We were very much looking forward to skiing the Head Kore 99, we've always enjoyed Head skis. Our lead tester loved her pair of Titans ever day until they died (the edge literally ripped off one of the skis after many years of heavy usage). Regrettably, we can't say we loved this version. They're big enough to float decently in powder, but they were unimpressive in most other arenas. We got pretty tossed around in the crud, and they chattered on us on hard snow and steeps. The tight turn radius they're 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.
Head Kore 99 - Women's Review
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
Compare to Similar Products
Head Kore 99 - Women's
|Price||$698.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$679.99 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|$549.96 at Amazon|
Compare at 3 sellers
|$699.99 at Amazon||$599.95 at Backcountry|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Decent in powder||Incredibly versatile, easy to ski, fun and quick, only 92mm makes it nimble||Great float in powder, playful, decent stability||Unparalleled stability at speed, crud-buster, lends you strength||A blast to ski, easy to turn, relatively stable, fantastic in powder|
|Cons||Hard to feel the tight turn radius, bouncy in crud, not super stable on hard snow||Not the perfect powder partner||More expensive, slightly lumbering in bumps||Very pricey, prefers faster straighter lines||Not perfect carvers, some deflection in crud|
|Bottom Line||We had hoped for more from these new Heads. They're decent in the fresh snow, but fall short in other terrain.||One of the most versatile skis on the market, this new Volkl is a Goldilocks ski - strong enough to battle in the crud, but soft enough for lighter mellower skiers to bend it.||A great choice for a West Coast woman who loves getting out in the soft snow.||If you like to go fast and want a one-ski quiver, this ski is absolutely worth the extra funds.||Ripping skis for ripping chicks, or those on their way to becoming one, so fun and flexible.|
|Rating Categories||Head Kore 99 - Women's||Volkl Secret 92||Rossignol Soul 7 HD W||Kastle FX95 HP||Elan Ripstick 94 W|
|Stability At Speed (20%)|
|Specs||Head Kore 99 -...||Volkl Secret 92||Rossignol Soul 7...||Kastle FX95 HP||Elan Ripstick 94 W|
|Intended Purpose||All mountain||All mountain||All mountain powder||All mountain stability||All mountain play|
|Ability Level||All Levels||All Levels||All levels||All levels||All levels|
|Available Lengths||153, 162, 171||149, 156, 163, 170||156, 164, 172, 180||173, 181, 189||156, 163, 170, 177|
|Rocker||Tip and tail, camber underfoot||Tip and tail, camber underfoot||Tip and tail, camber underfoot||Tip and tail, camber underfoot||Tip and tail, cambered inside edge|
|Weight Per Pair (Pounds)||8.16||7.7||9.62||6.725|
|Construction Type||Sandwich cap||Full sidewall||Sandwich||Sandwich||SST sidewall|
|Core Material||Karuba||Beech & Poplar, multi layer||Paulownia wood||silver fir, beech, Titanal, fiberglass||Tubelite wood|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While they can certainly hold their own on a powder day, the Head Kores fell short in nearly every other metric. We were particularly disappointed in their performance in crud.
Stability at Speed
On firmer snow, at speed, and in the steeps, we ascertained that these skis did not provide us with a very secure mode of transport; they would chatter around and lose their 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 they have trouble holding an edge, their 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 them 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.
They ski well in the fresh stuff with their 99mm waist and rockered tips. The large spatula tips kept us afloat and just fine, but we didn't get any particular thrills from their performance here either. Again, we noticed that the turn radius did not feel like 15m; they definitely prefer to make a larger radius turn, especially in deeper snow.
They aren'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 Kores 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 Kores, though we wish we had! Even when they are skiing solidly, there's just no "wow-factor", as one tester commented.
They were 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.
They go for a relatively average price, but we think you can probably do better for 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 is not one of them. Look to their other models first.
— Renee McCormack