Expert Review: Head Kore 105 Skis · 2023Published on 12/30/2022 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2022.
Evan skis the 2023 Head Kore 105 at Loveland Ski Area, Colorado. All photos courtesy of Evan K.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the skis, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2022.
The Head Kore 105 is an awesome daily driver or powder ski for advanced to expert skiers who ski primarily out West. While the Kore loves to reward hard skiing, the lightweight construction makes it a friendly tool in tight and tricky spots—from the skin track to the resort.
About the skis I own
- Model: 2023 Head Kore 105
- Size: 184cm
- Height: 6’5”
- Weight: 220 lbs
- Experience: 19 years of skiing
- When I bought these: October 2022
- Days tested: 10
- Mount position: Recommended
- Boots: 2021 Tecnica Cochise 130
- Boot Size: 29.5
- Bindings: 2023 Salomon Shift 13 MNC
- Where I’ve used it: Loveland Ski Area, Colorado & Winter Park Ski Resort, Colorado
- Terrain: Bumps, trees, powder, groomers
How they perform
What I was looking for
I was looking for a 50/50 resort and backcountry powder ski that would be a workhorse in the backcountry as well as a pleasure to ski on the resort in good conditions.
Why I chose this gear
The Kore’s lightweight but incredibly stiff construction was a great choice for me as a heavier skier. It won’t punish me too much on the skin track but packs enough punch to be a joy to ski. The Kore 105 also comes in a 191cm length. This would usually be the obvious choice for someone my size; however, the Kore’s no-nonsense tail shape, the necessity to navigate tight trees in the sketchy Colorado backcountry, and my preference for bump skiing made the 184cm option a viable one. Overall, I am happy with my choice to go shorter. I own longer skis, and the added versatility (even in travel) of the 184cm will come in handy.
What I love about it
- Speed: These skis love to be skied hard. When skied with proper form, they return so much energy. They can’t help but speed.
- Edge hold: The Kore has to be right at the top of the all-mountain category for edge hold, especially amongst skis with no metal. These things are machines on hard/groomed snow for a lightweight ski.
- Turns: The no-nonsense tail and shorter radius (17.8m at 184cm) on the Kore give me the confidence to lean on the ski’s carbon reinforcements for some incredible responsiveness and power in the carve. When skied flatter, the tip rocker and light swingweight make all kinds of shapes possible. Just beware that these skis are incredibly stiff, and being a heavier or more expert skier is helpful when getting these skis to comply.
- Powder: The lightweight build and huge shovel make these skis a joy in soft snow. They love to bound through soft moguls. Their floatiness and low swingweight encourage playful airs and slashes.
- Moguls: The Kore’s low swingweight makes them a pleasure to ski in bumps for their width, especially with some soft snow to employ some of their superb float. With just a touch of the soft stuff, these things really come alive and enable some playful skiing.
- Trees: The low swingweight makes the Kore accessible in trees and tight spots. With a little soft snow, the Kore’s float moves them above competitors for maneuverability in the glades.
- Backcountry: While I have not yet toured on my Kore, they are a common sight on the skin track and were my pick for this season, given their low weight. Paired with a Shift binding, this is a great skiing 50/50 combo that doesn’t punish on the skin track as much as many mixed setups do. At a little over 1800g per ski at 184cm, the Kore is probably the lightest non-backcountry-specific ski in the category.
- Weight: The incredible power-to-weight ratio in the Kore lineup makes these special. Most heavier riders balk at lighter skis for their lack of power, but I can say that these babies pack a real punch—a testament to Head’s many decades of material science expertise.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Park: The Kore line is pretty directional, and their athletes do some amazing freestyle skiing on them, but they aren’t a twin tip. For the avid switch skier, a dedicated twin tip would be better.
- Durability: The 2023 Kore line does feature topsheet material, unlike previous years. This added some durability over previous models, but the Kore still leaves something to be desired in the durability department. One can expect some marking and wear along the edges of the topsheet.
- Switch riding: These are playful skis that might tempt someone into riding switch occasionally, but they have very little tail splay and no twin tip, making them a no-go for avid switch riders (which I am not).
- Stability: As a larger, expert skier, this is the one place where I can kind of knock Kore’s performance. When it comes to variable snow in rougher terrain, I find that there are some moments where I desire a bit more weight. That said, they are some of the smoothest, most stable skis for their weight range and that one will find on the skin track, but there are smoother, more stable skis for variable snow within the all-mountain category. When the soft stuff is flying, they are second to none, but they can be a bit prone to being pushed around when things are chunky.
Favorite moment with this gear
I was lucky enough to take these skis out on a 10-inch storm day at Winter Park while they were opening lots of terrain in the Mary Jane territory (bump skiing Mecca). The skis were surfy and intuitive in the untouched snow in the morning and probably even more fun in the lightly tracked bump runs later in the day. With the snow flying, these things inspired the utmost confidence. They loved seeking out playful airs and transfers all over the bumps while being perfectly predictable in more skied-out sections. I couldn’t have chosen a better tool for the day.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Kore sits in the middle of the freeride ski price range. However, compared with other skis that one might take on the skin track, the Kore is at a lower, more reasonable price point. Some skis that come to mind are the Elan Ripstick Tour, Liberty Origin 106 BC, and Blizzard Hustle 10. The Kore weighs a touch more than the Ripstick Tour and Origin BC but is a better skiing ski than both while being lighter and cheaper than the Hustle 10. For those that are going to put a shift on their ski and ride it daily, the Kore 105 strikes a really impressive balance of performance, value, and versatility.
These skis are special thanks to their superlative traits. They are the lightest and stiffest skis in the freeride category and thus provide a unique value proposition to advanced and expert skiers who may have avoided lighter-weight platforms in the past.
For those looking for a hard-skiing resort and backcountry 50/50 ski, or a dedicated resort powder ski, the Head Kore 105 should be right at the top of the list.