I don't know about East Coast skiing, but I can share my experience:
I moved to Switzerland 1 year ago and started skiing on 30th November. I rented some Blizzard G-Pros from the local shop and by January had progressed enough to feel the skis were a bit floppy when I pushed on them, lacking edge grip in harder conditions and easily knocked off line in lumpy conditions.
After a bit of internet research I realised the local shop prices are crazy and had not been given good advice when I bought boots from them. So I went in the other direction and did my own research here. My thought process was that I didn't want race skis, would not venture off piste for another season and wanted lots of edge grip. In terms of brand there were too many variables so I thought I would just research the Blizzard range as I had some already. I found the G-Power FS gots high marks in all reviews on edge grip and wins some tests all round. Then I found somewhere with a great price on the 2010 model so I ended up buying them from a US internet dealer and shipping them back to Switzerland, saving almost USD1000 compared with the new price from the local shop. When I mentioned this to my "ski expert" colleagues, they told me that I had only just started skiing and they were far too advanced for me, would probably stop me from turning, wreck my knees etc... When I told them I would mount and adjust the bindings myself they looked at me as if I had landed from Mars.
So the box arrives from the US, I mount the bindings and adjust them in a couple of hours one evening (easy, but there are some idiots on youtube who profess to know how to set up bindings but clearly do not know their arse from elbow. Do your own research until you can tell who is right / wrong). Just in case the new skis were too much for me to handle, I asked my wife to take my my rental skis back to the shop for a tune so that I could at least compare the two skis and then leave the new skis in the basement until next season if necessary. She tells me the conversation went like this: "What on earth did you do with these?" "About 35 days." "Oh. They need a full base grind and edge reset." Well that explained the lack of edge grip. Last week my brother in law, who is a ski instructor, borrowed the G-Pros for a weekend and he had no trouble on blue sheet ice and rock hard boilerplate. So the short answer is that any piste oriented ski with a good tune should be OK on ice.
But now back to the G-Powers. First run they definitely felt much stiffer than the G-Pros and a bit 'hooky' at the back. But I soon got used to them. I don't know whether it was just practice or the skis, but my carving technique improved hugely over a few weeks on the new skis. In short there are a few differences.
- They charge through lumps, crusty piste and slush mounds - where you would back off on the G-Pros, you point the skis down and rip.
- They lay down railway tracks when you put them on edge and carve. Feeling is positive and fully under control. When you push they push back, but damping means they don't spring back and throw you off.
- They are better than I am at going fast. 100kph+ is not a problem.
- Out of the carton you can confidently ride sheet ice with moderate technique and they just grip. A few goes with a diamond edge file and they are even better.
- Enabled me to just beat my work "experts" at the work ski weekend on a timed downhill run. Priceless
- First time out they felt a bit 'hooky' at the back, but after 2 hours I had fixed whatever I was doing wrong and they were good.
- More tiring to drive than the G-Pros. Needing more strength and if you nail it down a lumpy red run your legs will know they had a workout.
- Feel a bit damped. Not such a lively feeling. Probably that damper thing in the middle actually does work.
- They are really heavy and need care when you carry them. They weigh about 2x as much as my wife's beginner skis and the brakes don't fit together well.
- Too narrow to float in powder at low to moderate speeds. Nice with 20cm powder on top of a red or black piste, but not the right tool for deeper snow.
To use a car analogy the G-Pros are something like an Mazda MX5 - fun, forgiving but lightweight with lower limits, whereas the G-Powers are more like a Lamborghini Diabolo - a bit old school, but heavy, much much faster, more tiring to drive and not so forgiving if you screw up.
Edited by mrfish - 4/2/13 at 5:42am