The Head Total Joy is a fun frontside ski that is very light-weight and yet still relatively powerful and stable. It’s best suited to frontside groomers, but has the versatility to ski off piste as well. It’s a ski that is maneuverable, quick, and easy to turn, but still holds up well when you want to rip up the frontside.
Head Total Joy Women’s All-Mountain Frontside Ski Review
Conditions: Soft Groomers, Soft Chop, Hard Packed Groomers
Bindings: Head System Bindings
On the Snow Feel: The Head Total Joy has a very light-weight feel, but is still relatively stable. The light-weight allows you to maneuver with ease, and the ski feels super quick in tight spaces. At the same time, the ski feels strong and with a stiff flex it feels more stable than you might first imagine.
Powder: The Head Total Joy has an Allride Rocker profile and a relatively wide tip, helping the ski to plane above the snow. However, the Total Joy is only 83mm wide underfoot, and just won’t give you the type of float you need for skiing deep snow. It seems to do well enough when groomers have a fresh dusting of snow, but anything deeper than a few inches will make it feel out of place pretty quick.
Turn Initiation and Carving: Thanks to its light weight and Allride Rocker, the Head Total Joy feels quite easy to maneuver. Of course it’s not going to have that loose surfy feel of a rockered ski, but the light weight keeps the ski so much more playful than you might expect from a directional frontside ski. It just feels so responsive, and you could get the ski to do what you wanted it to do, without having to encourage it a ton. The light weight was also great for tight turns in techy terrain. At the same time, the ski seemed like it wanted to rip. Tipping it on a higher edge angle encouraged the ski to arc into the turn. The large shovel seemed to dig in and lead the rest of the ski down the fall line. It wasn’t going to punish you for not getting on it, but it’s a ski that definitely wants to carve. When you did the ski was far more lively and energetic. It didn’t have a ton of power, but its quickness from edge to edge makes it so much fun. It seemed to prefer short radius turns, but again it was so responsive and easy to maneuver that you could vary turn shape with ease. It feels like a ski that is maneuverable, easy to turn, and yet still capable when you want to rip hard.
Speed: The Head Total Joy was sort of an interesting ski at speed. Graphene has a very strong strength to weight ratio, and it seems to have a smooth rebound so it should have felt more stable than we found it. I think it was partly due to us skiing the 168cm. I think for many women this would be more than enough ski, but it was a bit short for us. It would be nice to see this in a bit longer length…maybe a 174cm. I think lighter aggressive skiers with a dynamic approach will find it really stable, but it just seemed a bit short for us.
Uneven/Variable Terrain: The Head Total Joy was okay in chopped up variable terrain, but we didn’t really find that it excelled here. Again the Graphene gives a nice strong feel with a smooth flex, but the lightweight won’t help you blast through chop with ease. Instead, it takes a bit more fluid approach. You have to be able to react and adapt to changes in terrain rather than point it and forgot it. It’s still capable in chop and crud, but it does require a bit more finesse.
Edge Hold: The Head Total Joy is perfectly fine on hard pack groomers, and even holds up okay on ice.
Bottom Line: The Head Total Joy is a fantastic and versatile all-mountain frontside ski for light-weight advanced women skiers. It’s a light ski that is maneuverable, responsive, quick, and a lot of fun to carve. At the same time, it has enough strength and power to rip the frontside groomers with speed, although heavier skiers may find it a little short and underpowered. If you’re a lighter, aggressive skier looking for a ski that is easy to maneuver, and easy to turn, but will still reward good technique with quickness and energy, the Total Joy could be a really good option for you.