I am not up on the latest ski reviews so some suggestions would be helpful.
I'm looking for a ski that will excel on hardpack, with excellent edge hold, perform well in shallow powder and in spring conditions and be at least acceptable in the bumps and crud. I am not looking to use this ski in deeper powder and I'm not too concerned about high speed stability. I want a ski in the mid-160s, with a waist of no more than 82 and preferably less with a sidecut that will yield a radius of 14.5m or less. Oh yea, I don't want any rocker/reverse camber nonsense in this ski so that rules out all K2s like the Rictor, I think.
I weigh 165 lbs and am 5 ft. 9 in. tall. I am a solid 7 level skier.
I am currently skiing a 167 Recon (119/78/105) 16 m radius. I used to love this ski. But as I've gotten better and conditions this year not so good with hardpack very common I find that I can not obtain adequate edge hold with this ski in these hardpack conditions unless using the ski to make long GS-type turns at speed.
At first, I thought I must be messing up technically but after a few days of trying to finesse my movements I was still slip sliding away when I tried to tighten up my carved turns (my edges were razor sharp, btw). So I rented a pair of 164cm Kastle LX82 (127/82/109) 14.5m. The difference in performance on the hardpack was amazing with edge hold phenomenally better. Not sure if this was due to much better torsional rigidity, more aggressive sidecut, softer longitudinal flex or some combination of all three. But I now want to buy a ski like this that will perform similarly or better (I will also consider a very aggressive sidecut / radius even if it means the ski will be somewhat "high strung"). The Kastle was also great when things soften up and in deeper soft and heavy snow on the backside and in the bumps seemed at least as good at the Recons.