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Head iM 78's vs. Nordica Hot Rod Afterburner's

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all, I torn between these two skis - I was wondering what people thought?

Right now I'm looking for a quiver of two - a pair of BD Kilowatts (95 underfoot) mounted up w/ Dynafits, and either the 78's or the Afterburner's for 90% of my inbound skiing.

I'm a 5'9, 160lb aggressive skier from the east, probably the intermediate side of advanced, spending a season out in Fernie and then likely relocating out east again.
Gear wise - I have been skiing a pair of Head X-20's for the better part of the past decade and am completly overskiing them. Tried on some Salomon 1080 Gun's at Mt. St. Anne - way too soft and noodly - but amazingly better then what I'm skiing!
Boots: Salomon X-wave 9's.

Out east I carve down all of the black groomers and enjoy bumps and trees, so I'm looking for a ski that handles that and will be stable when going entirely too fast on the groomers!
Out west these will be my day-to-day ski, but I also want them to preform out east!

Looking at the Head Monster's (78 and 82) and the Afterburner's very seriously.
Also looking at the Vokl AC50's (likly too stiff - esp for the bumps! and not forgiving enough), Dynastar 8000's (not stiff enough - felt kinda funky in the store), Line Profit 90's (too wide).
Looked at the Salomon Lords - kinda warned away from them though.

What are people's thoughts? Any others to be looking at?
Looking for a really versatile all mountain ski w/ a lot of get-up-and-go and power at the top end, but also a wide sweet spot so that I'm thinking more about the skiing then the skis.
post #2 of 13
This got bumped back to the first page on the gear review forum. Some moron posted it...

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=65160
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
lol, I read that, great review - both skis come highly recommended, just trying to get a better sense of the differences between the two!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
bjohansson, you seem like a bigger skier then I am, do you think the Hot Rod is too much for me?

No one local has them so I'm ordering blind
post #5 of 13
Have skied the Afterburners and the iM77's, forerunner to the 78's, also iM82's and 88's, various carvers. What I can say is that both are smooth and damp, Heads more so, both are beefy, again Heads more so, I'd say that the flex is similar in the 78 and the Nords, sort of medium, both are very forgiving, and I'd suspect that both are equally excellent in bumps. Ice, hard to say, maybe a draw, neither an ice skate, and crud, I'd say both are good but the Heads are probably better. The Afterburner I skied was solid but not amazing in crud. Every Head I've ever skied devours crud.

Different feel, IMO: Nordicas feel lighter and less planted than the Heads I've skied, maybe touch more versatile, don't absorb shock as well but maybe a touch easier to maneuver. Both are great skis. Anyway, my .02, hope it helps.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

Thanks Beyond - any thoughts on the 78 vs. the 82?
post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by robpatterson5 View Post
Thanks Beyond - any thoughts on the 78 vs. the 82?
Some additional searching will uncover more comparisons for you. For example, see post 42 & 43 in:

http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=54515&page=2
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by robpatterson5 View Post
bjohansson, you seem like a bigger skier then I am, do you think the Hot Rod is too much for me?

No one local has them so I'm ordering blind
The length has a lot to do with the ski's performance. The 178 is pretty good for me...at times I wish I had gotten the 186. If you get the ABs in 170, they will not be too much for you. I tend to ski pretty light on my feet despite having a racing background (from 30 years ago!). When I push the 178s hard, I can overpower them...that's when I wish I had the 186s. I think you will be ok with either the 170s or the 178s.
post #9 of 13
[QUOTE
No one local has them so I'm ordering blind[/quote]

Not an uncommon problem in BC, and I am not sure why. I had the chance to demo briefly two years ago and bought the 170 (I am 5'8", 180 and a solid advanced skier, but no expert). I actually wish I had the 178. It is a very solid ski but it is quite flexible. I have a large quiver with way too much overlap, but getting rid of the Afterburner is non-negotiable. If there is a ski that is worth a try sight unseen, I'd go for this one. Really adaptable for many conditions. However, if you are looking for more pow performance, then look elsewhere - I think that it's a more piste oriented ski. I use my Afterburners as my groomer + crud ski. Flexible enough for bumps, but I prefer my twins for when I ski trees. YMMV.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks - I'm realizing that I probably want the iM 78's for my bump skies and then something harder charging that ride big terrain or carve on hardpack as well - I just dont know if the 78's will be FUN enough
post #11 of 13
Comparo: I owned the 82's. IMO, odd ski even for a midfat. Has 3 preferred speeds: Fast, faster, fastest. Heavy like the 88, but not as damp or smooth; can feel harsh on ice. But too narrow for pow. Surprisingly quick in bumps, good grip, moderately forgiving, but no match edge to edge for the 77/78's. So I couldn't find a use, really. In hindsight, don't think I'm a mid-fat guy, so take this with a bit of salt.

As far as your list above, the 78's should handle any carving you need short of what a race-derived <70 will deliver. If you want more edging punch at speed, get a carving plate and Freeflex's. And according to dawgcatching, the 78 rocks in crud and chop. I believe him. If you want another ski, get a 100+
post #12 of 13
For another viewpoint, I own the 82's and really like them. They are an extremely versatile ski. As Beyond said they like to go fast,... and when they do boy what a fun ski. They carve amazingly well for an 82mm ski and are excellent in crud, trees and moderate POW. I've had the 77's and these are much better. IMO a ski in this range is a great transition from a 66-70mm carver and a 95+mm BC and powder ski.
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by robpatterson5 View Post
Thanks Beyond - any thoughts on the 78 vs. the 82?
I currently own the 78's as my little mountain or not-enough-snow ski out in BC.

I've skied the 88's and 82's. Biggest dif between the 82 and 78 is the 82 is stiffer. Quite a bit stiffer. It would make a much better ice ski if you have to ski icy conditions more frequently. That will not happen in Fernie. Plus, it has less side cut, as I am sure you know, so less turny.

78's are the funnest ski I've owned thus far (not to mention the shortest). If you're an intermediate, as you claim, a 125mm shovel and 111mm tail may not be all that bump friendly. Mind you, in Fernie, those are mighty soft bumps.
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