For the last 4 years I have been skiing on the K2 Apache Recons and I'm thinking about getting a new pair of skis. While I've been skiing mostly K2's for the last 25 years, I'm a bit concerned about K2's reputation for quality and the fact that there are so many other quality skis out there. While I have been quite happy with the Recons, I want to find something that I truly can't live without (if that exists). After reading countless reviews on skis on this website, I've come to the realization that there isn't a perfect ski, but maybe there's a perfect ski for me. Depending on the conditions, type of skier, etc. we all have certain preferences that make one biased for certain skis. Here's a profile of me:
Level 8 skier (out of 10)
44 years old, 6'1", 190 pounds, and in decent shape
ski 20 days a year (5 days in Minnesota, 10 days out west)
When I ski out west, I'll spend 30% on double blacks (steeps), 40% on blacks, and 30% on blues (but definately love going fast and holding an edge here.
Last spring when I spent a week out in Big Sky, I demo'd 4 different skis. Here's what I tried, the conditions, and what I thought:
Volkl RTM 84
I skied the Bonafide and the Bushwacker after a night of snowing. Both of them were great when the powder was fresh, but when it got thick and heavy and tracked all over, the Bonafide was a little more work. I was a bit disappointed when I was skiing the frontside. While they held edges fine, I was used to something that allowed me get aggressive on the hardback. I had to hold back for concern about washing out.
I was expecting to like the Aftershock much better than I did. Maybe it was the width in the front of the ski, but that day, while skiing the frontside it was a bit "grabby". I had to pay attention to it more than I was used to, which subsequently held me back.
Lastly I skied the Volkl RTM 84 on the advice of a friend (on the frontside). I liked the way my my turns felt the first 3/4, but the end of it , I didn't feel like I got the "pop" I get when pushing the ski.
After the week in Big Sky, and reading some reviews, here are my observartions:
-I'm leaning towards a frontside ski (less than 90mm)
-I want a ski that when I really push it, it's going to reward me with something glorious
-I want a ski that is great in the crud
-I want a ski that at the end of a long day won't kick my butt
-I want a ski that does a real nice job of holding an edge, giving me confidence when I transition through a wide range of terrain
-I want a ski that when I do get blessed with some fresh powder, I have a chance to appreciate it.
Considering the information above, and my baseline for judging my next ski, I'd love some recommendations as I shop around for my next pair!