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Head Monsters

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Until recently my experience has been with under 70mm waisted skis.  With the exception of trips "out west" I ski on midwestern groomed trails.  I generally ski on Fischer SCs and race (NASTAR) with a pair of Fischer RCs.  I've been reading the last couple of years about all the great carving skis with wider waists and when I had an opportunity to pick up a pair of much parised Head Monster 78s (below), I snatched up a pair.  While they carve, I wouldn't call them great carving skis.  They are bulky feeling in transition, and require a lot more attention to carve well.  Was I expecting too much, or is this just how "wider" waisted skis carve?  Would I have a simlar reaction to, say, Rossi Avenger 82s? 

 

post #2 of 5

I've owned and/or skied all of the Head Monsters. These are pretty quick and easy from edge to edge for a higher performance 78 mm ski. If you've mainly skied 66-68 mm, they may feel a bit slow. They're also not ice skates compared to the skis you're used to.

 

But two ideas: First, you don't state your size or the ski length. iM78's are fairly heavy (three sheets of metal your year) so could be that they're too long for you, will feel unwieldy at slower speeds. They have fairly soft tips, so they should really leap into turns (for that width) if you have the right length. Their best trick is the i tech, which IMO really works; you can feel them stiffening up as you gain speed. 

 

Two, you don't state if they were new (unlikely). But whether new or used, they are probably out of tune. Heads are notorious for having lousy factory tunes, and IME, most big box ski store tunes are so-so at best. Take them to a reliable shop at a slope, and have them hand tuned to 1/3. You'll be surprised at the improvement. I skied 171 iM78's as a demo and thought they were really fun, but mediocre carvers. Bought a pair of 177's cheap on the spur of the moment (go figure), had them tuned by a specialist, slapped a plate on them, and they handle northeastern boilerplate just fine. (Well, not like my rec racers, but as good or better than any other 76-78 mm ski I've tried, including some Fischers.) And they're amazingly versatile - try them in bumps or variable soft to begin to appreciate what they'll laugh at that your SC's hate. You actually stumbled onto a classic model, incidentally, with a somewhat stiffer sidewall than the next season's, that really likes to motor through bad snow. Read Dawgcatching's several reviews of the 171 and 177 to get the idea.

 

Can't speak to the Rossi 82's, have heard they're a fine ski. Suspect from the reviews a very different feel, though; Rossi's are lighter, not as damp - and have heard they're more a forgiving GS-ish groomer carver with a slightly lower speed limit, while the iM's will be more of an all-mountain SL-ish carver, if that inversion makes any sense. Simpler version: iM78's will be more versatile and have a tighter response, not quite as into carving big round arcs on ice, better maching crud. Hope this helps.


Edited by beyond - 12/27/10 at 9:18am
post #3 of 5

A lot depends on sidecut, but in general, nothing wider is going to be as quick edge to edge as a sub 70mm ski. Every one I've ever tried requires some skier input to turn, none turn as soon as you put them on edge. Personally, I enjoy that; I'm turning the ski as opposed to the ski turning me.

 

All skis are a compromise. With a wider ski, you lose some carving ablitiy, but gain a little float. What you lose on boilerplate you gain in 3-D snow - a good trade off for a non-racer like me.

 

As it happens, I own the Monster 78 - I bought it as a "fat" ski to supplement my carvers (I ski in the east), but they've become my everyday ski.

 

Haven't skied the Avenger, but my son did and hated it. At 5'3" 126 Lbs, the 162 might have been a little too much ski for him, but he found it very unresponsive. His everyday ski is a Dynastar 8000 in a 158.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks, i appreciate they response.  I did buy them new, and they have been tuned.  They are 177 and I weigh 225lbs, so I think they are the right size.

 

I'm sure I'll like them in other conditions, but i think they are mediocore carvers.  None of the reviews or endorsements of these "wider" skis contains a caveat that "they're great carvers considering their waiste size".  Again, i probably expected too much.

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsman View Post

Thanks, i appreciate they response.  I did buy them new, and they have been tuned.  They are 177 and I weigh 225lbs, so I think they are the right size.

 

I'm sure I'll like them in other conditions, but i think they are mediocore carvers.  None of the reviews or endorsements of these "wider" skis contains a caveat that "they're great carvers considering their waiste size".  Again, i probably expected too much.


At your size, they're too short. I weigh 165 and use the 177's as an eastern groomer zoomer. That may explain some of your issues. Suggest a Vist plate to stiffen them up. 

 

As far as the carving, I suspect any review you read assumes a comparison to other skis of the same mission. Haven't seen too many reviews of Mantras that after saying what a great carver they are, note they're lousy compared to a racing ski; it's understood they're being compared to other 90-something skis.

 

But mainly, you may have had the wrong expectations for the wrong ski. If you wanted a fat carver, you a) might have considered a Nordica Jet Fuel or Atomic Crimson Ti. But b) they still don't grip like a racer carver...

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