Expert Review: 2024 Head Kore 99 [with Video]Published on 10/01/2023 · 6 min readSkiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz tested the 2024 Head Kore 99 skis in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories.
Curated Skiing Experts Ian Hamilton and Luke Hinz got their hands on the 2024 Head Kore 99 this spring. Check out how it performed in the carving, freestyle, and freeride categories, but consider the fact that each and every skier is different; if you have any questions about the Kore 99 or need recommendations on which ski would be best for you, reach out to a Skiing Expert here on Curated.
Before we get started, it's worth noting that Curated Experts are not sponsored by any brands. All of these reviews are completely unbiased.
What does Head claim about this ski? [Ian] The Kore series is Head’s all mountain series of skis, and the Kore 99 is marketed as an all mountain, one ski quiver type of ski.
[Luke] Head claims that the Kore 99 is the most versatile of the entire Kore lineup. It's built to be a stiffer, hard charging ski. With 99 millimeters underfoot, it’s wide enough to float on powder days but narrow enough that you have strong edge grip with it.
What is your overall impression of the ski? [Ian] Overall impression is that it's a great one ski quiver, and I had a really good time on the ski. This ski is also super high tech. It uses graphene, which is very unique among skis. The graphene keeps the ski light while making it stiff - that's so cool because this ski skis like it is a stiff, heavy ski, but it's not heavy!
[Luke] First impression - they are fairly strong which is pretty neat because these things are actually built without metal. Instead, the Kore uses carbon and a material called graphene. Head claims that graphene is a really strong material but yet really light. So, the skis are fairly light for how stiff they are which is pretty awesome.
I think what I like most about this is that it's kind of a jack of all trades, master of none. It’s not the dampest or the most playful ski out there, but it really finds a nice middle line where it can do everything pretty well. So, it’s super versatile just like Head claims.
How does the shape of the ski affect the way it rides? [Ian] The graphene is really impressive where it is a light ski but it skis like a heavy ski. It has the stiffness to really charge, and I had a really good time just blasting some turns.
[Luke]I would definitely say these skis are a little bit softer flex than some similar skis with metal. They're just a little bit more forgiving and progressive. But, I actually really liked how they performed. Head gave them a little bit of pop, a little bit of energy, and made them a little easier to maneuver as well.
How does the ski turn? [Ian] It has a lot of camber and it really likes to carve. I had a really good time going very fast on the ski.
[Luke] They're actually really agile at making tighter, shorter radius turns, which I was really surprised by. They were easy to flip around and pivot on the heel.
What is the edge hold like? [Luke] These skis have a surprisingly strong edge grip. I would say there are probably better skis out there with a little bit stronger edge grip, like the Nordica Enforcer, Volkl Mantra, and Armada Declivity. But, for how light these are and not having metal, I was really surprised with the edge grip that they had on groomers.
What about dampness? Any chatter in the skis? [Luke] These skis felt really good on piste. Again, they're not the most damped hard charging out there, but they felt really solid, really damp, and stable underfoot.
How does it feel in terms of speed? [Luke] The Head Kore 99 actually felt pretty good at speed. For the most part, it was only really when I got going up to high speeds, like Super G turns, where I could feel that there was no metal in the skis and they just weren't quite as stable. But, for middle speeds to lower speeds, they were super fun.
How is it for freestyle skiing? [Luke] This is definitely not what I would call a freestyle ski.
Could you speak about playfulness and pop? [Luke] If you want something more playful and more park style, this is not the ski.
Is it good for skiing switch? [Luke] It does not have a twin tip by any means. You could them switch, but it wouldn't be my first option for that.
How is it for freeride skiing? [Ian] It did really well off trail, in the moguls, and in the packed powder. It's a really good width and stiffness for aggressive all mountain skiing.
[Luke] I really like how they felt off piste. Having a little bit more give in the flex made them really fun through powder, moguls, and trees. They’re just a little bit more forgiving, agile, and nimble than some other skis, but they still are stable and damp.
How is it in powder? [Ian] It can handle powder, it can handle crud, and it’s just a really good width and stiffness for a one ski quiver.
[Luke] Today I was lucky and got to ski it in powder, and I really liked how it skied. I can charge on it, but it’s still not super demanding and not making me work too hard for it. It’s a little bit more fun and versatile.
How is it in uneven terrain and chunder? [Luke] In chunder and crud, they kind of surfed over it which is fine. They're not exactly blowing through it because they don't have quite as much torsional stability as something stiffer.
What terrain is this ski good for? [Luke] If you want something versatile for all mountain, something that you can grip well on the groomers and hit pretty much all speeds, but still is a little softer and more forgiving off piste - these are great skis.
Who would you recommend these skis to? [Ian] Aggressive intermediates up to expert skiers that want a really hard charging but light ski will really like the Head Kore 99.
[Luke] It’s super versatile and approachable. I feel like there are a lot of skiers out there that would get along really well with this ski.
It’d be great for intermediate skiers who want more versatility and better edge grip on groomers to be able to carve harder, but don’t want a super stiff demanding ski. I also think these would be a great option for a more advanced to expert skier who doesn’t want a heavy ski. It’s lighter on the legs and not as burly and hard to turn around.
Who should avoid these skis, there are better options out there for them? [Ian] Beginners and intermediates that don't want to ski fast, don't want an aggressive ski, and don't want to have to drive their ski or have really solid technique - this might not be the best ski for you. It's not punishing and it is decently forgiving, but it's on the stiff and aggressive side. It really likes to have good technique and be in those carves.
Skis work differently for different types of skiers. If you are wondering whether the Kore 99 is the right ski for you, chat with Ian, Luke, or any other Skiing Experts here on Curated, and they’ll put together free, personalized ski recommendations on the best skis for your needs.