The Head Monster 83 is a versatile all-mountain frontside ski that likes to charge. At 83 underfoot, it’s the skinniest in the Monster line-up, but it still has that damp speed loving feel that the wider monsters do. It’s going to be great for those skiers that are going to spend a lot of time on the frontside groomers, but don’t want to have to change out skis when the conditions get a little roughed up.
Head Monster 83 All-Mountain Frontside Ski Review
Conditions: Soft Groomers, Soft Chop, Hard Packed Groomers
Boots: Rossignol Alias Sensor 120
Bindings: Tyrolia AAATTACK 13
On the Snow Feel: The Head Monster 83 is a stable and smooth feeling ski. It’s still moderately heavy, and slightly sluggish at slower speeds, but this ski comes to life when you up the speed.
Powder: The Head Monster 83 is a frontside oriented all-mountain ski that really doesn’t want to spend a lot of time in the deep snow. It does have a rockered tip to help plane above the snow better, but at 83 underfoot you’re just not going to have the float of a wider ski. The Monster 83 is better suited to smooth groomers, or slightly chopped up snow that isn’t very deep.
Turn Initiation and Carving: The Head Monster 83 has a smooth and stable feel as soon as you get it moving on snow. Part of the reason is that the Monster 83 is still relatively heavy, and pretty stiff overall. Although I love this feeling (especially at speed), it does make the ski a bit sluggish off the lift. It’s not nearly as responsive as a light-weight ski with a heavily tapered tip. The traditional shape of the tip makes the ski slightly slower to respond as it takes more of an edge angle to want to turn. If you’re looking for a ski that is light and nimble, the Monster 83 will disappoint. On the other hand, a skier looking for a solid and stable ski that is going to rail on a high edge angle will really like the Monster 83. It definitely takes some speed and effort to get the ski to come to life, but when it does, the ski rails. It takes some work to get the ski to bend, but once in the turn it’s quite powerful. Edge to edge transitions are moderately quick (it is only 83 underfoot), but the ski is more smooth than snappy. It’s not going to throw you from edge to edge with a lot of liveliness, but rather transitions are smooth and predictable. This is the ski for the individual who prefers medium radius turns at speed to quick and nimble. It’s not a forgiving ski, and definitely caters to those with good technique.
Speed: The Head Monster 83 is built for speed. It has a wood core construction with titanal and graphene blended in. It’s moderately heavy, and has a stiff flex and strong torsional rigidity. All of this adds up to a ski that feels damp, smooth, and stable at just about any speed.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Head Monster 83 is built for the frontside skiers that’s going to spend a lot of time on piste and doesn’t want to worry about being thrown around when conditions get chopped up. This isn’t going to be you’re go to ski for off-piste, but it has the ability to handle chopped up snow pretty well when you do venture off the groomed terrain. The same construction that makes this so much fun at speed is what makes this capable when conditions get rough. The only downside is that with an 83mm waist width, it’s not going to blast chop and crud as well as the 88 or 98. The 83 is more suited to the days you get a couple of inches of snow in the morning and it gets chopped up by the end of the day. As the snow gets deeper and more chopped up, you’re going to want something with a wider base.
Edge Hold: The Head Monster 83 has decent amount of camber and hybrid sidewalls that help to make the ski better on hard snow. It still doesn’t have the knife edge that a narrower frontside ski does, but on hard snow it should hold perfectly fine.
Bottom Line: The Head Monster 83 is the skinniest in the Monster line-up. It’s still a very capable ski at speed, and perfectly fine in chopped up conditions, so long as the snow isn’t super deep. It’s a ski that is sluggish at slower speeds, but will reward skiers that love to go fast and ski aggressively. It has solid edge hold, and is a lot of fun carving medium radius turns at high speeds. This is the ski for the skier that spends a lot of time on piste, but is still going to ski a lot of runs when the groomers get chopped up. It’s a ski that is fast, smooth, stable, and damp.