Super Worldcup Supershapes

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Super Worldcup Supershapes

Postby Heyoka » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:03 am

Trying to sell some skis for Head and turn some on. I'm posting here, because there's a huge tie in with PMTS technique.

First of all, I have to thank Harald. He posted about the Supershapes in an i 88 thread and it peaked my curiosity. Harald and I like to ski the same places, he's never been wrong about skis yet. He wrote that he takes the ski everywhere and I knew I had to try a pair. I did, I demoed a pair at the Love Land a few weeks ago. Thanks Harald. You are my source for where the great skis are, still.

So I bought a pair of the Head Worldcup Supershape in 175 (longest it comes in). Bindings are Tyrolia Free flex 17. First of all what a beautiful, elegant looking ski. If feels good on, and for me, that counts for something.

In a 175 the ski measures 122/66/107. That is a 12.9 radius folks. On an all mountain ski. No puny Metron ski, either.

So I took it out yesterday at Vail, skied it in everything. My first run was the groomer coming down to mid-Vail from the top of 2. I was behind some on the ski. This ski likes to be on its edges, all the time. It gets out and goes with very little input. So on my first run I had to ditch some of my "style". Not really ditch it, but focus more on the Primary Movements. By the time I got to the lift I was already carving better than ever.

On my second run I was all about veritcal separation and independent foot movement -- boom. Focus on the stuff I learned last summer at PMTS Race Camp. I really started to feel it. The more I dialed in my stuff, the better the ski responded. By the end of the second run I was making what I felt like were tracks to die for. Proof is in the tracks, right? So I hiked back up the hill and looked for myself. I could hardly believe it. Hip width tracks, even through the transition. The tracks were equadistant, all through the turn. Could this really be happening?

Another run on some groomed then I went over to the tourist bumps, on Zot. I love to ski bumps. Again, I had to ditch some of my style. This ski will skid but it'd rather not. It tells you politely though. "Heyoka. Follow me, and I'll show take you through the turn nicely, on my edges". In other words, ski this ski how Harald/PMTS teaches. The last face of Zot I bet I had the whole chair lift skis. Unbelievable. My expectations had already been exceeded for the ski. By my third run, I was in love with my skis.

At this point I must add that my entire movements on the skis were the Primary Movements, stuff I learned from Harald. I've tinkered around with different stuff. Not to switch from what I know, more out of curiosity. Had I found something I liked, I would have kept it as part of my quiver. All I can say is that the more I dial in with the Primary Movements, the better my skiing becomes. Part 2, I went to race camp last summer with recreational skis and dull edges. Yet was skiing with/being observed by others who had much better equipment. I do carving demos on all mountain skis, with others who are on carving skis. They're not fair comparisons. All this talk about how I can't carve.

So anyway, skiing the Primary Movements, the Supershape loves it. I've never had so much fun carving as I did yesterday. Can't wait to get back out there today. I'm thinking purely Harald, focusing on where I'm weak. Dropping my inside hip to start the turn, starting the turn with my downhill foot. Pull my inside foot up through the turn, let the downhill leg get longer on its own. Pull the inside leg up through the turn, collapse the downhill leg to start the new turn. Must get upside down (which is my new thang(Rusty)). Weighted Release, emphasis on Von Grunigen. Think about my upper body, making sure I'm not crapping on my tails. Two knuckles up. Stand on the downhill ski and counter, or else you'll wash out.

The more I skied on it, the more fun I had. As I gained confidence, I skied weirder snow, tougher lines. Ski PMTS way, the ski was unbelievable. It still does okay skidding, but like I say, it'd rather not. It's soft enough in the shovel, so that you don't have to use near as many check moves in the bumps. It sucks up bumps well. In powder it was great. I did dump once, when I got behind. But that was pilot error. I probably won't take the ski out on powder days anyway, that's what my i88's are for. But it's nice knowing that in a pinch, I'd be just fine in the milk with my Supershapes.

The ski goes fast -- really fast. Towards the end of the day, I was cooking on it. The faster I went, the better it felt. It feels like your edges are glued to the mountain though. I couldn't believe how fast I was going, how stable I felt. I guess that's why it's called the "World cup Supershape". :wink: This from the Head website:

"This model?s unusual sidecut has earned it the name ?Supershape?. The pronounced sidecut of the Head Collection and its larger footprint combine to produce the ultimate fun ski for all situations. The Worldcup Sandwich Construction enables the ski to lie full on the slope. Thanks to Intelligence Technology, it is able to adapt to any situation with lightening speed. Liquidmetal infuses this ski with an extra helping of power and vitality. Those familiar with Head skis will find the Worldcup i.Supershape to be the perfect successor to the legendary Cyber i.C 200."

