I just joined this forum today in hopes of finding some good advice on which skis I should purchase. I've spoken with 3 people who work at 2 different ski shops, but I still have a lot of questions.
Here's my situation:
I've been skiing only 8 days in the past 5 seasons, but I've decided that I want to become much more active in the sport, so am hoping to go a lot more this season and in future seasons, and as part of that, I have decided to purchase all my own gear. I live in DC, and the only places I've been skiing are Whitetail and Ski Liberty. I went a couple months ago and rented 163cm skis and was able to do moguls (slowly), smalls jumps, and a black diamond with absolutely no problem (I fell only 1 time the entire day). After that trip, I purchased a pair of used K2 Comanche Sport 167cm skis online. The Comanche's look pretty beat up, but the base of each ski is in fine condition; the tech at the ski shop I took them to to get the bindings adjusted said the skis look like they'd be perfectly functional for about 3 seasons (being used about 5-7 times per season). So a couple days after buying the Comanche's, I drove to Whitetail, excited to give them a shot, but the moment I put them on to simply walk to the ski lift, I could tell there was something wrong. They felt ususually heavy, and it was also difficult for me to maneuver them. That entire day, it was like I was skiing for the first time again. I could barely get down the hills without falling once or twice, and it was very difficult for me to carve. The Comanche's I bought are 167cm, and I had only used 163cm before, so I'm not sure if it was the length, or the weight, or both, that was giving me trouble.
So now I'm searching for the right pair of skis for myself. Considering that I'm 27-years-old, 5'8" tall, about 195-200lbs, and I'm a beginner/intermediate (closer to beginner), does anyone have any advice on what I should purchase?
One of the ski shop folks suggested the Volkl AC 10 (he stated that it is a very lightweight ski), and one of the other ski shop folks suggested the 2011 K2 AMP Force with Marker M2 10 bindings (I can get the package for $400). Should I go with one of these skis? Or does anyone have a better suggestion?
Also, should I purchase 163cm, 160cm, or something a little shorter? I'm ok with giving up some speed for more control, as I still have a lot to learn; but I weigh almost 200lbs, and from what I understand, if I get a ski that is too short, it won't support my weight very well and won't float on the snow the way it should.
Any advice is much appreciated!