Ski: 2021-2022 Head Kore 111, 184 cm
Available Lengths: 177, 184, 191 cm
Blister’s Measured Tip-to-Tail Length (straight-tape pull): 183.2 cm
Blister’s Measured Weight per Ski: 1850 & 1886 grams
Stated Dimensions: 140-111-127 mm
Blister’s Measured Dimensions: 139.5-110.3-126.2 mm
Stated Sidecut Radius (184 cm): 21.2 meters
Measured Tip & Tail Splay (ski decambered): 63 mm / 25 mm
Measured Traditional Camber Underfoot: 5.5 mm
Core: karuba/poplar + graphene at tips & tails + titanal binding reinforcement + carbon & fiberglass laminate
Base: sintered UHM C
Factory Recommended Mount Point: -9.2 cm from center; 82.4 cm from tail
Head’s Kore line of freeride skis brought about a whole lot of buzz when they were first released for the 2017-2018 season. While not explicitly targeted at ski touring, they were very light. They were also very stiff.
Since then, they’ve become very popular, both among skiers lapping their local resort and a whole bunch of athletes shooting film segments and competing on the Freeride World Tour. Hedvig Wessel has won several stops of the FWT aboard the Kore 117, Sam Kuch and Cole Richardson have been putting out mind-bending shots with MSP on the same ski, and Baker Boyd continues to be one of my favorite skiers to watch and seems to really showcase the kind of skiing these skis encourage — fast, aggressive, and dynamic:
For the 2021-2022 season, Head is updating their entire Kore lineup, which will include a total of 10 models
So, what’s new with this tweaked collection, how do the 21/22 Kore skis compare to the current market, and what’s the deal with one of the all-new models, the Kore 111?
I recently got a day on the Kore 111 and Blister Members can check out our Flash Review for our initial thoughts, but in the meantime, let’s dive into the design of this ski and the whole Kore lineup:
2021-2022 Head Kore Ski Lineup
In addition to construction and sizing updates to all the existing Kore models, Head is also adding a few new width options. Here’s the full 21/22 Kore lineup:
- Kore 85 W
- Kore 87
- Kore 91 W
- Kore 93
- Kore 97 W
- Kore 99
- Kore 103 W
- Kore 105
- Kore 111
- Kore 117
The number in each ski’s name indicates its width underfoot and the models with “W” indicate the women’s models, which share the same construction as the unisex models, but come in shorter length options and with different top sheets.
(In the past, the women’s Kore skis shared the same width number in their name as the unisex versions, but the shorter women’s versions were always a bit narrower than the number in their name. The new naming scheme more accurately reflects the width of the skis.)
This is arguably the biggest change for 21/22. The new Kore skis share a pretty similar construction to the 20/21 models, but with a few updates.
First, the 21/22 Kore skis now come with a karuba / poplar wood core, whereas the previous skis were reportedly purely karuba. The older Kore skis also featured honeycomb Koroyd inserts (similar to what’s used in many Smith helmets), but the 21/22 models do not.
The 21/22 Kore skis still feature a layer of Graphene at the tip and tail and a pseudo top sheet that’s essentially a layer of polyester “fleece” that’s laminated to the ski. The new versions also get two layers of carbon fiber (reportedly one more layer than the previous skis), along with a more traditional fiberglass laminate. When mounting the 21/22 Kore skis, we also noticed that they feature a layer of metal around the bindings, assumingly for better screw retention.
While they still feature what I’d call a full sidewall construction, the new Kore skis do feature a “chamfered top edge,” which basically just means that the top of the sidewall is angled / rounded, rather than being a 90° angle. This construction could be described as “semi-cap,” in that there is a sidewall running the length of the ski, but the top sheet folds over it a bit. This should help reduce top sheet chipping, and Head also says “more chamfer = more playful.” We shall see about that.
Another big change is the sizing options for the new Kore skis. The previous versions had some pretty big, 9 cm gaps between sizes, but the new skis are offered in more sizes with smaller, 7 cm gaps between lengths. Here’s the rundown on the 21/22 Kore length options:
- Kore 85 W: 149, 156, 163, 170 cm
- Kore 87: 149, 156, 163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
- Kore 91 W: 149, 156, 163, 170 cm
- Kore 93: 149, 156, 163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
- Kore 97 W: 156, 163, 170, 177 cm
- Kore 99: 149, 156, 163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
- Kore 103 W: 163, 170, 177 cm
- Kore 105: 163, 170, 177, 184, 191 cm
- Kore 111: 177, 184, 191 cm
- Kore 117: 177, 184, 191 cm
Shape / Rocker Profile
Alright, now onto the Kore 111 in particular.
