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.