The 10 Best Head Skis: 2018 Guide

Man in a red ski outfit racing in a skiing contest

Did you know that snow isn’t really white on its own? To pick the best Head skis, you should learn a couple of things about the snow where you intend to go skiing.

I remember my early downhill skiing escapades. After a day with what the rental place said were the best skis it sold, I wondered why I was skidding and sinking and tripping so much. I later learned the many differences between the different ski types. This is why knowing your skiing style is so important as well.

What Makes Head Skis Special?

In 1950, Howard Head founded Head. He was an American aeronautical engineer and skiing enthusiast. He’s officially the first person to design successful commercial skis that use a mix of metal and plastics. The company has been a pioneer in cutting-edge ski design ever since, using new materials and technologies to take skiing to new levels. It’s now part of a bigger Dutch company called Head Tyrolia Wintersports.

With two big factories in Colorado and Austria, they produce skis for many skiers around the world. Their signature quality is the lightweight design, following their motto “Light done right.” Head skis, and their female skis, in particular, are among the market leaders for recreational downhill skiing.

How are they made?

The Head design team always comes up with new, innovative design ideas. When it comes to build quality, Head skis are elaborate. The specifics vary with each model, but the best head skis use a variety of modern materials, including graphene and composite plastics.

There are models for every type of mountain skiing and for all different snow conditions.

Where can you buy Head skis?

Stores all over North America and Europe sell Head skis, as do stores in many Asian countries. Their official store locator helps you find locations near you. You can also get them from various online vendors, including Amazon.

How much do they cost?

The price for a pair of head skis can range between around $180 to well over $1,000 depending on the model and accessories.

How We Reviewed

We’ve compiled this list of the 10 best Head skis by doing researching, analyzing and comparing product specifications and user reviews from various sources.

What makes these particular skis the best Head skis? Each one is the best for a specific purpose and a particular type of skier. The Head ski roster has something for everyone, and the items are listed in no particular order.

To make your selection process easier, we provide comparisons between the different skis to help you pick the best Head skis for your particular needs.

The 10 Best Head Skis

Without further ado, here are the 10 best Head skis on the market today. Please note that they are listed in no particular order.


Head Natural Instinct


One of the best-turning allride skis on the market, Head Natural Instinct is an ideal choice for beginners and intermediate skiers. Head’s Instinct series has a variety of groomed snow carvers. Natural Instinct is the most affordable and beginner-friendly of the bunch. It’s a featherlight, narrow ski with a core of injected foam. The skis are soft-flexing and forgiving in general, and won’t speed out of control.

They’re simpler than Head’s racing skis. For example, they don’t use the signature KERS technology that stores and releases kinetic energy for post-curve speed boosts. They’re still formidable carvers for the price. And they make good use of graphene to provide strength without adding bulk. Graphene is a cutting-edge Nobel prize-winning carbon material that’s very strong yet super light. Its addition allows for optimal the ski’s profile thickness with a thicker tip and tail but a thinner underfoot. And it makes for a lighter ski.

The main downside is these skis are specialized for hard snow. If you want something with a bit more flotation on softer snow, consider a wider Instinct model. If you’re a hobbyist who just wants something affordable and easy to use, these are the best Head skis for you. More advanced skiers will want to look at other options.

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Cheap
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • A bit slow
  • Only for hardpack
  • Quite limiting

Pricing

A pair of Natural Instincts cost between $329 and $499 depending on specifications.

Head Monster


This model is for skilled male skiers who like high-speed skiing and freeriding in particular. Head Monster is a prime choice for those who want a set of versatile skis for all-mountain freeriding. They handle all normal conditions well, and there are four different waist widths to choose from. These widths are 83mm, 88mm, 98mm, and 108mm.

A wood core with graphene reinforcement makes the ski both resilient and responsive. Metal laminates help provide good edge grip and high-speed handling, and the vibration dampening edge strips help even further. Full-length vertical sidewalls make the skis strong around the edges. So it’s a flexible and forgiving ski. All Monsters come without binding.

Head Monsters are very versatile freeride skis for men with plenty of skiing experience. The main complaint you may find with these skis is that they’re not specialized enough.

Pros

  • Good on all terrains
  • Balanced handling
  • Fast

Cons

  • Not beginner-friendly
  • Jack of all trades

Pricing

The MSRP for a pair of Monster 83 is $700 while the other models all come in at $800.

