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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

21 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!

  5. Gary Chadfield October 1, 2017 Reply

    Hi
    Previous replies have confirmed my thoughts that the Kore range has replaced the Venturi 95s etc, I had been looking at the Venturi 95 as a discounted last years model ski.
    Although I’m a fairly aggressive skier with 30 odd years on the planks, I’ve always been on a tight budget and never got much into the different skis, just jumped on whatever planks I had (head x1100s that I used for about 8 years till I bought some iRallys last year) and ragged them like I stole them, the 67mm 1100s were used all over the mountain, from groomers to half a metre of powder.
    I’m looking for a second ski with more float in the deep stuff than the iRallys but not sure how much I want to compromise piste performance.
    The offpiste I like is the steep chutes, trees and other tricky bits rather than surfing huge powder fields, (mainly because I never have access to huge powder fields!!!) On piste, I like the 14m radius of the iRallys, pretending that I’m a GP rider, trying to get my elbow in the snow and love the moguls.
    Kore 93 or 105?

  6. Blister Member
    Ryan October 5, 2017 Reply

    Chiming in with a few questions / musings here.

    So I’ve got part of my quiver set up for the season. After selling off a few skis I’m left with some new Bibbys and a pair of Jeronimos (The 101 underfoot flavour from a few years back).

    Right now I’m looking for a 3rd ski to fill the gap a little bit. The Jeronimos are a very fun park/all mountain ski – but they’re mounted pretty far forward and do leave me wanting a bit more stability and ‘chargeriness’. Obviously the Bibbys are my anything remotely deep ski.

    I want something that fits the bill as both a capable ‘big-boy’ freeride ski that I can take out to Baker/Whistler/Revelstoke and ride a day or two after smaller storms – and as something I can slap Guardians on and go for slackcountry laps. Think a ski for the average condition day on big PNW mountains.

    Originally I’d thought my Bibbys could be a great option with Guardians, but I’m a bit concerned about how heavy they’d be. All reports indicate they’re an amazing ski in nearly anything soft, but maybe I should mount them with FKS’ and leave them as an inbounds / short hike type guy.

    This is where the Kore 105 comes in. My local shop has some great options including the K105, the Rustler 10. These skis are a fair bit lighter and would likely fit the bill as a true all-mountain/freeride type ski. Would it make sense to opt for a 3rd ski to mount with Guardians and treat as a daily-driver / touring option – and save the JMos for park days?

    If I’m looking for a stiff, powerful ski to take on the mountain what suggestions come to mind? Should I just stay with what I currently have?

    • Author

      Hey, Ryan – sorry I’m just seeing this note! Quick question & thought: (1) what’s your height / weight? (2) I thought I’d made this clear in my review of the Kore 105, but I personally think the ski has too much sidecut (and is too light) to shine in heavier, denser snow. For such snow, the lighter you go, the straighter I’d want that ski to be. And to be honest, we feel the same way about the Rustler 10. Caveat: if you like making lots of turns, then the Kore 105 and Rustler 10 become more interesting options, though I still worry (especially) about the Kore 105’s ability to handle cake-batter snow. I spent a day in that type of snow, and it was not awesome. So if you’re looking for a “stiff, powerful ski” … I’d say the Kore 117 is a *way* better option than the 105 — it’s heavier, has less sidecut, and less tip taper. The Rustler 11 would also be better than the Rustler 10. Other skis to consider: Line Sick Day 104 or Sick Day 114. Just pick your width (and your weight).

      • Blister Member
        Ryan October 22, 2017 Reply

        No problem Jon!

        I’m 5’9” and about 165-170 lbs. 27 years old.

        So my story has changed a fair bit since I wrote this. My quiver’s currently a 100 underfoot stiff freestyle ski for jibby days, and a 184 Bibby which I ended up throwing Guardians on. I figured the bibbys are versatile enough to handle any BC condition, but they’re still not stupidly heavy. I decided the Kore 105 was just too light and tapered for my liking.

        Now I’m looking for a ~108ish underfoot ski to fill the gap between these two. I’m an ex-freestyler who’s probably an “early” expert in technical ability level. I love skiing fast and fluidly.

        I still want a big boy ski. Something reasonably stiff and substantial that I can take out as a daily driver in Whistler. Something I can grow with as a skier and improve on. I imagine I’ll ski the Bibbys when it’s reasonably fresh – so something that shines in really variable/firmer conditions would be ideal.

