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Head Monster im78 or im76

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
O.K. I have read a lot of reviews on the im78 and everybody seems to rave about it. The Head website considers this to be an expert ski, which I am not, maybe more of a level 6, still working on steeps and bumps. I looked at the im76, but this is a different construction (cap versus sandwich), and the turning radius is a little bigger. How different are these two skis?

I have tried the Xenon series and they seemed a little light. At my specs (5'10", 170), skiing mainly eastern groomers I was thinking about the 165 in the im78 or 170 in the im76. So the question would be, do I buy the 78 and grow into this ski and live happily ever after, or buy the 76 and just enjoy the moment?

Thanks
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgyver29 View Post
O.K. I have read a lot of reviews on the im78 and everybody seems to rave about it. The Head website considers this to be an expert ski, which I am not, maybe more of a level 6, still working on steeps and bumps. I looked at the im76, but this is a different construction (cap versus sandwich), and the turning radius is a little bigger. How different are these two skis?

I have tried the Xenon series and they seemed a little light. At my specs (5'10", 170), skiing mainly eastern groomers I was thinking about the 165 in the im78 or 170 in the im76. So the question would be, do I buy the 78 and grow into this ski and live happily ever after, or buy the 76 and just enjoy the moment?

Thanks
Assuming that you're assessing your own skill level properly, I would say to buy the 76, ski the living daylights out of it for the next two or three seasons, then move on to whatever the next best hot new candy-apple ski is for 2011/12.

The 76 is a really fine ski and will serve you well as you build your skills.
post #3 of 15
Skiing mostly Eastern groomers: SS Magnum. This would give you a more technical ski, which would help you to "do it right". This is an easy ski to ski, realative to the performance. Demo it and see what you think.

A limited opinion
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
Skiing mostly Eastern groomers: SS Magnum. This would give you a more technical ski, which would help you to "do it right". This is an easy ski to ski, relative to the performance. Demo it and see what you think.
I'd second that motion. Demo a Head Supershape Magnum or (my favorite) a Head Supershape in a 170.

They are great "technical development" skis that work both for experts and for advanced skiers working on improving.

Some people may be nervous about the 66mm or 70mm waist of the skis but that will contribute to great edge hold on eastern hardpack and gives you a tight turning radius for working on your carving. They're a medium flex so they're not too hard on you but won't collapse on you torsionally when you're skiing them hard. Some of the most ripping skiers I know use them both for slow speed technical development and for ripping fast turns all over the mountain.

And, realistically, they're wide enough at the tips and tails to give you sufficient flotation up to a couple of feet of powder. On those rare days of true "bottomless powder" rent some true fatties.
post #5 of 15
I was around the same level last year and bought the 78 and love it. Very damp, stable ski. I didn't think it was too much ski for me at all. I worked quite hard to advance last year and it still is a great ski for my where I'm at (high level 7-level 8). Now I just want a nice powder ski to add to my quiver. Good luck.
post #6 of 15
We have had great success with 76 and 78 sales this pre season. I really don't think there is anything a SS can do for you that either of these will but the 78 will be a much better crudbuster for the east than the SS. The 76 will be a lighter and a bit softer and the 78 will give you more performance on the hardpack and for long term growth.
post #7 of 15
Not that I have skied on either one, but I came from a capped ski to a laminate ski...and the laminate ski is MUCH better.


I would pick the im78.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
Skiing mostly Eastern groomers: SS Magnum. This would give you a more technical ski, which would help you to "do it right". This is an easy ski to ski, realative to the performance. Demo it and see what you think.
A limited opinion

Took your advice and demoed the Magnum today. We had a fresh dump of snow here in Ontario (6" with more to come). Although the groomers were out early, we had fresh tracks on patrol I skied the Magnum in a 163. This was an awesome ski on the groomers, a little stiff but I was still able to bend it. The most fun was on the ungroomed black diamond runs. From fresh powder to cut up stuff, this ski turned out to be a lot of fun.

But...

In the afternoon I switched to the Rossignol Z10 and found this ski a lot easier and fun for me. Obviously a softer flex, edge grip was great, and easy to ski in the crud. I also did some toboggan training on both and found the Magnums more work.

So that's where I am at...I know a more aggressive ski is where I am heading, but the softer skis make skiing easy. How does the flex of the Magnum compare to the iM78?
post #9 of 15
Magnum is beefier than the iM78 (though the 78 is not a noodle by any means -- I'd consider it a more balanced stiffness).
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgyver29 View Post
Took your advice and demoed the Magnum today...

