The Head Kore 105 is an effective all-mountain ski with versatile on-snow characteristics that make it a solid choice for any skier who likes to roam the resort and beyond. Light enough for the backcountry yet stable and sturdy at speed in bounds, these are a good one ski option for intermediate to advanced skiers.
- Where to buy: Amazon
- Best for: Any skier looking for an all-mountain option that can handle just about any condition. A good powder and backcountry ski that performs all over the resort as well.
- Pros: This is one of the most versatile all-mountain skis you can find. It’s lightweight, which makes for a decent backcountry option, and has a wide tip and tail that allows it to handle powder conditions. The tip to tail rocker makes for a fun and enjoyable ride all over the mountain.
- Cons: While this is a great all-around ski, there are a few conditions where it doesn’t fully hold up – steep groomers and in the soft crud. The tip and tail rocker limits edge control and bite on steep or packed runs. That’s especially true for heavy skiers. In soft, cruddy snow these skis tend to get a bit bogged down and become difficult to maneuver.
- The Alternatives: Rossignol Soul 7, Atomic Bent Chetler, Head Kore 93
Why Trust Me
Born and raised in the mountains of Colorado, I’ve been skiing almost as long as I’ve been able to walk. I‘ve skied all over the world and have decades of experience skiing on, testing, and reviewing different skis and skiing equipment. I took the Head Kore 105 out for a few weeks last season in Aspen and Vail. Below you will find my detailed review on how they performed across the board.
If you’re looking for a lightweight ski that holds up in different conditions, then Head Kore 105 is for you. This option truly meets the definition of an all-mountain ski, and the versatility makes it a recommended option if you like a little bit of everything on the mountain. With very little downside and displaying solid performance across the board, this is a skiers ski.
The Head Kore 105 is built to handle a little bit of everything. While that makes them highly versatile and fun if you like different terrain, they aren’t a race ski. As such, they aren’t going to give you the best performance on steep and packed runs, particularly if you’re a heavier skier like myself. That’s not to say they aren’t capable and fun on groomers, they just won’t provide you with flawless performance.
A little less stability at high speeds on groomers isn’t that big of a deal when you consider everything else these skis are capable of doing. For big mountain runs, backcountry lines, and powder performance, these skis are awesome. Their lightweight-but-sturdy design allows them to carve up and float powder lines like a dream. That’s a big reason why they’re some of my favorite skis in recent years.
I found these to be quite playful and responsive while hauling through just about every condition other than packed steep runs. They’re able to handle steep powder lines and bumps as fast as my legs could push, while remaining agile and effective throughout. Their lightweight playful nature was fun in the park as well. I didn’t spend much time in the park with them, as conditions were good, but I’d expect them to hold up in the pipe and on big airs.
My favorite thing about these skis is how well they live up to the all-mountain distinction. You can expect high-end performance from them all over the place. If you live for big mountain lines with deep powder, they will give you tremendous response and control. I ran powder laps in a big bowl with these all day long and was only disappointed when my legs needed a rest.
When conditions aren’t as great and you encounter chop and crud, the Head Kore 105 can bust through the junk with the best of them. This is an impressive attribute of a lightweight ski and I had no trouble having fun and staying under control through skied out chop a few days after a powder day. They had enough bite to keep me under control even at speed, and I was impressed that the conditions didn’t slow the skis down in the slightest.
I didn’t spend much time in the backcountry with the skis, but I was able to take them up to some hike-to terrain in the form of the legendary Highlands Bowl at Aspen Highlands resort in Colorado. I threw them over my shoulder and immediately smiled at their lightness. They would make a great option for backcountry skiers who don’t necessarily want a dedicated setup.
Construction and Style
The 105’s construction is the source of their lightweight feel and responsive on-mountain performance. They feature a Karuba wood core, which is well known for being light and strong, and that foundation sets the pace. A layer of Poplar wood in the core adds strength while keeping the skis firm and flexible when put to the test.
From there, the unique laminate construction adds flex and provides response when on the snow. Much of this magic is due to the Koroyd material that makes up much of the ski’s construction. This honeycomb shaped material layer is super flexible, and it offers plenty of stiffness. Lightweight, strong, and stable, this layer of Koroyd really provides a unique feel to the skis.
On top of that, you get tip and tail construction that’s fused with graphene – another strong-but-light material that continues to build upon the core. Its all-mountain attributes are further enhanced by sidewalls that utilize a sandwich cap construction and a rounded top edge that adds tons of strength and durability.
