So I posted up on here not too long ago looking for some gear advice. Got some great responses, mainly suggesting I get myself a new set of boots.
Well, now that I've spent entirely too much money on boots (Tecnica Cochise), I'm starting to eye up a new set of skis and bindings. I'm somewhere around an intermediate (advanced intermediate?) skier. I'm a touch under 6 feet tall and weight around 195 pounds. I live in the Tahoe area and have been skiing Alpine Meadows/Squaw Valley. I really enjoy getting off of the groomers, and hope to become much better at skiing the bumps and trees. I admittedly don't have great form at the moment, but am working on mastering proper technique (getting lots of burning in my quads, so I guess I have a tendency to get in the backseat).
While I know technique and form take great priority over gear, I'm afraid my gear is potentially posing me a safety risk. I'm currently on old rental skis, Volkl Karmas from ~2006. They're only 169 cm. The bindings on them pop off way too easily in the deep snow/quick, hard edge sets and the heel on the left binding slides forward when it pops off.
I'm looking to start demoing some skis. I'll only be able to buy one ski for the foreseeable future, so I'm going to hop on the high 90's bandwagon. Since I'm definitely not an expert skier, I think something a bit more forgiving would be nice. I'm looking for something in the 180-185 cm range, and want a ski that I can grow on. My goal is to become a very quick turner and have a more playful style. It would be nice if the ski would work alright for some AT stuff, but definitely not a focal point. I'm hoping to be qualified for backcountry trips by mid next season.
So, two questions:
What skis should I try to demo?
Any suggestions on finding ski + binding on the cheap? Open to last years/used stuff.
Thanks in advance!