Reviews You Can Rely On

Head Kore 99 - Women's Review

Decent in the fresh snow, this ski falls short in other terrain
Head Kore 99 - Women's
Photo: Head
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Price:  $700 List | Check Price at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Decent in powder
Cons:  Hard to feel the tight turn radius, bouncy in crud, not super stable on hard snow
Manufacturer:   Head
By Renee McCormack ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 16, 2019
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42
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 3
  • Carving - 20% 4
  • Crud - 20% 3
  • Powder - 20% 6
  • Playfulness - 15% 5
  • Bumps - 5% 4

Our Verdict

We were very much looking forward to skiing the Head Kore 99, as we've always enjoyed Head skis. Regrettably, we can't say we loved this version. While it's wide enough to float decently in deeper powder, it was unimpressive in most other areas. We got pretty tossed around in the crud, and it chattered on us on hard snow and in the steeps. The tight turn radius it's meant to have didn't ever materialize for us. There will undoubtedly be others who love this ski, but we didn't, preferring to remember better times on other Head skis.

New Topsheet

The most current model of the Kore 99 is pictured above.

December 2020

Our Analysis and Test Results

While it can certainly hold its own on a powder day, the Head Kore 99 fell short in nearly every other metric. We were particularly disappointed with this ski's performance in crud.

Performance Comparison


We really enjoyed this Head model in fresh snow, but it bummed us...
We really enjoyed this Head model in fresh snow, but it bummed us out a bit in other areas.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Stability at Speed


On firmer snow, at speed, and in the steeps, we ascertained that this ski did not provide us with a very secure mode of transport; it would chatter around and lose its line regularly. When skied side-by-side, one run after the other, with the best performing skis in this metric, the difference was vast and unnerving. It was a real shame for us to discover a Head ski that felt so unreliable in this setting.

We wished the Kore 99 provided more stability at high speeds; on...
We wished the Kore 99 provided more stability at high speeds; on harder snow than this it would wash out from beneath us.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Carving


Because the Kore 99 has trouble holding an edge, its carving abilities are diminished. Again, a real pity, since carving has traditionally been one of our favorite things to do on Head skis. After a few of us skied this model for a few days, we had to go and triple check the company's assertion of a 15.1m turn radius, as it didn't seem possible it could be so tight. We all tried our best to get this ski to bend as far as it would go (at high speeds on groomers) and still we couldn't get it to feel as snug as 15.1m.

Since it didn't have exceptional edge-hold, we felt this ski was...
Since it didn't have exceptional edge-hold, we felt this ski was lacking in our carving metric.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Powder


The Kore skis well in the fresh stuff with its 99mm waist and rockered tips. The large spatula tips kept us afloat just fine, but we didn't get any particular thrills from its performance here either. Again, we noticed that the turn radius did not feel like 15m; the ski definitely prefers to make a larger radius turn, especially in deeper snow.

The Head performed with an average ranking in powder; we found it...
The Head performed with an average ranking in powder; we found it much more fun in the fresh snow than in any other condition.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Crud


This model isn't beefy enough to smash through choppy snow, and not delicate or agile enough to skim over the top of it either. Those big flaccid tips kept getting deflected this way and that. At the bottom of a rough patch of chunder, one of our testers who had fallen behind on the Kore told us she had needed to stop every 10 turns to make sure she was still alive and had all her limbs, the ride was so rough.

We found ourselves having to stop and recompose after getting tossed...
We found ourselves having to stop and recompose after getting tossed around in choppy terrain.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Playfulness


We didn't find very much that was exciting or gleeful about skiing the Head Kore 99, though we wish we had! Even when it is skiing solidly, there's just no "wow-factor", as one of our testers commented.

Bumps


The Kore 99 was decent enough in the bumps, but we did wish we could've felt that tighter turn shape they claim when skiing through compact mogul fields.

This ski's supposed short turn radius didn't feel very tight to us...
This ski's supposed short turn radius didn't feel very tight to us, and that made skiing bumps trickier.
Photo: Nate Greenberg

Value


This ski goes for a relatively average price, but we think you can probably find better performance for around the same cost.

Conclusion


Head is one of the top ski manufacturers in the world and they've produced so many gems over the years, but the Kore 99 is not one of them. Look to their other models first.

Renee McCormack