Originally Posted by mudfoot
A full rocker ski with no camber is great in powder, but the less snow and the more it gets cut up the more its performance tends to decline. I am sure you'll get a wide range of opinions, but for my money most of the wide skis work great in deep powder, it's what they do in other snow conditions that separates them and dictates a buying decision.
I suggest something not real wide (120mm or less waist) with some sidecut (less than 25m), some camber, and "early rise" in the tip and tails, as opposed to a full rocker reverse camber ski. Generally this type of ski will work reasonably well on groomers, crud, slush, windblow and shallow snow better than a full high rocker ski. I am a fan of the 5-point "sharknose" design tip (widest part a little back from the tip) that many brands utilize on some models, and I'm not a fan of the real pintail skis with a narrow tail to make the back ride lower in powder, but there are advantages and disadvantages to all the different shapes.
I think your biggest danger is getting a ski that is too wide, too soft, or has too much rocker. Those qualities are great if you are a cat or heli guide, but if you intend to use it to mostly ski areas then something in the 110-120 waist range, with tip and tail early rise, but with a little camber and medium stiffness should slay the powder, rule the curd, and get you to the lift on the groomers without just smearing around. The heavier/lighter you are the wider/narrower you can go.
^^^^ One of the more intelligent powder ski posts out there. Would only add that IMO most wider skis with a modern front are fun in new uncut pow; it's a very forgiving medium. Not so many rock after the pows been messed up a little by skiers or mother nature.
On a recent trip to Big Sky, seriously powder oriented resort with lotsa trees, saw on good skiers/staff: Slew of S7's and Super 7's of various incarnations, several Icelantics, a few Bent Chetlers, coupla DPS 112RP's mounted tech, coupla Blizzard One's, one Moment Com, coupla Moment Bibby's, coupla fat Fischers with AT/tech, one Billy Goat, one EHP, one Huge Dump, one Shiro. Mainly noticed the dearth of skis that get a lot of ink here, like big Blizzards, Kastles, Dynastars, or on TGR, like PM Bros, ON3P's, Praxis. And never saw a single ski over 100 from some brands: Head, Elan, K2, Line come to mind. (Yeah, I know, how weird is it to keep track of this stuff.) (And yeah, I'm aware of sampling error, my bad vision, conditions - not their snowiest winter - so on.)
Conclusions: 1) Locals do not necessarily follow trends. Or can afford them. 2) MT gets lighter pow, so softer pow skis. YMMV in the NW. 3) This particular place rewards skis that emphasize turning rather than charging. Again, YMMV.