Expert Review: 2023 Head Kore 91 W [with Video]
Ski Experts Sara Beeken and Jessica Whittam tested the 2023 Head Kore 91W skis on carving, freestyle, and freeride at Powder Mountain in Utah.
Curated Experts Sara Beeken and Jessica Whittam got their hands on the 2023 Head Kore 91W and put it to the test at Powder Mountain in Utah this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but don’t forget, every skier is unique. If you have any questions about the 2023 Head Kore 91W or would like recommendations on what ski would be ideal for your needs, reach out to a Ski Expert here on Curated.
Before we jump in, a quick note that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands, all of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Head claim about these skis?
[Sarah] Head claims that this is a versatile all-mountain freeride ski. It's 91 underfoot, which is one of the more narrow versions of it.
[Jessica] Head built these skis with the caruba-poplar wood core, and these are also built with graphene, which is the strongest, lightest material ever discovered by mankind. The graphene is proprietary to Head, which makes these skis super unique, in that they're really, really lightweight, but still a stiff and strong ski.
What’s your overall impression of the skis?
[Sarah] My first impressions of these skis are that they rip. They are so light — that jumped out to me immediately. That's one of the reasons I love them so much. Head uses a combination of a koroyd core and graphene to make it really stiff, but really light. This is by far the lightest ski I've ever put on my feet that can rip the way it does.
Honestly, I'm going to buy these right after this. These are, these are going to be my new skis. I'm totally sold. I liked these before I rode them a few years ago, and just having ridden the new version, I'm even more sold.
[Jessica] So my overall impression of the ski is that I loved it. It is so versatile, you can take it anywhere on the mountain. It's super stiff, super responsive, super lightweight. With it being super lightweight and super stiff, it is so unique in that I just feel in control in the trees, in the moguls, on the groomers, these skis rip up every part of the mountain. If you're looking for an all-mountain ski for everyday use, this is the ski for you.
How does it turn? [Sarah] This is a fairly short ski for me, but it could still do some pretty long turns and big, large radius turns. It did really well in the trees. It was super easy to maneuver.
[Jessica] So these skis have a turn radius of 10 to 14 meters depending on the size, so that's pretty narrow. That means that you can really get these skis going in tight slalom turns, and then you can go all the way out into big GS carving turns.
How about edge hold? [Sarah] I'm a former racer, and I like to have really good edge hold and really good pop on the hill. Carving is really important to me, but I like versatility all over the mountain. So this was extremely responsive on the groomers. It held an edge really well.
These are stiffer for sure. And the QSCs, I was surprised that I liked them so much because they were really soft, but they had a double side wall. The edge held really well on the groomers.
[Jessica] They held an edge really well. I had no issue trusting the edges on these skis, and I could really lay my hip into the ground.
Is it stable? [Sarah] These felt super stable at speed, fairly comparable to the race skis that I've been on.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Sarah] They're pretty playful just because they're so maneuverable. The stiffness is more than a lot of other skis, but I really enjoyed that, and I didn't have any problem moving them around.
What about riding switch? [Sarah] These aren't meant for riding switch, but they do have a little bit of rocker in the tail. So, you're not going to necessarily have a really big problem with it.
[Jessica] This ski is not a park ski. I'm not sure if they are going to put the clips in, but I was able to do some presses and I did ski them switch pretty well, somehow. This is a directional ski. They have rocker in the tips and they're camber underfoot, but they are not a park ski. They're not going to be a twin tip. These are going to be directional, and you are not going to want to ski switch in these. But if you want to see it done, maybe you could throw that in there.
How is it on jumps? [Sarah] Because of the stiffness. I felt really good stability landing jumps. The pop across the hill was really good. I felt like I could really load up the ski and then release it because of that camber underfoot.
How would it be in powder? [Sarah] Being one of the more narrow head core skis. This one isn't meant for a whole lot of powder, but being 91 underfoot, it's definitely going to hold up in some tender or maybe a couple of fresh inches of snow. The only place I probably wouldn't take it is in like a foot of powder. That's going to be a little too much for these, and I'd want a little bit wider ski.
[Jessica] These skis would be perfect for somebody who primarily skis groomers, and then occasionally skis off-piste. They handle groomers super well. They are 91 underfoot, so that means that they are a little bit of a narrower ski. If you are skiing a lot of powder, you might want something a little bit fatter. These do come in wider sizes, so that is an option. So, yeah, these would be ideal for somebody who's skiing mostly on-piste and going off-trail a little bit here and there. They're great in the trees. They're great in light powder.
What kind of terrain would it perform well on? [Sarah] This ski is ideal for trees. It's ideal for groomers. It's ideal for bumps. It's ideal for most places on the mountain.
[Jessica] These would be ideal for somebody who's skiing mostly on-piste and going off-trail a little bit here and there. They're great in the trees. They're great in light powder.
Is there any location you'd pack this ski for? [Sarah] You could use these on the East Coast as a daily driver, I think that they do pretty well, and even the soft snow out there. On the West Coast, these might be a lower snow ski that you still want the versatility to go off-piste.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Sarah] I'd recommend this ski to a pretty broad range of people. I definitely think that it's marketed more towards advanced/experts for a reason because it's a high-performing ski and the cost reflects that. But if you're an intermediate skier, and you're looking for something to progress with, you're not going to have to replace it right away, this is also a great choice just because it's so light and so maneuverable.
[Jessica] So these skis, because they're so versatile, I would really recommend them to any intermediate skier who's looking to improve. I would say this is more of an advanced ski, but I think that if you are a progressive beginner or an intermediate skier who wants to keep going with the sport, this would be a great option because you can keep this ski until you're an expert, and still rip them, and still have a great time on them.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options for them out there? [Sarah] I would not recommend these to beginners just because you don't need to spend as much as these skis costs to get the performance that you need. I would not recommend these to park skiers, somebody looking to ride switch and do a lot of terrain park stuff. I would also probably not recommend these to someone who's looking specifically for a powder ski.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you want help finding the right gear for you, reach out to Sara, Jessica, or any other Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized advice.