Currently have an old pair of 178 cm Legend 8000's (will become my rock skis due to edge and base damage) and a 183 cm iM82 which will probably be my go-to normal ski for the PNW, for now. Looking to add a wider ski which could be used for those potentially deeper days of off-piste, sidecountry, etc. and, if light enough, might toss some lightweight bindings on them for backcountry.
Me: 6'2", ~ 180 lbs body weight, advanced/expert
Preferences: prefer off-piste
Ski Locations: live and ski primarily in the PNW but travel other places (Colorado, Alta, Alps).
Recently rented a number of older skis while skiing in the French Alps in mixed conditions to full-fledged and waist-high powder. The first pair of skis were some older Rossi GS-type of skis which were too unpredictable in the deeper snow.
Then I got on a pair of (older?) Sultan 85's in a 178 cm length - much better!! That was a very fun ski which I could more readily attack the mixed and deeper snow off-piste. With a bit of even fore/aft weight distribution mixed with more leaning back in the deeper and/or unpredictable snowpack, they handled most of what I encountered. On the groomers at the end of the day, they were still a rewarding ski even though the softer shovel tended to get deflected a bit in crud. In reality, I could see how this could be a great quicker-turning replacement ski for the Legend 8000's although the slightly softer character of the Sultan's 85, at least to me, might make it less effective on those really cruddy days. But I think the compromise might be worth it.
The next day was destined to be a day with lots more fresh snow and with powder of up to couple of feet or more in areas. I wanted to try the Sultan 85's in a longer length to see if the stability and added float that it might add would still be balanced nicely by the smaller turning radius as compared to the 8000's. They didn't have that size so I ended up with a pair of 186 cm Legend Pro (97 cm waist, 29 m turn radius). I had never skied something this wide and, to be honest, as I was riding up the lift I was starting to worry that I might have overstepped my abilities. My thoughts were particularly in consideration of the common-belief that the Legend Pros, especially in the longer lengths, were monsters. But when I hit the snow, I started smiling. What a fun ski in the deep snow. I could do what I wanted and do it smoothly. I never felt the ski was too wide nor too long. Even more surprising was that whenever I was forced onto the piste/groomers or in tight quarters I could very easily flex that ski into turn shapes that I would not have expected from a 29m radius ski. The flex pattern and limited sidecut was a really nice combination. Perhaps the hero snow gave me a less than realistic view of the capabilites of that ski, i.e. the Sultan 85's could have been just as fun, but I kind of doubt that.
I did try a blue-colored Solomon BBR 8.9 the next day because I thought that the Legend Pro's might have been a bit too soft for the skied out crud that I was expecting. It took me a bit of time to get used to that ski and it might have been a bit better when powering though crud and/or when whipping around on the groomers, but it didn't seem to have the smoothness of the Legend Pro's. The tail on the Solomon's seemed a bit unpredictable, at least to me. But I should have tried both on the same day to be sure.
So, I think I might like a pair of those Legend Pro's. But here is the problem, it seems that ski was the 2007 model of the ski as pictured below. Does anyone have any experience with that model and what a comparable replacement of it might be? All input would be greatly appreciated.