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Ski Review: Head iM82 vs. Elan Magfire 12

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
More skis tested today:

Conditions: 3-day old, fairly firm snow, medium bumps, grippy groomers.

Head iM82, 172cm: more or less the same ski as last year. I think the sidewall material has been beefed up. 17.7m radius in a 172cm, 82mm underfoot, same waist and tail as the Cold Heat, slightly narrower (2mm) tip.

Review: I skied this after I had been on the iM78. The differences were quite striking. The 78 is significantly softer, bends into an arc easier, and feels a bit zippier and shorter radius. Flex index as printed on the 78 is 1550 if I recall, whereas the 82 has an index of 1610. The 78 almost turns itself compared to the 82. Whereas the 78 was carvy and turny, the 82 felt much more like the 88 in terms of a bigger, GS feel that was more stable at high speed. I would say the speed limit on the 82 was probably 5mph more in big arcs on and off piste. It was the best ski I tried today in the frozen crud. The 82 also was a little slow and stiff in the bumps; not bad, but didn't bend as easily as the 78 in the bumps. When laying down mid-radius, aggressive carves and short turns, the 78 is really nice, but at higher speeds, the 82 has the edge and the confidence to go faster. It also held like glue, but was a ski that wouldn't turn until commanded to, whereas the 78 gets bounced around on the semi-frozen crud. I would say the 82 was a bit more stable and more GS, than the Cold Heat as well, whereas the Cold Heat felt a big carvier and zippier on groomers. Of all the skis I tested that are under 88mm, the iM82 was the smoothest, most stable, and also probably the most forgiving (along with the Watea 84).

Elan Magfire 12: I am reviewing this again, comparing it to the iM82, as requested earlier in the thread. Ski was set up at 1cm behind center.

Against the iM82, the differences are subtle, but present. The 82 has the more foolproof feel on really rough snow at speed, whereas the Mag12 feels a little less surefooted (more like the 78 and Cold Heat) in these conditions. The overall feel was a bit more lively wood-core feel, compared to the iM82's really solid, stable wood core. The Mag 12 also feels a little lighter and easier to maneuver than the iM82, even though it is a bit heavier ski. In the bumps, it was similar to the 82; not great, but decent and skiiable. I felt that the Mag12 had the more laterally-aggressive feel, and was a more powerful carver, with wicked edgehold and a race-like feel. The iM82 hooked up and held you there, whereas the Mag 12 grabbed and pulled you into the turn more aggressively. On groomers, they felt about the same in terms of stability. Forgiveness was similar as well. As noted before, the Mag12 is maybe a bit more like a Jet Fuel/Afterburner in terms of on-piste/off-piste suitability and what it is designed for. I think the performance is somewhere in between the two: it feels a bit more substantial and stable than the Afterburner, but not quite as much as the Jet Fuel

If you are deciding between these 2 skis, the difference would come down to feel. If you like the smooth, powerful GS feel that is unshakable off-piste but not exactly nimble and super sporty on piste, then the iM82 is a great choice. If you are looking for solid off-piste performance and a more aggressive carver feel on harder snow, the Mag 12 gets the nod.

I planned on skiing the Mag 14 as well, but the weather turned bad and they had to shut down the lifts due to wind. I will try again next week. Also on the agenda is the AC40, Afterburner, Nitrous, and perhaps Top Fuel. I will shoot for some Atomic and Salomon models as well.
post #2 of 4
This thread was originally started in Ski Reviews: Watea 84, Cold Heat, Magfire 12, 888, iM78, Mythic Rider.
It deserved its own thread.
post #3 of 4
Just curious how the iM 82's were mounted. Mine are mounted BOF which puts them almost 2cm forward. Much easier to initiate shorter turs, yet still stable at speed.
post #4 of 4
dawgcatching, thank you so much for that review and comparison! like having a personal ski tester!!
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