this year. 

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just a follow-up: this is a great boot, but the stock liner is pretty lousy.  Really thick and lacking precision for a boot of this caliber. I replaced mine with a lace-up liner from the Lange Super Comp, and it really improved the responsiveness of the boot.  I have the Super Comp WC 140 boot, and even though there is a published difference in the last (92mm vs. 98mm), the real-world difference is much, much less. The Lange feels lower volume in the toebox, but around the same width up there, as well as in the heel. I compared it to a Super Comp HP fit, and it is significantly roomier than the Raptor 120 in the toe box and heel.  I like the Raptor very much, although I am skiing it on the relatively soft setting at the moment.  It is a great real-world performance last.  

Stance-wise, with liners and footbeds installed, the Lange and Head feel basically identical. The ramp angle is perhaps a bit steeper on the Lange, but it is really minor.  Aside from the flex difference, I could probably ski either out of the box and have a very solid stance.
post #16 of 19
Dawg, the liner in the 130 and 150 are leather and lace up and are some of the nicest liners you will ever see.   I honestly think that they cost more than the actual boots.   Oh, and they are not bulky.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Richie-Rich View Post

Dawg, the liner in the 130 and 150 are leather and lace up and are some of the nicest liners you will ever see.   I honestly think that they cost more than the actual boots.   Oh, and they are not bulky.
yeah, I wish I had the 130, due to the liner.  The Lange liner is very similar, so I can use those for now. 
post #18 of 19
Thanks for the follow up Dawg.  Got the Raptor 120 a couple of weeks ago and skied it the first time yesterday.  Boot skied really well and I like it a lot.  My only complaints are that it was a bit cold and I had a bid of pain on top of my foot over the instep.  Not major pain, but it was there.  I'm hoping it was just a function of the boots being brand new out of the box.

I'm considering replacing the stock liner with a pair of Intuition Powerwraps I have in another pair of boots (Krypton Pro) to make the boot warmer and improve the overall fit.

Has anyone tried Intuitions in the Raptor 120's?

post #19 of 19
I can say this, much, in general the higher the performance of the boot the colder the liner since they really arent intended to be skied on all day.   I have not skied in the 120s but my leather liners are anything but warm, they do however make me one with the boot.   Im sure youre liners will break-in, even my leather liners loosened up after a few days.
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