Head Supershape i.Titan (2017)

Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
HEAD Supershape i.Titan

Rating: 3.03 / 5
Price: $
Year: 2017
Level: 3
Gender: Male
Waist Width: 80
Tip/Tail/Waist: 137-80-117
Lengths: 156, 163, 170, 177

Stability at speed: 3.55 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.77 / 5
Crud performance: 2.52 / 5
Flotation: 1.95 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.62 / 5
Overall: 3.03 / 5

The 2017 Head Supershape i.Titan is the widest ski in the Supershape collection of narrow-waisted carving skis. With an 80-mm waist width, it sacrifices a bit of edge-to-edge quickness to gain a measure of soft-snow flotation, making it the logical choice for skiers who typically enjoy groomed natural snow at Western resorts, particularly if they're likely to see their groomed runs pick up an inch or two of powder during the day.

Head's Supershape series of high-performance groomed-snow carvers is significantly redesigned for 2017 with addition of a graphene laminate, which has become a signature technology for Head throughout its line. The Supershapes have long been tester favorites, and in the 2016 test they ranked at or near the top of the hard-snow categories. There are four models in the line, ranging in width from 80 mm (i.Titan) down to a super-narrow 68 mm (i.Speed). All are built for groomed snow performance, identically constructed and priced, sold only as a system with the same sturdy 12-DIN Tyrolia-made binding, so it becomes a matter of how firm you expect your groomers to be (or what color you like). All are built with Head's racy World Cup Sandwich Cap construction: wood core for durability and responsiveness, metal laminates (and vibration dampening strips over the edges) for high-speed calm and edge grip. The sidewalls are vertical and full-length, for maximum edge strength, but not quite full-height: the topsheet drapes over the top corners and rests on three-quarter-height sidewalls, making the ski both more forgiving and more resistant to damage from contact with the other ski's edge. Graphene-the super thin/strong Nobel-prize winning material-adds strength without much extra weight or thickness, allowing Head to optimize ski profile thicknesses (thinner and more flexible underfoot, thicker and grippier tip and tail) and add more speed-loving metal. All Supershapes feature subtle race-ski-style rocker in the tip, which makes the tip slightly less grabby at the top of the turn. (Racers now use it to ski straighter lines, "drifting" a skidding ski straight at the gate, only engaging the edge in time to carve around it. Any skier can use it to feather turns-part carve, part skid-for speed control on steep pitches.) And all get Head's fastest base material, structured (stone-ground to a specific pattern) for maximum speed. 

Head Skis is owned by a Dutch company that also owns Tyrolia bindings. Its factory headquarters are in Kennelbach, Austria; U.S. headquarters are in Boulder, Colo.  Head was founded in 1950 by American recreational skier and aeronautical engineer Howard Head, who is acknowledged as the first ski designer to successfully combine metal and plastics in ski design. -J.C.

Doubling down in the carver category, Head must have known it had winners. The new graphene layup was espe- cially enjoyable in the narrower waist (see No. 1–ranked Supershape i.Rally), but testers admired the 80-waisted Titan nearly as much. Not quite as quick and reboundy as the 76-waisted Rally (and there are two even narrower Supershapes, including the 67-waisted über-carving Speed), the Titan offers a better platform for occasional off- piste and super-soft groomers, where narrow carvers can trench too deeply. Big, wide-footed guys who can bury an edge will be better served here. Glea- son: “Absorbs terrain like a Hoover. Gentle engagement, strong hold, it begs to be turned way up on edge.”

Notes: The 2017 Head Supershape i.Titan is the widest ski in the Supershape collection of narrow-waisted carving skis. With an 80-mm waist width, it sacrifices a bit of edge-to-edge quickness to gain a measure of soft-snow flotation, making it the logical choice for skiers who typically enjoy groomed natural snow at Western resorts, particularly if they're likely to see their groomed runs pick up an inch or two of powder during the day.

Head's Supershape series of high-performance groomed-snow carvers is significantly redesigned for 2017 with addition of a graphene laminate, which has become a signature technology for Head throughout its line. The Supershapes have long been tester favorites, and in the 2016 test they ranked at or near the top of the hard-snow categories. There are four models in the line, ranging in width from 80 mm (i.Titan) down to a super-narrow 68 mm (i.Speed). All are built for groomed snow performance, identically constructed and priced, sold only as a system with the same sturdy 12-DIN Tyrolia-made binding, so it becomes a matter of how firm you expect your groomers to be (or what color you like). All are built with Head's racy World Cup Sandwich Cap construction: wood core for durability and responsiveness, metal laminates (and vibration dampening strips over the edges) for high-speed calm and edge grip. The sidewalls are vertical and full-length, for maximum edge strength, but not quite full-height: the topsheet drapes over the top corners and rests on three-quarter-height sidewalls, making the ski both more forgiving and more resistant to damage from contact with the other ski's edge. Graphene-the super thin/strong Nobel-prize winning material-adds strength without much extra weight or thickness, allowing Head to optimize ski profile thicknesses (thinner and more flexible underfoot, thicker and grippier tip and tail) and add more speed-loving metal. All Supershapes feature subtle race-ski-style rocker in the tip, which makes the tip slightly less grabby at the top of the turn. (Racers now use it to ski straighter lines, "drifting" a skidding ski straight at the gate, only engaging the edge in time to carve around it. Any skier can use it to feather turns-part carve, part skid-for speed control on steep pitches.) And all get Head's fastest base material, structured (stone-ground to a specific pattern) for maximum speed. 

Head Skis is owned by a Dutch company that also owns Tyrolia bindings. Its factory headquarters are in Kennelbach, Austria; U.S. headquarters are in Boulder, Colo.  Head was founded in 1950 by American recreational skier and aeronautical engineer Howard Head, who is acknowledged as the first ski designer to successfully combine metal and plastics in ski design. -J.C.

Related