2018 Head Wild Joy Women's Skis 2018 Head Wild Joy Women's Skis

2018 Head Wild Joy Women’s Skis

The Wild Joy is a new addition to the Head women’s Joy collection that’s made up of a range of all mountain skis. The Wild Joy sits next to the Great Joy as the second widest ski in the collection with its 90 mm waist width. These skis all use women’s specific construction. The Wild Joy, more specifically, uses Head’s Graphene Koroyd Carbon Construction (very similar to what’s seen in the new Kore collection) and super light weight distribution through the core. On paper it seems like it would be a tremendously versatile all mountain ski for women that’s not too heavy, not too weak, but offering a nice mix of performance. What did our testers think?

Kristi Brown thinks maybe they should change the name of the ski, as her very first comment was “the wild joy is endless and consistent joy!” Okay, so the Endless and Consistent Joy might be a bit of a mouthful for the name of a ski, but we think that’s a great response to its performance. Kristi described the Wild Joy as being an “absolute pleasure” to ski and “exhilarating and always satisfying.” Kristi also commented that she “loves the intuitiveness of this ski,” an excellent characteristic for an all mountain ski that should, in theory, be able to ski a little bit of everything. Kristi skied the 163 cm Wild Joy.

Carly Monahan also tested the 163 cm length and found that the construction of the Wild Joy provided plenty of stability despite the ski feeling so light. It “skied better and felt more solid the harder I pushed it, yet still felt fairly forgiving and smooth through various speeds and turn shapes.” That sounds pretty darn good to us and really describes an ideal all mountain ski for a lot of different skiers. A ski that can feel both solid and forgiving is a ski that gives you the confidence needed to ski such a wide variety of terrain. Any woman that likes to explore the whole mountain should consider the Wild Joy. Carly added that she thought it felt “burly, but not planky.”

Like Carly and Kristi, Caroline Kessler also tested the 163 cm. Although there are certainly skis out there with more torsional stiffness (although those skis are going to be heavier too) Caroline found the Wild Joy to be stronger than anything else she tested. The Wild Joy “held an edge better and was stiffer than any other women’s specific all mountain ski (that I tested). It’s very versatile; able to edge hard and stay stable at high speeds, but also quick turning and poppy.” We’re noticing a trend here… are you?

If you’re not, we think Chloe Wexler will set you straight. “It’s not too stiff, it’s not too soft, it’s like a Goldilocks ski: just right.” Chloe “really liked this ski,” and she made that obvious in her scores giving it 5 out of 5 for quickness, maneuverability, torsional stiffness, and overall impression. We love to point out anytime a ski gets high scores for both torsional stiffness and maneuverability as sometimes those can be antonyms in a ski. Chloe described it as feeling “fast edge to edge, stable when laying out GS turns, having good vibration dampening, and a good feel on snow.” Chloe tested a shorter length, the 158 cm.

We think advanced intermediates and up will all really appreciate the performance of the Wild Joy. It has the stability and power to rival skis with metal in their construction, but is so much lighter it’s much easier to swing and flick side to side than a heavier ski. We think it’s a fantastic addition to a line of skis that has already developed a following among women skiers. Heck, we even know some men that ski them!


Karly Acker Ski Tester Headshot Image

Karly Acker

Age: 25Height: 5'9"Weight: 145 lbs.

Ski Style: Retired racer who loves to rip steeps

Chloe Wexler Ski Tester Headshot Image

Chloe Wexler

Age: 26Height: 5'4"Weight: 115 lbs.

Ski Style: Ripping mogul skier, very precise, hard to keep up with

Carly Monahan Ski Tester Headshot Image

Carly Monahan

Age: 32Height: 5'4"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Athletic and active, but laid back

Caroline Kessler Ski Tester Headshot Image

Caroline Kessler

Age: 22Height: 5'9"Weight: 160 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast and aggressive, yet playful

Kristi Brown Ski Tester Headshot Image

Kristi Brown

Age: 48Height: 5'9"Weight: 136 lbs.

Ski Style: Energetic, precise, very smooth and skis with a lot of finesse

Ali Berlin Ski Tester Headshot Image

Ali Berlin

Age: 40Height: 5'"Weight: 110 lbs.

