2017-2018 HEAD Kore 93

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Head Kore 93 for Blister Gear Review.

Head Kore 93

Ski: 2017-2018 HEAD Kore 93, 180 cm

Available Lengths: 153, 162, 171, 180, 189 cm

Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length: 179.1 cm

Stated Weight per Ski: not listed

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1585 & 1586 grams

Stated Dimensions (180 cm): 133-93-115 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 132.5-92.5-114 mm

Stated Sidecut Radius (180 cm): 16.4 meters

Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 59 mm / 19 mm

Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Graphene, Koroyd, & Karuba wood

Base: Structured diecut UHM C base

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.15 cm from center; 78.4 cm from tail


We’ve posted our initial reviews of the HEAD Kore 117 and HEAD Kore 105, so it’s time now to take a look at the third ski in the lineup, the Kore 93.

HEAD says about the Kore 93, “Sometimes it’s deep. Sometimes it’s tracked. Sometimes it’s bumped. Lots of times it’s groomed. If this is when and where you ski, then the 93 is for thee. Any condition, anytime.”

“Any condition, anytime.” Well that certainly puts us squarely into one-ski quiver territory. Question is, is there reason to think that the Kore 93 can really pull it off?

For as long as I can remember, HEAD has specialized in making heavy skis (often the heaviest in their class) with a solid race construction. But at less than 1600 grams per ski, the KORE 93 is significantly lighter than most other skis in it’s class (which tend to range from 1800-2100 grams).

We are very quick to point out around here that lightweight construction often negatively affects the downhill performance of a ski. So for a company like HEAD that has strong race roots (where downhill performance is the primary goal), creating such a light ski is a dramatic statement, and it begs the question: Is HEAD onto something special with their KORE series in terms of lightweight construction and downhill performance? Or are they just after a piece of the trendy, lightweight pie?


As you know by now, the primary story with the Kore lineup is the weight of these skis. HEAD claims that their KORE skis are the highest performing and lightest skis in their respective categories. And as we wrote in our review of the 189 cm Kore 105, that ski may actually be the lightest we’ve ever seen for a ski of its length and width.

And the same is true for the Kore 93. Take a look at these comparisons in the 93-98mm width range:

180 cm HEAD Kore 93: 1585 & 1586 g
185 cm Blizzard Zero G 95: 1353 & 1376 g
184 cm Salomon MTN Explore 95: 1507 & 1595 g
178 cm Black Crows Camox Freebird: 1661 & 1664 g
180 cm Fischer Ranger 98 Ti: 1807 & 1833 g
187 cm Liberty Origin 96: 1991 & 1997 g
185 cm Nordica Enforcer 93: 2114 & 2133 g
180 cm Blizzard Bonafide (16/17): 2167 & 2199 g

The first thing to keep in mind: HEAD is positioning the Kore 93 as a high-performance inbounds ski. So in terms of ski shape and purpose, the Nordica Enforcer 93 and Blizzard Bonafide are really the closest comparables here. And take a look at the weight difference.

It’s also interesting to note the weight of the Blizzard Zero G 95, which is a dedicated touring ski, and the Salomon MTN Explore 95, which is a dedicated touring ski that has gained some traction as a “50/50” ski.

But again, I think it’s important to note that HEAD isn’t thinking of this as a “50/50” ski, and as I wrote in our Blister SIA Awards, HEAD wanted us to put this ski up against the heaviest skis listed here. Swagger indeed. But we’ve gotten good enough results in our reviews of the Kore 105 and 117, we’re genuinely curious to see what this Kore 93 can do.


Another thing I’m psyched on is that the Kore 93 has a bit less tip taper than the Kore 105 and 117. I think that’s a good thing, and if you want to geek out a bit about tip shapes in particular, you might want to give this Blister podcast episode a listen.

Flex Pattern: KORE 93, 180 cm

All three skis in the Kore lineup have very similar flex profiles. Hand flexing the 93, here’s how I’d sum it up:

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

FWIW, the tails of the 93 feel very similar to the 189 cm Kore 105, while the shovels of the Kore 105 actually feel just a touch stiffer than the shovels of the 180 cm KORE 93.

