2020-2021 HEAD Kore 99

Jonathan Ellsworth reviews the Head Kore 99 for Blister
Head Kore 99, 18/19 Graphic

Ski: 2020-2021 Head Kore 99, 189 cm

Available Lengths: 162, 171, 180, 189

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

Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1921 & 1968 grams

Stated Dimensions: 137-101-122 mm

Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 136.7-100.8-122.1

Stated Sidecut Radius: 19.1 meters

Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 58 mm / 16 mm

Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: ~3 mm

Core: Karuba + Graphene + Koroyd Inserts

Base: Structured UHM Carbon

Factory Recommended Mount Point: -11.6 cm from center; 82.5 cm from tail

[Note: Our review was conducted on the 18/19 Kore 99, which was not changed for 19/20 or 20/21, apart from graphics.]


For the 17/18 season, Head introduced the Kore series, a line of dedicated inbounds skis that were some of the lightest we’d tested. And now for 18/19, Head is introducing a new model, the Kore 99, which slots in between the Kore 93 and 105, and which enters a competitive category of ~100mm-underfoot all-mountain skis.

Shape / Rocker Profile

Compared to the Kore 93 and 105, the shape and rocker profile of the Kore 99 look most similar to the Kore 93. And, interestingly, the Kore 99 actually has a tiny bit less tip and tail rocker than the narrower Kore 93 we tested.

In terms of shape, the Kore 99 has a touch more tip taper than the Kore 93, but that difference is minimal. The Kore 99 does not have as much taper as the 105 (which we’re personally happy about).

So, despite the increase in width from the Kore 93, the new Kore 99’s shape and rocker profile looks like it could maintain much of the 93’s firm snow performance.

Flex Pattern

Hand flexing the Kore 99, here’s how we’d describe its flex pattern:

Tips: 9.5-9
Shovels: 8.5-9.5
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5-10
Underfoot: 10
Behind Heel Piece:10-9.5
Tails: 9.5 (almost 10)

Like the other Kore skis we’ve tested, the Kore 99 is very stiff. It feels a bit stiffer than the 93, 105, and 117, though all of those skis flex pretty similarly.

Compared to the 184 cm Head Monster 98, the Kore 99’s shovels feel very similar (i.e., they are some of the stiffest we’ve ever flexed), and the Kore 99’s tails actually feel stiffer than the Monster 98’s.


When the Kore series was first released, the main surprise / story was just how light they were, and how Head was still marketing them as skis to be used in the resort. The Kore 99 does still follow this trend, but at around 1950 grams for the 189 cm version, it’s not coming in at a ridiculously low weight. (Though the more you think of the Kore 99 as a replacement for the Head Monster 98 — which comes in at 2373 & 2397 grams in the 184 cm length — the Kore 99 still looks like a significant shift.)

Here are some of our measured weights (per ski in grams) for a few other notable skis

1686 & 1725 Renoun Endurance 98, 184 cm
1843 & 1847 Head Kore 105, 189 cm
1894 & 1980 Black Crows Daemon, 183.6 cm
1921 & 1968 Head Kore 99, 189 cm
1966 & 1973 Liberty Origin 96, 187 cm (18/19)
2024 & 2029 Salomon QST 99, 188 cm
2049 & 2065 Volkl Mantra M5, 177 cm
2054 & 2059 ON3P Wrenegade 98, 184 cm
2124 & 2137 Blizzard Bonafide, 180 cm
2344 & 2367 J Skis Masterblaster, 187 cm
2373 & 2397 Head Monster 98, 184 cm

Some Questions / Things We’re Curious about

(1) The main question we have is which other Kore ski (i.e. the 93 or 105) will the Kore 99 feel most similar to?

(2) In line with that, will the Kore 99 feel more firm-snow oriented or soft-snow oriented?

(3) With such a stiff flex and fairly low weight, how punishing will the Kore 99 feel in difficult snow, or when you get off your game?

Bottom Line (For Now)

The 2018-2019 Head Kore 99 is yet another interesting addition to the ~100mm all-mountain ski category. We’re actually getting on the Kore 99 in just a few minutes here in Telluride, so stay tuned for updates.

Flash Review: Head Kore 99

Blister members can now read our initial on-snow impressions in our Flash Review of the Kore 99.

(Learn more about Blister Member benefits, and Become a Blister member)

NEXT: Rocker Profile Pics

7 comments on “2020-2021 HEAD Kore 99”

  1. i thought i had the new ski question answered. J skis master blaster is now just the leader in the clubhouse.

    the kore 99, rustler 9, mantra m5, are all closing hard. now i hear the qst 99 has a new build for next year. the enforcer 93&100 have to be on the list. the renoun endurance could be a game changer. even with the unique dimensions.

    poor me, looks like i cannot make a bad decision…

    • Steve, what did you end up with? The K99, R9 and M5 are all on my short list. Seems like the R9 should be the most forgiving, followed by the M5 and then the k99 the least forgiving. I own the R11’s so soft snow ski is covered, which leans me more towards the M5 and the K99 as a go fast, ripping groomer and low snow off-piste. Like you said, no bad decisions.

  2. I got an opportunity to demo the 99 and it is a fantastique ski. I ski an Enforcer 100 and this ski was actually more fun than the Enforcer. I’m a lightweight (145 lbs) and this ski didn’t require as much power as the Enforcer does to really get going. It’s very light in comparison and having no metal I was sure it would not have the rebound I like when pushing a ski. I was wrong. This thing has crazy rebound out of turns without any metal in the construction. Apparently, the graphene is responsible for that performance. Head is going after the success of the Enforcer with the design of this ski and I must say they have succeeded. I would venture to say that a heavier skier might still find the Enforcer a better fit, but for a lighter skier, the Kore has a distinct edge compared to the Enforcer.

  3. I feel like Head is kinda late for the party but they are coming with a bang. Kore series will definitely do some “damage” in its class. I personally own Kore 93 and after just 2nd run I was absolutely sold on those skis. I ski them on muggles,between trees, powder, hard packed, chopped and spring heavy snow they just take anything you throw at it and surprisingly they are fast too I went 65mph on them with full control and confidence. In my 25+ years of skiing( 15 of them racing) I never thought I would find skis like this. I highly recommend this skis to anyone who likes to venture all over the mountain. Those are kind of skis that when you go to sleep you don’t have to worry about type of conditions you will encounter on the slopes next morning.

  4. Hi Jonathan,

    Thank you for perfect review.
    Do you think this skis could work also for outbound when following inbound consists mostly of firm/icy snow, less often few cm of powder? (I’m thinking about kore vs. wayback, and of course inbound vs. grams in outbound).

    Thanks a lot!

  5. The Kore 99 is a great ski, reasonably lightweight (but not crazy light), nimble, damp with strong edge grip and with the stiffness, handles crud really well. Just skied it at the weekend in Whistler after 15-25 cm overnight, mostly skied out powder with bumps and crud and the occasional pocket of fresh. It was perfect for the conditions, fantastic ski.

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