The specs of what I'm looking for: 105-110 mm wide, rockered tip, flat tail, super damp, powerful carver on piste, and great turn initiation, soft enough for at least the denser PNW powder (I realized that no ski can really do all of this). I think it might be labeled "70% off piste-30% on piste". I'd be thrilled to find something that feels like a wider Salomon Enduro XT850, which is the middle ski in my quiver.
Why a flat tail? It seems that I can't find happiness with a fully rockered ski. They're terrific in tight trees, but when moving really fast, a ski that is already bent doesn't track as well. I love the feel of a GS-type turn on soft- and hardpack, and I like the rebound from flexing then releasing a cambered ski. But I also like the help that a little bit of tip rocker provides in turn initiation in soft snow.
Nonetheless, I've included here some fully rockered skis. Some of them can be described as cam-rock or rocker-camber-rocker. Others have rocker at both ends and are pretty flat underfoot, so they technically can't be called cambered at all. I've decided not to try to distinguish among the amounts of camber-- only the rocker gets mentioned. What really counts, of course, is how they ski, not what their shape is.
These are all the 2011-12 models, written up in the order that I tried them. A few of them I only had for three or four runs, but generally was able to get them on some hardpack and some powder.
Blizzard Cochise-- 185cm, 135-108-123, tip and tail rocker
Very easy and nimble off piste, yet still holds a good edge on piste. Even though the ski at first feels short on piste (because of so much rocker), it nonetheless feels OK at higher speeds. Lay it over, and it feels like you're getting snow contact from the full length of the ski. And I do agree with the widespread consensus that this should be a very popular ski.
Line Influence 105-- 179cm, 141-105-131, slight tip rocker
Feels like a normal-cambered, quick-turning carving ski on piste. Damp and holds a good edge. Both tips and tails stay engaged with the snow all the time. The tip rocker is very subtle, but I can feel how it helps off piste with turn initiation. The second day that I skied them I was feeling stronger and they felt too small. So I went wider and longer-- I tried the Influence 115 at 186cm, then the 105 at 186cm (see below).
K2 Sidestash-- 181cm, 139-108-127, strong tip rocker
Stout, good edge, with lots of tip rocker. Light and easy to maneuver off piste-- they'd be great randonee skis. On piste it feels like only the rear two-thirds of the ski are engaged, but with good edge grip. They have stiff tails and a fully rockered tip while I'd prefer a rounder, more uniform flexing ski. Earlier models are said to have less rocker, so I'm guessing I might like them better.
Dynastar Legend Pro Rider 105-- 184cm, 132-105-122, strong tip rocker
Whoa-- these are missiles. Totally metal-damp, can crush anything. The most powerful, tank-like ski among these. When skiing off-piste, the stiff tails and pre-bent tips give me the feeling of being canted forward, or skiing in high heels. But with those tips, I can turn them anytime, anywhere-- just not quickly. They remind me of my Monster 82's in the same length: metal damp, unfazed by rough snow, and they make me ski faster than any of the other skis so far. I never got them over 20 mph off piste, but it feels like these would be less apt to over-turn than others with fully rockered tips.
Volkl Katana-- 184cm, 143-112-132, tip rocker and slight tail rocker
Terrific edge grip on piste, easy turn initiation off piste, very smooth. Even though they are fully rockered, when tipped on edge (on piste), they feel like powerful skis with the whole length engaging the snow. But they don't feel as stable as I'd like when skiing at high speed in medium-density powder-- which I attribute to having too much tip rocker for my taste. A couple of times at about 25mph they'd over-turn when I merely wanted to do big arcs (but I'm sure that I could learn to deal with that). There's no getting around it: when skiing fast, a straight ski works better than one that is already bent. But these are my favorite fully-rockered skis.
Line Influence 115-- 186cm, 153-115-142, slight tip rocker
This ski is a step wider AND a step longer than the Influence105 that I skied, and that's exactly what it feels like. Damp, good edge grip-- a big ski that likes to go fast. The subtle tip rocker makes them turn easily-- but not THAT easily: they're still 186cm long. And being 115 wide makes them slow to get up on edge when skiing on piste. They're good for a fast, hard-charging skier, but a handful in tight trees (especially for a 150-pounder such as me). I had such a good time on these big ones that they're my favorite ski so far, but it was also a hero-powder day and I haven't given them much of a crud test.
Nordica Girish-- 185cm, 139-110-129, tip rocker
These are the burliest skis yet. Straight-lining at 30 mph in powder down Avalanche Basin at Crystal Mountain, they're the stablest ski ever. Great carving-- tip them up on edge (with some effort) and lay trenches on groomers. Wonderfully damp and they cruise through crud easily. With their rocker they turn easily enough off piste, but they're stiff: I can only bend then by bearing down hard. On them I can ski powerfully, but not nimbly. They're too much ski for me.
Head Inferno 104-- 181cm, 130-104-120, slight tip and slight tail rocker
Take a 165cm GS racing ski, make it wider and softer, then attach at each end a slightly rockered tip or tail. On piste it rails GS turns. Off piste it steers and floats easily. Or call it an updated Head Monster. It feels SO MUCH like the Monster series: damp, metal, glued to the snow, and it absolutely slays crud. But having moderate stiffness and a little tip and tail rocker, it also steers easily in powder. Unlike the Sidestash, Katana, LP Rider and Girish, the tip and tail's performance feel balanced with each other, on piste and off. My preference for flat tails doesn't stop me from appreciating this ski's slight tail rocker-- I can feel how it helps the ski's maneuverability in tight places off piste, yet still doesn't make the ski feel too short when on piste. There it feels like a stout 165cm ski, which is shorter than I'd like, but it's so damp and well-balanced in flex that it's still really good. Off piste, these Infernos reward hard, fast skiing, even in tough crud, but one can also relax, slow down, and still turn them easily. Annoyances: turned-up tails, and they're fucking ugly. If I get some, I'll have to cover them with contact paper.
Elan Olympus Mons-- 183cm, 140-110-130, slight tip rocker
Too soft for me. Not much power, not a lot of edge grip. Quick-turning and very easy off piste, of course. They felt like an updated and livelier Volant Chubb.
Head Kiss of Death-- 181cm, 130/110/120, tip and tail rocker
These feel like the Blizzard Cochise (or should I say that the Cochise feels like the Kiss of Death?). Good edge grip, very maneuverable off-piste. Tip and tail are balanced nicely. But they feel too short on piste for me-- they have more rocker than I like.
Line Influence 105-- 186cm, 141-105-131, slight tip rocker
As above, the whole length of the Influence feels engaged, both on and off piste. Off piste, the tip rocker is so subtle that its help with turn initiation is barely noticeable. They do turn easily, if not quickly. They are a very precise ski, and not as forgiving as some of these others. On piste they're quick-turning for 186's-- and I like them better than the GS-y Infernos in that trait, although the Infernos feel more damp and powerful in the carve. I was able to rip some very fast lines with the Influence 105's, but they don't absorb the rough, uneven snow quite as well as the damper Infernos. These are my second-favorite ski wider than 100mm.
My conclusion-- In the never-ending quest to make the impossible ski, that is, one that is stiff and damp enough to satisfy a hard-charging skier at high speed, yet soft enough to bend in powder and be forgiving, the Inferno 104's are the fullest expression of that seemingly impossible combination that I've felt (at least in the 100-115 width). Yes, they're an impressive ski, but not quite as amazing as the (much narrower) Salomon XT850's. And I'm seeing Infernos for sale at bargain prices. It must their looks.