And just to show how similar these skis feel, here are our numbers on the Kore 105 and 1117:

Flex Pattern: KORE 105, 189 cm
Tips: 7-8
Shovels: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel piece: 10-9
Tails: 8

Flex Pattern, KORE 117, 189 cm
Tips: 7-8
Shovels: 9-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind the Heel piece: 10-9
Tails: 9-8

Point is, all three skis have a pretty burly flex pattern. So if you know you prefer softer, more buttery flex patterns, these might not be your skis.

Also, the Kore 93 (like the Kore 105 and Kore 117) has a very traditional mount point (Kore 93 = -11.15 cm). So while we haven’t tried slamming bindings forward to -4 cm (in the way that we never tried to turn the Nordica Enforcer 93 or Blizzard Bonafide into some jib ski), I think it’s best for most skiers to think of the Kore skis as very lightweight, directional options.

Low Weight + Stiff Flex

This is a combination that we haven’t always found to work well on snow; light & stiff has often produced a pretty jarring ride that lacks suspension and damping.

But so far with the Kore 117 and 105, I have to say that we’ve been pretty impressed. Yes, these are light skis, but they have not produced that jarring, tin-like sensation on snow.

But with the narrowest Kore 93, we’re moving more and more toward a width that you might use when it hasn’t snowed for several weeks, so really, the Kore 93 seems like it will be the toughest test of HEAD’s construction — can this ski really smooth out variable snow and firm, chunked-up or refrozen nastiness as well as the heaviest skis in the category do? Our intuition says no, but we shall see.

But given how well the other Kore skis have performed, we are ready to believe that the 93 is going to be a blast on clean groomers and softer, fairly-forgiving off-piste snow.

What about the Kore 93 as a “50/50” or dedicated touring ski?

Well, it’s certainly in an extremely competitive weight range, so we’ll be weighing in on how these skis would perform with touring bindings. And we’ll predict that in terms of strength to weight, this ski is going to be impressive.

It’s also worth noting, perhaps, that this is not a wildly-rockered-out 93 mm ski that has clearly been optimized to plane up in deeper snow. The 180 cm Blizzard Bonafide has a deeper tip rocker line, and skis like the Liberty Origin 96 have way more tip and tail rocker to aid flotation.

But having said that, the combination of the Kore 93’s low weight and very traditional mount point may go a long way toward helping it to plane in deeper snow.

The biggest question mark for us, really, is that the 180 cm Kore 93 has a pretty tight sidecut radius of 16.4 meters, which doesn’t sound ideal for dealing with punchy, grabby, backcountry snow. But stated sidecut numbers rarely tell the whole story, so we’re just going to have to get this ski on snow. Still, the idea of touring on this ski up to a big, wide-open bowl of soft spring corn, or to billygoat down a steep, consequential, wind-scoured couloir … it’s easy to imagine this ski shining in either scenario.



  1. DB Cooper April 19, 2017 Reply

    Been waiting anxiously for this review, especially comparisons to the enforcer 93.

  2. Blister Member
    Tom July 25, 2017 Reply

    Great review. Damn you. Now I’m second guessing my desire for a pair of Monster 88s!

    • Blister Member
      Andrew July 28, 2017 Reply

      Don’t worry Tom, you will never regret the monster unless you need light. It’s impressive what they’ve done but don’t see why I’d give up even the slightest performance to save weight unless going uphill. JMHO

  3. Tim September 25, 2017 Reply

    Thoughts on length for this ski? I’m 5’10” at 200lbs with a back ground in bumps and slalom (odd combo right) I’m looking at this in the 180 length. Run that or size up to the 189?

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl September 27, 2017 Reply

      Hi Tim,

      That’s really not enough information to make a proper suggestion. Knowing your ski preference history would definitely get us started in the right direction. What ski would this be replacing for you in your quiver – what size and name of skis have you enjoyed skiing in the past?

  4. Tim October 4, 2017 Reply


    this would be replacing a head collective 105, 180 that i felt skied too short.

    I’ve also had in the past Volkl mantras in a 177 (first year of tip rocker) and I thought the length was good on those.

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl October 4, 2017 Reply

      Based on your experience with the Head Collective 105, I’d recommend sizing up to 189.

