Looking to buy a new pair of skis for the upcoming season and blinded/confused by the sheer volume of choice out there! Would greatly appreciate some sage advice from those in the know.
Male, aged 40, 5ft 10", 187lbs
12 years experience carving pistes in Europe (all the biggies; Zermatt, Val d'Isere, Verbier etc..) with 3 years dabbling off-piste in slopside powder and slightly further afield. Did 9-days in SLC last season trying to self-teach powder skiing in Solitude, Alta and Snowbird.
Currently ski some Head Xenon 10 carvers (170 length) which I love. Quite light, soft flex, very responsive and hold the edge beautifully). I'd love to find an equivalent all-MTN version.
Ideally looking for:
1. All-MTN/Freeride ski (70-80% powder 20-30% piste)
2. Lightweight and easy to manoeuvre
3. Soft-medium flex (bouncy and responsive)
4. Probably 98mm
5. Multi-dimensional sidecut
6. Fully rockered or trad camber underfoot with tip and tail rocker
7. Wood core and lots of other vibration dampening qualities
8. Sandwich sidewall construction or combo of sandwich underfoot with cap in tip and tail.
9. No upper limit on budget.
I'm a totally non-agressive skier so stability at speed is far, far less of an issue than manoeuvrability/playfulness. More likely to want something with shorter turn radius as I like to explore rather than head down the mountain in a straight, fast line. I intend to have minimal time on piste while I try and perfect powder (slopeside and further afield) so good float is important.
Based on limited research thus far, i'm looking at:
1. Blizzard Bonafide - fantastic reviews but I would question whether i'm agressive enough to get the best out of this ski
2. Line Prophet 98 - again, great reviews but possibly too stiff in the flex?
3. Praxis Piste Jib - haven't found any reviews as yet but like the sound of this one
4. Volkl Mantra - again, reviews seem to suggest a stiff flex
Ultimately, the ski has to be accessible and user-friendly enough for someone in the early stages of their powder/all-MTN career but be good enough for when I get good! Once i've achieved that goal, i'll be looking to get stuck into the backside/backcountry here in Europe (St Anton, Espace Killy, Chamonix) but also regular trips back over the water to enjoy some of that awesome US powder in (resorts i'd love to try....) Powder Mtn UT, Grand Targhee WY and Whistler BC.
Thanks in advance,