Overall, this new ski looks very similar to the skis that sit on either side of it in the line, the Kore 105 and Kore 117. Like the old and new versions of those skis, the Kore 111 features a significantly tapered tip / shovel shape and a notably less tapered tail (the shape and rocker profiles of the 21/22 Kore skis have not changed much, if at all). The tips of the Kore skis are fairly blunt at the end so there’s still a lot of surface area at the end, but the widest point is closer to the center of the ski than many other skis.
Also like the Kore 105 and 117, the Kore 111 has pretty shallow rocker lines for a ski of its width. It definitely has tip and tail rocker (and lots of camber through the rest of the ski), but the Kore 111’s rocker lines are notably shallower than skis like the K2 Mindbender 108Ti, Nordica Enforcer 110, and Moment Deathwish.
Here’s how we’d characterize the flex pattern of the Kore 111:
In Front of Toe Piece: 9-9.5
Behind the Heel Piece: 9.5
One of the other changes that Head is highlighting with the 21/22 Kore skis is that the wider models (103 W, 105, 111, & 117) are now reportedly softer and more playful than the narrower, firmer-snow-oriented models.
And flexing our pairs of all the new Kore skis, that seems true, though the difference is quite subtle. The previous Kore skis were nearly unbendable when hand-flexing them. The 21/22 Kore 103 W, 105, 111, and 117 are still very, very stiff skis, though their shovels and tails are a touch easier to bend than the narrower models, and the previous iterations of the skis.
Still, all of the new Kore skis are still some of the stiffest options in their respective categories. As you can see in those numbers above, the Kore 111 is not even close to what I’d call “soft” at any point along the length of the ski.
The Kore 111, like the previous Kore skis, has a very traditional, rearward mount point of about -9.2 cm behind the true center of the ski.
That said, it’s interesting that the Kore 111’s mount point is a little bit closer to center than the 21/22 Kore 105, which has a mount point that’s about -11 cm from true center.
The Kore 111’s recommended line is still very much in the directional / traditional category, but maybe this is another way that Head is aiming to make the wider skis a touch more playful, especially considering that they have some really talented freestyle skiers on their team who are frequently throwing tricks on the Kore 111 and Kore 117.
We’ll be playing around with mount point during our testing of these skis, and Blister Members can read my Flash Review for some of my initial thoughts on how the Kore 111 feels with the bindings pushed a bit closer to center.
As we noted above, the original Kore skis were some of the lightest non-touring skis we’d ever tested. So how about the 21/22 models?
Well, they got even lighter.
Our pair of the 184 cm Kore 111 is coming in at about 1868 grams per ski. That’s lighter than a lot of the skis in the “50/50” (backcountry / resort) category of our Winter Buyer’s Guide, and even some of the skis in our dedicated Backcountry Touring category. It’s drastically lighter than similarly wide skis like the Salomon QST Blank and Nordica Enforcer 110 Free, and even some of the other “light” skis in this class like the Moment Deathwish and Blizzard Rustler 11. And while the Kore 111 is a new model, the returning 21/22 Kore models are also notably lighter than the 20/21 versions.
For reference, here are our measured weights for some notable skis. Keep in mind the length differences to try to keep things apples to apples.
