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2017-2018 HEAD Kore 105

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Head Kore 105 for Blister Gear Review.

Head Kore 105

Ski: 2017-2018 HEAD Kore 105, 189 cm

Available Lengths: 171, 180, 189 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 188.2 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: not listed

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski (189 cm): 1843 & 1847 grams

Stated Dimensions (189 cm): 138-107-127 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 137-106.5-126 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19.6 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 60 mm / 24 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Graphene, Koroyd, & Karuba wood

Base: Structured diecut UHM C base

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.7 cm from center; 82.4 cm from tail

Blister’s Recommended Mount Point: currently +1 of Recommended

Boots / Bindings: HEAD Raptor 140 RS / Tyrolia AAAttack² 13 AT

Days Skied: 2

Test Location: Taos Ski Valley, NM

Intro

We’ve got our first review up of the new HEAD Kore 117, and after shipping that ski to Alaska, you can now read Paul Forward’s review of the Kore 117. to weigh in.

(Plus, check out my initial Kore 117 review for more on the new Kore series.)

But next up in the new Kore lineup is the 105, and we now have a few days on it, too.

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the HEAD Kore 105 for Blister Review

Jonathan Ellsworth on the HEAD KORE 105, Taos, NM. (photo by Patrick Sinnott)

About the new Kore 105, HEAD writes, “Prepare to lead your posse with the perfect blend of lightweight and high performance.”

There’s no question that the 189 cm Kore 105 is lightweight. At ~1845 g per ski, that’s pretty stupid light for a 189 cm, 107 mm-wide ski. And we do think it’s accurate to call this a “high performance” ski, and the point of this initial review will be to tease that out a bit.

There’s no question that the 189 cm Kore 105 is lightweight. At ~1845 g per ski, that’s pretty stupid light for a 189 cm, 107mm-wide ski. And we do think it’s accurate to call this a “high performance” ski, and the point of this initial review will be to tease that out a bit.

Dimensions / Stated Sidecut Radius

Note:

The 180 cm Kore 105 has stated dimensions of 135-105-125 mm, with a stated sidecut radius of 17.8 meters.

The 189 cm Kore 105 bumps out a bit wider to 138-107-127 mm, with a stated radius of 19.6 meters.

Weight (or Lack Thereof)

At 1843 & 1847 g per ski (in the 189 cm long / 107 mm wide model), we can’t immediately think of another ski that’s this big and this light that is being positioned as a dedicated inbounds ski. But HEAD has been very clear about this: you are certainly welcome to throw an AT binding on this ski, but their aim here — and with all of their Kore skis — is to push the envelope on the combination of low weight & high performance.

For context, here are the respective weights of a number of other skis of a similar length and width:

Weights per Ski (grams):

1843 & 1847   HEAD Kore 105, 189 cm
1957 & 1958   Salomon QST 106, 188 cm
1970 & 1979   Atomic Backland FR 109, 189 cm
2015 & 2018   Volkl 100Eight, 189 cm
2042 & 2069   Rossignol Soul 7 HD, 188 cm
2227 & 2249   Moment Belafonte, 186 cm
2265 & 2278   Kastle BMX 105 HP
2230 & 2234   ON3P Wrenegade 108, 184 cm
2318 & 2341   J Skis The Metal, 186 cm
2330 & 2395   Line Supernatural 108, 186
2376 & 2393   Blizzard Cochise, 185 cm
2530 & 2570   HEAD Monster 108, 184 cm

Flex Pattern

Hand flexing the ski, we would sum it up like this:

Tips: 7
Shovels: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel piece: 10-9
Tails: 8

And FWIW, here are our numbers for the 189 cm Kore 117:

Tips: 7-8
Shovels: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel piece: 10-9
Tails: 9-8

In other words, these two skis are quite similar, but our pair of Kore 105s feels slightly softer in the shovel and tail than the 117 (I just flexed the two skis back-to-back again to confirm this).