Another reason why these skis are so fun all over the mountain is their rocker/camber/rocker profile. That’s standard for any all-mountain option these days because it provides a fun and playful nature while still giving you plenty of pop, control, and edge bite when you need it.
As far as the Kore 105’s style, it’s simple-but-classy with its graphics. A mostly black top sheet with the brand’s logo subtly blended in gives them a missile-like appearance. They aren’t going to win any best graphics awards anytime soon, but sometimes a flashy ski covers up poor performance. Not the case with these skis at all.
Price and Value
The latest version of the Head Kore 105 is available in 171, 180, and 189 lengths. It’s a fairly expensive ski that definitely doesn’t fall into the budget category. However, when you consider its capabilities and effectiveness, there’s a lot to like value-wise. You can use these as a one-season ski and never get tired. That alone makes them worth the price.
What I Like
There’s a whole lot to like about these skis. From their playful-yet-responsive nature to their lightweight-but-sturdy design, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another ski that delivers quite as well all across the board and the mountain. This versatility was on full display for the time I spent on these skis, and I was easily impressed by the first run all the way to the last. Simply put, I like these skis a lot.
Usually, I’m not a fan of lightweight skis because they don’t always offer the edge control and bite that I want in demanding conditions. However, I’m impressed with how these skis perform even with their lightweight construction. That makes them perfect for ascending any inbounds hike-to terrain, and gives them what they need to handle in the backcountry. Even though they’re light, they provide enough edge control and bite to satisfy a heavy or aggressive skier.
I also love using these skis in the powder. The 105 waists combined with a flared out tip and tail make them floaty and fun in the deep stuff. Their performance was especially noticeable while turning on steep and deep runs, and I think the rockered profile really shines in that sort of situation. They’re not the best powder ski I’ve ever been on, but for an all-mountain option, they hold up in the deep stuff better than most.
What I Don’t Like
It’s hard to find much to gripe about with these skis. My biggest issue is how they performed for me at high speeds on groomed and packed runs. I always expect a little chatter and loss of edge control with any all-mountain ski when I’m charging at full blast, but it was pretty noticeable with these skis.
Being an all-mountain skier myself, the slight lack of stability at speed was easy to dismiss as I explored other terrain. If you’re a ski racer or love bombing groomers all day long, I’d recommend searching for an alternative option. I also chock this up to the fact that such a lightweight ski isn’t the best option for my heavy frame. That’s especially true with speed and edge control on packed snow.
I didn’t spend a lot of time in the park with these skis, but if I had to list another thing I disliked about them it would be their park characteristics. For the same reason they don’t work for me on steep groomers, they earn poor marks in the park. I just didn’t feel they provided the best bite in the pipe or when trying to stomp big airs. The lightweight feel was great in the air, but coming back to earth is a bit of an issue.
If you’re looking for an alternative option to the Head Kore 105 that still provides you tremendous versatility, a lightweight feel, and can work for a one ski option this season, check these out:
- Rossignol Soul 7 – These were some of my favorite all-mountain skis before I tried the Head Kore 105. They provide similar all-mountain attributes and are a bit better at high speeds. A great all-around option that can deliver quality performance in changing terrains and conditions.
- Atomic Bent Chetler (review) – These are a model that rivals the Kore 105 in terms of fun. They are a blast to ski on and come highly recommended for those who want a playful and responsive all-mountain ski. The bigger sizes are awesome in powder and the smaller version of the ski will give you versatility all season long.
- Head Kore 93 – The narrower version of the Kore is also worth looking into if you want a lighter ski that does better in the park. Still very capable all-around, you will sacrifice some powder and big mountain performance here. Even so, these skis are a blast if you’re a park rat or love staying inbounds.
Can a lightweight ski perform well in deep or cruddy conditions?
Yes, and the Head Kore 105 are some of the best for just that. Even though they are very lightweight, the unique construction and design gives them serious performance in powder and in slush or chopped up snow.
Can the Head Kore 105 be used in the backcountry?
They sure can. Their lightweight makes them an ideal candidate for out of bounds skiing. Pair these with a quality touring binding and you can easily take them just about anywhere.
The Head Kore 105 is a ski that’s well worth trying for just about any style. If you want a ski that can do just about everything well, these are the way to go. Their playful nature and lightweight design makes them ideal for anywhere from the resort to the backcountry and everything in between. There’s little downside and they make an awesome one-ski option because of their versatility.