1800 & 1804 Head Kore 105, 184 cm (21/22)
1806 & 1862 Armada Tracer 108, 180 cm (19/20–20/21)
1820 & 1821 Majesty Havoc, 186 cm (20/21–21/22)
1850 & 1886 Head Kore 111, 184 cm (21/22)
1905 & 1919 J Skis Slacker, 188 cm (20/21–21/22)
1910 & 1941 Scott Scrapper 115, 189 cm (17/18–20/21)
1919 & 1923 Head Kore 117, 184 cm (21/22)
1947 & 2011 4FRNT Devastator, 186 cm (20/21–21/22)
1959 & 1975 Volkl V-Werks Katana, 184 cm (16/17–20/21)
1964 & 1972 Moment Deathwish, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
1999 & 2020 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti, 180 cm (20/21–21/22)
2005 & 2035 Liberty Origin 106, 187 cm (19/20–20/21)
2006 & 2065 Head Kore 105, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2008 & 2065 Wagner Summit 106, 186 cm (20/21–21/22)
2011 & 2028 Moment Wildcat 108, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2034 & 2052 Blizzard Rustler 11, 188 cm (17/18–21/22)
2046 & 2120 Black Crows Corvus, 188 cm (18/19–20/21)
2079 & 2105 Kastle FX106 HP, 184 cm (19/20–20/21)
2096 & 2100 Salomon QST 106, 181 cm (19/20–21/22)
2097 & 2113 DPS Alchemist Wailer 106 C2, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2105 & 2185 Head Kore 117, 189 cm (19/20–20/21)
2110 & 2119 Moment Wildcat 108, 190 cm (19/20–20/21)
2113 & 2121 Moment Meridian, 187 cm (16/17–20/21)
2112 & 2125 4FRNT MSP 107, 187 cm (18/19–20/21)
2116 & 2181 Faction Dictator 3.0, 188 cm (19/20–21/22)
2125 & 2134 Kye Shapes Metamorph, 185 cm (19/20–21/22)
2145 & 2167 Sego Big Horn 106, 187 cm (20/21)
2153 & 2184 Rossignol BLACKOPS Sender Ti, 187 cm (20/21–21/22)
2165 & 2211 K2 Mindbender 108Ti, 186 cm (19/20–21/22)
2165 & 2219 Icelantic Nomad 105, 191 cm (19/20–20/21)
2170 & 2180 Dynastar M-Free 108, 182 cm (20/21–21/22)
2182 & 2218 Nordica Enforcer 110 Free, 185 cm (17/18–21/22)
2232 & 2242 Blizzard Cochise 106, 185 cm (20/21–21/22)
2232 & 2244 ON3P Woodsman 108, 187 cm (19/20)
2243 & 2287 Salomon QST Blank, 186 cm (21/22)
2295 & 2344 J Skis Hotshot, 183 cm (20/21)
2302 & 2342 Dynastar M-Free 108, 192 cm (20/21–21/22)
2312 & 2386 Prior Husume, 188 cm (17/18–20/21)
2321 & 2335 Fischer Ranger 107 Ti, 189 cm (19/20–21/22)
2353 & 2360 Volkl Katana 108, 184 cm (20/21–21/22)
2449 & 2493 J Skis Hotshot, 189 cm (20/21)
Some Questions / Things We’re Curious About
(2) Light + stiff isn’t typically a combo we’re big fans of, particularly for skis you use in rough inbounds conditions. That said, the previous Kore skis were very impressive in terms of their weight-to-downhill-performance ratio. So will the new, lighter Kore skis be similar in that regard?
(3) On that note, should most folks be thinking of the Kore 111 as a touring ski, a ski ideal for lift-accessed riding, and / or a 50/50 ski that you’d use for both?
(4) Head says the Kore 103 W, 105, 111, and 117 are now more playful than their narrower counterparts, but they’re still very stiff skis with directional designs. So how playful will they feel compared to the skinnier Kore skis, and to the rest of the freeride ski market?
(5) At 111 mm underfoot, the Kore 111 slots between wider, more powder-oriented skis and narrower, more all-mountain-oriented options. So how versatile is this new ski, and in what sort of conditions and terrain will it excel?
Bottom Line (For Now)
With their 21/22 Kore skis, Head has maintained much of what made the original versions stand out in the market, but these new skis might have even more eye-catching specs than their predecessors. We’re very curious to see how all of these new Kore skis compare to the current crop of all-mountain and freeride skis, and are especially eager to test the new Kore 111 against some other options in its class.
Blister Members can read our Flash Review linked below for our initial thoughts on the Kore 111, and then stay tuned for more in-depth reviews next season once we’ve spent more time on the new Kore skis.
Blister Members can read our Flash Review of the Kore 111 for our initial on-snow impressions. Become a Blister member now to check out this and all of our Flash Reviews, plus get exclusive deals and discounts on skis, and personalized gear recommendations from us.