The ski will be new every day ski. I'm down to two pairs of skis now, I like that. i88's on powder days, Supershape for every other day. KISS.

So where's the downside? It's not a skidding ski. You have to have it on edge, even slightly, just about all the time. But that's fine. You also have to respect it; it's a lot of ski. Twice yesterday I was goofing off and paid for it. I won't do that again. But then again, I shouldn't be goofing off so much anyway, so that's fine.

For me, it's neato having a pair or skis that say "Worldcup" on them and feel like I can carry them high. It's a great feeling, I'm proud but humble. They're pretty skis, they look great on. They're light on the shoulder, I really love 'em.

Head is making great skis. Please buy some so they can keep making great skis.

Thanks to Harald for posting. I'm not sure I would have "found" this ski had I not read what he wrote -- right here at

Thanks as well to Harald for the great ski coaching and being the goto source. The man knows his stuff. I continue to advance by following his advise, thinking about what he says. I'm having a ball along the way. What's even better is that I continue to have new goals. Every time I think my skiing is there, I see something else. This used to piss me off. Now, I get excited. As Hobbit says, we have to realize our own limitations. I do. But I know there's a lot more I can do with my skiing and I' happy as a hooker with new shoes about it. :D

For the record, I tore off my PMTS stickers on my boots and skis because I don't like stickers on my boots and skis. My daughter will learn PMTS. Wherever she goes in skiing, it'll point right back to Harb Ski Systems.

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Postby Max_501 » Sun Nov 20, 2005 9:22 am

That review sounds very similiar to what I would write about my Atomic SL9s that I ski in a 170cm.
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Postby Belskisfast » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:33 am

Heyoka wonderful review of the Supershape. I felt like I was skiing right along with you :D
I have decided to get the Supershape as well and along with the 88's have it all!!!!
I am interested in your choice of length. I was thinking of 165 the same as my SL's. Jon Scott at Tahoe Demo recommended them in 175 though and I will demo them in both lengths before I decide. He said the ski just likes to hook up and carve it's sidecut and he felt that in 165 it was not easy to vary turn shape to more GS like turns from the skis natural shortswing turn shape . What say you?
I agree completely about the skis look....awesome....the WC constuction of the ski is impressive just like the 88.
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Postby SLAVA » Sun Nov 20, 2005 3:24 pm

As a owner of second pair of ic 200 i totally agree with my friend Heyoka!

Dude, I didn?t even know u can type that long :lol:

How was skiing with Jay HH and others ..I wish I could make it this time...

And congratulations on your daughter! Mine is already 17 month and can not tell you how much fun to have her around!

If not this winter but next summer we should make some turns together..
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Postby Heyoka » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:06 pm

Unbelievable ski. You have to ski a certain way. But if you do, you're in for a helluva ride.


I demoed it in a 170, the ski felt great. I was hoping it'd feel even better in a 175, it did. The longer length gives me more confidence to bring it out on a powder day. It also looks better leaning against the window @ Garfinkels. :wink:

Today the bumpies were stiffer -- much stiffer than yesterday. The bumps on Zot were tighter with much deeper troughs. It skied great. It's not as soft in the shovel as I thought. Matter of fact, I wouldn't call it soft at all. So in the stiffer bumps I focused entirely on carving, not trying to use a check move at all. Stay on top of the bumps. So even though today the bumps were much stiffer, I enjoyed the ski even more. Why? Because I know that on stiff bump days, which there are plenty, I'm covered.

I forgot to mention that on hard snow (yes, there was some hard snow) -- granular, frozen man-made -- it held like no other ski I've ever been on. Today I went into the frozen/man made hard pack, looking for chicken heads. That ski holds an edge, baby. Where others were skidding, sliding, and generally having difficulty, I was arcing, laying some tracks and feelin good about them.

So today was a bettter test of the ski as the snow was more frozen and the bumps stiffer.

I feel like I've really scored. It's so fun to ski. I'm psyched that my technique...felt so in tune with the skis. Much better than I had expected. I find myself thinking a lot about race camp, the stuff Harald has been talking about in the last year when I'm making turns on them. I'm not perfect on them, by no means. What's neat about the skis is that they expose my weaknesses, but in a polite manner.

