I'm looking to buy new skis but I've been out of the equipment scene for a while and am not exactly sure what I should be demoing at this point. First, I live in the east and ski mostly hard packed groomers and ice, and I usually get out about 30-40 times a season. I'm a big guy, 6'3" and 250ish pounds, 38 and this is my 36th ski season. I raced up until university, also coached and was an instructor as well. I thought I was a good skier until I moved out to Calgary for a few years in 2000 and started skiing big mountains 60-70 times a year. At the end of my time out west in 2003 I was a much better skier and could comfortably handle anything on or off-piste. Anyway, we had kids shortly after we moved back and between that and the hills around here (Ottawa) being, ummmmm, a little less exciting, I've been out of the game for a while. Still skiing 30-40 times a year, but on the kind of terrain that takes the edge off your skiing and lets you get a bit lazy. So I'm not quite at that expert level anymore, but it wouldn't take me long to get back to it either. I'm still skiing on my Volkl Vertigo G30s I got in 2000 or 2001, which were a great all mountain ski at the time but which are a little outdated now. I'm looking for something that will serve me well on the ice here, but also be 'not horrible' in soft snow and western conditions as I will be making at least one trip a year west.
So far, I've skied:
Volkl AC50s - Loved them, felt really snappy from edge to edge, no speed limit, really great in the conditions I normally ski in.
Volkl AC30s - These were just ok. Felt a bit mushy to me, especially at low speed. Seemed to hold a great edge at higher speeds though.
Salomon Enduro - Felt a lot like the AC30s to me. Mushy and muddy.
Nordica Doberman Spitfire EDTs - Honestly had more fun on these than on any other pair. I know they are probably the least versatile ski I've tried, they were a blast to rip big GS turns on the groomers here.
Fischer Watea 84s - Blah. Felt soft. I actually found about 8 inches of cut up crud to ski these on in addition to the normal hard pack and still wasn't too impressed.
Elan 82xti - Again, blah. Good carver at speed but not the same liveliness that the AC50s and the Spitfires had.
Scott Method - I didn't even know Scott made skis, but these were actually kind of fun. Twin tips but they held their edge pretty well.
I am sort of leaning to the AC50s at this point, but I see the reviews on them being a terrible soft snow ski. So my question is, is it possible to find a ski that performs well in the conditions I normally ski, as well as in the softer stuff out west or is that a pipe dream? And given the skis I've tried, and how I've felt about them, what others should I be looking at? I'm thinking Kastle MX78s (and maybe 88s?), Blizzard 8.1s or 8.7s? Volkl Mantras?
One last thing, I know people will suggest I should probably go longer, but I've mostly been demoing in the 177 range. My G30s are 193s.
Thanks in advance.