have read other threads and dome some searching on the forums, and there's some very helpful info out there...
I'm looking for some new skis, and hoping to crowdsource the decision, or at least part of it, through the expertise here...
Me? Was a midwestern Level II ski instructor in my college days (10+ years ago now), ski less these days but usually cooler places... half of my days are in the east and half are in the west... last year I even got to Alaska which was sweet. I travel for work so I normally try to get in a day or two wherever I go... therefore I don't ski any one place regularly but I ski somewhere frequently.
6', 175 or so. Aggressive skier, like a fairly stiff, damp ski. Enjoy the entire mountain, including steeps, bumps, bowls, groomers, trees, you name it... I'll usually seek out the most "fun" part of the mountain for a given set of conditions and hang there. Some days that means I hang out in the bumps until my legs give out, other days it's trees or bowls or through the gates if the snow is there, sometimes just big GS turns on groomers. Being a midwestern guy I'm comfortable on ice and hardpack, but I do love to float as well.
As I travel I've generally opted to rent skis for the last few years, since I might not care to bring my own for a day or two, or if conditions warrant.
I'm looking for a do-it-all ski, with the exception of big powder skiing (would rent a pair of fatties) or dedicated racing (fast enough to beat my friends on whatever boards). My short list is:
blizzard magnum 8.7
I demo'd the AC50 (I think in 177cm) on a bumps and groomers day and really loved it - more so on the groomers than the bumps. I liked the confidence it inspired at speed through any conditions (including the crud at the edges of the bump runs). It was stable and quiet, and really responded to my downward pressure.
So, I added the mantra to my list as I am looking for something with a similar feel but maybe a little more multi-dimensional. Then, seeing that I do a fair bit of skiing out east and in tighter conditions / harder bumps, I added the kendo to my list.
Finally, in reading some reviews here and elsewhere online, I added the blizzard to the list. Am I on the right track here? I haven't skied any of the last three skis.
Have I missed any that might fit the bill? I am not a fan of Rossis, for whatever reason. I would also consider late model lightly used skis / demo skis, so if there are some awesome boards that are no longer available I'd be open to suggestions there as well.
Any thoughts on length? I'd think that everything but the mantra in the 180-ish range, and the mantra at 177, in hopes of getting a little more agility out of it, esp. in bumps, etc. Does that make sense?
Thanks for any help you can provide!