I feel like I can tap a lot more out of the ski and that's exciting. It's for sure an all mountain ski for me. I'm not sure there's another ski out there right now like it. Or even if there was, what the hell would i care? The ski, combined with the Primary Movements, is an unfair advantage.
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Right on

Postby Harald » Tue Nov 22, 2005 2:47 pm

Paul, thanks for the greatest post about the Super Shapes. We obviously sell the skis we have them in 160cm, 165cm and 170cm. I ski on the ski every day and have since last March. I find it does everything you said and more. It is a great powder ski. For powder learners it is wonderful as it turns by itself. In the bumps it just follows the contour, on ice it holds great high edge angle carves. My accompanying photo is on that very ski you are talking about. Thanks again, Head thanks you.
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Postby RadRab » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:47 am

Harald, could you please let us know what length you ski the Supershape in and why?
Or, perhaps you could update the "Skis we use" on your site if you don't want to do it here.
I thought to get it in a longer length than would be used for Slalom racing or solely short turn free skiing (narrow crowded pistes), in order to have it be the all around versatile ski that you describe it as - capable of bigger turn shapes, high speed stablity, and better float for the marginal powder or crud days (while still being great for short radius even in a longer length because of its deep sidecut).
Thank you.

Postby Tommi » Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:14 pm

First day on skis this season! Just one small slope open, and warm weather with drizzle, but I didn't even notice ..
Snow was soft and wet, but it was a blast anyway. I had my new skis which have been waiting already for weeks in the garage..

Already during the first run, the skis felt very good and docile. Even a PMTS wannabe like me could squeeze surprisingly small radius out of these thin, light, sandwich skis, 170cm.

Yes, the new skis are Supershapes. Supershapes stay, my racing slaloms go. And thats because these wonders are even easier in short turns than my 160cm race skis. Supershapes feel far superior in soft conditions, that I can say for sure.

For us big guys I would say from my very limited experience that don't buy these too short. At 85kg / 6'2" I felt 170cm to be the minimum for me. If you are really a big guy the 175cm would be a good choice.

Just cant wait when I can try these in harder conditions..

Head have managed to design a perfect combo of sidecut and bend curve with medium stiffness. I think these are easy enough even for beginners?

Studies continue tomorrow ..

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Postby Max_501 » Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:35 pm

I've got a brand new pair of Head iSL Chips (160cm) sitting in my garage and now I'm wondering if I should switch to the SuperShape. Oh my...what to do.
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Postby midwif » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:34 pm

ARe you interested in selling them? My son could use new skis and I think he would really appreciate the abilities of the Heads.
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trenches, to heck w/tracks

Postby Heyoka » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:52 pm

or is it "B"sD?
Wait. Maybe it's B"s"D?
I dunno, but whatever it is I dig it.

I'm pretty sure HH has it in a 170.

I read a post over on epic about the Supershapes. The guy said they were "...squirelly". He said he couldn't make a good turn on them, even on hardpack

I'm in love with the ski. I'm making trenches, getting nice arcs and tracks. It's a fun ski. I could probably get by with it in a 170, but whatever. The 175 keeps me on my game.

I'm tickled by it. I get to train on it, I get to rip on it. In the chop today I dumped once, booted out. But I'm still getting the feel of the ski. In the chop I just tried to use small movements, I felt great on them again today.

I'm everywhere on them, it's an unbelievable ski for me. I'm down to 2 skis now. i88 for the milk, Supershape for every other day.

I've found that the ski makes me more disciplined, which I like. But whatever. I'm ripping around on it.
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Postby Harald » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:40 pm

Since when are you listening to anyone on Epic about how a real ski should turn, you saw their ski videos, Weems etc..
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Postby RadRab » Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:29 am

The guy who wrote that stuff over there (Noodler) was described - even by his good friend (ssh) trying to compliment him - with the following telling definition (bold and underline is mine):
"Noodler is a...skier with a more traditional bias to his skill blend. Those who are long-time skiers who have adjusted to shaped skis but have not had coaching on their technique will likely have a very similar approach to their skiing and will benefit greatly from Noodler's insights."
We will pass on that "benefit", but thanks anyway.

But Harald, why are you still not revealing your length (Heyoka thinks 170cm)?
I think that the following discussion goes beyond personal equipment choices (which may appear to be simple calculations of weight and ability, and otherwise irrelevant to this forum), and relates directly to how it influences technique and usage.

In the i.c.160 you used 177cm.
You wrote about the i.SL: I prefer to ski it in a 175cm for all round skiing and bumps, but use a 155-160cm for carving and slalom.

It seems that you do prefer the mix of deep SL sidecut with longer length for free skiing.
I could understand 160cm for Slalom racing, but what exactly does "for carving" mean? You certainly do carve on your 175s which you use most of the time?! Did you mean that European no poles BS?
Also, Rich skied the i.c. 200 (evidently very similar to the Supershape) @ 184cm. I know he is tall (but probably not that heavy), so he definitely also seems to prefer the same mix.

