I am 6'4 187 lbs advanced skier mostly ski in Austria, France and Turkey. I have time to ski 3 weeks every season trying to catch most of the powder that drops :) Unfortunately I get to ski on crud or shallow powder most of the time. I prefer to go off-pist whenever I can. Groomers are just not fun for me..
Last year I bought a pair of Volkl Kendo 184. First I thought kendos were perfect for me. I used to love charging the mountain, go fast and carve large turns when I was younger (I used to compete in my country) Now i prefer to have a quicker ski which is more playful, easier to control when skiing in the woods. The kendos performed really bad between the trees, did not have enough floatation in powder, they were hooking up as soon as you shift your weight a little towards the front. On the other side, very good on the groomers, quick edge to edge and very strong and stable in crud.
I also got insurance for the skis when I bought (best thing I have ever done!) End of last season, a stupid snowboarder hit me and the front of my skis got delaminated. Now I get to change my skis with any brand I like that has the same price tag on it! :)
Since I didn't like to powder performance of Kendo I was first going towards the Mantra's. The tip rocker and extra 1 cm waist probably brings the powder performance to another level. But I still have my concerns on playfullness. I will probably go for the 191cm.. Im sure they will be very good on powder at high speeds. But what if I get into the woods or I wanna make quick turns?
My other choices is Line Prophet 98. I guess they are a little easier to turn than Mantras? Right? More flex will be easier to turn yet the metal sheet will prevent chattering at high speed. But they are heavy! How will they perform in the trees? Do they float as good as the Mantras?
Last choice is Blizzard Bonafide, I have been reading very good reviews but since they have only 180cm model, I doubt it will be the right choice for me.
Can someone who tried all 3 skis I mentioned compare powder, crud performance, stability at high speed, playfullnes and carving abilities for me please?
Thank you very much for your comments.