I’m 5”7”, male, 148 lbs. I’ve been skiing since I was 11, and did club racing/training for about a decade, mostly during my 30s. For my all-mountain skis, I currently use a pair of 160 cm Atomic Beta Race 9.16 SL (yellow with black/white checkerboard pattern on the forebody), purchased in 2000. As the name indicates, they’ve got a 16 m turning radius (105-62-94). I find they rule in everything, including most off-piste conditions, other than heavy spring crud and bottomless light powder (that’s me in the pic using them on a chute in Tignes; they worked great in that heavy, cut-up powder). They’re particularly good in tightly-spaced trees and in steep, tight chutes. Plus they have wonderful precision, hold, rebound, and energy (as a race ski should). But the edges are getting thin, so at some point they’ll need replacement.
When I last demoed all-mountains, in ~2000, they all felt like intermediate skis to me (by comparison with my Atomics, they had poor precision and all felt "dead"). Are there any current all-mountain skis that will give me what these do? [I.e., ones with which you can do projection/extension and get nice comma-shaped turns?] I’d be willing to give up a little (OK, very little) quickness to get better stability in wide-open turns through heavy crud, but I’m not willing to give up the precision and rebound. Or do I need to replace these with another pair of race skis? My suspicion is that the latter will not work, since the new 11 m SL race skis are too specialized. But that’s just a guess, since I’ve not demoed skis in about a decade.
Edited by chemist - 4/3/11 at 1:48am