Ski Style: Fast Frontside Free Spirit

35 Comments on the “2018 Head Wild Joy Women’s Skis”

  1. Hi SE,

    Hoping for some guidelines…. I am an intermediate skier looking to advance, I switched from snowboarding to skiing 2 years ago and live/ski Aspen/Vail area. I am 5′ 8″ and 110 lbs and have old used K2 Lotta Luv’s at which I like the narrow waist and carving capabilities. I demoed last winter the Wild Joy that I liked, Rossignol Soul 7 that I hated, and Nordica Santa Ana 93 and Blizzard Black Pearl 88 that were both meh for my taste. What else would you suggest for me? I like carving all-mountain skis, there are so many options… Atomic Vantage, Rossignol Nova and Famous, Dynastar Intense, etc. so I am kinda lost in the sea of options. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Petra!
      Lots of options, for sure! If you’re not really sure what you’re looking for, I’d suggest sticking to the ~88 underfoot range for all-mountain versatility. The narrower, more carving-oriented skis lack the versatility and the flotation of the wider versions, but certainly offer better edge grip and turning ability. Check out the Rossignol Experience 88 Ti W, Volkl Yumi, and the Nordica Astral 88 for some good options. At the end of the day, they’re all pretty good options, just try to stick to one zone of skis, and that should clear things up. Have fun!

  2. Help! Wild Joy or Total Joy? I’m 70, skied forever but have also wrecked my knees from so much fun. I ski in California where we find very firm, groomed, crud and soft. I’m an advanced skier no longer expert. I ski more on groomers —but not entirely-/and want a ski that makes it easy to enjoy a variety of conditions! By the way, demoed Black Pearl 88s and didn’t love. Did love Total Joys and haven’t had a chance to try Wild Joys.

    1. Hi Carol!
      I think you’ll appreciate the extra maneuverability of the Total Joy. A bit narrower, they’ll be more responsive and lighter on your feet, which is nice for the knees. Can’t believe you didn’t like the Black Pearl! Also check out the K2 Alluvit 88 and Volkl Yumi for comparison. Have fun!

  3. Hi, I’m considering a ski in the joy series. I don’t like speed too much, stick to blues and greens, link my turns just fine so I would say I’m a mellow/cautious intermediate. I am currently on 10 year old K2 true luvs. 5’2 and 140 lbs. I ski Utah Snow and stick to groomers. That being said, we often get a lot of dry fluffy powder and my current skis don’t turn well when there is a lot of fresh snow on the mountain. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

    1. Hi Lina!
      I think you’ll love the lightweight and maneuverable nature of the Wild Joy. They’re wide enough to give you some flotation on the softer and lighter snow, while maintaining awesome edge grip when the snow gets firm. I’d go with the 153 in that model. Have fun!

      1. Hi My wife is 5’8″ about 120lbs solid skier but not an aggressive hard charger. Is this a good ski for her? The total Joy was the other option. Is 163 better than the 168 for her size I cant find a size chart on the Head site.


      2. Hi Pete!
        Both are great options, with the Wild Joy being a bit wider and more high performance. But they’re both light and easy to maneuver, so a lot of skiers like the ease of use of the Joy line. I’d go with the 163 if she’s not a hard charger, as you say. Have fun!

  4. Hi there. I am getting back to skiing after having foot surgery a couple of years ago. I have arthritis in my right toe so it has made turning left difficult and painful. I just got new boots in an effort to help and am looking for some skis that will be easy to turn. I was a solid blue/black black skier (no moguls or park) who likes to ski in control. I ski mainly Steamboat so I need something that can handle the powder as well as groomers. I am short (5’3″)and on the heavy side. Do you think the Wild Joy is a good fit for me? Also looking at the J Ski Max in 150 (kids ski), the Black Pearl 88, and the Icelantic 91. Thanks for the advice.

    1. Hi Christina!
      I think you’ll love the Wild Joy. The nice thing about that Joy line is that they’re all so maneuverable. Similar kudos can be given to the Black Pearl 88 which is an extremely popular and well-rounded ski. You’ll get a bit better performance from a stability standpoint from the Black Pearl, so that’s something to consider. Also check out the Blizzard Sheeva 9 for another all-mountain versatile ski. Have fun!

  5. All the guys love the Kores. I want something that handles the crud, heavy powder days and day after broken up powder especially on the bump runs. I love my 167 black pearls on powder days and soft pack but not in the crud etc. I was recommended the 162 Kore 87 (classed junior) because it’s stiffer and easier to handle in the crud but still easy to turn in the bumps.
    I am 60 with a reconstructed knee that still loves mogul runs.

    1. Hi Brenda!

      What about the Kore 93? There’s really no reason why you couldn’t get a Kore 93. Which Bleak Pearl are you on? 78, 88, or 98? I just want to make sure the ski I recommend is the right compliment to what you already have. Let me know, although my first instinct was the Kore 93. Of course, if you wanted something much wider, there is also the 99 and 105. There’s nothing about these skis that makes them inappropriate for women skiers, although the 99 is quite stiff.

      Let me know what you think,


  6. Hi,

    I’ve been skiing on the head great joy for 10 years and need to upgrade! I’m 5’6 and am wondering which length I need, I’m currently using 153 length which I know is to short!

