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.
Hand flexing the Kore 99, here’s how we’d describe its flex pattern:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9.5-10
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