        Skis in contention for me, in no-particular order:

        ON3P Wrenegade 108 (Love all my ON3Ps, but I worry they’re a bit too soft snow focused – my Bibbys handle that well)
        Black Crows Corvus (Never skied them, but they feel great in the shop. There aren’t a whole lot of reviews up on them, but they seem badass. It also seems like most people should ski the Atris instead, as it gives up little to gain a more easygoing ride. Feel the corvus handles firm snow better.)
        Black Crows Atris (Never skied, but apparently they’re pretty great. Sounds like the newest iteration is more stable)
        Cochise (Found them a bit dead when I demod them, and honestly a bit of work in some of Whistler’s tighter spots. That said, very damp, very stable, very fast)

        Anything else you’d add to this list? What do you think I should aim for? The Corvus is very tempting, but I wonder if I’m missing something.

        As always, thanks for the hard work! Looking forwards to reading the new guide.

  7. Nick October 18, 2017 Reply

    Do you think the 180 version mounted with some dynafits could be a solid daily driver in the backcountry, including when the snow is variable and crusty?

    • Author

      No.

      Lightweight skis with a lot of sidecut are the wrong design for variable and crusty snow. In light, dry, forgiving snow? Definitely. But that’s a very different ball game.

      *Could* you make them work in variable & crust? Sure. Any competent skier *could*. Would we call it a “solid daily driver” for such conditions? No.

  8. Jeff October 21, 2017 Reply

    Very thorough review. I’ve been skiing the Rossi Soul 7’s (188cm – 108 Under foot) for 4 years now, with Nordica Enforcers (185cm – 93 UF) and Rossi Squads (190cm – 120 UF) also in the quiver. Thinking of replacing my Soul 7’s since they’ve had 2 design upgrades since I got them. Trying to compare the Head Kore 105’s vs Rossi Soul 7’s. Is there really a significant difference in weight (looks like 1-2 pounds) and at 6’2” & 215lbs, am I really going to notice it? I’m probably more concerned about flotation, quickness and responsiveness. I ski 60-80 days a season. Mammoth is my home mountain and I primarily ski off-piste, steeps and bumps, with trips to Alta/Snowbird, Jackson Hole, Sun Valley, Baker and Mt Bachelor every year.

    I appreciate your thoughts.

  9. Matt November 13, 2017 Reply

    Has anyone else measured the weight of their Kore 105 Skis?

    Just received pair of Kore 105 skis with size 171cm few weeks ago. I put them on scale and was shocked: they weighted 1826g another and another ski weighted 1847g. I was expecting these to be closer to 1,6kg mark and sent e-mail to Head right away. I just finally received e-mail back.

    “The construction of these skis has been changed this summer what improves their durability and performance. The negative effect is that the weight also had to be increased slightly. The weight was measured for prototypes of these skis.

    Best regards
    HEAD
    CUSTOMER SERVICE – HEAD SERVICE TEAM”

    At the moment I feel that I have been mislead buying expensive light skis that are however quite standard weight for this size skis. Not so good marketing from Head in my opinion if they haven’t sent any letter to dealers regarding this.

  10. Jeff November 13, 2017 Reply

    Matt,

    I asked the previous questions about comparing the Kore 105’s to the Soul 7’s. I think you are correct about the weight issue. My wife and I were at a ski shop recently that had both the Kore 105’s and Soul 7’s at 180 length. It wasn’t a scale, but we both did a blind comparison of the weight of the skis and both picked the Soul 7’s as feeling a little lighter when we lifted them.

    Weight aside, have you had a chance to ski them yet? If so, what are your thoughts? I’m thinking of sticking with the Soul 7’s since I know what I’m getting with them.

  11. Matt November 13, 2017 Reply

    Jeff,

    I haven’t put any bindings yet since I waited almost 2 weeks reply from Head, which I received this morning.

    On hand they feel much stiffer compared to Soul7 (old version). Really like the shape and everything, only disappointment was the weight since I was expecting them to be appr 200g lighter. Even Head web pages advertized week ago that the 180cm version weights 1.68kg. Now that sentence has disappeared.

    • Author

      Very interesting, guys. We hadn’t heard anything from HEAD about the weight increase, and I’m now curious if the 189s we tested also got a weight increase.

      Of course, in a statement that will surprise nobody, I’m not mad about the weight increase, since I’m ready to believe this will likely increase durability and performance in variable snow. That said, the weight of these skis was the primary talking point for the KORE skis (and one could argue the single talking point) … so yeah … it’s certainly understandable to be upset.

  12. Jeff November 13, 2017 Reply

    Another difference I️ noticed was that the Kore seemed to have about half the camber of the Soul 7. This was visual by placing them base to base, so it wasn’t actually measured. I️ don’t know if this means anything.

  13. Blister Member
    Matt November 18, 2017 Reply

    I weigh a pair of KORE 105’s in a 180 and 189 at the Shop I go to.

    180 KORE 105 1870 Grams.

    189 KORE 105 2035 Grams

    I also weighed the Atomic Vantage 100CTI in the 189, 2005 grams which is close to what you guys posted.

    I personally like the added weight, now I will most likely buy a pair.

    Matt Stapleton

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