2020 Head Absolut Joy

The 2020 Head Absolut Joy is a bit stiffer this year, with a Graphene power sidewall jacket. This gives the skis strong torsional stiffness and additional edge hold. For skiers who are looking to advance and perfect the carved turn, the Absolut Joy truly lives up to its name. With a 79 mm underfoot width, the skis are very quick from edge to edge, and the shape combined with the construction makes them super-grippy on even the hardest snow. You’ll have a ton of confidence, and that will make you want to strive for and advance to the next level of skiing. While not built for off-piste adventures, they’re still light and maneuverable enough to get your exploration on, and you’ll be stoked on how nimble they are, even in softer snow. Tip rocker assists with turn initiation, while the camber underfoot and throughout the tail really holds on tight. The flat tail loves to grip the turn until the end, and when it releases, all that energy that’s built up in the core and in the sidewall will rebound you into the next turn. Stay balanced, because they’re pretty quick. The 13.5-meter turn radius at the 163 cm length is pretty short, so slalom-style turns will be the preferred shape. If you like carving, that’s going to be a big selling point. Our testers loved the quick and nimble nature of the ski, and all peg it as a solid intermediate level ski.

Morgan Nichols skied the 153 but found it short. For how light it is, Morgan should be on a longer size. Regardless, her scores of 5 out of 5 for quickness, maneuverability, playfulness, and forgiveness should not be overlooked. She also had a very favorable overall impression of the ski, with her score appearing to be right on the line of 4 and 5. “This ski hooks right up and holds the turn, making any skier look good.” In terms of the forgiving nature of her 153 cm test length, the Absolut Joy is “definitely softer and better for quick turns. It’s probably too soft for a heavier or more advanced skier.” Good point by Morgan, as the Absolut Joy is best enjoyed when the skier is lighter or looking to improve.

Susan Dorn skied the 158 and, like Morgan, found her test length to be on the short side. She was all 3’s right down the middle with an unsurprising exception for a 2 in flotation. Powder skis these are not. But her scores do reflect a well-rounded nature of the skis that’s nice to see. Susan calls the Absolut Joy a “nice, smooth intermediate ski. Turns easily and holds well. Nothing phases it. good all-around, even in bumps.” Susan’s a pretty accomplished skier, so we take her at her word when she notes that the ski is “a little too light, though—not quite enough damping.” For advanced and expert skiers, the Absolut Joy might feel airy, according to Susan.

Also on the 158, Carly Monahan felt like she could have used a bigger ski as well. Resulting high scores of 4 out of 5 for quickness, maneuverability, and forgiveness are not shocking. Carly calls the Absoult Joy “very light and forgiving. If mellow cruisin’ is your thing, these skis will surely put a smile on your face.” Sounds good to us, Carly!

Just because a ski is light doesn’t mean it’s unstable, and we see that pretty clearly with the Absolut Joy. It certainly doesn’t perform like a race ski, and it’s not intended to. It’s designed and built perfectly for the advancing beginner and intermediate crowd who is looking to get better, improve, and not get weighed down in the process.


Carly Monahan

Age: 33Height: 5'4"Weight: 135 lbs.

Ski Style: Athletic and active, but laid back

Sam Purnell

Age: 26Height: 5'5"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Strong and athletic with an adventurous spirit

Morgan Nichols

Age: 37Height: 5'6"Weight: 175 lbs.

Ski Style: Smooth, fun, and playful with the terrain

Susan Dorn

Age: 61Height: 5'2"Weight: 130 lbs.

Ski Style: Deliberate, smooth, Masters ski racer

9 Comments on the “2020 Head Absolut Joy”

  1. Is there a possibility these would be “too easy” for a skiier? I’ve been skiing for years (but only a couple of a times on a mountain for a season) and haven’t progressed past low intermediate mainly due to confidence. I’ve also been skiing on my beginner skis the entire time (Rossignol Saphir LX) so definitely time for an upgrade. I like the sounds of the confidence building, but don’t want to outgrow a new pair too quickly. I ski only in the Northeast so the comment about gripping the hard snow also sounds good.

