Head Great Joy (2017) - Ski Mag

Head Great Joy (2017)

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HEAD Great Joy

Rating: 3.27 / 5
Price: $750.00
Year: 2017
Level: 2
Gender: Female
Waist Width: 98
Tip/Tail/Waist: 141-98-124
Lengths: 153, 158, 163, 168, 173

Stability at speed: 3.85 / 5
Hard snow performance: 3.66 / 5
Crud performance: 3.46 / 5
Flotation: 2.95 / 5
Forgiveness: 2.80 / 5
Overall: 3.27 / 5

The girls raved so hard about graphene that Head finally put it in the boys’ skis too. The result: Head medaled with every ski entered in the test. Graphene is so thin and strong it lets Head reduce overall mass and redistribute profile thicknesses for optimal performance. The Great Joy is unmistakably light, but it hammers at speed like a much heavier ski. Lovell: “Pleasure and ease. Consistent, confident, no unwelcome surprises.”

With its 98-mm waist width, the 2017 Head Great Joy, which returns unchanged, is Head's second-widest women's ski. It sacrifices some of the deep-snow buoyancy of the powder-specific Big Joy (110 mm), but it'll be quicker and edgier for softpack applications, a likely daily driver for women who ski primarily in Western locales. And like the Big Joy, it's a wood-core construction that'll stand up to a hard-charging, expert-level attack. 

Head's highly successful, six-model Joy series of women's skis is a broad and diverse line encompassing all ability levels and snow types, from a super-wide powder ski (the 108-mm-waisted Big Joy) down to novice-level groomer ski (the 73-mm Pure Joy), with in-between waist widths of 98, 85, 75, and 79 mm. The top two models (Big Joy and Great Joy) are only sold flat; the bottom four are sold with bindings (a sturdy 11-DIN for rippers on the Total Joy and Super Joy; a lighter-weight 9-DIN on the Absolut Joy and Pure Joy). Head's use of graphene-infused laminates, introduced to the men's skis this season, has been enjoyed by women for a few years. The super-thin/strong Nobel-prize winning material adds strength with virtually no added weight or thickness, allowing Head to optimize ski profile thicknesses-thinner and more flexible underfoot, thicker and grippier toward the tip and tail, and lighter overall. The top two models (Big Joy and Great Joy) are built on wood cores, for maximum durability and high-speed responsiveness. The middle widths (Total Joy and Super Joy) are built with Head's GKC Superlite construction: the core is a light, airy honeycomb of koroyd plastic, reinforced with light/strong carbon fiber in addition to graphene. The narrowest, least expensive models (Absolut and Pure) are built with light, economical foam cores. All are partial cap constructions where the topsheet drapes over the top corners and rests on medium-edgy three-quarter-height sidewalls. All models are rockered in the tip-for soft-snow flotation, shock absorption, and mellow turn initiations-with low camber from the forebody back. 

Head Skis is owned by a Dutch company that also owns Tyrolia bindings. Its factory headquarters are in Kennelbach, Austria; U.S. headquarters are in Boulder, Colo.  Head was founded in 1950 by American recreational skier and aeronautical engineer Howard Head, who is acknowledged as the first ski designer to successfully combine metal and plastics in ski design. -J.C.

Notes: With its 98-mm waist width, the 2017 Head Great Joy, which returns unchanged, is Head's second-widest women's ski. It sacrifices some of the deep-snow buoyancy of the powder-specific Big Joy (110 mm), but it'll be quicker and edgier for softpack applications, a likely daily driver for women who ski primarily in Western locales. And like the Big Joy, it's a wood-core construction that'll stand up to a hard-charging, expert-level attack. 

Head's highly successful, six-model Joy series of women's skis is a broad and diverse line encompassing all ability levels and snow types, from a super-wide powder ski (the 108-mm-waisted Big Joy) down to novice-level groomer ski (the 73-mm Pure Joy), with in-between waist widths of 98, 85, 75, and 79 mm. The top two models (Big Joy and Great Joy) are only sold flat; the bottom four are sold with bindings (a sturdy 11-DIN for rippers on the Total Joy and Super Joy; a lighter-weight 9-DIN on the Absolut Joy and Pure Joy). Head's use of graphene-infused laminates, introduced to the men's skis this season, has been enjoyed by women for a few years. The super-thin/strong Nobel-prize winning material adds strength with virtually no added weight or thickness, allowing Head to optimize ski profile thicknesses-thinner and more flexible underfoot, thicker and grippier toward the tip and tail, and lighter overall. The top two models (Big Joy and Great Joy) are built on wood cores, for maximum durability and high-speed responsiveness. The middle widths (Total Joy and Super Joy) are built with Head's GKC Superlite construction: the core is a light, airy honeycomb of koroyd plastic, reinforced with light/strong carbon fiber in addition to graphene. The narrowest, least expensive models (Absolut and Pure) are built with light, economical foam cores. All are partial cap constructions where the topsheet drapes over the top corners and rests on medium-edgy three-quarter-height sidewalls. All models are rockered in the tip-for soft-snow flotation, shock absorption, and mellow turn initiations-with low camber from the forebody back. 

Head Skis is owned by a Dutch company that also owns Tyrolia bindings. Its factory headquarters are in Kennelbach, Austria; U.S. headquarters are in Boulder, Colo. Head was founded in 1950 by American recreational skier and aeronautical engineer Howard Head, who is acknowledged as the first ski designer to successfully combine metal and plastics in ski design. -J.C.

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