I'm excited to have found this forum. Seems like there are a lot of great members on here!
So, I've been rocking the same ski gear for the past ~8 years. I have a pair of Nordica boots, the boots I learned on, and a pair of Volkl Karma's (circa 2006) that were rentals sold off by Big Sky resort.
I learned to ski on the east coast (USA). As a product of this, I never really fell in love with the sport or felt the urge to upgrade equipment. It was just kind of a way to get through the winter until mountain biking kicked off. However, I just moved to northern Nevada, and it's changed my skiing life forever!
Now that I've had my first taste of big mountain skiing, I've got a case of upgraditis. My skis don't seem to be up to the task. The rental binding has the feature where the heel can slide, and in the heavy powder of the Sierras it seems to be sliding under force. This results in my ski popping off like a champagne bottle on new years. So, while my boots definitely need replacing too, it's probably logical to get a decent binding on some better skis to start.
As far as skiing style, I see myself totally avoiding the terrain park. Other than that, no boundaries. We've been hiking away from the groomers to some steep bowls, hitting up the woods, basically seeking out some untracked snow whenever possible. I can eventually see myself getting into some little rock drops and the likes, but gotta get the skills first. I don't think these skis will need to be backcountry equipped, although there's a lot of intrigue to backcountry stuff.
When it comes to skis, I have no idea what to get. My Karma is probably about a 74 underfoot, so I'm probably going to want something wider. I'm 6', 190 lbs. I need the almighty quiver killer, as I can't afford to have a lot of equipment. The biggest constraint will likely be my budget. I'm a grad student, so I really can't justify shelling out much more than $800-$1000 for boots, skis, and bindings. Totally open to last years (or the year before) model. Also would consider used gear, just don't know where to turn.
So I'm open to any and all suggestions. Particular models or characteristics or even some articles on the subject. Admittedly haven't dug in too deep, there.
Thanks a bunch!