    Also, is there a major difference between this year’s model and last year’s?


    1. Hi Kaitlyn!
      Yes, they’re a bit different–stiffer and more performance than last year, but not a major difference. And yes again, it is certainly possible for a ski to be “too easy” and for you, I think this might be the case with the Absolut Joy, and especially the older version. If you’re overpowering the ski, it gets floppy and choppy, and this is no good. On the other hand, too stiff, and you won’t be able to control it as well. Check out the Blizzard Black Pearl 78 as a good in-between version. I’d look for that upper 70 to low-80’s underfoot width with a wood core. Have fun!

  2. My wife is a beginner-intermediate skier in her 50s, 5’10” at around 145lbs with 3 seasons under her belt. She’s currently on Rossignol Famous 2s in 149cm (126-74-111). We ski primarily East Coast (Western NC) but are now taking an annual trip out west. She progressed pretty quickly after a few one on one lessons but seems to have hit a plateau at this point. She’s not an aggressive skier, certainly doesn’t attack turns laying the ski hard on edge. She does ski parallel but often times, her turns aren’t initiated parallel but rather starting the turn with the downhill ski and sliding/dragging the other ski around after he turn has been initiated. She skis greens confidently and does quite well on blues when snow conditions are good. When crud/chop begins to form, she gets very nervous and cautious, especially when she approaches a steeper pitch on a blue. I know her technique needs more refinement and I doubt she’ll ever be truly aggressive, I’d just like her to be more comfortable and confident on the steeper end of blue pitches where they’ve started to get tracked up and crud building.

    Beyond additional lessons to work on technique, I’m wondering if she’s reached a point where her skis could be holding her progress back. I’m thinking some additional float and rocker would help which would certainly demand a little wider and significantly longer ski. I’m just not sure if that would be too much ski for her. My top contenders have been the Absolute Joy and Black Pearl 78 in the upper 150s to low 160s length. What are your thoughts on this? Is it time for an upgrade both in ski and length? Unfortunately, we don’t have a lot of options for doing a lot of demos in our area so I’m trying to do a lot of research on what the answer might be.

    On an unrelated note, it seems you no longer offer DPS Phantom service on your packages. Have you just stopped all together for some reason or is there a way to include it that just doesn’t show up on the ski selection page?

    1. Hi Brandon!
      We do offer Phantom on any ski, it’s just not on all of our product pages. If you don’t see the option, please call and we’ll be sure to tack it on to your order. I think the uptick in performance will do a lot of good things, and I think the 78 to 84 mm underfoot range is a good one. I do think the Head will be about the same in terms of light weight and short turns as the Famous, so I’d lean more toward the Black Pearl. Also, if you liked the Rossi, check out the Experience 84 for a slightly wider choice–certainly not too wide that it’ll compromise firm snow performance. I’d say the upper 150’s is a good place to start, but try to keep it under 165. Hope that helps!

  3. Hi! Maybe you could help me find the right size of skis for me, I’m interested in these Head Absolute Joy 2020, I’m undecided between 153 and 158. I’m about 5’6” (168 cm) and 55 KG (123 lbs) , I’m a good skier, but I don’t like to go too fast 🙂
    What would you reccomend?

    1. Hi Ines!
      Given your speed preference, I’d say the 153 is the way to go. They’re fun and great turners! Have fun!

  4. Hi, I am 64 yo female . I ski for years , since my early childhood. Recently I do not that much time to ski , but we go for few days ski trips 2 to 3 times a year /East Coast.I think one could call me intermediate skier.
    My height is 5,5 feet , weight 145 lbs.
    For years I use now Dynastar 144cm.
    I think it is time to change them.
    I was thinking of Head Absolute Joy or Pure Joy 148cm
    Another would be Atomic Cloud 9 148cm.
    Which one you would advise ?:)

    1. Hi Wiesia!
      Great options! All pretty similar, with the Head skis being a bit lighter than the Atomic, which will give you some more stability. I’d go with the Cloud!

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