I stumbled upon this site while researching skis and it has been a great resource. Some background on myself. I am a strong athletic guy at 6' 230lb that is getting back into skiing after about an 8 year layoff. I would rate myself as advanced prior to my layoff as I could tackle just about everything on the mountain comfortably....not a fan of the bumps though.
With my family, life and work obligations I am limited to 1 or 2 trips a month now as it is at least 100mi to the nearest ski mountain. I live in the Pacific NW and ski from Tahoe to Bachelor but mostly ski the smaller resorts in between like Shasta, Ashland and Willamette Pass. The snow is usually typical PNW wet heavy show and can be sticky and slow at times. I currently am skiing on some late 90's K2 Xplorer skis in 183 length and really like them but feel it is time for an upgrade.
A typical day on the mountain goes something like this, warm with some varied turns on a blue run then off to whatever run we choose. I spend about half my time on psite and the other half playing in the trees, ungroomed runs, finding fun stuff to jump and mess around on...basically out to have a good time.
What I am looking for in a ski is it has to be playful and fun for a mix of terrain, speeds and conditions. I may take one run picking through the trees then the next turning on a little speed on and carving a wide blue run. Through my research I am looking at the following in a 177-186 ish length.
Are there other skies I should be considering? Demoing skies is difficult and expensive for me due to my location, a demo day for me would be almost half the price of a set of skies so it is tough to swallow. I have not found anybody that rents higher end skies for the day either so any input would be appreciated.
Any comparisons between the skis listed and my K2 Xplorer would be GREATLY appreciated.