But like the Kore 117, the Kore 105 has a long, stiff section through the ski. It’s tips and shovel are a “7”, and it stays at that 7 (maybe ramps up to an 8) till you get to about the “H” in the HEAD logo. But at that point, we are in 9/10 territory, and like the Kore 117, this flex pattern is no joke.

As a point of reference, I’d say that the flex pattern is similar to the HEAD Monster 108, except that the tip / shovel of the Kore 105 is noticeably softer — there is no “7” on the Monster 108, and the shovels of the Monster 108 are some of the stiffest on the market.

A Few Questions:

#1) In the past, we haven’t loved the combination of really light and really stiff; does the KORE 105 break that trend?

#2) Can we really recommend a ski this light for regular inbounds use?

#3) Who is the ideal user?

#4) How similar / different does it feel on snow to the Kore 117?

#5) How soft-snow biased or firm-snow biased does it feel?

We’ll be weighing in on these questions and more very soon, but for now, go back and wrap your head around the specs of this ski, and check out the rocker profile pics.

NEXT: The Review – HEAD Kore 105

8 Comments

  1. Blister Member
    Antony April 8, 2017 Reply

    Looking forward to some comparisons, Backland FR 109, Volkl 108, Atris, Rustler 10. Sounds like Head has done a great job on this ski!

  2. thanh June 9, 2017 Reply

    did these replace the Head collection skis?

  3. stucky August 8, 2017 Reply

    You say the tails can get hung up, but you say you would keep the mount point at +1. Explain.

    • Author

      The recommended mount point is already nearly 12 cm behind true center. And given how light — and how relatively tapered — the tips of these skis are, I’m definitely not interested in getting even further back on this ski. In fact, while I liked +1, if I either had to move back to the line or move another 1 cm forward, I’d go to +2 in order to stay on top of and control those light, tapered tips. On a *much* heavier, less tapered ski like the Monster 108, there’s no need to quiet down / control the tips; the only reason to go forward is if you need / want to quicken up the ski a bit.

      • stucky August 13, 2017 Reply

        I find moving forward makes my tails hang, but then again, -12 is pretty far back. I think I’m at -10 (-2 from midsole. The 190 has a lot of tail, even if it really measures 187cm!) and -9.5 or even -9 would have probably been fine. As it is, I’m a more forward and low skier (or I should be), so very traditional mount points work for me.

  4. Blister Member
    Matt Stapleton September 6, 2017 Reply

    Jonathan, Thank you as usual for the depth review. These skis intrigue me as a replacement for my 193 Automatics mounted with Tyrolia Adrenaline 16’s(heavy). I noticed you have the Attack 13 AT mounted, how is that for weight vs Attack 13?. I’m thinking the weight of the combo binding would help the KORE. The light weight thing is still mental for me.

    I have not skied the KORE but your review and others have me thinking. I do agree a rounded shovel and 25m side-cut would make it better. I still have and love my 13-14 Cochise-rounded shovel, 28m radius and some beef.

    I may wait a season to see if they make those changes.

    I am thinking Monster 98, I am 5’11, 185lbs, ski like you do based on your reviews. Would you go 177(175( or 184(182ish) real world length. I have always skied longer but with little to no tip rocker and a full edge it seems the 177 makes sense. What get me thinking is the actual length, a 182 vs 175. seems like the perfect length, What are your thoughts.

    Last but most important: How are you doing?

    Matt

    • Author

      Hi, Matt – you’ve got a few questions here, so … (1) I’m not certain about weight differences between AAAttack 13 AT and non-AT. (2) I don’t think there is any reason to assume that HEAD will tweak the 105 in those ways. If they do, I think that would be great; but I wouldn’t advise holding your breath. (3) You and I are about the same height & weight, and I personally would take the 184 Monster 98, since *I* would be interested more in the ski’s off-piste performance, so there, I would take the additional length and stability and slightly greater sidecut radius. But if we were going to ski groomers all day (and especially the shorter and / or narrower the groomers), then I think the 177 would actually be a bit more fun – simply carvier / turnier. (4) Finally, I’m happy to report that I’m doing well, feeling good!

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