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.
The most current model of the Kore 99 is pictured above.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 goes for a relatively average price, but we think you can probably find better performance for around the same cost.
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.
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