I am a primarily east coast intermediate/advanced skier, who has improved greatly over the last several years. I'm a 43 year old male, 5'11", 175 pounds. I am not an especially fast or aggressive skier, but the fastest and most aggressive of my friends. I just don't like the idea of falling while going super fast at my age. I will ski just about anything in the east, and have been working on my form. Any steep, groomed run, icy or not, and I try moguls. I have limited western experience, but in the west I will ski most anything if there is good snow coverage (e.g., at Crystal Mountain last year I skied steep runs like Powder Bowl and Campbell Basin.) My short turns are not quite quick enough to make anyone impressed watching me ski a mogul run, but I don't feel intimidated and can get down anything without fear and am making progress.
I have been skiing on Rossi B1's in a 168, which I bought several years ago on sale without really knowing much about skis. They have served me well, but I was thinking of trying something new this year, particularly since there seem to be good sales around here given the lack of winter on the east coast. I'm not sure if it's the skis or me, but I don't feel super stable when skiing very fast. I also can't seem to go as fast as other comparable skiers, even when I really try to let the skis run.
I just got back from 4 days in Winter Park, where I skied the Bandits three days, including two lessons with some fine instructors. The terrain varied on the four days from frozen groomers to 7 inches of powder, skied up powder, crud, and wind-blown ice. All in all, I was somewhat surprised at how well the Bandits handled all the conditions. I was able to release and skid, and carve with the edges. I didn't think they (or I) would be good in powder and crud, but I felt remarkably confident.
The last day I demoed skis (only for half a day since most of the lifts were shut down due to wind). I was able to try a K2 Rictor in a 174, and then a Rossi E88 in (I believe) a 170.
The conditions, particularly in the morning were very hard. Vasquez Ridge was very windblown and icy. I did not feel confident at all on the Rictors in those conditions. I felt somewhat out of control on the firm snow and ice. I just didn't feel like the edges would hook up as I expected on the frozen stuff, and I just didn't feel right skidding the turns either. I escaped Vasquez Ridge by the black Gambler mogul run, and the skis felt somewhat better in the moguls and soft snow.
I then tried the E88, which felt much more solid on the hard snow, and equally good in the soft snow/bumps, but I wasn't able to ski it long enough to decide whether it was noticeably better than my Bandits.
My question is whether today's skis offer anything appreciably new that I can grow into and help me become a better skier, or if I should leave well enough alone. (Of course I love new gear as much as the next guy.) Aside from the Rictor and E88, are there other skis you would recommend that would fit my style and ability better?
Thanks very much.