2024 Head Oblivion 102 Ski Review

MAY 10, 2023 | WRITTEN BY Bob St.Pierre

We’ve seen a few trends pop up recently, and these are certainly eye-catching on their own, but when a new ski like the 2024 Head Oblivion 102 encapsulates more than one at the same time, it makes the ski even more intriguing and exciting. One of the themes that we’ve seen lately is the infusion of ~100 mm twin tips that serve equally well in the park, powder, and all-mountain formats. The Oblivion 102 certainly fits squarely into that category. Another trend is the use of environmentally friendly, or at least environmentally conscious, materials in the construction of skis. The new core of the 102 also enlists this strategy. Thirdly, Oblivion has now become a brand within a brand, offering up five distinct models that all suit the needs of today’s modern freeride and freestyle skiers. The 102 likely shares top-billing with the pre-existing 94 within the line as the benchmark models, but that’s not to dismiss the athlete-driven 116 which is designed by Cole Richardson, nor the surprisingly poppy and agile 79 on the other end of the spectrum, which has a phenomenal dollar to performance ratio. In addition to the new Oblivion 102 being a “trendy” ski, it’s also a sheer pleasure to ski, offering up distinct and creative performance for a wide variety of applications and uses.

Let’s start with the Earth-saving part of the construction. The use of either recycled or green materials in skis has proliferated over the past few years, and ski companies are becoming quite adept at utilizing some of these to replace pre-existing technology and ingredients in order to become more eco-conscious. For Head, this includes the use of PET stringers infused into the wood core. It’s not uncommon to use plastics in skis, but Head is going a step further and using recycled plastic bottles to build these stringers. Those three stringers are then inlayed vertically into the poplar wood core to lighten the ski and create a lower environmental impact. We’ve said it before, if a ski company can make a ski that performs just as well, and has a reduced carbon footprint, then so much the better! This is innovation that we should all get behind. That’s the green part of the ski—the rest follows more traditional Head construction techniques, and for that, we’re equally as impressed. This is where Oblivions 102 and 116 differ from the narrower models the most, as these wider skis use Head’s Carbon Sandwich Twintip Construction. We’ve covered the core, but there’s quite a bit more to the ski than just that. Head does a great job packing in a lot of different components and layers that add to the ski’s uniqueness and character. Starting on the bottom, we’re getting a carbon laminate that tucks under the edges with damping layers on top. Under the core and the sidewalls, a full-width bi-axial carbon layer adds the ski’s signature torsional stiffness to the mix—more on that in performance. On top of the core, we get another damping layer, a curved sheet of diagonal fiberglass, and a curved carbon layer. Whenever we see these structural laminates used in a 3-dimensional format, it adds stiffness to the formula. That’s a lot of construction technology packed into a twin tip, but when you get on the skis and feel it come around in a turn, it all makes sense, especially at this shape. We put the 181 on the scale with the demo plates (usually about 150 grams), and the Oblivion 102 weighed 2029 grams. Take that 150 out and we’re looking at around 1850 for the ski alone.


2024 Head Oblivion 102 Skis






173, 181, 189 cm

22.8 m @ 181 cm

135 / 102 / 125 mm

1,850 g @ 181cm


Speaking of shape, this 102 is a highly useful width for a fun-loving twin tip, and it marries quite well with the lighter weight build of the ski. This 102 has a slightly longer turn shape than most, with the 181 clocking in at 22.8 meters. The cool thing about it, though, is that the flex of the ski allows for not only achieving, but also breaching that number to make shorter carves than you may expect. It’s the blend of shape and build that makes this character possible. This longer arc isn’t out of the norm for skis like this—but it mainly seems that skis are heavier and stiffer if they fall into this category. Then there’s the round nature of the ski, from the tips and tails to the turns. There’s not a whole lot of taper here, the ski definitely feels like it wants to interact with the snow. This gives the Oblivion 102 a rather precise feel in the initiation phase, especially when paired with stiffer and more responsive material such as the multiple carbon laminates. This shaping is slightly antithetical to what we’ve seen with other modern twin tips that do have more taper in the tips and tails. We’ve found that this newer style of taper in twin tips is slightly more park-focused in terms of takeoffs and landings, as well as serving to smooth out the softer snow. Oblivion falls on the other side of the spectrum, preferring to be more slice and dice rather than drift and smear (even though it does that, too). Compared to other new skis in this zone, such as Volkl Revolt 96/104 or Armada ARV 100, the Oblivion has more of a traditional footprint to it. The same can be said for the rocker profile, which is not nearly as dramatic as some other skis in this realm. There’s a fair amount of camber in the ski, and that aligns well with the energy and grip that’s generated. For tip and tail rocker, there’s not a whole lot of innovation or excitement here—just some ordinary rocker. It does seem, however, that given the build of the ski, there should be a bit more assistance from the footprint in order to access playfulness. But at that point, it might just feel like everything else out there, so there’s certainly a benefit to be had from making something different and branching out from the dominant paradigm.

