Soft, Spring Groomers
On clean groomers, the KORE 93 has a sense of fun and zippiness that is missing from more subdued skis like the Salomon QST 99. But while the KORE 93 does offer a thrilling ride, its stiff tail doesn’t load up as easily with an abundance of energy like the Fischer Ranger 98 Ti. Instead, its tighter sidecut radius and lack of mass encourage experienced skiers to lay quick turns across the fall line. And the KORE 93’s stiffness through the tail lends the confidence necessary to really crank up the speed.
As the groomers got roughed up, the KORE 93 performed noticeably better than any other lightweight ski I’ve been on, including ones that weigh 200+ grams more. Most shocking was that It actually took me more than a couple of runs to say that, yes, indeed, the 177 cm HEAD Monster 88 — which is minimally rockered and weighs 400+ grams more — offers noticeably more stability. Keep in mind that I was A/B-ing these two skis on soft groomers, but honestly, we assumed that the Monster 88 would obviously and immediately blow the KORE 93 away in terms of stability.
Due to its tighter sidecut, I needed to ski more dynamically / stay active with my feet, but the KORE 93’s precision became pretty addicting at high speeds, regardless of how rough the softer groomers were.
Soft, Spring Conditions
While I never got the KORE 93 out in truly rough, firm conditions (it was too warm), I spent plenty of time on the ski in soft spring conditions ranging from just-softer-than-firm, to slushy, summer, afternoon snow. Throughout these conditions, the KORE 93 was impressively composed and stable at speed in open terrain. I could easily blast through piles of spring slush and the ski would hold its line. Its tips and tails felt quite solid. Again, it wasn’t quite as composed as the Monster 88 (which, again, is a crazy comparison), but I was surprised to find that it was much closer than I would have suspected given my experiences on other lightweight skis.
For a ski this stiff, navigating through tight trees and moguls on the KORE 93 was much easier than expected thanks to its tight sidecut radius and lack of mass. Precise movements came naturally when skiing the KORE 93; I almost had to purposely try to screw up in order to make sloppy or lazy maneuvers. So while its stiffer tail can punish, a good skier won’t encounter this as often as he or she would on a much heavier, longer-radius ski. And in this sense, you could say that the KORE 93 is forgiving in a quite unconventional sense.
Soft spring conditions are inherently quite forgiving, so while I was quite impressed with the KORE 93, there’s no question that lightweight skis benefit from soft snow that has some suspension built into it. Given that, we’re still curious to see how well the Kore 93 performs in other conditions once winter returns.
We suspect that on smooth terrain and chalky snow, the KORE 93 will impress all over again. But in deeper, tracked-out, chunky snow, or in gooey cake batter or Sierra cement (where mass tends to matter a whole lot more), we still need to see what this ski can do, though in true goo, wider skis with a lot of tip and tail rocker are almost always going to work better than skis with the shape (and weight) of the KORE 93.
Who’s It For?
Advanced and expert skiers who ski fast and are looking for a lighter and more agile ski will probably get the most out of the KORE 93. Its stiffness and impressive stability in softer snow are pretty unique traits in this weight class, especially for a ski with this degree of agility and zippiness.
On the other end of the spectrum, less advanced skiers may find the tighter sidecut radius and lighter weight of the KORE 93 to be a benefit over straighter and heavier skis, but I do think that the stiffness would be a bit much for beginner and intermediate skiers to manage.
Finally, while HEAD doesn’t market the KORE 93 as a backcountry ski, I do think that it offers a level of weight, stiffness, and damping that is unmatched in this weight class. And I can’t wait to slap some touring bindings on it.
The KORE 93 offers impressive stability in softer snow, while its low weight and tight sidecut radius make it markedly agile in tighter terrain. While there’s still no true replacement for mass, HEAD has created an impressive lightweight construction that allowed the KORE 93 to punch well above its weight class in terms of stability at speed in softer, late-season conditions.
I look forward to spending more time on it, and I very rarely say that about lightweight skis.
NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics