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Head chip 71 vs. head titan

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello,

I'm a minnesota skier (ice and hard pack) with a racing background.  I've been on my vokl p 50's for a bunch of years.  Those have worked great here in the midwest and can carve at speed out west with great confidence, but they are limited to that.  Last year I demo'd a few different skis to find some that would be stable at speed on the ice and groomed and be able to handle crud and bumps on my two trips out west.  My favorite was the Head Chip 71, I had alot of fun with it and atleast compared to my p50's (66 underfoot) it handled the crud and bumps well.  I  can get those at a very affordable price though they are going into there 3rd season.  Now I see the Titan is out , wider underfoot but still a race ski at heart making it more all around.  I ski alot but don't pay much attention to the gear updates.

Should I pick up a pair of used chip 71 (it doen't seem to be reviewed here so much)  or should I bag it and try to demo some ski's out west this year, the Titan,  maybe the Blizzard FS g force...  Any opinions on the chip 71,  As I said I had alot of fun on it for the 2 days I kept them in a very wide variety of condition.

post #2 of 15

Patrick,

 

The new Titan was the subject of this thread:

 

http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/92726/head-supershape-titan

 

As you are aware, the new Heads employing KERS technology (including the Titan) have a preliminary reputation as being suited for high level skiers than the traditional Supershape/Monster skis. From your description of your skills, it looks like it would be a good fit. I'd want to demo first and getting on a KERS will be a priority as it's new technology. Expect this ski to sell for higher $$ in it's first year.

 

I've not skied the chip 71 but as you have demo'd it, you've done the single most important action prior to buying a new ski. If it works for you, then buying it makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure if you are considering a new leftover or used Chip 71 and what impact cost of each ski would have in your decision.

 

I think the case can be made to purchase either ski with minimal downside as to your use at your home mountain or out west. I don't think they will perform with great difference between them. If you do a lot of turning, the 71 may be better, if you cruise a little more, then the Titan may get the edge.

 

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply,

I'm kinda leaning towards picking up the chip 71's. I can by the pair I skied last spring.  And maybe demo some other skis as Ihave opportunity.  Why is there so little chatter on the chip 71?  I can't seem to find any reviews on it or any for sale?  Any Head fans have opinions on this ski?  In what category does it fall.  I tried it for two days out in snowmass last spring and had alot of fun.  But I am coming off my p50's and anything with a moderately broader range that could still hold an edge was pretty fun.  Any opinion or knowledge of this ski would be appreciated  thanks.

post #4 of 15

One reason you may not get a lot of response here, Patrick, is that this forum tends to pay more attention to wider skis.  The Chip 71 is definitely a technical, narrow-waisted carver, and that's not most folks cup of tea here.  If you look around, you'll find a lot more people discussing skis with 85 -100 mm waist dimensions.  So, there's just not a big audience here for the type of ski you're discussing. 

That said, the Chip 71 is, as I said, a narrow-waisted, technical carver, suited for groomed terrain.  As I understand it, the Chip technology tends to dampen the ski the faster it goes, so the feel is more damp and muted than some other skis w/o the Chip. 

I have no real personal knowledge of this specific ski, however.  Google the ski and you'll find some more info.

post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tch View Post

One reason you may not get a lot of response here, Patrick, is that this forum tends to pay more attention to wider skis.  The Chip 71 is definitely a technical, narrow-waisted carver, and that's not most folks cup of tea here.  If you look around, you'll find a lot more people discussing skis with 85 -100 mm waist dimensions.  So, there's just not a big audience here for the type of ski you're discussing. 

 


Don't really see this ^^^^; go check out Dawg's reviews of narrower skis, reviews of Blizzard Supersonic, Contact 4x4's, lots of comments on iM78's, Peaks, MX78's, Noodler's recent comments on Stockli carvers etc etc. Mistaking us for TGR?

 

Anyway OP: Do a search here. Stuff on Chips and Peaks. A few things on Titans including Bob Peter's videos. (Suggest you PM him.) Chips will be closer to original iM78's, damp, but a bit stiffer than the Monsters. Not a technical carver IMO, simply a good all around groomer zoomer, will handle crud nicely. Not a powder ski. Titans are gonna be more supercharged, aimed at more advanced skiers who like a serious kick at the end of the turn, more the (wider) technical carver than the Chips. More demanding than the Chips, with a higher top end. So different feels, different audiences. 

post #6 of 15

Patrick,

 

I borrowed this from the PMTS forum and it's author, John Botti,  is a ski equipment knowledge base. SS refers the Head SuperShape line of skis.

