In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

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In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby jbotti » Mon Feb 04, 2019 5:44 pm

I demo'd a few skis last year in the 95mm waist genre. Did not find a ski that I loved. This past week I demo'd 2 skis in the same mold, the Kastle FX95 HP and the Black Crows Camox (97mm under-foot).
First the Camox: I was attracted to this ski because of its shape. It has limited tip and tail rocker and full camber. I took out the 181cm length. I immediately knew that it was too short but on groomers it was the first ski I have been on in this width where it acted like skis I am used to and I could easily bend the ski. The hybrid sandwich and cap construction did not feel like my race construction skis but the ride was acceptable/decent on hero snow groomers. I took it off piste into medium pitch stuff which was mainly wind-buffed crud. It was fine, turned easy, responded to tipping and decent. I then took it into steeper off piste terrain (same wind buffed crud) and the ski just got bounced, badly. There just is not enough there, there. Perhaps in the 187 length it would be a little better but the construction (hybrid sandwich cap which is designed to save weight and money is the issue).

The Kastle was nice in every way but one, the tip has too much rocker and I can't bend the ski. It also skis very short (I was on the 181) and I would need the 189. Again it did everything great. Super off psite, handled the crud with no issue, even found a few places with a turn or two of soft snow and it skied it great. But that tip just bothers me. You kind of have to ride the sidecut on groomers. I can arc really fun, tight arcs on my RNR (Head Rock n Rolls) and that makes the day real fun. Can have tons of fun off piste and also have tons of fun on my way back to the lift. Not so with the Kastle. I guess if I didn't own two pairs of RNRs maybe I would buy the Kastle. Its the best of the 95 waisted skis I have tried so far, but still not what I am looking for (and I am willing to admit that I may never find it in the current ski landscape).

Most PMTS skiers are not looking for 95mm waisted skis. So these reviews may be of little interest. Some had asked in the past for thoughts on some wider all mountain skis.

The Head Monster 88 would be my preference to ski if I did not own the RNR's. But I also don't think the version I have (the original stiffer version) is the easiest ski to ski as it requires solid PMTS skills. Have not skied the newer softer version.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby HeluvaSkier » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:28 pm

JB,
If you get a chance, try the Liberty V92 (next year's model gets a bit stiffer with three metal stringers vs. two in the current model) or the new for 2020 Liberty Evolv 90 (and Evolv 100). I skied the 2019 V92 and 2020 Evolv 90 when I was in Colorado this year and was pretty impressed with both. I was on the V92 in a 186, but felt like for shorter radius turns or I could have happily skied the 179--generally though it is a soft ski that likes to be on edge. The ski that surprised me was the 179 Evolv90. It is a bit beefier in the tip but I skied really well on it (better than on the V92, with video to prove it--see for yourself below). If you get a chance, I'd say worth a demo. They aren't a 'rush out and buy this ski now' sort of experience (for me anyway), but I'd be interested to know your opinion on them. Given the generally lighter feel of the skis and ability for the skis to easily brush, they may appeal to PMTS skiers.

Skip to 0:49 for the run on the Evolv90 and 1:34 for some absurd crud speeds on the V92.



Here's some fun on just the V92 186 (and one run on the 179 skied by a friend of mine).

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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby CO_Steve » Tue Feb 05, 2019 6:46 am

John, since you seem to really like the RnR can I ask where you have yours mounted? I've had a pair for quite a while but they rarely go out. In crud conditions they are fine but in deeper powder that has some weight to it they seem to be bottom seekers. I skied them last week in 15" of not that light snow and in full depth they were a chore to get to off the bottom when releasing to turn. I remember a few years ago with Geoffda he had the same issue at Keystone. I have demo track bindings on them but I haven't ever played with fore/aft position.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby jbotti » Tue Feb 05, 2019 7:23 am

Mine are mounted right on the line. I have never had to move them back but i would recommend that you try moving your back 1.5-2cm. Not sure what problem you are having because both Max and I use the RNR as our powder ski and it slays every powder condition both Max and I have skied them in.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby Max_501 » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:21 am

The RnR is an expert level off piste ski. It doesn't have "real" tip/tail rocker that helps "cheat" the turn so skiing at terminal velocity helps it come alive. I ski mine in all conditions even the cascade concrete we get in the PNW.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby jbotti » Tue Feb 05, 2019 8:43 am

Several years ago we had HH out in Montana and we had deep pow for several days in a row and it was seriously deep. HH would not give back those RNR's ( he actually did but he loved them) and he was killing it on them. Its definitely not the skis.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby CO_Steve » Tue Feb 05, 2019 11:14 am

I do tend to ski more in the trees or powder bump lines both of which limit speed. I'm going to move them back a bit and try tomorrow. More snow in the forecast.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby seskelson » Tue Feb 05, 2019 3:25 pm

