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Head i.M 82 vs. 88

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I managed to get a day mid-may on Blackcomb where I rented a pair of 2008 Head i.M 82s in 183. Conditions were sorts of frozen bumps beneath a thin dusting of fresh, heavy snow, making it so that I couldn't let the skis run and had to keep my control. I found that the 82s were pretty much the perfect feeling ski for all-mountain use, nimble when needed yet stable when cranking out carved turns. However, if I were to buy a ski of this type, I'd be looking for something slightly wider. I was wondering how the i.M 88 in 186 feels in comparison. Is it equally nimble, or is it more of a tank? Also, does the 88 lose out a lot when making carved turns?
post #2 of 23
88's are not tanks, they carve well.

edit: i put up a short review here a few months ago
post #3 of 23
I thought the 88 was an awesome all mountain ski. I remember it really shined in cruddy snow. It carves very well. Many here have made the comparison to a wider GS race ski which is right on IMO. The 82 is the same construction, slightly narrower, and available in slightly shorter lengths.
post #4 of 23
the 88 rocks, solid construction and very agile for a wide ski
post #5 of 23
88's were my favorite ski for the last 1/2 of the last season. Carves like a gs race ski, no speed limit and in a 175 is very nimble and I find it very versatile.

Mount it with a MOJO 15 and you are ready to roll!
post #6 of 23
No reason to mount with mojo 15's unless your getting them rediculusly cheap, there are much better binding options out there.
post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
No reason to mount with mojo 15's unless your getting them rediculusly cheap, there are much better binding options out there.
I see no reason not to use the Mojo 15. the bindings have worked superbly for me. to each his own.

Now we're adding some Tyrolia bashing to the Marker & Atomic rants. :
post #8 of 23
Solly/Looks > Tyrolia > Atomic> marker
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
Solly/Looks > Tyrolia > Atomic> marker

Solly toe wings???? come on? No thanks!
post #10 of 23
I've got more than my fair share of Salomons, but man do those toe wings suck. These days, all else being equal, I'm going with Looks. (Although I am probably putting Mojo 15s on my 195 Praxis Powders -- when you can pick up a pair of DIN 15 bindings for about $100, you jump on it.)
post #11 of 23
Tyrolias toe sucks btw.
post #12 of 23
Whatever.

Meanwhile, back in this thread....

The reviews I've read suggest that the 82 is -- not surprisingly -- slightly better on groomers, while the 88 will -- not surprisingly -- have slightly better float in soft snow, including crud.

You said: "if I were to buy a ski of this type, I'd be looking for something slightly wider" than the 82. Sounds to me like you answered your own question already. But if I were you, I'd make the decision based on (a) where you ski, (b) what terrain you prefer, and (c) how these skis would complement your other skis, if any.

Assuming that you intend to use these out West -- i.e., that Blackcomb wasn't an anomaly -- going wider is basically a no-brainer unless you have other skis in the 95-100mm range. Similarly, even if you were looking for a mix of West and East, if you have other skis in the 70-78mm range, you'll get a better set of options with the 88. Or you could throw caution to the wind and pick up a pair of out-of-production Big Stix 84s or 8.6s, and split the difference. (I love my 84s, for what sounds like similar reasons to why you liked the 82s.)

I could go on, and spin a fantastic fiction. Or you could kill the suspense on (a) location, (b) terrain, and (c) quiver.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay, I'll kill the suspense.

a) Location: I ski primarily in the East, with the occasional trip out West.
b) Terrain: I'm looking for a ski that will serve me when things get deep or messy or soft, and to use in trees.
c) Quiver: Race stock slalom and GS that will be used most of the time, unless there's a reason not to; 185 1st generation Pocket Rockets in bad shape for rocks.

Because I'm basically jumping from a race stock 65ish waist to whatever I'd get, my thought is that the 82 wouldn't be wide enough to make a considerable difference, and that I might as well get the 88 to serve a wider range of conditions. I'd be looking to phase out my Pocket Rockets.
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
Tyrolias toe sucks btw.
Not my experience, they have performed perfectly.

Keep your little screwdriver handy to keep adjusting those wings. Yeah, really cool toepiece? :
post #15 of 23
What do you like dislike about your Pocket Rockets, In my opinion I don't think that the 88's (which are a great ski) are going to be a great replacement for a pocket rocket, they ski very differently, if you already have a SL and GS then I would just throw in something wider like a Goat or P4 or something.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by D(C) View Post
c) Quiver: Race stock slalom and GS that will be used most of the time, unless there's a reason not to; 185 1st generation Pocket Rockets in bad shape for rocks.

Because I'm basically jumping from a race stock 65ish waist to whatever I'd get, my thought is that the 82 wouldn't be wide enough to make a considerable difference, and that I might as well get the 88 to serve a wider range of conditions. I'd be looking to phase out my Pocket Rockets.
That helps a lot.

Phil is right that the Heads will be dramatically different from the Pocket Noodles. That said, you're comfortable with race stock stiffness already. If you're looking for that kind of performance in an all mountain, leaning towards soft snow, ski, either the Heads or certain Fischer options (maybe Atomic's "Daddy" series too, although I don't know much about them) may be just what you're looking for.

Even a stiff all-mountain with an 82mm waist will be dramatically different from a race stock 65mm-wide ski. By the waist numbers alone, that's a 25% jump, but there's more to an all mountain ski than waist width. Yes, wider will do better in soft snow, but there are always tradeoffs.

