Originally Posted by markojp
If you liked the 176, then I wouldn't over think it. Did it feel stable at the speed you typically ski? Did they go where you pointed them? The 186 would be a pretty big ski for your ability level, and as things usually go at Crystal, it doesn't hurt much to go a size smaller *... if you have a hunch a ski is going to be too long, Crystal and Alpental have a tendency to affirm your thoughts for you.
Late, I agree with Mark on this one. If you liked the 176 and found it stable, you found your ski. It would be hard to do better as an everyday, take it as it comes, all-mountain choice for Crystal.
I also demo'd the 176 on Saturday at Crystal (sounds like we were all hovering around the same tents on Saturday). I am a just click smaller than you are (5'11", 185#) and I thought that the 176 was perfect - 186 would have been too much. I also took it up chair 6 in the Slurpee mush and it crushed it. I am sure it would be great in powder - and awesome in chopped up "resort powder" which is the condition we are more likely to be seeing a couple of hours after the lifts have opened.
The FX 94 skis big (probably because of the relatively traditional tail and the metal laminate construction). I don't see any reason to size it up and I think that you'd need to be a pretty big guy, or a ton of skier to really enjoy the 186. At 176, I found it super-stable, powerful underfoot and still easy to maneuver. And back on piste, it carves beautifully. I typically ride a Bonafide in 180, and I thought that the FX94 felt "bigger" even at 4mm narrower, 4 cm shorter. Probably because the tail is more planted and because it has a longer turn radius than the Bone. So it skis a bit bigger (relatively), even in slightly smaller dimensions.
Really nice ski (although I am not entirely convinced that it is 2x the ski of a comparable Nordica or Blizzard). But it is an awesome ski I'd love to own, one that would definitely appeal to skier who favors the damp Blizzi/Nordica/Volkl feel.
On another note, I was surprised how much more burly of a ski the FX94 was over the FX84 - totally different feel, to me a totally different concept.