  5. TMac October 10, 2017 Reply

    Just ordered your buying guide for this year, did you guys end up testing the ski in any different mounting point other than recommended? Recommended line sure seems VERY far back to me, even for a modern directional ski. My blizzard bushwackers/Brahma’s and wife’s black pearls always seemed like factory recommended needed to be moved ahead. The Head seems similar, lot of tip and not much tail. Thoughts?

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl October 12, 2017 Reply

      Hi TMac,

      No, I did not try the ski at any other mounting points. And yes, the Head Kore 93 is about -11 which is similar to many Blizzard freeride skis, such as the Brahmas.

      Mount points are a somewhat personal choice. Manufacturers change the location of the center of the sidecut to give the design a certain amount of tip and tail length. For example, freeride-oriented skis often have noticeably more tip length than tail length, so the center of the sidecut will be placed further back. And, freestyle-oriented skis often have a more equal tip and tail length, so the center of the sidecut will be placed closer to the center of the ski.

      The recommended mount point is then generally chosen so that, for a given boot size, the ball-of-foot will be within 1-2cm of the center of the sidecut (it can vary based on the ski’s designed stance and style of skiing). Generally speaking, your ball of foot should be close to the center of the sidecut, regardless, for a ski to turn properly. Deviating from this recommended mount point by 1-2cm is GENERALLY ok. Deviating further beyond that point can make the ski feel a bit odd when initiating and finishing a turn (I’ve been on skis before where I could easily tell the mount point was off). However, when it comes to freestyle skiers, some choose to throw that advice into the wind, and mount more forward than that, hoping to gain a better balance in the air or when spinning.

      Again, it’s still a personal choice and the stance and style that you want to adopt on the ski. For me, I typically like mounting my skis so that my ball of foot is about 1cm behind the center of the sidecut (I tend to have a moderately forward stance).

      Sorry I can’t be of more help, but the ideal mount point really does depend on the skier to an extent – kind of like boots.

      • Author
        Brian Lindahl October 12, 2017 Reply

        To be clear, for my own personal skis (that I’m not testing), I’ll generally ignore the manufacturer’s recommended point, determine the center of the sidecut, and then mount the ski so that my ball-of-foot is about 1cm behind it.

        To determine the center of the sidecut, I’ll take a strip of paper, wrap it around the edges, and slide it down the ski while pulling the ends of the strip towards each other. When the paper stops sliding, I’ve found the center of the sidecut, or the ‘choke’ point (moving the paper forward or backward would require slacking off the tension on the ends of the strip).

        • Troy November 10, 2017 Reply

          Thanks Brian. My boot size is 26.5 and if I purchase this Ski I think I will mount 1cm ahead of recommended just because I’ve always thought all my Blizzard Skis needed more forward, and this looks even further back than those. It does do a mind trick on me when I look down and see all that tip and zero tail behind the binding. I truly Ski all Mountain and spend a significant time in softer moguls. This Ski worries me a little in regards to the stiffness of it. Hand flexing it shows a beast in the stiffness category. I’m relying on sidecut, low swing weight, hi tech materials and rocker profile to compensate for the stiffness. I hope my thought process is right

  6. Frank November 3, 2017 Reply

    Thanks. Good review. I am thinking of getting the Kore 93 to replace my K2 Apache Interceptors in 171 length which felt was fine. I am 5’10” 165 lbs. I understand rockered skis ski shorter so I would assume I should get the 180 instead of the 171? Also Head recommends the Tyrolia AAAdreneline 13 binding

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl November 28, 2017 Reply

      Hey Frank,

      Yes. The Interceptors are not rockered at all, so if you feel comfortable on them and don’t want any less or more effective running length (sidecut), then the 180 size would be appropriate.

  7. Steve November 8, 2017 Reply

    Great review. From other reviews I’ve read, this sounds like it could be the perfect fit. However, your comments on flex have me worried. Would this ski be appropriate for a lightweight advancing intermediate (130-140lbs)? Thanks!

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl November 28, 2017 Reply

      Hey Steve,

      I’d probably steer more towards other skis. Something like the Ranger 98 is more appropriate to lightweight intermediate skiers. The Enforcer 93 might be a good heavy option as well.

  8. Toshi December 16, 2017 Reply


    Advice request: I’m on 177 cm 2015 Volkl Mantras now, out in Colorado, and ski most runs on the front side but have a special fondness for carving on edge. I like the Mantras in most conditions but am looking for something more playful, with more power coming out of turns, and with less of a tendency to chatter at speed. Even with the rocker the length feels a touch long, if anything, but then again I’m complaining about chatter.