I take a different approach than most to building my quiver. Rather than demo extensively and then buy current season models, I tend to look for good deals, and when I find one that sounds like it might complement what I already have, I jump on it. That means that the only skis in my quiver that I purchased new and current season are my 188 PM Gear Bro Model Softs, with a 99mm waist. The rest of this past year's active-use quiver, from narrowest to widest waist:
  • 200 Kastle Carvemachine National Team GS (100/65/86) (1999 model?): Bought used in early 2006 for $75 shipped, including bindings. For days when the hill is skiing like an icy race course, why not use a ski designed for it.
  • 177 Volkl Vectris V20 (103/65/91) (2000 model): "Bought" used in late 2006 for $30 shipped, then mounted with Salomon 912s purchased from Steep & Cheap. I got them to see whether and how much I'd like a shorter carving ski, and found that for early season on-piste conditions (both my condition and the snow's), they were a blast -- they turn on a dime, and really helped me work on my carving technique. They don't have much base left, but I liked them so much that I picked up a pair of 178 Dynastar 4x4 Vertical Limiteds (2001 model, 103/67/88, basically a 4x4 ATV with a funky woodgrain surfboard-style topsheet) to replace or supplement them next season, at a net cost of $48 shipped including some tele bindings that I donated to a school in Vermont. Judging from the reviews of the ATV, these will probably be a bit more versatile, and should work reasonably well for short off-piste ventures even on groomer days.
  • 186 Fischer Big Stix 84 (116/84/103) (2002 model): Traded a nice bottle of Bourbon for these in late 2006. I hated them the first two days I skied them, and even started trying to sell them off, but the third time was the charm. Once my technique and physique hit the mid-season and as I learned to ski these as they wanted to be skied -- fast, hard, and with proper/traditional weighting -- they became my go-to everyday ski this spring. They have enough width to harvest corn, but are stiff enough sidecut to blast the groomers and just enough sidecut to rail GS-style turns. I've been tempted to pick up another pair to hold in reserve for when they give up the ghost. From talking to friends who ski this ski's replacement, the Big Stix 8.6, it sounds like more of the same, just better.
So that's my dirtbag quiver. It's a boatload of fun and quite versatile. And I've gotten to play with them essentially risk-free, and get a much better sense of what I like.

Back to you. The Heads may be right up your alley, but they will be a dramatic difference from the Pocket Rockets. For this season, you might want to find yourself a good deal on something stiff with a waist in the 80s and see how you like it, then use that to focus your next purchase.

Just a thought.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by alpinedad View Post
That helps a lot.

Phil is right that the Heads will be dramatically different from the Pocket Noodles. That said, you're comfortable with race stock stiffness already.

I am not suggesting that he wont be comfortable with the stiffness of an 88 (which is by the way much softer than a "race stock" flex). I am just saying that the 88 and PR fill much different places in a quiver and that the 88 is not going to be an Ideal replacement. That said the 88 or 82 would be a nice addition to his quiver as more of a carver that is at home in soft crud or other 3d snow, but not a replacement for the rockets which are his powder ski.
post #18 of 23
Yes -- I didn't mean to imply that any of these skis would approach race stock stiffness, just that he's obviously comfortable on a stiffer ski.

If it were me, I'd be looking at a stiff go anywhere, do anything, bust crud ski in the 80s and a softer ski for softer snow at 100+.
post #19 of 23
exactly. but since his soft snow ski (the pocket rocket) is dead I would say he needs to replace that before adding new positions to the quiver.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm not too concerned about finding a direct replacement for my PRs, but I do find they lack in all but the softest conditions, which I won't be skiing very often. I'll probably keep them for marginal conditions, like skiing down gravel roads.
post #21 of 23

monster

Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post
I thought the 88 was an awesome all mountain ski. I remember it really shined in cruddy snow. It carves very well. Many here have made the comparison to a wider GS race ski which is right on IMO.
my experience, too, when i had a friend's at mammoth last month. the widest ski i've been on (in a 175 - i'm 6', 180) and i was smiling right away. very stable; really came alive at speed but i didn't find them boggy going slow. i was very impressed by this ski; confidence-inspiring and responsive.

were i in the market, i'd grab the 175 rather than go longer because i'm not going to push its speed limit and the shorter length will be more trees-friendly.

the widest skis i've been on, i found them very happy edge-to-edge.
post #22 of 23
No one has yet mentioned the other significant difference between the 82's and 88's: the 88s are slightly stiffer.

I found the 88's at 186cm to be too much ski, yet the 82's at 183cm are just right, and they've been my main ski since January.

This slight difference in stiffness is also reflected in the "F INDEX" which is written next to the dimensions on the skis.

And as you may surmize from this and other postings, there seems to be no other ski that matches the edge grip of the Monsters without being much stiffer, and there's no other ski that's more damp since the all-steel Volants.

Thus, I think that you'll be able to rip through crud at higher speeds with 82's than any other ski you can buy.
post #23 of 23
Just to correct something here - the 'F-Index' on Head skis isn't a flex index, it has to do with the surface area/contact area of the ski. I don't truely claim to understand how it's calculated or why they even bother with it, but I do know it's not a measure of the ski's flex. Just wanted to avoid confusion on the subject.

As for the original question, I think the 82 is marginally more versatile when it comes to trees and bumps, but other than that, they both do extremely well. You'd probably be served equally well. My suggestion would be that if you really liked the 82, go with it, you won't be missing much from the 88, unless you're planning to go Mach schnell down a big face most of the time, or really need some extra flotation (in which case you'd be better off with something in the 90+ range anyways).
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