 

 

What the shop has called the SS SW is the original SS and it is 66mm under foot. This is a great ski. My skiing improved more from skiing on these than from any other equipment change that I have ever made. The SS Magnum is a sligtly wider version of the original SS and it is 71mm under foot. The turn radius on the original SS in a 170cm length is 12.1m and the turn radius on the slightly wider Magnum is 13.5m (which is still a very tight turn radius). The Magnums may be slightly more versatile being slightly wider under foot, but you will lose some of the beauty of the original. That ultra tight turn radius gives incredible feedback with regard to edge pressure and angles. The SS Chip is the SS magnum with a chip. This tends to make the ski even more damp and somewhat stiffer. I have never skied the SS Chip, but most seem to prefer the non chip versions (which makes sense because they are great skis). I would narrow your decision to between the orginal and the Magnum. Both are great skis and you really can't go wrong with either. If you will be skiing them mainly on groomed terrain, and working on technique, I would get the original.

 

I ski the standard SS and am a fan of Head carving skis. What I don't like about Head is they make so many competing skis with very minor differences. There are few reviews of the chip 71, but, as it's the same base ski as SS Magnum, how much different can it be?  If I am correct Bob Peters, uses the Magnum (or did so very recently) as his daily driver at Jackson Hole where conditions can vary greatly.

 

I'm a big believer in demo'ing, if you skied them and liked them, and can get a good deal, where's the downside? What I would not do is purchase a full price pair of a brand new ski based on manufacturer claims. The Titan and KERS may be great, but, I want to feel it first.

 

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 15

Oops. Lost track of your original concern for the Chip 71 because of the Titan piece, assumed you meant the Chip 78. Living Proof, then, has the correct answer. All I can add is that I also owned a SS, totally agree it's literally a classic, like the Rossi 4S. Have not so much positive feedback about any of the chips, perhaps because the normal versions (SS/Magnum, iM/Peak 78) are already damp and smooth. But YMMV. 

 

If you have a race background, and already liked the Chip 71, but want a western iteration, sounds like the Titan would be your ticket...although as a Blizzard fan I would also recommend the G-Power (not Supersonic) which has been getting very strong reviews.

post #8 of 15

Hi, PatrickM.

 

There's some great suggestions already in this thread and I'll just add my own observations.  The Chip 71 is indeed exactly as Living Proof's quote describes it; it's the Head SuperShape Magnum with the addition of Head's Intelligence Chip.  It has the same dimensions and turn radii as the SS Magnum and skis quite similarly.

 

The differences are kind of subtle and don't really become apparent (in my opinion) until/unless the snow gets really hard and rattly and/or you're going pretty fast.  The Chip 71 is a noticeably "smoother" ski at higher speeds and on bumpier snow.  The chip has the effect, I think, of taking a ski that is already damp and smooth and just makes it silkier.  I've skied the Chip 71 maybe half a dozen times in the 170 and 177cm lengths (I'm 6'1, 195#) and I loved it every time.

 

While it's true, as Living Proof says, that I've used the SS Magnum as my "daily" ski the last couple of seasons, I'll clarify that a little bit.  I get two pairs of skis free from Head each year and it's pretty much up to me which models I choose.   To be fair to the local shop I'm affiliated with, however, I always choose models that they are going to carry in the shop.  For the past two seasons, the SS Magnum has been the shop's most popular "frontside groomer" ski and they have sold a lot of pairs.  I chose the Magnum as "my" skis each season so that what I was skiing would be consistent with what they carry in the shop and if I was out on the hill recommending a ski to someone I wouldn't be skiing one model and recommending a different model.  So, I skied the Magnum because that's what was in the shop.  If that weren't a consideration, however, I *probably* would have chosen the Chip 71.  I absolutely love the SS Magnum, but for the way I ski I slightly preferred the Chip 71.

 

All of that is a long-winded way of saying that if you can get a great deal on a pair of Chip 71's, I would say you should go for it.  It's a really, really nice ski.

post #9 of 15

Hi Bob - Related question: Haven't had a chance to demo any of the KERS versions. Had to part with my (very) well worn SS's, obviously would be interested in updated tech. Tend to use them in eastern settings where the short radius is perfect; while I could find better edge grip, no better progression or predictability through the turn. But the videos, comments elsewhere, indicate that the KERS changes the feel of the ski in different parts of the turn. Less stiffening at the start, more at the end. Could you elaborate on how the KERS models differ from the "classic" i's in terms of ski reaction to the turn as it progresses? Is the potential energy at the end progressive or dramatic? Do the new skis handle initial impact with crud or ripples the same? Or the KERS version = stiffer  tail on existing SS? Thanks. 