    Would you recommend this ski given this, and furthermore would you go down to the 171 or up to the 180? Thanks.

  9. Reza Khalvati January 1, 2018 Reply

    I just skied three days on my 180cm Kore 93s in Mammoth. They are fast – very fast. And super light (no fatigue whatsoever from ski weight.)

    But they sort of sound and feel like cardboard planks! And I think a lot of chatter. They don’t feel smooth or graceful AT ALL compared to my (much older) Head Xenons (177cm) or Dynastar D’stinct+ (172cm) skis. I definitely did not feel as liquid and in-tune with these as I have with my older skis.

    I think my bindings (Tyrolia Attack 13) were mounted at manufacturer’s recommended points. Not sure if that had anything to do with my experience on these.

    I did have a couple of runs where I absolutely loved the Kores, but overall, that feeling of disconnect from the snow, lack of intuitive turning & smoothness, and the tinny, cardboard chatter & uneasiness feel has left me wondering if I made the right decision with these skis. Any thoughts? Oh, also, any thoughts on booths that would be a good match for the Kore 93s? (I have the older Lange Comp100 boots now – rather tight and not so comfortable.)

    • TMAC January 1, 2018 Reply

      As an owner of a 180cm Head Kore 93 with Marker Griffon binding mounted on recommended line I have to say I’m a little on the fence with my purchase as well. The super lite hype I don’t understand because I own skis bigger than this that feel just as light and similar sized skis that feel lighter. Yes they are lighter than metal layered skis but not others out there with carbon layup or other materials, good marketing though!! Lite and playful yes but not the super lite hype in my opinion. Cardboard planks? Funny! I wouldn’t say that but they are pretty stiff from tip to tail. I’m struggling with the lack of energy/rebound from the tail, I expected way more. I’m having a blast arcing from turn to turn but need more time to see if it’s just me or they really don’t load up like my other skis. I find them very playful, surfy, and easy to pivot In big moguls and off trail. Stiffness can sink the ski some in light deep snow versus trying to stay on tip despite the fairly wide shovel. I bought this to replace my Blizzard Bushwackers and my shorter Nordica fire arrow carvers to use as my narrower ski to have with my Soul 7 HD’s. I’m on the fence knowing if it was the right choice or not. Time will tell.

      • RK January 2, 2018 Reply

        Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I am still wondering what exactly the benefits of the Kores’ light(er) weight are, and why they would be better overall than skis in the same class/width/size/price range. I think I bought into all the hype and marketing of the Kores without really knowing the advantages (if any) and shortcomings of them. In theory and on paper, they seem amazing, but in reality, I am not so sure.. :(

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl January 4, 2018 Reply

      Hi Reza,

      What you describe is a pretty typical for lightweight skis in general, and is the reason why we don’t particularly advocate for their use when skiing at the resort. There are some benefits to lightweight skis, however, and some people are willing to sacrifice performance in other areas for those benefits.

      • RK January 4, 2018 Reply

        Thank you Brian.

  10. Aron January 8, 2018 Reply

    Hi You all! I bought a pair of these head kore 93’s. I kinda want to make them as touring skis. Which bindings would you recommend? Is something like a dinamir good for these skis? (It’s cheaper than dynafit and more versatile)
    Thanks! Aron

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl January 22, 2018 Reply

      Hi Aron,

      Binding selection is a somewhat complicated and personal matter and probably should be addressed in a different medium. The Blister Membership is ideally suited for this kind of personalized assistance, so perhaps that might suit you best? Otherwise, you can always write to us, regardless, and we’ll do our best, given the limited time that we have.

  11. Blister Member
    Alec January 17, 2018 Reply

    Hi Brian,
    What are your thoughts on the Kore 93 vs the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti for a carving or small amounts of new snow resort/touring set up? I’m torn between the two, and you seemed to give both such high marks.

