As far as all-mountain skis go, the Monster 88 Ti certainly has a front-side nature. These things are awesome carving machines, but they still have the width for solid off-trail performance. Built much like a race ski with the Graphene World Cup Sandwich build, these skis have the inner-workings to show up on race day, but the shape and profile of a much more friendly all-mountain ski. We go back and forth here at SkiEssentials talking about the perfect width for all-conditions, and we keep coming back to the 88. Not long ago, that width would seem absurdly wide, but now it almost borders on skinny. It’s almost 90 mm underfoot after all! With a 17.4-meter turn radius at the 177 cm length, the Monster has a versatile turn shape that can hold a longer carve as well as pushed hard to make shorter-swing turns. The metal laminate does require a bit of strength to push, so the Monster 88 is better suited for advanced and expert-level skiers. Our testers were all pretty bullish on the stability of the skis, and that’s a good thing, because that’s what they were made for.
Michael Rooney skied the 177 and his highest score was a 4 out of 5 for stability. Most other scores were 3’s indicating a well-rounded nature to the Monster 88 Ti. “The Monster 88 plows through soft stuff and lets you turn easily. No need to really get it on edge or push hard either. A great ski for groomers.” Michael notes the accessibility of the Monster, and he seemed to like the ease of use despite it being so stable.
Rick Randall had a different view of his 177 cm test ski, noting that it’s “a ski that demands you ski it. It has good energy when you press the ski from turn to turn. Super-stable at speed. Not as forgiving in softer or bumped conditions due to the dual metal laminate.” His top scores of 5 out of 5 for stability, torsional stiffness, and edge hold validate his comments, and his scores of 4 out of 5 for versatility and overall impression indicate that he was a fan of this Monster 88.
Also on the 177, Dave Marryat scored another 5 for stability, as well as 5’s for quickness and edge hold. Like Rick, Dave also gave the ski a 4 out of 5 for overall impression. In terms of the strength of the Monster 88 Ti, Dave says it has “excellent stability and edge hold. Great wider platform carver. Much lighter and quicker than the Monsters of old, but still has the power.” Great reference to the older versions, that were more planky in Dave’s experience.
Parker Herlihy is a tall guy, so it’s no wonder he found the 177 to be a bit short. The 184 would be better for him. Nevertheless, he gave a 5 out of 5 for stability, keeping in line with the rest of the tester’s experiences. Like Dave, Parker also scores the Monster a 5 for torsional stiffness and edge hold, with an overall impression score of 4. He notes: “Monster motor. High speed, high stoke. Skis short turns better than long turns.” Probably due to the length, we’re guessing. Parker goes on to describe the Monster 88 Ti as best for “on-piste pounding.” Nice.
Pretty impressive stuff from Head with these 2020 Monster 88 Ti’s. Testers were all over it in terms of the stability. When an 88 underfoot ski has a race-like construction, it’s bound to be pretty stout underfoot. The Monster 88 certainly lives up to its name and fame, with strong on-trail performance and excellent all-mountain versatility.