I've been skiing on Volkl Five Stars for about eight years. I like them very much, but they've gotten pretty beat up and the local ski shop said they won't tune them again because the edges are getting too thin. I'm looking for something new, and hoping my skiing will benefit from going to a rocker design.
For the record, I'm 68, 5'9", 175#, and I was 41 the first time I got on skis. It was truly a life-changing experience for me. I've skied about 18 days/season for the last five years in Colorado. I'm a high-level intermediate, still progressing in ability, and hope to someday be able to honestly call myself advanced or expert. My skiing philosophy is that if I don't fall occasionally, I'm not challenging myself enough. I'll ski any groomed or semi-groomed black, and have been making good progress on learning to ski moguls the last two seasons. (The first time I skied the moguls on Upper Go-Devil at Keystone two years ago was a huge confidence-builder.) I can blast through crud on the Five Stars almost like it isn't there. My powder experience and ability are fairly limited, however.
The local ski shop was trying to sell me on the Blizzard Magnum 8.0 CA last season, but I wasn't yet ready for a change and I wasn't convinced that was the right ski for me either. I want a ski that will help me to make further progress, not one that might hold me back.
I've been reading the reviews here and at http://www.realskiers.com/ and in the various ski magazines. Blizzard skis have become very popular, and I'm thinking seriously about either the Brahma or the Bonafide. They appear to be very similar except for the waist being 88mm for the Brahma and 98mm for the Bonafide. The Five Stars have a 68mm waist, so either of these will be quite a change for me. How do I choose? I know the Bonafide will be better in powder, but what (if anything) is the downside compared to the Brahma on groomers (or anywhere else)?
I'm also unsure about what length to go with in a rocker ski. My last straight skis were the K2 Velocity, and they were 195cm. Next I went to K2 Fours at 183cm. Then the Five Stars at 168cm. I've heard conflicting opinions as to whether rocker skis should be shorter or longer than traditional camber.
I thought my K2 Fours were great until I got on the Five Stars. I didn't really feel anything obviously different about them, but I was suddenly able to do things I couldn't do before. I'm hoping for another step up with whatever I get this time. Thanks for reading this. Your comments will be appreciated.