Hello, all. I'm an aspiring intermediate (solid level 5/6) looking to replace my current skis. I came to skiing just three years ago; but after my first season I was hooked, so I purchased a pair of boots (Atomic Hawx 90), and picked up a set of old used skis on the cheap (04/05 Nordica SUV 10x, 170cm).
I have primarily skied on the East Coast (~5 days a year the last two years, including Pocono day trips, weekend trip to Killington). This year I am traveling to CO (Snowmass) and taking another trip to VT (Sugarbush). I'm going to get ~10 days on the slopes this year, and I am dedicated to doubling that next year.
Anyway, I have really started to get serious and focus on improving my technique, so I want a ski that I can use to help me advance and that I can grow in to, but not something that is going to inhibit my learning. I predominantly ski front-side groomers, but as my ability increases, I'd like to explore other terrain (most of my skiing will still be East Coast).
After reading many reviews and lurking on the forums over the past few months, I think I am between the Blizzard Magnum 7.6 (177 cm) and the Blizzard Magnum 8.1 (179 cm). My concern is that I have read that the 8.1 is oriented more towards advanced/expert skiers; I am a heavier skier (29 years old, 6' 1", 210 lbs) that likes to cruise, so I'm worried the 7.6 might not be enough ski for me.
I realize the "go to" response could be to demo both and decide on my own, but I'm hoping some of the experts on the forum who may have skied both can help guide me.
Thanks in advance,