Rating: 2.86 / 5
Waist Width: 82
Stability at speed: 3.58 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.75 / 5
Crud performance: 2.57 / 5
Flotation: 1.32 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.25 / 5
Overall: 2.86 / 5
Tough decision for Head diehards. The Supershape is a perennial contender, but the new Instinct edges it out this year. Barely. Interestingly, testers found the wider Instinct even more capable on hard snow, though its 82-mm width gives it a clear advantage in soft snow. It's a race ski with a playful side-it loves long arcs and speed but has great energy and rebound. Moffatt: "Damp enough to ski hard; energetic enough to make little turns; forgiving enough to just cruise. Shifts gears quickly and easily."
NOTES: The Power Instinct Ti Pro is the widest and most powder-focused ski in the Instinct series, with a 124 mm tip, 82 mm waist, and 109 mm tail (at 170 cm). It also has the longest radius of the series, 16.4 m (at 170 cm), which is designed with versatility in mind for both big and small turns depending on what the day presents you with. WC Sandwich Cap Construction is intended to hold everything together with a variety of materials including Graphene (Head says this is "the strongest, lightest and thinnest material known to mankind") and titanal, collectively designed for responsiveness and power. For something similar but skinnier, check out the rest of the Instinct series.
The all-new Instinct series is a carving-focused, all mountain series designed for ripping turns all over the mountain. It's similar to the all mountain Monster series technology-wise, but skinnier across the board. Camber underfoot is integrated for carving hardpack, while Allride Rocker lifts tips up and over powder and other varied terrain, designed for floatation and better turn initiation. Every ski in the series also has a different core construction, intended to each bring something different to the table. If you like to ski a little bit of everything, this is one of the best series Head has to offer you.
Head, based in Kennelbach, Austria, was founded in 1950. Its U.S. headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado.