First time poster. I apologize in advance for the wall of text. I just want to make sure I pass along enough information.
I'm getting back into skiing after a number of years off. Looking at getting new skis or at least narrowing down my options for demos.
Where in the world are you skiing?
West coast. Mainly Tahoe.
What kinds of terrain do you prefer (groomed runs, moguls, race course, park'n'pipe, trees, steeps, backcountry/sidecountry)
Mostly groomed and steeps but looking for something that will not cause me fits in moguls and tight trees. Like to venture off more into the soft stuff, but to be honest, most of the time I don't get much access to it. Most of what I do find is pretty cut up by the time I get there, but I want something that will handle crud, with enough float if I'm lucky enough to find virgin pow.
How many days a year do you ski?
Probably about 10 right now. Looking to get up more though. Call it 10-20.
How advanced are you as a skier?
Advanced/Expert. 7/8 I'd guess. Skied a lot in my teens/20's but just picked it up again this year after a significant layoff. It came back much faster than I expected but still room for improvement. On groomers and steeps I tend to be pretty agressive/fast. 45-50 mph cruising GS turns, but like to be able to mix it up with tighter SL turns as well. I can ski bumps but not very well. I'd like a ski forgiving enough to allow me to get better.
What's your height and weight?
6'0" no shoes. 175lbs full gear.
What I'm looking for:
An all-mountain, do everything in all conditions ski. Not asking too much am I? Realistically right now, I'm probably 90% groomers, 10% everything else, but I want to work toward 50% groomed, 50% everything else. I'd like to spend more time in soft stuff, but if I'm realistic, I probably won't see that even 10% of the time. I'm thinking a 98mm waist is probably the best balance between front and back side but I've never skied anything wider than an 84. Nervous about going wider than 98 and not sure that there's much benefit anyway.
Ski's I've tried this year:
K2 Rictor - 174: Demoed this ski for 3 days at the end of 2012 at Whistler. Generally good conditions. Some icy spots on top but mostly groomed. Soft stuff was pretty tracked up and <12". Fun, quick ski on the groomers. Felt sloppy at speed. Edge hold on hard stuff wan't fantastic, but that could have been a tuning issue. Bumps were a disaster. Didn't float well but I didn't expect it to.
Volkl RTM 84 - 176: Demoed this for 3 days at the end of January at Northstar. Generally hard conditions. No new snow for at least a couple of weeks prior. This ski RAILED on the groomers. No speed limit whatsoever. Edge grip was phenomenal. Bumps were again a disaster but I really didn't expect this ski to do that. Nothing really soft to be had.
Research I've done: (since the RTM 84 demo)
Blizzard Bonafide - 180: A lot of hype. Sounds like a fantastic ski for groomers, crud and pow. Concerned about being able to work it in the bumps and trees.
Blizzard Kabookie - 180: Bone w/o the metal. The softer flex compared to Bones appeals to me as a lighter skier. Should be more responsive in bumps and trees. Concerned about railing groomers and edge hold on steeps.
Line Prophet 98 - 179: Understand this skis short. Concerned that the 179 will be too turny for the groomers and doesn't handle crud at speed. Expect it to be good for bumps and trees and hold up well on groomers. However, at this length, speed could be an issue.
Line Prophet 98 - 186: I believer that for me, this will be a better length for this ski. Should hold up at speed. Still forgiving enough for bumps and trees. Would like to know how the flex on this compares to the Kabookie. Concerned about how it will handle crud, but the metal should help. At least if I'm not straightlining it.
Armada TST - 183: At 102 waist starting to get a little wide. Like the radius and flex. Concerned again about cop at speed. Not sure about how it will hold at speed on groomers.
Rossi E98 - 180: Worried that this is just too much ski for me. Sounds like a solid technical ski that will allow you to do pretty much anything. I just don't think my technique is good enough yet.
Volkl Manta - 177: Stiff!!!! Long radius. I don't think I want to work that hard.
Sub 98mm (88-95)
These are some other options, but I'm concerned about taking them into the soft stuff if I get the chance.
Nordica Steadfast - 178
Salomon Rocker 2 90 - 177
Elan Amphobio 88XTi - 178
Rossignol E88 - 178
Volkl Bridge - 179
Line Prophet 90 - 179
Blizzard Bushwhacker - 180
Net - Net
I've pretty much narrowed down my selection to P98 or Kabookie. I guess my main question is what is the difference in flex between the two? Bottom line is that I need to demo both (good luck to me on finding a Kabookie to demo). Any other reccomendations?