If you didn’t hear people talking about the Head Kore Series last season, you need to pull your head out of the snow. The 2018 Head Kore 93 and Head Kore 105 made waves in the ski industry and shined in all of the industry ski tests. They brought back both skis without any changes and added a 99mm offering to the line.
The weight (or lack thereof) of Head’s 2018 skis, combined with the strength and stability they offered, set a new standard in all-mountain and big mountain skiing. Never before have skis so light performed so well in a variety of conditions. The Head Kore has almost created a new category of 50/50 skis for resort and alpine touring use. For the 2019 ski season Head is adding to the collection with the introduction of the Head Kore 99.
So how does Head accomplish all of this? It’s all in the construction.
What’s at the “Core” of the Kore?
Core: The backbone of the Head Kore series is their Karuba Light Wood Core and carbon reinforcements. Karuba wood is very lightweight like balsa, but unlike balsa, it is strong, snappy and capable of maintaining its stiffness. Carbon adds more strength and energy to the ski without adding weight; this gives the ski a lightweight and playful personality that can get serious when you do.
Laminates: Head’s unique and high-tech laminates are designed to further strengthen and dampen the ski while keeping the weight down. Head uses a material called Graphene in tennis racquets, ski boots and all of their race skis, and they take no exception in the Head Kore line.
Graphene is one of the strongest and lightest materials on earth, used to strengthen bonds within the resins that are used to glue skis together. Head fuses this material into the tip and tail of the Kore. This allows them to remove heavier materials, thin the profile and lower the swing-weight without losing strength or dampness.
The Head Kore skis also uses another familiar material in a new way. That material is Koroyd, a thermally-welded honeycomb that is very light and does a fantastic job of absorbing vibrations. While most skis using Koroyd put it in the tip and tail, the Head Kore uses it under foot. This helps the ski stay smooth on rough snow and send fewer vibrations up your leg.
To further cut weight in the Kore, Head uses what they call Topless Tech. Using a polyester fleece in place of a traditional plastic topsheet, Head found a way to keep the top of the ski durable without sacrificing weight and performance. Beyond the functional benefits of Topless Tech, you will be sure to have one of the coolest looking skis on the mountain.
Head combines all of these materials using their sandwich cap construction. Cap construction is lighter weight and has less torsional rigidity, generally making a ski more playful. Sandwich construction provides more torsional rigidity underfoot to improve edgehold and stability. The sandwich cap construction combined with the unique blend of materials contributes to the remarkable strength-to-weight ratio of the Kore to give you a ski that is lightweight and playful in the extremities and stable underfoot.
Shape: All of the Head Kore skis use a combination of rocker in the tip and tail and camber underfoot. The tip and tail rocker improve turn initiation on hard snow, increase floatation and make it easier to slash and slide through tight trees or bumps.
The camber underfoot enhances edge hold and rebound, giving you a ski that is energetic and responsive. Head combines this profile with tip and tail taper to make the entire Kore line supreme soft snow surfers.
Which Kore is Right for Me?
Kore 93: The narrowest of the Kore series is the best of the bunch on firm snow. That’s not to say it won’t perform well in up to a foot of powder with its 93mm waist. The Kore 93 has the least amount of taper, giving it more edge contact to help you bite through and carve crust with ease. Its slightly-tighter sidecut radius and a strong, supportive tail makes the Kore 93 shine in bumps. This ski is perfectly suited to be an east coast one ski quiver, or a good low tide ski within a quiver out west.
Kore 99: All new to the Kore line, Head decided to shoot in the middle of the 105 and 93 and make the Kore 99. At 99mm Head stepped into the ring with many of the most popular all mountain skis on the market and certainly did not disappoint. Like all of the skis in the Kore line, these skis are noticeably light and surprisingly strong.
The Kore 99 has moderate taper to keep much of the edge in contact with the snow, but still allows you to break the tail free to shut down speed or maneuver through a tight section.
It can handle any snow condition, firm or fluffy and encourages you to explore the entire mountain. On firm snow it lays trenches and launches you from turn to turn. In soft snow, the Kore 99 floats on top and allows you to slash down steeps. The Kore 99 makes for an awesome powder ski on the east coast or a versatile one ski quiver on the west coast.
Kore 105: The Kore 105 is the second widest in the series. With much more taper, slightly more rocker and a 105mm waist width, this ski is a perfect ride for when you want to spend more time off piste. It’s quick and nimble in the trees and destroys untouched deep, or even skied up snow.
True to the Kore series, it is strong and powerful and has great edgehold for a ski of this girth. After slaying powder, you will have no problem railing turns down a groomer on the way back to the lift.
If you would rather earn your turns, all of the Kore skis are light enough to pair with and alpine touring binding. The Kore 105 makes for a ski that can handle the deepest of east coast powder and would also be a great ski for the west coast rider who seeks out soft snow, but encounters plenty of crust.
The Kore Conclusion
The Head Kore 93 and 105 made noise in the ski industry last year, and with the addition of the Kore 99, Head is not done making noise.
The Kore series is light and friendly enough to encourage intermediates to start exploring the mountain, and strong enough to satisfy high-level experts looking for a tool to pick their way down chutes and carve turns at lightspeed down the resorts steepest runs.
But these skis aren’t just limited to the resort. All of the Head Kore series are light enough to mount up with alpine touring bindings, hit the skin track and impress on the climb and descent. You can combine any one of these skis with the all new Head Kore 2 G boot to create a lightweight setup perfect for skinning yet more powerful than your typical alpine touring skis and boots for the downhill. Check out the Head Kore series on Skis.com to see what all of the hype is about.