Head Great Joy


This is one of the best Head skis for hard-riding women who need a new all-mountain shredding setup. The Joy series has been a best-selling line of female skis for years now. The Great Joy is one of the wider designs and works great on piste and powder alike.

It’s a fast model that’s best suited for more experienced skiers. It’s stable and predictable though. At a waist width of 98mm, it’s the second-thickest Head ski for women. It features a wood core in a sandwich cap construction with graphene laminate reinforcement. This makes Great Joy skis tough as nails and very responsive at high speeds.

All Joy models feature rockered tips for better shock absorption, flotation, and smooth turns. Everything behind has a low camber. It’s sold flat, and warranties only apply if you get Head Tyrolia bindings mounted by an authorized technician or retailer.

These are among the best head skis for experienced women who need a set of versatile all-mountain skis with good progression capability. If you need something more tailored for optimal piste skiing, a smaller, cheaper ski is more suitable.

Pros

  • High speed
  • Feather-light
  • Smooth turn initiations
  • Very durable

Cons

  • Not optimal for hardpack snow
  • Not beginner-friendly

Pricing

As one of the more high-end Head ski models, it comes at a pretty high price. The MSRP is $750.

Head Supershape i.Speed


Do you love speed? Then you’ve found the right skis. Supershape i.Speeds are the fastest on-piste skis for men. These super-narrow carving skis will take you down the slopes in no time, with an edge-to-edge quickness that’s hard to beat. However, they won’t handle soft snow too well.

Using a World Cup Sandwich Cap build with graphene and metal laminate, these skis are both tough and responsive with good edge grip and minimal vibrations. The extra metal helps boost speed and durability. A subtle racing-type rocker on the tip makes it less grippy when you turn so you can carve and skid with more control at high speeds. They come mounted with a trusty 12-DIN binding system by Tyrolia. Whether you’re a competitive skier or just love high-speed skiing, these are the best Head skis you’ll find.

Pros

  • Super fast
  • Great control
  • World Cup construction

Cons

  • Only for the highly skilled
  • Can’t handle soft snow well

Pricing

You can find Supershapes for between $550 and $750.

Head WorldCup Rebels i.Race


For the female speed lovers out there, the WCR i.Race skis are among the best head skis. The first thing to note about the WorldCup Rebels i.Race (and other WCR models) is that they don’t meet FIS standards. Hence the name. The side cuts are too deep. For less official competitions and recreational racing, i.Race is an optimal choice.

When it comes to sheer speed, they’re amazing all-purpose racing carvers. The combi race ski design with a sidecut radius of 14.4m is a happy medium between the i.SL slalom ski and the i.Speed GS ski. They’re built like Supershapes with top and bottom metal reinforcement, making the skis tougher, grippier, and calmer at high speeds.

Graphene reinforcement allows for hard riding. Head’s cutting-edge piezo-electric KERS technology provides a nice boost of rebound energy at the end of each turn. Together with the clever intelligence fiber design, this makes the ski adapt to your speed and carving depth for more fluid handling. If your highest priority is maximum speed without loss of control, these are the best Head skis for you.

Pros

  • Fast as lightning
  • Super maneuverable
  • Balanced combi racing design

Cons

  • Only for very experienced skiers
  • Not great for soft snow
  • Not FIS compliant

Pricing

The MSRP for a pair of WCR i.Race skis is a whopping $1,200.

Head Kore


These are the best Head skis for all-mountain, off-trail exploration. Head Kore skis have a wide design for good, buoyant plowing in all terrain. With waist widths of 93mm, 105mm, and 117mm, they can handle heaps of soft powder. They’re best suited for experienced skiers seeking maximum power and control for freeriding. They’re very stable and feather-light with a topless design.

The graphene-fused, rockered tips provide great flotation and quick turns during frontside skiing. The laminated design with Koroyd and carbon help reduce vibrations and keep you stable. So it’s ideal for aggressive chargers. There’s a nice balance of shock absorption and torsional stiffness, giving great control regardless of terrain. Even at low speed, turning is effortless. It handles alright on the piste as well. If you love charging off the beaten path, these are the best Head skis for you.

Pros

  • Great off-piste skis
  • Stable handling
  • Ultra-light design

Cons

  • Not for the inexperienced
  • Not ideal for groomer skiing

Pricing

A pair of Kores will set you back somewhere between $650 and $800.

