Oh-kay. Let me just lay a few more thoughts on you, and if you really want to pursue this, PM me, because I think you and I are the only two remaining posters on this thread:
- Go right ahead and get on some new skis for next year...could be the greatest move you ever made. One of the big things I preach to people is a paraphrase of an old Ken Keseyism, which is, "If you want something to happen, you have to stop going through the same door." Or, to put it another way, "Everybody wants to go to heaven...but nobody wants to die." If you want to get better!faster!stronger, to an extent, improving what you're doing by 2% is a losing game. Instead, you need to unlearn all the bad stuff you're currently hooked on, and put in its place something that actually works. So changing gear is not a bad place to start, emphasis on start...
- Changing gear is more global than a different manufacturer, different length, different sidecut for your skis. It's been said, and I agree, that boots are waaaay more important than skis. If you haven't looked at what you've got on your foot lately, please do so.
- Changing gear is a great wake-up call, but, IMHO, just getting on another pair of skis isn't necessarily going to make you faster, In fact, it might make you slower. My situation is the opposite of yours. I'm 62, and I've been racing Masters for 22 years. A couple three years ago, I thought I was making real progress in GS...but my times were actually getting worse. My coach told me it was a bunch of issues, but it all started with my skis. At the time, I was skiing on a 181 Atomic 19M cheater GS, and looking at the videos, I was waaay overturning, losing glide, and generally doing a bunch of really slow stuff. I switched to a 184 cm. 26.2 cm, women's WC GS ski...and for a long time, it was not fun at all. It was work to get the damned things to initiate a turn, to track cleanly through the apex, to finish strong...but once I matched my emerging skills to the new gear, I was, yes, a whole lot faster.
So you're going in the opposite direction, which is shorter and shaplier. I'm not telling you it's the wrong move, what I'm telling you is that it won't make you any faster (and it might actually make you slower...) if you don't change your technique and tactics. You now have a ski that has a much shorter length and sidecut...fine, you need to (1) ski with a lot more finesse, because if you hammer the ski, it's going to arc out from underneath you and overturn (2) go a lot deeper into the turn, because, all things considered, a turnier sidecut means you don't have to set up as much for the top of the turn. So...there it is. Definitely go get yourself a new pair of skis, kind of doesn't matter what they are. BUT...consider revamping your boot setup, pump lots of iron, do 100 miles a week on your roadbike, and play some serious tennis this summer, AND change the way you make your skis turn, and where you are in the course...then, you might get faster...
I guess that is the extent of it, you have to just pick something you think is going to work and go for it. Demo's would help but they are hard to come by in the right size etc.
I disagree about middle of the pack/ skis won't help. It has to help if you can find the right fit. I am not saying I am now going to win races because I made a switch in a equipment
but matching the skis to the course has to help....a little :)
Could not have put it better !!