    • Author
      Brian Lindahl January 22, 2018 Reply

      Hi Alec,

      The Ranger 98 Ti is a pretty easy-going and forgiving ski. It also has more energy when carving. The Kore 93 is a bit more of a serious ski that works better for more advanced skiers. But, it’s also significantly lighter than the Ranger 98 Ti. So it kind of depends what you’re looking for in these regards. Also, I haven’t spent any time on the Kore 93 in powder, but I’d wager than the Ranger 98 Ti would perform noticeably better in deep snow.

      • Tmac January 22, 2018 Reply

        My two cents after owning a Head Kore 93 and skiing it all over the place for the last month. I’m still at odds with this Ski. It truly is a great all Mountain Ski and does everything great, just doesn’t accell at any particular thing. It has a very odd feel on firm groomers and I do miss energy out of the tail as I would have expected being so stiff of a Ski. But it is stiff from tip to tail so it’s a uniform stiffness. It is surfy, smeary, light swingweight, great in moguls, carves well, very fast skiing Ski, stable for how light it is but again a unique feel on firm snow. Deeper powder that stiffness plows more than surfs, hard to keep tips up but it’s swingweight and profile let’s you whip it around. I own a 2018 Soul 7 HD and if there is any amount of new snow on the ground I would prefer to Ski it instead. The head can sure rip up the mountain in fun fashion but is just missing something in the energy dept. It was supposed to be my firm snow Ski but I’m thinking I made a wrong choice. Great Ski but overlapping a touch into my other quiver of Skis. Maybe would choose a new Brahma, new kendo, maybe even a Enforcer 93, atomic vantage, something with a little more groomer dynamics and energy from the tail. It’s a fun carver for sure but again missing something. Sorry for the long post.

  12. James January 24, 2018 Reply

    Hey! So I bought my kore 93’s new this year and paired the 2018 tyrolia attack 13’s for a combined weight of 11.4 pounds in total (5.2 kg). So far I’ve gone out in a few different conditions including deep powder (2-3 ft), hard icy on piste, and spring-like warm slushy on piste. They’ve handled beautifully in all the condition and I can’t complain. I come from a racing background but always loved skiing trees and powder when I was younger. I went with the 170 cm length (I’m 170 cm in height, 80kg), and they’ve been amazing for my ability, which I would consider to be advanced. I’ve carved some super tight and fast turns with these skis, and have rocked some great pow! Only complaint so far is that the top sheet is super fragile in the sense that the edges have already started to get chipped and scratched up, and I’ve only been on the mountain 6 times (this might be due to my aggressive style of skiing XD).

  13. Torben Slyngborg February 15, 2018 Reply

    Hi …
    I’ve been skiing my K2 Pinnacle 95 188 cm for the last weekend in Austria in very different conditions both on piste and off piste.
    How would I have felt different, If I had ridden the “Head Kore 93” .?
    I’m 193 cm in height, weighing 93kg.
    I consider myself advanced !!!
    Regards Torben. DK

    • Jantzen February 19, 2018 Reply

      Totally different skis, as you know.

      The pinnacle 95 is much softer and has a ton of tip rocker length and tip splay: it’s actually really good in deep snow for a 95 underfoot ski because of that tip.

      It also has a deeper tail rocker. I cannot recall amount of camber.

      The Kore is much lighter by over 200g a ski (based on updated head weights for this ski).

      You would have found the Kore a better carving ski (it’s stiffer and has way more edge in contact with the snow) while the Pinnacle leans more to softer conditions and the pinnacle will feel much more damp (even though it is a ‘light’ ski in its own right).

      They are both all rounders that will excel at nothing (although again, the pinnacle 95 actually does excel in pow lederhosen probably more than any other 95 underfoot ski I can think of).

  14. Jantzen February 19, 2018 Reply

    I’d love to know how ‘lederhosen’ got in my comment. Can my iPhone read my mind? I’d been thinking about lederhosen all day but I did not type it. Wow.

    • Rk February 19, 2018 Reply


  15. BMan February 21, 2018 Reply

    I just bought the KORE 93 as a caring skill and one that I can go through the day without fatigue, due to the weight, if I desire. I’m looking forward to skiing these lederhosen once they are waxed and ready. I e pict to add another quiver to push technical abilities but we will see.

    Thanks Brian for the great review, and the community for their good questions, answers & insights.

    • Rk February 21, 2018 Reply

      BMan, please share your feedback after you ski them. Would love to know what you think. Enjoy & have fun!

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