Head Big Joy (2016)

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Rating: 3.43 / 5
Price: $750.00
Year: 2016
Level: 2
Gender: Female
Waist Width: 110
Tip/Tail/Waist: 149-110-132
Lengths: 158,168,178

Stability at speed: 3.96 / 5
Hard snow performance: 2.84 / 5
Crud performance: 3.53 / 5
Flotation: 4.01 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.64 / 5
Overall: 3.43 / 5

Graphene comes into its own in a ski this huge. Head's prized super-thin/strong laminate is the star of Head's light-is-good message. As long as "light" doesn't mean "flighty" the women are all in, and testers detected no nervousness in the Big Joy. It wasn't just the best floater in the category. It also had serious edge and respon- siveness on hardpack, plus a supple power that smoothed out late-day chop in a way that encouraged testers to just give 'er. McElroy: "Yowza, a full-bodied beast. Definitely for ladies who like speed. It flies."

NOTES: The Big Joy is-you guessed it-the biggest and widest ski in the Joy Series, mainly intended for powder. It has a big, 149 mm tip, 110 mm waist, and 132 mm tail, and a 14.8 m radius (all at 168 m) designed with versatility in mind for both big and small turns. Super Lite Sandwich Cap Construction utilizes Graphene (Head says this is "the strongest, lightest and thinnest material known to mankind") to replace extra baggage in the ski, designed for an easier turning experience. For something similar but skinnier, check out the rest of the Joy series.

The Joy series is Head's women's-specific all mountain series, comprised of six lightweight models that are each packed with technology. Allride rocker lifts tips up and over powder and other varied terrain, designed for floatation and better turn initiation. Women's Camber has a lower, thinner camber profile than other skis from Head that minimizes the skis' construction and intends to make you more connected to the ground for easy turning. Weight distribution is lightened thanks to the integration of Graphene, which is designed to eliminate the need for excess material and make the ski easier to handle. If you're a lady who likes to ski all over the mountain, no matter what mountain it may be, this might be the best series Head has to offer you.

Head, based in Kennelbach, Austria, was founded in 1950. Its U.S. headquarters are in Boulder, Colorado.