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beyond View Post

Hi Bob - Related question: Haven't had a chance to demo any of the KERS versions. Had to part with my (very) well worn SS's, obviously would be interested in updated tech. Tend to use them in eastern settings where I could find better edge grip but not better progression or predictability through the turn. But what I note in the videos, comments elsewhere, is that the KERS changes the feel of the ski in different parts of the turn. Less stiffening at the start, more at the end. Could you elaborate on how the KERS models differ from the "classic" i's in terms of ski reaction to the turn as it progresses? Is the potential energy at the end progressive or dramatic? Do the new skis handle initial impact with crud or ripples the same? Thanks. 


Hi, beyond.

 

That's a really interesting question and I might need about two or three more weeks to really answer it.  I skied the new KERS skis last February and haven't been on them since, so while I kind of remember the sensations, I'm going to need a little refresher once Jackson Hole opens and I can get on the SS Titan, which will be my "daily" ski for this coming winter.

 

The thing that most struck me about the KERS skis was how much energy could come out of the tail of the ski at the end of a turn.  I don't remember very much (if any) difference between the "old" SS Magnum and the KERS SS Magnum during initiation through the middle of the turn, but I remember a LOT of difference at the end.   So to try to answer your question, I think that for me the difference was pretty dramatic at the end IF I kind of intentionally skied it with that in mind.  In other words, you could sort of "feather" the end of the turn and not feel a huge amount of difference, but if you consciously railed on the edges and tried to load the ski as much as possible, there's a very profound slingshot effect from the tail of the ski.

 

I'm not technically good enough and at my advancing age probably not strong enough to really take advantage of what that KERS effect could do on a continuous turn basis, but it should say something that Head's WC racers apparently LOVE what they can do with the end of the turn.

 

Once I get on the new Titans, I should be able to give you a little more thoughtful reply.  Try a pair of KERS skis if you can.

 

In the meantime, you might want to watch this:

 

post #11 of 15

Thanks, Bob. That's helpful. Will look forward to more impressions. Cute video. 

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Why is there so little chatter on the chip 71?

 

My understanding is that the "chip" in those skis is a semi-active piezoelectric dampening system.

 

Piezoelectric materials generate electrical energy when they're flexed, and can be forced to flex (or unflex) by putting energy into them.  When the skis flex during a turn, it builds up energy and somewhat resists flexing, increasing stiffness.  A number of skis (and other things, like tennis rackets or golf clubs) have used this effect passively -- Head's marketing name for it is "Intellifiber" or "Intelligence Technology".

 

The "Chip" version can actively feed back that stored energy to apply extra dampening to the skis, reducing chatter and excess vibration.

post #13 of 15

Wow, it is truly humbling to have anything I wrote, on any subject, be affirmed by two others, including the much respected Epic sage - Bob Peters.

 

I've told this many times, but in each of the last 3 seasons, Bob has skied with our little Epic group in January at JH. All of us have our best wide western skis, Bob gets on the Gondi with his SS Magnum's and one day with his Head WC Sl's. He's no dummy, the last day I saw him it was a major dump and he had his Head powder skis. Too bad for us that I saw him at day's end. I wish I was with him at opening as he was with a student at the top of Rendezvous Peak doing for first tracks.

 

Every time I read you need a fat ski in the west, I think of Bob's daily driver. SS Magnum 

post #14 of 15
Say Bob, I was wondering now that you've had the better part of the season on the Titan what you're take is on the KERS system. I had a chance to demo the SS Titan last weekend at Killington, but they only had it in a 170, which I felt was a little short for me. But I was interested in the effect that it has on the ski. I tend to ski a lot of ungroomed terrain, and my fear is that the KERS could be a liability in dicy terrain where you are constantly out of balance and end up with your weight in the back seat. My thinking is with too much weight on the tails could produce a sling shot effect in bumps that could really through you for a loop. Is that something that I shouldn't really worry about?
Thanks
post #15 of 15

I just want to add to all the great feedback about the Head Chip skis - I ran into them accidentally on an open demo at Sun Valley and bought them as soon as I could find them.  I ski the Chip Monster 78 and love it on and off the groom ... if your technique is ok you will enjoy it in the bumps and other ungroomed inbounds areas, too, like I do.  They really lock up nice and firm when you rip'em and they flex reasonably well enough for through the bumps so I don't feel like I have a problem.

 

I think if you demo and like something enough to keep looking into it (especially considering the amount of experience you have skiing, so you really woudl know what you like), that's about the best sign.

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