Originally Posted by jkozlow3
Beyond (or others), what do you think of the Elan Apex for someone like me? Dawgcatching has written great things about them, as have others. I was thinking they might be a good fit for me in a 168 length.
Hey Jkozlow3. I haven't skied the Elans so I'd have to let others with real experience on that ski comment.
The best advice I think you can get now, however, is not to lock in on any specific model, especially based on a comment here or there from strangers on an internet board with widely varying agendas . . . if you aren't planning to demo and decide for yourself, there is no need to seek out your holy grail ski. Just aim for something sensible, in the ballpark. Also, as an intermediate skiing a few days a year on mostly blues, I am not sure that you'd even appreciate narrow performance differences between models. Perceive differences in feel, maybe. . . but that might have as much to do with the snow conditions as anything else.
In general, there is some pretty good directional guidance in this thread (of course, at the margin, you need to decide which guidance speaks to you as being most on-point, most targeted toward the input you provided). I'd take that guidance and head to a quality shop in CO. See if it holds up. Find an employee who looks like they've been there for a while, give good honest data like you did here and see what they recommend. And if you find a deal, you are golden. A long-term employee at a good shop has two built in incentives, both of which work to your advantage: (a) he/she wants to sell you something they believe in and (b) he/she does not want you coming back angry and disappointed. A good shop will stand by its recommendations (model and length).
The other thing that I've learned after demo'ing quite a few skis over the past couple of seasons is that while I have preferences and gravitate toward certain kinds of skis and I ultimately buy what I like best for me, I have found that there are a ton of great skis out there and I could be happy on most of them. If you hit the right category and general performance band that you are looking for, you almost can't go wrong. So if you find a great deal on something that makes sense at a Labor Day sale, and whomever is helping you confirms that it makes sense for your size, level and aspirations, go for it - the risk is pretty low and if you land somewhere in the general consensus you've heard here you'll probably end up liking it a lot.
Have fun and now that you live in CO, you might want to consider bumping up the "few times a year" thing.