...So that's where I am at...I know a more aggressive ski is where I am heading, but the softer skis make skiing easy. How does the flex of the Magnum compare to the iM78?
I really don't know about the 78s, but the stepped up performance level of the Magnum could be a big benefit as your skiing develops. The ski is actually very easy to ski considering the level of performance that it can deliver. Easy now, may be limited later. I have alway advocated to ski an appropriate level ski, but in this case the Magnum could offer many break through opportunities down the road. It's not that stiff a ski and the radius is ideal.
post #11 of 15
The 76 and enjoy the moment. To build on what Bob said, we sometimes forget that bending a ski is pretty important to the learning curve. You found the 163 Magnum "a little stiff" on groomed. That's a flag for me. Yes, both the Magnum and the 78 are "forgiving," in the sense that they don't punish you for minor mistakes. But neither are they unusually easy to operate if you're really a 6 and learning to carve. Both are fairly beefy compared to other improving intermediate to advanced skis like the RX8, Nitrous, Tornado, Contact 10, or Magnum 7.6. That means more more force will be required to change shape in mid-turn. So I'd say go for the 76 and learn to really work it through your carve, bend it to any shape you ask at any time. It'll be be better in bumps than either of the other two, it'll be easier to turn on the steeps, and in a few years and a dozen lessons, you can better evaluate what you want next.
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post
The 76 and enjoy the moment. To build on what Bob said, we sometimes forget that bending a ski is pretty important to the learning curve. You found the 163 Magnum "a little stiff" on groomed. That's a flag for me. Yes, both the Magnum and the 78 are "forgiving," in the sense that they don't punish you for minor mistakes. But neither are they unusually easy to operate if you're really a 6 and learning to carve. Both are fairly beefy compared to other improving intermediate to advanced skis like the RX8, Nitrous, Tornado, Contact 10, or Magnum 7.6. That means more more force will be required to change shape in mid-turn. So I'd say go for the 76 and learn to really work it through your carve, bend it to any shape you ask at any time. It'll be be better in bumps than either of the other two, it'll be easier to turn on the steeps, and in a few years and a dozen lessons, you can better evaluate what you want next.


This whole idea of "skiing into" a more advanced ski or being "held back" by a less advanced ski has less validity, IMHO, than it did ten years ago. Does anybody doubt that the "mid-range" skis of today are light-years better than the "expert" skis of a decade ago?

I think the 76 is a perfect ski for a level 6 who is learning the different ways to turn a pair of skis. I don't think the SS Magnum would be THAT much harder to ski, but I'm also not sure I see any significant performance advantage at the OP's stated skill level.
post #13 of 15
I demoed the Magnum and the 78 and the 78 is much friendlier. The Magnum only comes alive when pushed and most people don't really push their skis. Most people park and ride or skid too much and just about any intermediate ski will do just fine.

My suggestion is avoid the Magnum, especially in such a short length. Why by a powerful GS ski in 163cm anyway?
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

Purchased Monster im78

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgyver29 View Post
...

So that's where I am at...I know a more aggressive ski is where I am heading, but the softer skis make skiing easy. How does the flex of the Magnum compare to the iM78?
Well, after demoing the Monsters over the holidays I bought the 78s. The 76 were too soft, and the 78s do have a more balanced flex. I set the bindings to the center position and they worked well for everything, including more toboggan training. The slight curve up on the tails made the falling leaf with the toboggan a breeze.

A few days after that we had rain for a day, then a deep freeze. This proved to be a good test for the edge hold. Although not a race carver, they easily gripped everything I skied on. I have been on them 4 days now on ice pack, piles of machined snow, and even one day with 4 inches of fresh snow, and I like them more each day. With a 14m radius, I can crank out short turns or nice easy carves, and they don't tire me out skiing with the kids all day. Some patrollers asked why I decided on a mid-fat, my answer... they are a lot of fun!

Thanks for all the advice
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgyver29 View Post
Well, after demoing the Monsters over the holidays I bought the 78s. The 76 were too soft, and the 78s do have a more balanced flex. I set the bindings to the center position and they worked well for everything, including more toboggan training. The slight curve up on the tails made the falling leaf with the toboggan a breeze.

A few days after that we had rain for a day, then a deep freeze. This proved to be a good test for the edge hold. Although not a race carver, they easily gripped everything I skied on. I have been on them 4 days now on ice pack, piles of machined snow, and even one day with 4 inches of fresh snow, and I like them more each day. With a 14m radius, I can crank out short turns or nice easy carves, and they don't tire me out skiing with the kids all day. Some patrollers asked why I decided on a mid-fat, my answer... they are a lot of fun!

Thanks for all the advice
Excellent choice. I got the new 78 model also and nothing but praises for it. Ski really seems to handle just about everything you can throw at it. Just last weeked I ripped through some major crud with them at a very high speed (underestimated the line I took) and I never been on ski that felt so stable. I can honestly say on alot of other skis I've skied chances are it would've been a yard sale yet the Monsters just went right with it. Really love them in the trees and the natural bumps you run into in the trees. Skis give you a lot of confidence on everything I've been able to throw at it.
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