Hello all, long time reader 1st time poster.
I've been skiing on and off for about 10 years now and have put off buying my own gear simply because I can't justify buying gear while I'm still growing and I get a student discount to rent (about $30 with a student ID). Now I've reached a time in my life where I'm done growing and my student discount will end this Spring (hopefully lol) and I am really considering buying my own gear for the 1st time.
I apologize for posting another "1st time buyer" thread but I have read a ton of forums and watched plenty of videos about gear for "big skiers" only to read that they only weigh 200-220. Now I'm truly a BIG skier. I'm 6'2" 280lbs but I can ski all day at about an Intermediate level. I read all these topics and people post all these numbers and ski models just to get more confused and 2nd guess my picks. From what I've read there are some REALLY knowledgeable people on here which is why I decided to bring my quest here. Not saying the local shops don't know what they're talking about but I feel like they just try to sell me whatever they have in stock.
I'm looking for an All Mountain set up that I can feel confident on. I find more fun cruising and skiing tight trees and powdery conditions. Not a big speed guy because 280 screaming down the mountain gets a little wild sometimes. All my searches have lead me to the Mantras and Bonafides. Personally I feel drawn more to the Bonafides but I've never skied anything but rentals and I'm just going simply by what the Internet tells me. I'm looking for anything setup of Ski/boot/bindings in the Medium-High price range because I want something that will stand the abuse of truly BIG skier. I ski mostly on the east coast but once I buy my own gear I plan to head west in the near future.
If anyone has any experience of knowledge that can help me out it would greatly appreciated.