A month ago I decided I needed some new skis to replace a pair of Line Influence 105's that had 4 hard seasons on and had lost their will to live. I ended up buying a pair of Head Kore 105's in the 189 length. They are actually 189 cm long, unlike most skis Head reports their lengths accurately.
A little over a week ago we had demo day at the ski resort and I did about 5 runs on the 184 Volkl Mantra’s. I really like the Volkl’s, however their soft snow performance is a bit lacking and their full rocker is a bit imprecise for how I like to ski. After I skied the Mantra’s I tried some Solomon QST 99's. Meh, meh, meh. I put those back and was talking to my friend at a different ski shop and told me to try the Heads. I told him I am pretty sure I wouldn’t like a light weight ski like that. Oh was I wrong. I did about 4 runs on the 180's, the only size they had in stock and I loved them from the first turn. They were incredibly easy to ski and had a liveliness and snap that I was looking for, and had yet to find.
Skiing on intermediate groomers: Just point and go. The skis have a very nice edge feel and are easy to make a variety of turn shapes as you see fit. They will not make snappy slalom turns, that is not what they are designed to do. They are very happy cruising around 30-40 mph making big GS turns.
Steep groomers: You really have to drive the ski hard but they bite and hold on and are very rewarding by providing crazy low angle turns and big beautiful arcs. It did take a couple of runs before I figured out how to get them to work on the steep groomers, but once I did it was stupid fun. I just had to really drive the edges into the snow and trust the ski would hold and finish the turn. They didn’t let me down.
Soft snow/Powder: I’ve only done about 5 runs in powder on these skis and the conditions were pretty bad. They were easy to direct and predictable. I didn’t notice an abundance of float but that might have been the snow conditions talking. By all accounts they should be a very good ski in powder.
Steeps: I have not had them on anything I would consider steep. I would guess they are fairly snappy and light so jump turns should be fairly easy.
Moguls: This is not a mogul ski but I’m really not having any issues skiing moguls on them. I even noticed I was skipping over the tops of 2-3 bumps at a time before making my next turn. That’s pretty advance/crazy for me.
Ice: there is not ice in montana, I don’t care.
A word about shape: these skis have a tapered tip, and very little tip rocker, they do have quite a bit of tip splay that makes up for the lack of rocker. There is traditional camber under most of the ski and the tail is mostly flat and stiff AF. Surprisingly they have a very similar shape to my Dynastar Powertrack 89's.
Weight: these skis are light, like 30% lighter than my Lines. It is noticeable, there is just less crap hanging from my feet and they are easier to carry. They are about 1900 grams per ski. Most skis in the this range are in the 2500-2800 grams per ski.