Hands-on Gear Review

Head Skis USA Venturi 95 Review

This is a super playful ski the still carves well; fun all-(over the)mountain.
Head Skis USA Venturi 95 NEW
By: Andrew Pierce ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 21, 2017
Price:  $600 List
Pros:  Fun, energetic, float, carving
Cons:  Average crud performance, some chatter in poor conditions
Manufacturer:   Head Skis
70
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Stability at Speed - 20% 7
  • Carving - 20% 7
  • Crud - 20% 6
  • Powder - 20% 7
  • Playfulness - 15% 8
  • Bumps - 5% 7
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Our Verdict

The Head Skis USA Venturi 95 is discontinued as of October 2017.

The 2017 Venturi 95 is the narrowest of Head's "Flight Series"; we reviewed this ski in the 181cm length, and found it to be one of the most fun in the entire line-up. It features what Head calls a "TNT" Rocker; 60 percent camber under foot and 40 percent rocker divided between the tip and tail. The Venturi has a vertical sidewall, which allows for maximum edge hold, but is also light and snappy enough to making popping off those side hits on the edge of the groomers a blast. The top sheet graphics may make spectators think you have on two different skis, but after watching you shred up the mountain, they'll be chasing you down to ask where they can get a pair.


Our Analysis and Test Results

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Performance Comparison


At first glance, the Venturi 95s may turn off some skiers looking for a traditional all-mountain ski. The rocker looks extreme, they're a true twin tip, and the top sheet design is, well, unique. But as your parents always told you, never judge a book by its cover. Head has taken all the "fun" aspects of more playful skis and successfully blended them with what you might expect out of something more traditional and hard charging.

Although this ski did not beat out the Dynastar Cham 97 2.0 or Volkl Mantra in our testing metrics, some of our testers actually preferred it over higher scoring skis.

The Venturis (discontinued) proving they can handle steep  chalky snow.
The Venturis (discontinued) proving they can handle steep, chalky snow.

Stability at Speed


One would not expect a ski with this much tip and tail rocker to be so stable at high speed, but we gave it a solid 7 out of 10 in this category. Head has infused the Venturi with their TTS (Tip and Tail Stabilizer) technology, which basically consists of rubber inserts to dampen the vibration typically found in rockered skis, as well as glass fiber exterior that increases the stiffness.


We felt comfortable Maching down groomers and even off piste on the Venturi. A ski with similar flex and playfulness, the Salomon QST 99, did not hold up as well. The tips stayed calm and true in a majority of the rigorous conditions we tested them in. The minimal chatter felt was comparable to that found in the K2 iKonic 84 ti, and led to much-surprised chatter amongst those lucky enough to test these skis.

The Head Venturi feel surprisingly stable at speed for such a soft flexing ski.
The Head Venturi feel surprisingly stable at speed for such a soft flexing ski.

Carving Performance


Once again, looks can be deceiving. This ski looks like it was designed for the powder, but take a little closer look and you'll see what Head was up to when they designed the Venturi with only a 95mm waist. While it is not on par with our top performing carver, the Nordica Enforcer 93, this ski still shreds!


The overall design of the ski does lend itself to more slashing and slarving turns (perhaps even while skiing switch?!) like the Salomon QST 99. The Venturi 95 was only outmatched by the Nordica Enforcer 93 in this category. The narrow waist allows for it to be incredibly quick edge to edge and the rigidity form their "TTS" tech provides great edge hold through the turn.

The Venturis are easy to get on edge  and super fun to carve quick turns on the groomers.
The Venturis are easy to get on edge, and super fun to carve quick turns on the groomers.

Crud


Even though this was the Venturi's lowest scoring category (6 out of 10), that doesn't mean it can't handle some crud. Similarly soft and playful skis, ie Salomon QST 99, experience the same problems. Thanks to its large tip measuring in at a whopping 140mm (for comparison, the Dynastar Cham 97 2.0's large shovel is only 133mm), it was able to bust through chopped up pow and push around sun affected snow with ease. Our testers ran into some trouble in conditions that weren't buttery soft and experienced some chatter in firm snow.


Powder


This ski looks like it was built for powder days, and in part, it was. Measuring in at 140mm in the tip and 126 in the tail, both complete with ample rocker, it definitely lends itself to soft days, like the Salomon QST 99. Those features allow the ski to float whether Mother Nature delivered two or twelve inches overnight.


It was only outmatched by the Dynastar Cham 97 2.0 The Venturi's lightweight design and playfulness will have you searching the mountain on pow days for drops, pillows, and your favorite secret stash to slash.

Slashing some pow on the Head Venturis (discontinued)...WOOOO!
Slashing some pow on the Head Venturis (discontinued)...WOOOO!

Playfulness


If we had to choose just one word to describe this all mountain ski, it would definitely be "playful." It outperformed all other skis in this category with a hard to obtain 8 out of 10. The only ski that came close to having a comparable amount of playfulness was the Salomon QST 99, and when comparing them side by side, you can see why.


Head was able to keep this ski light, by not adding any metal laminates and snappy by incorporating their sandwich cap construction. One of our testers, who was originally a snowboarder (don't fault him for that) actually preferred this ski above all the others (even the award winning Volkl Mantra), because of its ability to pop off every side hit, bounce around the mountain, and provide cushy soft landings.

The top scorer in our playfulness testing category...Head Venturi 95!
The top scorer in our playfulness testing category...Head Venturi 95!

Bumps


While not a mogul-specific ski, the Venturi 95 holds its own in the bumps. With help from the rockered profile and low swing weight, our testers found this ski to be easy to navigate in the bumps, like the Volkl Mantras.


You may not zipper down 1,500ft of bumps like you might on the Dynastar Cham 97 2.0, but we guarantee you'll find some pleasure bashing bumps with these skis.

Best Application


The Venturi 95 is best suited for the adventurous skier who spends the whole day searching for natural terrain features to huck themselves off of, but still loves to rip groomers on the way back to the chair. This is a great all mountain ski, especially for those who seek something a little more lively.

Value


The $600 price tag of the Venturi 95 is right in the middle of the price spectrum of our all mountain skis we reviewed. We believe it is a fair price for a great ski that can do just about anything.

2016/2017 Head Venturi 95. 181cm.
2016/2017 Head Venturi 95. 181cm.

Conclusion


Although this ski did not win the "Editors' Choice" award, that does not mean it should be overlooked. In the right hands, some might find this ski even more enjoyable than our higher rated/award winning skis. It performs well in all categories, as you would expect a great all-mountain ski to do, but excels in the general "fun" category and is more forgiving than some of our other highly acclaimed skis (see Volkl Mantra).

Dropping! The Head Venturi 95 doing what it does best...having fun!
Dropping! The Head Venturi 95 doing what it does best...having fun!

Andrew Pierce

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Most recent review: April 21, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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