Head Mya 8 (2013-2014) ReviewAugust 24, 2013
- Holds well and feels stable underfoot
- Can handle high-speed GS turns
- Has a wide range of turn shapes
- Feels well anchored and secure
- Solid ski for intermediates and advanced skiers
- This is a damp ski, not for women who like big pop out of the turn
- Lacks excitement
- Lightwood core may be too soft for aggressive, hard-charging experts
This is a versatile frontside ski that's good for intermediate through expert skiers who favor a damp and stable carver with secure edge hold. It performs best on groomers, but can handle soft or cut-up snow and moguls.
HEAD’s women’s MYA line returns for 2013-14. The three most aggressive skis are the MYA 10 (104mm waist), the MYA 9 (98mm waist) and the MYA 8 (84mm waist).
The MYA 8 walks the line between frontside and all-mountain in terms of waist width, but it behaves more like a frontside ski in terms of its carving ability.
I first tested the MYA 8 during a December drought in Vail, Colorado, so only hardpack groomers were available. The ski edges easily and holds a solid edge throughout the turn. It transitioned well from short swing turns to GS turns and felt stable as I increased the speed.
It’s a damp-feeling ski, which makes it feel really stable underfoot. The MYA 8 has a lot less rebound energy than some other more poppy frontside carvers that feel exciting but can also feel less stable.
It’s not the frontside ski I’d choose to take into a racecourse because I’d want something with more energy. Non-racers who have been skiing on women-specific skis will probably feel comfortable with the MYA 8’s lightweight feel, thanks to a light wood core. But HEAD uses denser wood over the edges and combines that with the PowerRail plate and wide binding for better edge contact (it also has what HEAD calls a ‘progressive radius’). All in all, the ski holds well on hardpack in a variety of turn shapes.
The second opportunity I had to test the MYA 8 was in softer snow conditions at Snowbird, Utah, in February, three days after a storm. The soft snow made the MYA 8 feel even easier to turn and hold a solid edge through the length of even a Super-G size turn. It was soft enough to handle soft bumps without bucking me off. Its 84mm waist handled some cut up snow, but I wouldn’t choose it for a day with more snow at a western resort. I think it would be wide enough, however, to be a one-ski quiver for the east.
Stability is the ski’s strong suit. It feels damp and stable underfoot through a variety of turn shapes on the groomers. It also held at higher speeds without chattering. (HEAD says this is because of vibration-absorbing Intellifibers in the rockered tip.)
The MYA 8 has a forgivingly big sweet spot and a damp feeling so no pop to throw you in the back seat. Rocker in the tip helps the ski initiate turns easily. This ski is suited for intermediates through advanced or lightweight experts who prefer a damp ski.
At $750, the MYA 8 is an excellent value as it comes with a binding and plate.