Note: dollar figures are NZD unless otherwise stated.
So, I've been skiing for quite a while (on and off for nearly twenty years, more on than off except for last year), but I've never been in a position where I could actually afford new skis until now. I currently own a pair of rather beat up Rossignol Cuts (circa 2000, maybe earlier) that I picked up for $50 as ex-rentals (read: after being rented to punters for 5 years or so). They don't hold their edges well and are pretty much totally not suited to my ability level. That's not exactly news to me, but $50 was $50, and I haven't been able to do anything about it for a while. I have had occasion to borrow, rent, or demo better skis but not in the last three years.
I can only really afford one pair though, and I'd rather it didn't hurt my pocket too badly (i.e. given the choice between very good for $1000 and superb for $1600 I wouldn't think twice about buying the former.) I'm also after new bindings (in case that's not obvious from my situation, but in any case my current pair are a no go after someone lost control and plowed across my tails taking parts of the left rear clip with them).
I live in NZ. For those who know what I'm talking about, I ski mostly the Lakes (I have family there) and South Canterbury fields. And Awakino, which is only almost SC. I'll be trying to head to more Canterbury fields (Cragieburn, fingers crossed) in the future because I want more opportunities to get better in powder, and I've no intention of skiing CNI.
I don't think I've ever skied a ski less than five years old at the time of use, so you could say I'm a bit out of touch with what to do here. I guess need an all mountain ski*. Because the snow can be pretty variable here, I tend to try to make the most of it and ski to the conditions regardless, and like I said, I want more opportunities to get better in powder. I don't ski the park though, and I'll definitely spend much less time in powder than elsewhere (not exactly by choice, but that's how it is). I expect to ski hard snow, crud, corn, and corduroy pretty often, I like to carve from time to time, and I have no experience with reverse camber. I haven't really been exposed to enough different sidecuts to know what to think about it either. Oh, and I've never skied trees but I'd like to head overseas, maybe to Hokkaido, some time in the next three years or so.
Height: 5' 11 3/4"
Ability: Advanced, moving to expert.
So far I've stumbled across some '08 Bandit B83s for $500 (seems odd that four year old stock is still around?) and I found a solitary pair of '12 Prophet 98s in one lonely corner of a store today, for $1000, but the truth is I could really use some advice. I guess I should also consider trying to pick up some ex-demos from last year if I can get something nice for cheap?
Thanks in advance!
*Yeah, jack of all trades but master of none, but I can't afford more than one pair and buying something with no float off-piste or no bite on hard snow is just going to annoy me - sure, I can get by on snow my skis are really not made for, but all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.