Old vs new: Head Supershape i/e-Rally

So we have tested and reviewed the 2020-2021 Head Supershape e-Rally in 170. On one of the days that we skied it, we also had the 2019-2020 Head Supershape i.Rally on hand in the same length. So, let’s compare the two. What are the differences between the ‘old’ i.Rally and the new e-Rally in terms of construction and shape and – of course – in how they ski?

Facts first

Like I said, we skied them both in 170 length. On the same slope, back to back. We even skied a few runs with the old one on one foot and the new ski on the other foot. More direct comparisons don’t exist, we think.

The 170 2019-2020 i.Rally has a 135-76-114 sidecut, 13.7 m radius. The 170 e-Rally has a 132-78-114 sidecut and 14 m radius. The i.Rally had KERS, Graphene Worldcup Sandwich cap construction, some tip-rocker, and a wood core. The new e-Rally is only different in terms of listed ingredients on one count: KERS has been replaced by Head’s new EMS. EMS stands for Energy Management Circuit. It is said to transform vibrations in the ski into electronic energy, making the ride smoother and quieter.

Comparison

On paper, the differences in numbers are minute. The KERS and EMS could be construed as mere marketing mumbo jumbo. But that would be unfair and – as we see it – inaccurate. The old i.Rally has been a very popular hard snow carving ski in the United States (In Europe, the i.Speed and i.Magnum have been more popular). It is stable, grippy, energetic. That is, IF you can load it properly. It is quite stiff. It needs quite a bit of energy (speed, muscle power, aggression, mass) to ski it as it was designed: like a carving machine. Lazy skiers, lighter skiers, finesse skiers often found it a bit of a handful.

The new e-Rally needs less input to get on edge (despite being 2 mm wider underfoot). It bends much easier and runs more smoothly and effortless. In terms of edge grip and stability, it matches the previous model. And lighter, slower, and less powerful finesse skiers will be very happy on this ski too. It delivers slightly less rebound than the i.Rally does, a less sharp, power-feel. One could say the old i.Rally is the more aggressive power-carver; the new e-Rally is the smooth finesse-carver. We haven’t been able to find the top end of the performance, stability, or edge grip on either ski. In that respect, they both have a high enough top end for most recreational skiers.

Are you a more aggressive power-skier? You may like the old i.Rally better than the new e-Rally. If you are more on the smooth finesse-side of things, I would recommend the new e-Rally over the old version. 

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