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2015 Head Joy Line for Women - Page 7

post #181 of 187
Originally Posted by Heidi23 View Post

I'm curious what size of Super Joy that you ended up getting. I'm close to your size and I have to chose between 148 and 163. I'd call myself an expert skier, but I still wonder if I'd be better off going a little smaller? Thanks!

Welcome to EpicSki!  Not sure who you are asking.  So send a "@ message" for a specific member, type "@" followed by the first few letter of the username, then pick the name off the drop down list that should appear.


As a reminder, I'm 5'0", 115 lbs, older advanced, and went with 148cm for the Absolut Joy.  Would've done the same for the Super Joy.  My all-mountain skis are 159cm.  I skied with an older woman at Alta who has short Super Joys and she was carving like a bandit.

post #182 of 187
Originally Posted by Pandita View Post

I bought the Super Joy, and positively love them.  I am 5'2 160, and these skis work fabulous.  They love to go fast and carve.  I use these in the mid-atlantic region, primarily on groomers.   I can ski most everything.  I loved how these skis just take off.  I took them out on a crud day, and just pulled ahead of everyone and didn't realize until I was at the bottom waiting for the rest of the group



I'm curious what size of Super Joy that you ended up getting? I'm close to your size and I have to chose between 148 and 163 - bargain for last years models. I'm 5'2" and 145 pounds (hoping to loose some too). I'd call myself an expert skier, but I still wonder if I'd be better off going a little smaller? I'm stuck in the Midwest on groomers most of the time, but every winter get back to my home state of Montana. Thanks!

post #183 of 187

I love my Super Joy... again!

Some backstory... in 2015, I purchased the Head Super Joy 158cm as a teaching ski and was super impressed. However, by February, I had returned the ski for warranty replacement, due to a delam under the binding. Head replaced the ski with a Total Joy because they didn't have any more Super Joy's to ship that season. As reported in this thread earlier, I did not like the Total Joy as well and decided after its lackluster performance in Chile in Aug 2015 that I would sell the ski and once again purchase the Super Joy (in an earlier post, I provided a detailed comparison). This was definitely the right decision. However, by late Dec 2015, the ski was once again back to Head for warranty replacement for the same issue as the year before. Still, I stuck with the ski because it's that good. The Head Super Joy versatility is unparalleled. I had the replacement by mid-January and enjoyed it all season... hard snow/soft snow and on/off piste. And, the Head Super Joy still did an amazing job keeping up with my stiffer Lange World Cup plug boot. I had worried the nimble ski might falter with such precise guidance, but it just elevated further.


I gave my Head Super Joy the ultimate test a few weeks ago in Portillo Chile... the same place the Head Total Joy had faltered the year before. It was the coldest and windiest Portillo I can remember. Cold, firm, chalky, wind-blown snow all over the mountain. Despite the big mountain skiing of Portillo and capable all-mountain skis in my bag too, I chose the Super Joy each day, all day during the trip... groomed, soft, steeps, crusty, wind-blown powder... absolutely everything. I had so much fun on the ski, feeling confident and comfortable in all conditions and slopes. Sure, a little more length would have been nice in some of the burlier off-piste at speed, but the ski is truly the most versatile that I've ever experienced. And, it physically held up this time... no delams:)

Below are a few pictures from Portillo... not exactly the terrain you'd expect someone to choose the Super Joy. However, I'm glad I did!




post #184 of 187



This forum has been a huge help as I look to get my daughter out of junior skis and into her first "real" ski...great info!!


Now, after a lot of looking for some specific guidance from the Joy gurus (trekchick, ssm949 et.al.)


I've narrowed it down to two choices that I feel would best suit her and really can't decide which way to go


Here are the stats on my daughter: 


- 13 years old, 

- 5'2" and about 100lbs

- Started skiing at 4, season pass holder and skis 20+ days a year a our local NH mountain and school breaks in VT.

- Not a racer and no interest in racing

- Athletic...she runs cross country, rock climbs, has good strength and endurance but not explosive "power" (skinny legs)


She skis very well technically, not afraid of ice, steeps, bumps, tree at all.  Skis the whole mountain but always under control, even when she's skiing at speed...a bit conservative is the best way to describe her.  She usually prefers short radius turns and can work a great rhythm down a fall line.  She has the technique to push much harder but rarely skis to her limit, or the edge of control.  Just who she is (and not at all like dad:rotflmao:).


She has skied typical junior skis her whole life (Dynastar Starlet etc.)   Two years ago she fancied some Volkl Pyra junior park skis (had to have the color) and used them all season.    See likes them but found that she wasn't as confident on the steeps or at speed.  I've also noticed that she seemed to plateau last season.  She never goes into the park and the twin tips, soft flex and lack of camber forces her to slarve around instead of hard edging.  I concluded, and she agrees, that she needs to go back to a traditional front-side ski.


So now, she needs a new ski that will get her back to a great confidence building frontside ski ski that she can take everywhere   She's reached the age where she'll be  in a women's ski (shes in a 138 now which she's outgrown).   I've seen the Joy series at the shop and read anout them a lot and think they'd be perfect for her....lightweight, great performance, etc, etc.


So my questions is this:  Super Joy or Absolute Joy?  


I think the Super Joy would be the best fit since she's still perfecting her carving, almost always skis on East Coast groomers and likes short swing turns.  74mm underfoot seems to make sense.  However, she's barely 100lbs and doesn't have a power build so I don't want her to be fighting to get her skis to turn.  


The reviews of the Super Joy seem to indicate that they don't need to be pushed hard to ski well but I wanted to get some first-hand feedback from folks who have actually skied both.