    1. Hi Brittani!

      163 cm feels like the right length for you in the Wild Joy. That’s not a huge jump in length from your Great Joys, so shouldn’t take you too long to adapt to the longer skis.

      Hope that helps!


  7. Hi there

    I recently demo’d the Head Total Joys at 153cm length and 84cm underfoot and loved them. I’m an advancing intermediate skier (160cm, 55kg) looking for an all-mountain ski that will handle hard pack, ice, crud, off-piste conditions, and powder (basically what I get at my home mountain here in Australia, just less of the pow!) while also hopefully being versatile enough to use in powder overseas. I haven’t had a chance to try the Wild Joys and would appreciate your opinion about these in comparison with the Total Joys.

    many thanks, Jo

    1. Hi Jo!

      The Total Joy and Wild Joy are quite similar overall. The biggest difference is the difference in width, as the Wild Joy bumps up to 90 mm underfoot. The flex and overall feel and performance of the two, however, is quite similar. It can definitely handle hard pack and ice just as well as the Total Joy, but that extra width helps in crud snow, powder, and other off-piste conditions. Just bumping up to the 90 mm underfoot waist width will help quite a bit in softer snow conditions, so I think the Wild Joy is a great choice for you.

      Hope that helps!


  8. Hello SE!

    I am looking for a new pair of skis and there are so many choices! I’m an ex-race, mid-40’s, very aggressive, love moguls, trees and powder. I currently ski a narrow under foot (74) ski 160 cm and love them but they’re old and need to be retired. I live in Colorado. Any suggestions for me?

    1. Hi Debbie!

      The Wild Joy is a good one for what you’re looking to do, pretty popular as an all mountain ski. I would consider skis with some metal in their construction too considering your race background and that you’re quite aggressive. The Volkl Kenja and Nordica Santa Ana 93 come to mind. Both skis use two sheets of metal so have excellent power and vibration damping. The Santa Ana 93 is a little more maneuverable and quite fun in softer snow conditions, while the Kenja doesn’t use quite as much rocker and is a little more focused on firm snow performance. Realistically they’re pretty close in overall performance, but that’s what I consider to be the biggest difference. Some skiers that are really aggressive find the Wild Joy is a little bit too lightweight, but it would be worth trying if you have a chance to demo.


  9. Hi, I am an aggressive expert New England skier. I love my K2 Burnin’ Luvs but need to retire them! I’ve read a bunch of reviews of women’s skis and just can’t find a pair that suits me. I am tempted to go with Kastle MX 88’s or 89’s (my husband LOVES his 88’s). Thoughts?

    1. Hi Lizanne!

      As an aggressive expert skier it’s tough to find a ski that will outperform a Kastle MX. We’ve been testing the MX 89 a lot recently here at Stowe, and it absolutely rips. Good for a variety of conditions, relatively quick edge to edge, very powerful, and excellent vibration damping. It would be a fantastic choice. You could also look at going with a men’s ski like the Blizzard Brahma. Relatively similar performance at a lower price.


  10. Hey there, undecided between the head great joy and head wild joy. I’m looking for an all-mountain ski that can cut well on the groomers, but take me off-piste and navigate well through the crud and powder, too. What would you say are the main differentiators between the two?


    1. Hi Blair!

      Really the major difference between those two skis is the width. The Wild Joy is 90 mm underfoot, while the Great Joy is 98 mm under foot. Both can do what you’re asking the skis to do. The Wild Joy, however, will perform a little better on firm snow. Quicker edge to edge and slightly better torsional stiffness. The Great Joy will float better and be more stable through choppy snow conditions, but at the expense of a little bit of quickness edge to edge. So, if you value firm snow performance over soft snow performance (even barely) or vice versa, I would let that guide your decision.

      Does that make sense?


  11. Hello. Looking for advice on what ski and length would be best for me. I have a 13 yr old pair of dynastars currently. I am 5 ft 140 lbs. I am skiing mostly New England (with hopes of doing some bowls out west at some point!). I can see aggressive but at this point have 3 little kids who are learning to ski so spend most of my time on green/blue trails. But, will sneak out to get a few fast runs in too. Do you think the head joy ski would be good for me? Thanks for your help- this site is amazing!

    1. Hi Tara!

      Yeah I think the Wild Joy would be a great ski for you! It’s not exceptionally demanding and will allow you to ski slower when skiing with your kids without feeling like the ski is fighting you. On the other hand, it has the stability and stiffness required for more aggressive skiing. It’s also wide enough to handle some soft snow, but no so wide that it feels cumbersome on groomers. I think you’ll love it!

      Hope that helps,


  12. Just saw this on the Head Wild Joy product page:

    > Please note that the selected HEAD ski can only be used in combination with certain HEAD or Tyrolia bindings, which need to be mounted, adjusted and serviced by an authorized sporting goods retailer or authorized technician. Warranties will be void if the bindings are not mounted, adjusted and serviced accordingly.