In the old days, my meat and potatoes was a 205cm GS ski for everything. But, with today?s shapes and constructions it seems that a SL (in a longer length than used for racing) is the better way to go.
My theory in understanding this is that it is better to control turn shape with varying pressure, while still carving.
We wouldn't want the mix of a GS ski in shorter length (say an i.Race @ 165cm), for example, because we want our short turns to come from a clean carve of the sidecut (actual radius), and not a pivot or skid to overcome a too shallow sidecut for the desired turn shape (and a GS ski @ 160cm - which would possess a deeper sidecut at that length - would loose to much in stability while maybe still not being deep enough). A full length GS would obviously worsen the problem.
Whereas a longer turn on a Slalom sidecut can be accomplished by less deep bending of the ski (total real radius is the combination of the ski's dimensions together with how much the "starting" sidecut is deformed by how deep of a decamber is applied). [Harald has spoken of straightening the stance leg more as the turn develops to apply more pressure to the ski to tighten the turn (if that is what is desired).]
High speed stability on a SL ski (at least one like the Supershape w/ sandwich, metal, and wider overall dimensions) is still achieved by construction and the extra total surface area of the longer length.
Again, for SL or GS racing, you use those custom fitting tools, but we are speaking about versatility for someone not just taking one run down a set course of similar turns.

Is this all correct?
If so, a skier of about 175lbs. and average good ability, should choose the 170cm.
Although he liked the 170cm, Heyoka says the 175cm is even better for him @ 205lbs.
HH is probably more like 155lbs (is this correct??), but he is HH. Others at that weight, or less, may be better on a 160cm, and others at even more than his weight perhaps belong on the same length (the assumed 170cm) like Tommy of 185lbs skiing it @ 170cm. This is also supported by the fact that the longest the ski is made in is the 175cm (but, actually, why is that if it is similar to the earlier i.c. 200 available @ Rich's 184cm?).
How about some feedback? I think this would benefit many here.
Last edited by RadRab on Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:55 am, edited 4 times in total.

Postby RadRab » Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:28 am

Heyoka - on a different subject (but not to reopen the whole can),
I liked your other posts (even the deleted one - I saw it).

HH is THE source for skiing technique (and, equipment).
I bought his two videos and am waiting for the new book and video.
But, he would have even more success if he would take a lesson from the sixties. Any "movement" attracts followers by, more than anything else, people just feeling good by being part of it. Them?s the facts! HH has to also stand for Hippy Harb. It is the only way ? yeah, love and peace and all of that.
I truly understand how he could become frustrated by some of those visitors (maybe me and you piss him off sometimes too?), but I almost checked out of here for good recently. I think things improved now ? not because HH changed his manner, but actually because he increased the attitude and cut them out. That has its benefit, but it is not ideal. Of course he couldn?t go on forever helping us not to be confused by their intentional or unintentional misleading ? and what a non-productive waste of time. But, the vibes are still destructive.
I understand him, but if he could accomplish the very difficult task of keeping the technical details straight and potent while maintaining his cool, of negating all false or mistaken ?teachers? while not having to resort to personal negation, he would help his own cause.
He is right about PSIA, and it is passionately offensive to his/our sense of fair and honest (especially when they want to call him the wrong one while they continue their charade ? either not helping others get what they do naturally right, or in many cases skiing poorly themselves), but it still won?t help to have a food fight.
And, he can?t just say that they won?t go on the snow together because Rick did and will. He should ski with Rick like you did. Either way, it has to stay human. His ?business? still surrounds what is essentially sport and recreation to his customers, and we are all still just idiots (Ott) sliding around this ball of dirt suspended somewhere in the middle of the universe.
So, for the good of all, himself included, Friar Tuck N Tip, just has to tie dye his Gortex. But, long hair and beads or not, thank you Harald for all you have accomplished for the ski world.

[Oh well, now he probably won?t answer my Supershape questions. :roll:
A little reverse psychology never hurt an equipment geek's cause :wink: ]
Last edited by RadRab on Thu Nov 24, 2005 6:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

Postby Tommi » Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:31 am

about the Supershapes. The guy said they were "...squirelly". He said he couldn't make a good turn on them, even on hardpack

is a...skier with a more traditional bias to his skill blend. Those who are long-time skiers who have adjusted to shaped skis but have not had coaching on their technique

Just my 0.02e worth based on 1.5hrs on the skis:
These skis do not require almost any tip pressure to initiate turns. If you stomp on the tips, it will probably feel unstable. I have had very stiff Atomic skis for years and I already quessed the difference (actually knew, based on the comments I saw before making the purchase decision), so I was not surprised. These skis are all about balancing, not force.

If possible, test the skis in different lengths before buying?

I ski mainly on very small slopes with lots of people. Supershapes seem to be excellent in these conditions.. Easy, logical handling in slower/medium speeds and short/medium radius turns. These are on autopilot, all you need is to program your path with tipping..

Have fun,

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