Hi, all--first post here. I have been skiing intermittently for 30 years, but for some reason have never bought my own set of skis. I've finally decided to jump in and buy a set of boots/skis/poles.
I'm 6'3" tall, 200 pounds and fit. I am typically paired with 160's at ski rental places, and they have always seemed to work well for me. I'm not at all interested in being the fastest skier, nor do I do any stunts/jumps and so-on. I just enjoy going side-to-side down the mountain at a semi-fast clip. I did, however, spend the entire day yesterday teaching my 9 year-old daughter to ski, and spent the entire day skiing backwards... something I had never done before but thoroughly enjoyed it. I know they make skis that are tapered in both directions, but if that can be an issue perhaps I'm just as well off with regular skis (I mentioned skiing backwards because I'll be teaching my son, 7 years old, very soon, as well. But... after that, who knows if I'll spend any time skiing backwards).
As for skiing conditions, they are night and day. I honeymooned in Utah, so my wife and I make a trip out there every couple of years. Obviously, the conditions are wonderful there. However, I live in NC about an hour from Beech, Sugar, Hawksnest, etc., so this is where I would typically go. The conditions are usually a mixture of ice and powder, and oftentimes areas of slush. The conditions yesterday were wonderful, but that's not typical.
Regarding price range, I'm looking to spend $700 to $800 total for boots ($300?)/skis ($400?)/poles ($100?). Since I typically only ski 2-3 times/year, it's hard to justify spending more. Based on the above personal info, skiing locales and budget, can anyone recommend a good set of skis? I've been told that boots are the most important item, and I know it's a personal choice based on comfort. However, what are some good brands in that range, and what "technologies" are perhaps out there I should look into? Keep in mind I've only rented boots, but I understand they make boots that allow for easier walking, etc., etc. And what about bindings? Are they made to fit the ski and universally fit all boots? Do they have to fit the boot and ski? Are these a "standard" item, or do I want to be sure and get something specific? Essentially, assume I know nothing :-)
Thanks for any advice and/or input you can give me!