Well, I would not rate myself as anywhere near the PMTS skier as jbotti or Max 501 ( can we say MORE CA and MORE CB needed). I'm working this season on holding CB when I release, I tend to get lazy and lean, and if I do, things go to pot. So there is your disclosure. But long time student since the earliest books. My boots ( Head Raptor RS 140) are properly aligned by a Harb certified shop. And it's been awhile since I have posted. But, I do seem to go through quite a few Head skis.
Current quiver:
my old Monster 78 177 cm- like jbotti I've held onto them, but they are fairly lifeless. My rock ski.
Rock N Roll 181 cm. -- used very lightly. I bring them out when conditions warrant. They get used maybe 3-4 half days a season. Pristine condition.
Kore 93 - 180 cm
2019 Supershape iSpeed - 170 cm. new this year.
2019 Monster 83 - 177 cm.
Head Supreme Instinct ski - 170 cm. My surprise ski from 2 1/2 seasons ago that I dearly love.

OH, and all my skis have demo bindings, but I ski them right at the indicated baseline.


I have owned two prior version of the Monster 88 ( the new current edition brought out 3 years ago - we won't even discuss the old one from years ago). The 2018 and the 2017.
I have not skied the new Monster 88 with the softer flex and slightly different tip shape -but based upon my skiing of the old and new Monster 83 my comments might have some value.


The Monster 83 -- yes I can definitely tell the difference in the tip shape and especially the flex. Like John I did not care for the original. It was OK, but nothing exciting. New one is still plenty powerful on edge but much more "user friendly'. In December at Grand Targhee in about 10 inches of chopped powder it was wonderful, then when you zipped onto the groomed it would carve nicely. At first I had to remind myself it's not a Supershape and tip it over more to get on edge, but once I did it was great there too. Frankly, it is reminiscent of my M78. So for me it's a definite keeper.
The Monster 88 yes, strong ski. I loved it. As John said, it takes some work to use PMTS technique but I really liked it. I will very likely get a new one next year ( 2020) once they release them to the reps. I sold my M88 this year as I really had a lot of overlap in my quiver.

On the R n R versus the Kore 93. Hmmm, tough one. I still love the R n R. It powers through the chop. On the Kore 93, I initially thought it got bounced around a bit. I concluded no - it was me -- I needed to be more precise and then I've have grown to like it a lot and it works fine. The R n R was love from first run - the Kore I have grown to love. But, it's a keeper.
Last edited by seskelson on Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby jbotti » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:16 pm

HeluvaSkier wrote:JB,
If you get a chance, try the Liberty V92 (next year's model gets a bit stiffer with three metal stringers vs. two in the current model) or the new for 2020 Liberty Evolv 90 (and Evolv 100). I skied the 2019 V92 and 2020 Evolv 90 when I was in Colorado this year and was pretty impressed with both. I was on the V92 in a 186, but felt like for shorter radius turns or I could have happily skied the 179--generally though it is a soft ski that likes to be on edge. The ski that surprised me was the 179 Evolv90. It is a bit beefier in the tip but I skied really well on it (better than on the V92, with video to prove it--see for yourself below). If you get a chance, I'd say worth a demo. They aren't a 'rush out and buy this ski now' sort of experience (for me anyway), but I'd be interested to know your opinion on them. Given the generally lighter feel of the skis and ability for the skis to easily brush, they may appeal to PMTS skiers.



Both of those Liberty skis look like contenders. Thanks for posting. Perhaps over the next couple of years more shops will carry them and they will become easier to demo.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby CO_Steve » Wed Feb 06, 2019 5:49 pm

Skied the RNRs today in 11" of not very light snow. Moved the mount 1.5cm back and they worked fine. They were vastly better on the groomer going home as well.
Not sure why I need this. Delta on this binding is only 3mm which is on the low side of what I prefer so I may shim it up a little.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby Max_501 » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:53 pm

CO_Steve wrote:Skied the RNRs today in 11" of not very light snow. Moved the mount 1.5cm back and they worked fine. They were vastly better on the groomer going home as well.
Not sure why I need this. Delta on this binding is only 3mm which is on the low side of what I prefer so I may shim it up a little.


What length is your RnR?
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby CO_Steve » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:58 pm

Max_501 wrote:
CO_Steve wrote:Skied the RNRs today in 11" of not very light snow. Moved the mount 1.5cm back and they worked fine. They were vastly better on the groomer going home as well.
Not sure why I need this. Delta on this binding is only 3mm which is on the low side of what I prefer so I may shim it up a little.


What length is your RnR?



What is it 181?
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby Jjmdane » Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:40 pm

You might try the Mantra M 5, which I think skis very well in different conditions, from reasonably deep powder, to cut up, to eastern hardpack. I have it in a 184 and it compares very favorably to my 187 RNRs. I really like them both, the Mantra might have a little more snap. Most of the time I’m on either race skis or Head I Speed’s and White Outs, so I’m not a huge fan of rocker.
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Re: In Search of the Head RNR Replacement

Postby Mac » Tue Apr 23, 2019 7:20 am

Kastle MX 99?
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