While the Absolute is wider, from what I can gather it may be a bit softer flexing and forgiving.


So, what do you think?


Thanks in advance for any help you can provide this dad, it's greatly appreciated!!

post #185 of 187
Originally Posted by willco99 View Post


So, what do you think?


Thanks in advance for any help you can provide this dad, it's greatly appreciated!!

This is always a tough age for female skiers. Unfortunately, children tend to just ski rather than ski technically and children's instructors tend to focus on fun more than technique, unless they're in a racing program. For women though, as they mature, poor technique can start to catch up with them during their teenage years as the center of gravity lowers and breaking at the waist along with shoulder use no longer "helps" as it did previously and may still do in their male counterparts. In your note, you indicated that your daughter skis very well technically as she is not "afraid" of challenging terrain. However, skiing technically strong and skiing more advanced terrain are unfortunately not necessarily synonymous. I have had many a student tell me they are an advanced skier and regularly ski "black" terrain, only to find out they don't actually have an expected steered and balanced turn.

The right ski for your daughter at this point should be connected to her true ability and supports the terrain she prefers to ski. At this age, she'll want to keep up with her you and her friends, ski the terrain she wants to ski comfortably and confidently, which is likely more important than her technique. Thus, we want to ensure she's on a ski that supports these needs while reinforcing the right technique as well as giving her a platform from which to grow her technique as well.


Given these things and some questions on her true skill level, I'm not confident that the Joy series is right for her. I only have personal experience with the Super Joy and Total Joy. Sure, these skis are versatile, and I love them because as an expert skier they permit me to ski at all levels... they cruise when I want them to cruise and charge when I want them to charge. I owned both and did not like the Total Joy on firm snow. I also wouldn't classify the Super Joy as a hardpack killer. These hard snow questions become even more concern on a less skilled skier that may not be able to handle the Joy's sidecut as well. 

Progressing skiers, which it sounds like your daughter is, do a lot of skidding. Looking at the Joy line specs from my perspective, even the less aggressive Pure Joy & Absolute Joy may have too much side cut for a progressing skier. From my experience the Absolute Joy (based on my experience on the Total Joy) would not be a good East Coast Ski. The Pure Joy then has the same sidecut as the Super Joy, which from my perspective will still take a skilled skier to get it's fullest. This is more about facilitating the performance of the ski and progression of the skier as compared to whether your daughter could handle the ski, which I am sure she could do.


If you wanted to stick to the Joy line, I would likely lean to the Pure Joy in a 153cm, unless your daughter is growing rapidly, in which case I'd go up to the 158cm, which is what I ski at 5'3"/135lbs. However, since you are in New England I would want to ensure the Pure Joy holds and skids on hardback well... perhaps one of the easterners on the thread could comment. 

Because of my questions on your daughter's true skill level and the Joy's significant sidecut as well as some negative experience on harder snow with the Total Joy combined with my experience as an instructor watching students of all ages progress, I would probably lean towards a versatile, traditional construction ski with hard snow preference for your daughter. She will likely just have one ski, want to ski the whole mountain, and be on a ski that gives her confidence everywhere. The ski I would personally pick for her is the Volkl Yumi. It is a wood ski, no metal, skis all terrain great, and still has what I would call traditional ski feedback as well as stellar Volkl hard snow performance. I have seen great progression from young to old on this ski in recent years. I have also seen it perform well truly all over the mountain, including hardback and powder. I would recommend the Yumi in a 154cm.


I appreciate that this may not have been the answer you were expecting. I truly love the Head Super Joy, and it is a forgiving ski, capable of being "skied" by those at all abilities. However, based on my experience, I'm not sure it would be a fun, progressing ski for someone that isn't already using strong and active ski technique. They just may not get the progressing skier where they need to go, especially on the east coast where hard snow, well, happens and happens regularly.

Edited by ssm949 - 9/10/16 at 11:54am
post #186 of 187
Thread Starter 

@willco99 Both of those skis are fairly big(strong) for the stats you mention. 

I think there are some better options for her.  Let me ponder a few and get with you. 

post #187 of 187

ssm949, Thank you so much for that perspective!  


It makes complete sense to me in how you framed the the difference between technical proficiency and skiing all terrain types.  Aside from being She 


As a former racer myself who had proper technique drilled into me for years, I've always worked with her on steering and angulation in her turns and maintaining a open balanced stance.  And she does a good job when she's mindful of it (i.e. when its steep or when she does open up the throttle)  But she's definitely inconsistent in when she applies those principals.  


Basically she "goes with the flow" and knows she can have as much fun on a lot of runs without locked-in technique and definitely spends a lot of runs in a "relaxed" technique.  She's never fallen in love with the sensation she gets from the perfect carved turn (like I did at her age) and I'm certain it's part of why she didn't take to racing when she gave it a try.  She has been in a regular lesson program each season and has continued that .  She's always been a kid open to getting better, and takes coaching well, for which I'm thankful, but not racing makes her progress at a slower pace.  


I don't have any personal preferences for the Joy skis so I truly appreciate your frank assessment.   It's why I posted the question here....I hoped I'd get great, honest feedback.  So, thanks!  This has helped a lot!!   Funny you mentioned the Yumi as it was a ski I was looking at the end of last season when I really saw that she needed to get back on a good frontside ski.  I will definitely take another look at that.


Bottom line is I want her to have the right tool.  One that can keep her on track to developing into a more consistent and proficient technical skier while also not overwhelming her and taking the fun out of it.  I like what you said about facilitating the performance of the ski and progression of the skier compared to whether my daughter could handle it.  That's exactly where i'm trying to go.


Thanks again for your thoughts!

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