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Need help deciding on some front side carving skis. I know demoing would be ideal but I dont think that is going to happen. I am 40, 195lbs, 6' 1”, skied 3 seasons taking lessons the first. I rented the first year, and for season 2 and 3 skied on some K2 Silencers (179 length 85 width) they are more of a park/pipe ski twin tip but they were so cheap and had great reviews I got them at the end of my first season. They have been fun and I plan to keep them for powder days – feel long to me.


I want to get a ski to learn to carve on. I stay on the runs, ski mostly South Lake Tahoe (Sierra at Tahoe) and seems like I am always on hard pack or ice. I have narrowed it down to 3 2013 models, all the same price. I would consider myself an advanced beginner – can manage blues but still cautious when speed picks up so I am not sure I can call myself an intermediate yet. I want to be able to do blues at moderate speed in complete control with parallel turns and a quiet upper body. I do not plan to be double diamond speed demon like most of you probably are. I think I need a ski to take me from advanced beginner to advance intermediate - but I do not need beginner skis.


Atomic Smoke TI ( 15.5m @ 178cm 125.5/77/109.5) – This ski seems to be loved or disliked by some who do not like Atmoic's feel. I dont know what would happen if this is too much ski for me. I dont want a ski that does not handle well at low speed or makes you pay for less than perfect form, some reviewers say it does and some say it does not. Some say its fun and snappy, some say its damp and lifeless.


Rossignol Experience 78 (17m @ 174 122/78/111) – May be too short for me. Reviewers that loved this ski did not care for the Smoke TI, but those who loved the Smoke TI did not care for this ski.


Rossignol Experience 76 Aramide (17.2 @ 176 121/76/111) – This ski was ski of the year according to some at one point – gets great reviews, I am just not sure if this is too basic of a ski, what I would be missing out on if I got this over the Smoke TIs, what this ski give up vs its 2 cm larger counterpart, and if it would make an advanced intermediate happy.


Thank you for any input you may have to help me out with this dilemma. If you think I should be able to learn to carve fine on my k2 Silencers maybe I will just put more money toward more lessons instead!!!