Need new skis and don't have a clue what to get out of a couple of choices. I am an eastern skier/instructor. I am hoping to pass my LIII skiing this winter ( passed one examiner out of 3 on a prior try). I am 54 years young and big - 6" 1" 220 lbs. and have been skiing on Volkl AC30s or Nordica Hot Rod Nitrous the last couple of years. Between the two, I find the Nordicas to be much more fun, easier to ski in the bumps and less demanding over an 8 hour shift. Unfortunately, we know that skis are built to fit a lifecycle imposed by recreational users and my poor Nordicas are tired.
One should never complain about having the opportunity to buy on pro form, but often you find that by the time skiing starts in the east and you manage to actually demo something, you may not be able to get it pro. So I am looking for whatever tidbits anyone here can offer to help with a couple of choices.
I am thinking of four skis. The Volkl RTM 84, the Firearrow 80 pro, the Firearrow 74 EDT, and the Blizzard Magnum 8.1. I would like something quick and playful because left to my own devices I ski with all the joy and spontaneity of the Red Army grinding across the steppes towards Berlin (Bumps and "versatility" are my weak points). I am very wary of going wider than the 78 mm waist of the Nitrous but also know that a 74 mm waist will not be an asset at an exam in late March. I can ski a narrow waist in the mush, but would prefer not to if I can get a little more float without giving up too much quickness. The RTM 84 just looks too wide for bumps and a Volkl rep I talked to left me with the impression that the RTM 80 might not be enough ski. This leaves the Firearrow 80 and the Blizzard 8.1 as first choices, but I don't really know much about either except that I would be buying a couple of cans of black spray paint if I got the Firearrow 80.
Anyway, I would appreciate any reality based feedback anyone can offer.