My daughter (14 y.o. 5 1/2 ft, 140 lbs) has been on an alpine racing D-team for the past three years. It's a fairly mellow environment rather than a hard-core team, which is a good fit for my kid, whose main ambition has been to learn how to ski fast, though she's learned to enjoy the technical challenge posed by the gates.
This kid has been (to put it mildly) change-averse, to the point where she has been on the same 150cm Atomic Race 10 Jrs for all three years (!) despite being a good bit bigger now than she was at 11. But just a few weeks ago, we had a breakthrough: she tried my beginner skis from a few years ago, which are 161 cm Volkl carvers, (Tiger Motion, which is stiffer than entry level Tiger, WAY stiffer and heavier than her Race 10s, but quite a bit less stiff than something like the RaceTiger). And she loves them. "I can go FAST on these!" (well, yes, when you're not totally overpowering the ski, that's a bit easier...).
So, now we're in the market for new skis for her---the carvers are sufficiently beat up that even if they were suitable for racing, she really ought to get something else. The question, of course, is what? Race stock doesn't seem appropriate. She's not that good, not getting up on edge enough to apply that much force. Besides, if she's got a quiver, it will only be because she keeps my old carvers, so we need a ski that she can enjoy just skiing around on.
So, are we talking something like a cheater GS? One of the various hard-snow carving options around 75-80 underfoot? The coaches say she's up to a 165cm GS ski (though slalom is still kind of a problem, because she doesn't put enough pressure on the tips, even on the 150s).
Any and all suggestions welcome. I'm going to ask the coaches, too, but there's an awful lot of expertise on this board, regarding what's out there and how it works. And thanks for reading, if you made it this far.