Posted by: citizenski | January 31, 2007

Head Raptor Race boots 2008!


Bold colour, bold design, 100% race-bred and 100% for the racer within you- the new Head raptors look amazing and felt stunningly snug upon the foot. Head only had one single boot at the test and it was a touch nippy to go skiing with only one boot so I can only talk of the design- this is a departure from the S-Line from this current season with a narrower but more ergonomic last which impresses with its accuracy. The buckles themselves have protectors over the ratchet to protect from opening due to impact with gates- this seems a great idea and I’m sure it works well but is a bit of “faff” when trying to clip up quickly and get skiing in a hurry.

There is also a well-thought-out double-strap that allows you to adjust the cuff depending upon the size of your calf muscle for a more accurate and comfortable fit. The very interesting triple bolts in the rear cuff will enable you to accurately tailor the flex and rebound of the boot for your method of skiing plus forward flex. All this combined with a new and improved liner will make the Raptors one of the most competitive boots on the market- certainly enough to battle with the likes of the Nordica Dobermann, Lange WC or Salomon LAB X2.

chris

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Responses

  1. The picture is of the RD last boot which is available in both the 130 or 150 flex derivations. The forefoot last width is approx 95mm and is a plug boot mold so there is plenty of scope for grinding the boot to fit. The upper race clip protectors are easily removable for those that don’t require them. The boots come with extra gate protectors that must be drilled and fitted for the lower clips (Use a 5.5 mm drill contrary to the 5mm the instructions state). Likewise, the stiffening bolts on the back require holes to be drilled first. This should be done after canting & cuff allignment issues are sorted out as short of messing about with expoxy it’s a one time deal. The truly remarkable feature of these boots is the low volume around the upper ankle area. This is a genuine leap forward in ski boot design combined with the best of classic race boot design from 20 years ago. Still a soft shell compared to the San Marco TR2 & 5 clip Koflach race boots of old. Overall an excellent boot but as always the boot board sucks. It is a cheap and nasty brittle composite of lord knows what and does not sit flush in the forefoot area (Are you listening Head?). A real shame they are no longer made in Italy, these now come from the Czech Republic although you really can’t tell unless you count the rather sharp plastic edges on the upper cuff. The liner isn’t half bad and seems to have taken a few design cues from the excellent zip fit aftermarket liners. The detuned 120 RS model has a 98mm forefoot last with considerably thinner plastic (PU) and is the ‘bounciest’ ski boot plastic I have ever come across. How this will perform on snow I have yet to discover but the close ankle fit and comfy RS innerboot should combine to provide a precision experience.


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