Head Super Joy


If you’re a female skier who spends most of your skiing time racing down groomed-snow hills and hardpack, the Super Joy will bring you superior joy. These are, in essence, the best Head skis on piste for women. The excellent design responds well to great skiing technique. It’s also forgiving and approachable enough for intermediate skiers seeking to advance.

They’re only 75mm wide with deep side cuts and very light yet fast. The autocarve sidecut and high rebound energy make it ideal for quick carving. An airy Koroyd plastic honeycomb makes up the core. Carbon fiber and graphene provide extra strength and flex. A rocker in the tip and low camber behind makes it more buoyant and maneuverable.

Super Joy skis handle steep angles and high speeds with ease and stability, although mellow cruising is also joyful. They come with top-grade Joy 11 SLR bindings. If you need proper groomer racing skis, these are your best bet. The only real issue with these skis is the versatility, which isn’t their purpose.

Pros

  • Very fast on piste
  • Skill range from intermediate to pro
  • Stable, easy carving
  • Super light

Cons

  • Not good on soft snow
  • Lesser performance than WorldCup Rebels

Pricing

With an MSRP of $875.00, it’s a bit costly. But you get what you pay for.

Head The Show


Here are the most budget and beginner-friendly product in the park-ski collection. Head The Show is a great choice for freestylers on a budget. The catch-free twintip design lets you spin and slip with ease. They’re light and maneuverable with a 79mm waist width. The feel is less edgy and more soft-flexing than the top models of the series. It’s available for people of many sizes and ages.

The Show skis use a traditional, asymmetrical design for good times both in both the park on the mountain. Plus a PNP rocker profile for terrain smoothing and shock absorption. Thanks to a strong wood core laminate design, they’re very sturdy, although the sidewalls aren’t as tough as those of the Caddy and Framewall. If you need versatile freeriders that shine in the park, consider The Show.

Pros

  • Ideal for freestyling
  • Very versatile
  • Great price

Cons

  • Could be tougher
  • Not for beginners

Pricing

With a $375 MSRP, these will be among the cheapest options you can find in shops.

Head Prestige


Do you love hard, fast skiing? Head Prestige is among the very best head skis, period. Head pushes all its ERA 3.0 technology to its limits with the allride Prestige skis. They make the most of the KERS and Intellifiber tech for incredible rebound and edge grip.

The speed rocker design makes them lightning fast and easy to steer. So you won’t slip out of control much. A wood core sandwich design with titanium reinforcement makes them extra sturdy and fast. At a 76mm waist width, it’s fast with low flotation.

If maximum overall performance is your thing, you’ll love Prestige. However, unless you’re very serious about your skis, you may not find them worth the price.

Pros

  • Excellent build
  • Very fast
  • Easy to steer

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Not great in deep snow

Pricing

Expect to pay between $1,100 and $1,300 for a set with Head bindings.

Head Power Instinct TI Pro


If you’re the wild-type who likes to zoom down slopes with powder and crud, you’ll love the Power Instinct TI Pro. They differ from Natural Instincts in so many ways that it’s hard to believe they’re in the same series.

These high-performance all-mountain carvers use an allride rocker in a 20/80 camber-rocker configuration. This lets you float in rough snow and make sharp turns with ease. The Graphene-enhanced Worldcup sandwich design makes them fast, stable and responsive regardless of speed and terrain. It’s 82mm wide at the waist and able to go fast on both hardpack and powder.

Few skis can eat tough snow like these. But if you want a specialized ski, this isn’t the one for you. Think of it like a balanced, versatile race ski.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Very fast
  • Easy to steer

Cons

  • Not great in deep snow
  • Not beginner-friendly

Pricing

With an MSRP of $925, you can tell it’s a ski for professionals.

The Verdict

Photo by Visit Almaty from Pexels

There’s no such thing as the ultimate ski. Which one is best for you depends on your skill level and skiing style. If you’re a beginner, the Natural Instinct is your best option. Those who like frontside racing are best off with a pair or Supershapes, Supremes, or Worldcup Rebels.

For female skiers, Joy skis are almost always the best fit. Super Joy for piste racing, Great Joy for freeriding. Male freeriders should consider Kores or Monsters.

Do you have a favorite? Let us know in the comments.

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