I'm 34 years old, have been skiing for 30 years, 175 pounds, and am very proficient at high-speed carving, moguls, and steep corn. My weaknesses are powder, trees, and super-narrow chutes.
I had Atomic Metron B5's until I broke them a couple of years ago, and have been skiing Volkl AC50's since. Fantastic skis in hardpack, and pretty good in moguls except the weight. Powder and trees...not so good. I have a tough time keeping the tips up in pow, and in trees, particularly in soft snow, it takes a bit to load them up making them not very responsive.
My main area is Taos, but I also make it to Wolf Creek, Silverton, Durango, and Telluride a few times per year each. At Taos, Wolf Creek, and Silverton I do a lot of hiking. Most of the times I'm in hardpack and will continue to use my AC50s, but I want something that will better in the powder and trees, but still able to play around a bit on moguls and hardpack after things get skied out. Something lighter would be nice, too. Oh yeah- I have a dinky ski area 1/2 hour away (Sandia Peak), and my friends like to skin up after work and ski down with bike lights. I'd like to start doing that as well, so something AT-able would be nice, too. It looks like the Salomon Quest 12 or 14 boots along with Marker Baron 13 bindings would fit the bill.
Here are skis I'm considering.
Volkl Mantra would be a good choice for the versatility, but then thought it might be a bit too close to what I already have.
K2 Coomback seems great for the powder and touring, but not so great for hardpack. I heard a good alternative is the....
K2 Sidestash. Like the Coomback, but wider AND stiffer. These seem REALLY enticing- right up my ally. Other options
Line Prophet 98. Seems to split the difference between the Coomback and Mantra
Volkl Gotama. Might be a bit wide
Rossi S5. Don't know much about it
Line Influence 105. Again- don't know much
Edited by carve - 9/18/11 at 10:28am