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


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.

Dimensions / Stated Sidecut Radius


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

40 comments on “2017-2018 HEAD Kore 105”

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

    • 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.

      • 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.

  2. 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?


    • 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!

  3. 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?

  4. 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?

    • 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).

      • 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.

  5. 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?

    • 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. This is the info I got from Head regarding the new weights:

    Here are the new official weights for KORE 105:
    · 3.980 g for length 189 cm
    · 3.750 g for length 180 cm
    · 3.590 g for length 171 cm

  13. I would be interested in the Head Kore 105, but because they lied about their ski weight and built a whole marketing campaign around being lighter, I am going with the Rossi Soul 7’s.

    • Two very different skis. I would be much more concerned about the performance than if the ski weight was exactly at spec. I’ve skied both, not even a contest, the Heads all the way. Much more substantial ski. Liked the 189s at +3 to 4 mm.

  14. I like that they weigh more and I like that they addressed a potential problem with durability and better performance. I get your point if you are lighter, but for me at 185 lbs the added weight is good.

  15. About weight gain and improvements done- Head answered :
    “we have added extra fiberglass and carbon fiber reinforcement to improve performance and durability based on feedback from our athletes. We are in constant contact with our freeride athletes to achieve the best possible performance which also means constant adjustments during the production process”
    Please contact us for any further questions.
    PS .Razvan -ask Head.com about +6 mount point.

  16. Hi Jonathan. Merry Christmas!
    I am 6’4″, 220 lbs, 50 years old, expert skier in Revelstoke. Love smashing crud, pow, airing out soft bumps, trees, going fast, top to bottom, non stop every run, every day. Going slower is fun too though now, as I am aging and old dirt bike and ski injuries are catching up…
    Looking at the Head Kore, in both 117, and 105. Last year i skied mainly on Faction 3.0, and while I liked them, they didnt hold up, and Faction gave me a new pair for warranty. They also didnt have enough “float” for me on deeper days, which are almost mythical around here now though. They seem to disapper way too fast.
    I also own and LOVE my older (blue) Blizzard Cochise. These are my babies. Also, new Dynastar Big Dumps for the odd heli day.
    But looking for a daily driver that can rip, and be playful if my wife happens to come out.
    Was goonna buy both the 105, and the 117 for this year (Pro Deal). But with Xmas, and life in general, only really want to buy one pair…..What would you get, the 105, or the 117? And are 189’s even long enough for me??
    Putting on some Guardians for slack country is a probability as well.
    Thank you, your reviews are great, and I truly value your opinion.

  17. Hey guys. I bought a pair of 180 Kore 105s. I just got back from Sunshine Village after a bell to bell test day (minus a half hour lunch). Wow. Incredibly versatile skis. So so so much fun. The only issue I have is that I am very concerned about their longevity. One day of skiing and the tips are chipped to hell, and I ripped a small piece off the top of one ski. I have 10 years of hard skiing on my Line Prophet 100s and they don’t look much worse than my 1 day old Kore 105s. I don’t care about cosmetics. My concern is that they won’t hold up for even a full season at this rate. And yeah, horrible technical form is the obvious cause, but still. Damn, were they fun today though. I haven’t had that much fun skiing for a long long time.

  18. I got a chance to ski the Kore 105’s today and absolutely loved them. I felt like they have a very positive engaging edge and made a very precise turn shape-similar to my dynastar power track 89’s. I was able to ski some groomers, moguls, tracked and untracked powder. Overall I enjoyed them and feel they will make a good daily driver for me. I’m 6’4″ 200 lbs and learned to ski in the 80’s so I’m fairly traditional when it comes to skiing. I A/B’d them with a set of 184 Volkl Mantras, and while the mantras are easier to ski for me, the Kores were more rewarding, engaging and fun to ski than the mantras. I also feel they are quite a bit better in the powder. I was surprised, I didn’t think I’d like them, now I’m trying to come up with $700.

  19. I demoed the Rossi Soul 7, Head Kore 105 and Armada Tracer, all in 188/189. All were great. I give the Soul 7 a 10, Tracer a 9.7 and Kore 105 a 9.5. The Soul’s turned a little easier which I like for the bumps and will do better in pow with more rocker. All were lightweight and easy to throw around. Can’t go wrong with any of these.

  20. I just bought the KORE 105 in a 189, never demoed it, just went for it based on Blister and other reviews. I love this ski, they ski as advertised and for me maybe better. Day 1 was at Crystal Mountain Washington, Bluebird day one day after a 10 in dump, 18 degrees, medium soft groomers, set up junk south facing, softer mixed conditions north facing(Powder Bowl was ideal to test the 105) and a 25 minute hike to Silver Basin in the Southback-Knee deep untouched medium weight Pow. Finished the day skiing Brand X in the North Back and Employee Housing back to the base. I skied every condition over most of the Mountain. I have never been on one ski that nailed it all, blew me away(Set up junk south facing was the only area it got bucked around as would most skis except Monster 98-108 type of ski). I am still talking about them to anyone who will listen. I am know thinking of adding the 93 or new 99 in a 180 or the Renoun.

    I like heavy skis, I own the Monster 88 and love it too. I was mental about the light weight, which is legit as I have skied some lightweight skis that got bucked around and the lightness never felt connected to the snow like the KORE does, don’t how HEAD did this but it works very well.

    I am 5’11, 185 LBS, 59 years old, expert skier. For us old guys the KORE makes you feel 25.

  21. Hi Jonathan or any other reviewer/advisor!

    I’m searching a ski to do some touring (not long one -> max 1-2 hours uphill) but also to use in resorts, especially when condition are good (fresh snow) because I already own a pair of Völkl RTM 84 (2013-2014) with whom I’m very happy on-track. But they’re definitely not comfortable when it comes to pow & crud.

    I think I’ll opt for the new Salomon Shift binding as it’s seems to be the most efficient downhill. I know it’s not lightweight… so I’m searching a ski which is pretty lightweight… because If I take a heavy binding + heavy ski I think I’ll suffer uphill :-D.

    I did have a look at the following skis:
    – Black Diamond Helio 105 (love the design :-P)
    – Head Kore 105
    – Blizzard Rustler 10
    – Volkl BMT 109

    Regarding it’s weight, is the Black Diamond Helio 105 really worse compared to the others? Any other suggestion?

    Thanks a lot for your reviews and a big Hi from Switzerland :-).

  22. Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you as always for the helpful review. At 6’3″ 260lbs am i too heavy for this light ski. I ski 70% hard pack 30% off-piste put working on evening out that ratio. Looking at this versus the Stormrider 105, Bonafide, or moment commander.

    Thank you again.

    • Mat, I am 200 LBS and 6’4″ tall. I bought the 189 Kore 105’s in January and skied them to the end of the season and loved them. They take some muscle to bend on hard pack but are otherwise a fantastic ski. It’s strange that such a light weight ski is so good with edge hold on groomers but the harder you push the better they ski. They really excel for me off piste and in soft snow conditions. I still have a set of narrower 90mm skis for those days when I know I’m not going to be skiing off piste.

  23. “All Mtn Skis” bout as good as a set of all season tires, they do everything about ok. With that said, some ski traits simply excell in different disciplines. The Kore series excels on firm snow and skis the soft quite well. I don’t think the folks mentioning a redundant version of the Soul 7 would say it excels on firm, that would be Rossi’s other offering the Experience Ti. No mention of the Stockli Stormriders in here… the skis finish alone, cannot be compared.

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