The 2014–2015 Head Race range is somehow odd. The skis that the general public can use are splitted into two different categories, which is… weird? They are the “Racing” category and the “Performance” one. So in order to make everyone´s life easier, just avoid any ski in the Racing category that has an “RD” in its name. Why? Those skis are the real race skis (RD stands for Race Department) and are FIS approved. So those skis are for competition purposes and nothing else. Don´t think of them as the best but the impossible ones for you to ski with. The rest of the Head Race category skis are in the Performance section and they are the iSupershape skis. So let´s make the summary:
Head Worldcup Rebels i.Speed
Head Worldcup Rebels i.SL
Head i.Supershape Titan
Head i.Supershape Magnum
Head i.Supershape Speed
Head i.Supershape Rally
If we stick to the Head´s nomenclature, we will have only two skis to choose from, a GS ski which is the Worldcup Rebels i.Speed and its brother for the SL turns, the Wordlcup Rebels i.SL. But we don´t need to follow what Head´s marketing department wants us to. Anyone who has tried the i.Supershapes Series will accept they can all be considered the Head´s Race range.
Now that the Worldcup models are identified and it´s clear what they are and what they’re not, let´s see what the i.Supershapes are like. If we look for the biggest contrast, we´ll find the i.Supershape Titan on one end and the i.Supershape Speed on the other. The Speed is the one with a higher focus on the piste and the Titan is the one with the off-piste aspirations. The other two skis of the Series, the i.Supershape Rally and the Magnum can be considered the sub-versions of the other two.
That is pretty much all in the Head Race range of this season. Now let´s have a look at the Head technologies for all these models. And we’ll have some fun with that, since Head is always pushing the envelope on the marketing side of things.
KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System)
Last year we talked about this. And this year Head is still insisting on it. So let´s push a bit harder. In one word, Head lies. Yes, you got it right, they’re lying. But there are many ways to lie. Head does it in a very funny way. As it was commented here the past season, “Head collects concepts from other fields and apply those ideas into their marketing for selling their products.” And that is what KERS is all about. If you take your time and read what is written in Wikipedia, you will soon discover the trick. Skis are made of materials that when they’re bent, they want to go back to their original position. And that applies on all, and all means ALL, the skis in the market. So there you have it. But where does Head lie, you will suspiciously ask. Head lies in the chip technology. There is no such a chip, nor firmware, nor nothing in that sense. The Head skis do not store electric energy. And their fibres are not piezoelectric. Yes, they have some sort of patent around that. Believe me, if stupidity was accepted as a patented idea I would have applied to have it first. I would be very, very rich.
ERA 3.0 S
This time I think no one inside Head really knows what this is all about. But hey, let´s make life easier for all of us. I will just copy their claims and you’ll just think their idea is great, fantastic and so on: “The new Supershape with ERA 3.0 S is the combination of all mountain carving, race technology, and a new gradient on turning mechanics and ski capabilities sure to impress skiers on many levels. 10% rocker and 90% camber are combined to impress. The additional layer of Intellifibers provides explosive power, control and increased responsiveness.”
Head skis are great skis. And the Head Race range is also great, don´t be fooled because of the comments above. If you take a look twice at the whole range you will soon find out you can finely choose the ski pair that better suits your race aspirations. If you want a little touch of off-piste mixed with great fun inside of it, the Titan or the Rally will perform great for you. On the other hand if you are looking for an overall racing ski, the i.Supershape Speed is definetely your choice. And if you are still in doubt, stop thinking, just buy an i.Supershape Magnum. It does it all.
This post is also available in Versión en Español.