Originally Posted by indomitable
Sorry to pull up a semi-old thread but it's hard to find such good info on these skis. Got a lot of great info from reading this thread and I wanted to try to get one last vital bit:
I demoed all the Supershapes except the Chip at the end of last season and got hooked bad on the Magnums. It seems to me the Chips are nearly identical except for the fancy electronics. Does anyone have a good feel for how these two compare? The only thing I've seen so far is that the Chips are a little less nimble at low speeds but hold better at the high end. The Mags blew me away with the tight turns and how much they let me roll them over. Are the extra bucks for the Chips buying me anything particularly yummie?
Originally Posted by DonDenver
^^Welcome. Good bump. I don’t recall reading a direct comparison between versions Magnum and Magnum Chip on this forum. I have [elsewhere] commented on my experience between the other Head “Chip” versions of Monster 78 and Monster Chip. With that paired set I found a significant different feeling underfoot with the repurposing of energy the Chip technology provides. For me, the Chip appears to work the way Head intended…although I found the Monster 78 more versatile and forgiving. Similar experience for the Magnum? I can only imaging the Chip Version is a rocket on rail for most conditions taking a strong skier to bend it.Whatever the [Chip] case may be, I skied with the OP [Songfta] on a day at Vail while he was on the [std.] Magnums. I was particularly impressed how well he managed the bowls, trees, 16 inches new in Blue Sky as well as some hard pack on front side. I would think the Magnum a great choice for a good skier. Good luck.
Originally Posted by oboe
Believing that all Chips are not necessarily equal, I'd also lioke some feedback on the SS Magnum Chip.
I've skied both and use the Magnum as my "everyday" ski at Jackson Hole. It's really hard to give a coherent comparison of the two skis because in *most* ways they ski very similarly but in a couple of ways they are quite different.
The differences are somewhat subtle until speeds get relatively high. By "relatively high", I mean speeds probably in the 30 or 40mph range and up. Speeds that are higher than I would normally ski on a sustained basis during the course of an "average" ski day.
At lower speeds, I think it's fair to say that the Magnum is a little more responsive or "nimble". I think that's just because even at low speeds the Chip is doing a little bit of vibration dampening. Where the Chip really shines is as the snow gets harder and the speeds increase. In those conditions, the Chip has a bit more of that "stuck to the snow" feel that Heads are really known for.
I skied the Chip at Snowbasin on a day with extremely variable snow condtions. I skied some leftover powder in the north-facing trees, some smooth and moderately hard groomers, and some very funky semi-frozen crud on the south-facing glades. In powder, I don't think they had any advantage at all over the regular Magnum, but they weren't appreciably worse either. On the groomers, I felt like the regular Magnum was was quicker and a bit more fun for shorter turns but the Chip was a blast for really fast long-radius turns. In the junky stuff, the Magnum was good but the Chip just absolutely blew through the stuff. The Chip felt about as solid and confidence-inspiring on that junky snow as anything I've ever skied.
I ultimately chose the Magnum an "my" ski because I ski a lot of trees and chutes and bumps where that slightly quicker response is very nice. This is the ski that I teach on quite a bit and it just doesn't need as much speed to make it feel lively. Also, I'm lucky enough because of my relationship with Head that I have more specialized high-speed skis that I can hop on when I'm really feeling "the need for speed".
So I guess if I were summarizing how to choose between two really exceptional skis, I'd suggest a matrix. On the left side of the graph would be lighter weight and slower speeds. On the right side would be higher weight and higher speeds. If the bulk of your skiing is at quite high speed and you weigh a fair bit (I'm 6'1, 195#), then the Chip is a dream. If most of your skiing is more in the "normal" speed range, then I think the Magnum is a bit more enjoyable all around.
Of course, you could probably simply flip a coin and be happy as a pig in s##t with either of these great skis.
That may not help at all, but that's how I feel.