2024 Head Oblivion 102 Skis: Camber Profile 2024 Head Oblivion 102 Skis: Topsheet Closeups

On trail, and in an all-mountain format, this ski is a whole lot of fun. The big caveat with this ski, especially for someone like me at 6’2 225, is that on firm snow, it’s a bit twitchy. As soon as that snow gets soft and the ski has something to bite into, it becomes a whole different animal—one that’s focused on deep carves, clean lines, and excellent snow feel. We kind of talk about this a lot, especially with Kore skis, in that they work great for some skiers, but present some challenges to others, most notably when it comes to firmer snow and hard pack. Those conversations instantly vanish as soon as the snow gets soft. The flex of the ski allows for shorter carves than the radius states—I found that when engaged, the Oblivion 102 was very happy to be bent and pressed to a mid-range arc, and similar to some other skis like Revolt 96, the ski was extremely pleased to be utilized in this fashion. Oblivion 102 loves to come across the fall line—more so than most other skis that have this radius attributed to them. When the conditions and terrain present some more challenges, then the Oblivion is also up to the task. Personally, I love the blend of light weight and reactive nature. When the ski is in the trees or bumps, the precision of the ski does not make it seem like a fun-loving twin tip, rather a high-performance all-mountain ski that can shred quite hard and be driven fairly aggressively. This is a huge bonus for skiers who do not want to lug the weight of a dual-metal laminate ski through the off-piste zones of the mountain.

2024 Head Oblivion 102 Skis: Action Image 1 2024 Head Oblivion 102 Skis: Action Image 4

Skis with more taper, more rocker, and less carbon are likely going to float better through fresh snow. But then you’re eliminating all the unique and interesting portions of this ski, especially when it comes to tip to tail edge hold and that smooth-turning nature. At 102 mm underfoot, it’s definitely going to stay on top of some fresh snow, but we’d be hard-pressed to lump it in with some other more distinguished floaters in this width, even more directional ones like Fischer Ranger 102 or even Salomon QST 98. The Oblivion still falls into twin tip category and fits in better with comparables like Rossignol Blackops 98 or Nordica Unleashed 98—both of those possess similar rocker/taper lines but with heavier weights. Many skiers will enjoy the lighter weight, increased agility, and wonderful maneuverability of the Oblivion versus the sturdier and bulkier skis in this class, especially when you add the freestyle component to the mix. Park-oriented skiers are likely to gravitate to the snappier Oblivion 94 or 84, while more freeride-oriented individuals will locate their creative successes on this wider model. It’s not that it’s a bad park ski at all, and we’re sure there are some skiers who will find it best fits their needs as a park-based freeride ski, and that’s great, but it does seem to fall outside the “traditional” zone for park given the width and long turn radius.

For 2024, we’re pretty stoked to see the Oblivion line rounded out in this way. By taking an existing group of skis, adding an athlete influence, an environmental approach, and a fun-loving shape, these skis are going to create a big buzz, and for the most part, it’s worthy. Keep it in softer snow and you’ll be rewarded with some of the cleanest across-the-fall-line turns that you’ve ever been a part of. Take it off-trail and you’ll love the agility and maneuverability combined with the sturdy build. Bring it into the park for awesome twin-tip fun! Thanks to the footprint, profile, and construction, you’ll experience a vastly different feel and a diverse personality than many skis out there, even in this category. For many skiers, this type of playfulness in the carved turn is highly desired and will pay dividends when you find yourself in most any conditions or terrain. This is truly what modern freeride skiing is all about.

2024 Head Oblivion 102 Skis Review: Buy Now Image

Written by Bob St.Pierre on 05/10/23