    I was hoping to have some Marker M 11.0 TC EPS bindings mounted on the ski–would this be a mistake? Thanks!

    1. Hi Etha!

      A lot of ski manufactures will recommend only using their bindings on their skis, but we have mounted a lot of Wild Joys with Marker bindings and haven’t had any issues. As long as their mounted by a certified technician (which all of ours are) the ski and binding will both still be covered under warranty. You should have no issues with the M 11.0 TC. In fact, right now we have the Wild Joy paired with a Marker Griffon as a package deal.

      Hope that helps!


  13. I demo’d these skis today and loved them–especially because they made moving between turns feel light and effortless. I’m now really tempted to buy them, especially if I see them on sale.

    However, I’m a relatively inexperienced intermediate skier (just started skiing this season–am totally obsessed), and I was told at a ski shop a while ago that all-mountain skis might not be the best fit for me at this stage since the extra width makes them harder to maneuver. (Right now I’m skiing mostly groomers, plus the odd ungroomed trail here and there; I haven’t ventured off-piste at all.)

    So–this is maybe a weird question, but is it possible that buying this ski would be a bad idea, even though it felt great under my feet today? I guess what I’m wondering is whether buying a ski geared toward more advanced skiers can mess with one’s technique.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Rachel!

      I don’t agree with that shop by any means. Regardless of where you live and ski 90 mm underfoot really isn’t that wide. It’s perfectly manageable as an all mountain ski, and perfectly appropriate for an intermediate level skier. In fact, I often find that putting an intermediate on a wider ski is a confidence inspiring experience for them. A little more surface area translates to more stability and easier balance. So, no, I certainly don’t think buying it is a bad idea. Rely on your own experience more than what that shop told you. You skied them and loved them, don’t let someone convince you that you didn’t love them.

      I say go for it! The Wild Joy is an excellent ski and I don’t think there’s any way you’ll be disappointed in your purchase.


  14. I’m considering the wild joy and the black pearl 88
    I’m 60,6’tall and a lot lazier than I was a few years ago
    Interested in length.. years ago I was on 200, then 180, now I rent and have been 164 to 173
    What are your thoughts on the 2 skis and length
    I’m more of a cruiser, but must be flexible !!


    1. Hi Suki!

      They’re both awesome skis. In fact, we just did a comparison of women’s all mountain skis on our Chairlift Chat blog that included both skis:


      I think you’ll want to go with the longest length of either ski, especially because they’re quite lightweight. It’s easy to maneuver both skis because of the low swing weight and you’ll likely appreciate having the extra stability of the longer length. You’ve picked two of the most popular women’s skis on the market right now; it’s hard to go wrong with either choice. I would say the Black Pearl 88 is a touch more versatile, but it’s such a toss up between the two. Check out the article where we go a little deeper into differences. There’s also a video to go along with it that may help.


      1. thank you!!
        i just rent the erosional temptation 88 and enjoyed that ski also. what are your thoughts on that ski in comparison to black pearl and wild joy

      2. Hi again Suki!

        In my opinion the shape of the Temptation 88 is more dedicated to firm snow skiing than the Black Pearl or Wild Joy. The extended sidecut profile gives it a really responsive feel on groomers, but doesn’t feel quite as maneuverable off the groomers as the BP 88 or Wild Joy. All three skis are similarly lightweight (I think the Temptation 88 would actually fall in between the two if we put them on a scale). I’ve always thought the Temptation 88 makes a great “groomer” ski for a skier that lives in an area that receives a lot of fresh snow. It still can handle ungroomed terrain, but doesn’t feel quite as user-friendly as the BP 88 or Wild Joy in those conditions. On the other hand it probably has a slight edge in terms of responsiveness on firm snow.


  15. Question: My girlfriend is considering this ski or the Blizzard Black Pearl 2018, 88. She’s leaning toward the Black Pearl because this ski seems to be for more aggressive skiers and she is just beginning to hit expert level steeps. I have Head Monsters and love how my legs never get tired in crud but she’s not as aggressive or as fast as I am. We live in Florida and go out west for a week each year but may move west soon. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Ray!

      I wouldn’t necessarily say the Wild Joy is intended for more aggressive skiers than the Black Pearl 88. While the construction differs slightly, they’re both designed to be lightweight, performance oriented all mountain skis for women. Both the Black Pearl collection and the Head Joy collection have very strong following among women; they’re easily two of the most popular lines of women’s skis. To be completely honest I don’t think you can go wrong with either ski. Judging off your descriptions of her skiing you’ve already narrowed it down to arguably the two best skis for her.

      Hope that helps!


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