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Ski Collection Review: Head Kore 18/19 at ISPO 2018

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Last season Head presented their new freeride collection called Kore. It featured brand new skis and not upgraded old ones. In practice, they have been proven to be interesting and well designed. This season the collection has a couple of changes. Let’s take a look at them.

In the season 17/18, some people reasonably questioned the continuity of waist widths in the collection. See, there were models with the waist widths of 95mm, 105mm, and 117mm. In this succession, the big gap between 95 and 105 becomes particularly noticeable. It felt as if there should have been something to fill this gap with. This feeling was there not only because of our natural aspiration for symmetry but also because of an absence of a crucial skiing function that would have made the collection much more consistent.

But what was this missing link? The ski with the waist width of 93mm can be universally applicable, but in a larger sense is designed for on-piste riding with different snow conditions. The 105mm model is a ski for experts, for freeride on rough snow, and for skitouring. The 117mm model is for big powder. There should have been another ski – a multipurpose ski for frontside freeride with the waist of around 100mm and that can be enjoyable off-piste after a snowfall as well as on-piste.

This season such ski became a part of the collection. Meet Kore 99! This model fits in with the rest of the collection in a very balanced way. The ski is designed for those who are good at on-piste skiing and are tired of well-groomed pistes, but who don’t want to immerse themselves into freeride too soon and spend too much effort on it. These people now have a ski that will be perfect for an occasional deviation from a piste and riding off-piste in a powder after a good snowfall then coming back to a piste. So, if we put all Kore skis on the axis of freeride-ness, the ski takes a good and logical place between the 93mm and 105mm models.

Another addition to the series is the junior Kore. They are designed with consideration of typical junior freeride style – waist width is similar to adult version and length is typical for any junior ski. This combination of junior length and adult waist width provides comfort at control in any snow condition. The ski does a great job at making a young skier interested in freeriding by offering many possibilities without difficulties caused by a lacking technique and by providing an opportunity to doing different exercises at a low speed.

Other skis didn’t undergo major changes. They remain very soft, comfortable, effective at medium and large turns, adaptable to different snow conditions and skiing styles, and very light which makes them suitable for decent skitouring. As of drawbacks of the skis, there is this tail that is too soft as well as annoying instability at a high speed. These problems, however, do not concern the majority of freerides, but it is advisable to keep this in mind in the case when stability at a high speed is important.

Before this season the need for a 100mm multipurpose ski has been sort of compensated with the ski series called Monster. There was a ski with 98mm waist width, which has nominally been designed in accordance with all the criteria that a multipurpose expert frontside ski should have. The ski, however, was heavy, too stiff, and simply uninteresting. It was clear, that the ski and maybe the whole series are temporary. This has been proven with the appearance of Kore 99 – the Monster series lost two ski models, namely the 98mm model and the 108mm model. With such waist width, the skis only performed well on-piste which makes both on-piste and off-piste skiing less enjoyable. Eventually, there are just the 83mm and the 88mm models which are designed exclusively for on-piste skiing.

So, let’s take one more look at the Kore collection:

Kore 93. A ski for those who prefer on-piste skiing but are not restricted by a piste and are ready to occasionally ride beside a piste on a snow smoothed by the other skiers.
Kore 99. A ski for those who want to ride off-piste more often but are unwilling to put much effort into serious freeride and don’t chase after good powder.
Kore 105. A ski for experts who are ready to encounter any terrain difficulties and who need a balance between good grasp and good float.
Kore 117. A ski for those who chase deep and soft powder, for those who value manoeuvrability and float effectiveness.

In conclusion, there is three major news for Head: firstly, the new 99mm model; secondly, the new junior Kore; thirdly, two fewer skis in the Monster collection. There are really positive and long-awaited news as there are more good ski and less bad skis. The only thing left is to find Kore 99 at the tests and to see how it works in practice.

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