Philpug

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The 98mm category is a packed one, offering many options and models with a lot of overlap. When any new collection comes out in a crowded segment, the manufacturer tries to let us know how it wants the skis presented. Some other review sites regurgitate that information, but at Pugski, we give you our own opinion. Sometimes that matches the brand's message, and sometimes it doesn't. Many skis really do live up to their manufacturers' claims about versatility, including the two compared here, the Armada Tracer 98 and the Head Kore 99.

Armada offers two distinct skis in this class, the Invictus 99Ti and the Tracer 98. The Tracer 98 is lighter weight and more finesse-oriented than the 99Ti, but it is yoga-instructor strong, not 98lb-weakling soft. It doesn't ski light and it doesn’t chatter until it gets into the worst of conditions. But honestly, I wouldn't expect it to excel in those conditions anyway -- and if it did, it wouldn’t be so good at the things I want a 98mm ski to be able to do.

The all-new Head Kore 99 fills a narrow segment between two of the better skis in their segments, the Kore 93 and the Kore 105. With only a 12mm difference between those two, did Head even need a 99? Need? Well, that is a subjective word. Like I said, this is a highly competitive category, and Head didn’t want to lose the spot vacated by the Monster 98. By offering the Kore in a 99mm waist, Head is ensuring that it stays relevant. The brand has been hitting on all cylinders of late; why not take that Midas touch and offer a 99 in the Kore construction, since the Monster 98 was a monster of a ski for most mortal skiers.
  • Why choose the Tracer 98? You are more of a finesse type looking for playfulness and possibly uphill capacity.
  • Why choose the Kore 99? Light yet a charger, this ski can be worked but still holds well.
 

Cheizz

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It [Tracer 98] doesn't ski light and it doesn’t chatter until it gets into the worst of conditions. But honestly, I wouldn't expect it to excel in those conditions anyway -- and if it did, it wouldn’t be so good at the things I want a 98mm ski to be able to do
Aren't there a bunch of ~98 mmm skis that actually DO excell in the worst possible conditions (Enforcer 100, Bonafide, etc.)? Or do I have a different view on what are 'worst' conditions?
Can you elaborate on how you meant this sentence? Or is my confusion fuelled by the fact that in that width category there are basically 2 kinds of tools: the more playfull, reeride oriented skis and the crud-busting tanks?
 
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Philpug

Philpug

Notorious P.U.G.
Admin
SkiTalk Tester
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Location
Reno, eNVy
Aren't there a bunch of ~98 mmm skis that actually DO excell in the worst possible conditions (Enforcer 100, Bonafide, etc.)? Or do I have a different view on what are 'worst' conditions?
Can you elaborate on how you meant this sentence? Or is my confusion fuelled by the fact that in that width category there are basically 2 kinds of tools: the more playfull, reeride oriented skis and the crud-busting tanks?
Yes, there are, it is a lighter ski that can usually get tossed around and the Tracer and Kore do not.
 
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