Me: hefty (150 lbs), 5'8", and at the height of my power and vigor (60 years old). Years skiing: 7. My kids and I mostly like to ski bumps, trees and steeps (my daughter likes terrain parks, so I'm trying jumps).
Sugarloaf skiing conditions: below freezing half the time, high winds, dusts of snow on glare ice and hard pack snow. Some bumps and "jumps" on the sides of slopes. No glades open.
Skis demo'ed: Blizzard Bushwacker, Blizzard Brahma, Fischer Watea 88, Rossi Sin 7, Volkl Bridge, Volkl Kendo, Atomic Alibi.
My demo criteria: I came with a list of possible skis to try, but kept an open mind to what was available and what was recommended by the demo guys (thanks John and Eric at Downhill Ski Co,). While skiing a ski, I tried to ignore what I'd read or heard about it -- hype, dis, flavor of the month, etc. In other words, I tried to be like the Ghostbusters team when they had to keep their minds completely blank. My sweet spot going into the demo-ing was 85-95 waist and 170-174 length.
Observations (many will find this amusing, since I don't really have the vocabulary to properly describe my demo results):
Blizzard Bushwacker: I tried this first. I loved it. It held on the hard pack, and was fun doing the side trail stuff with my daughter.
Blizzard Brahma: bomber proof, but I felt like I had to work at it. Not as much fun as the Bushwacker.
Fischer Watea: I wanted to like this skis -- the graphics were cool (but then I remembered the Ghostbusters). Truth is, I liked this the least. It didn't hold up on the ice and hard pack and was not as quick on the bumps and jumps.
Rossi Sin 7: too stiff. Skiing is supposed to be recreation, not a job. OK, they were good over crud, but so was the Brahma.
Volkl Bridge: I had demo'ed this 3 years ago at Stowe, when it had circus graphics. Very forgiving skis. I caught an edge twice, and the Bridge forgave me -- it gave me that split second I needed to work it out and stay up. It seemed fine on the hardback: not grippy, but no problem on some of the worst I've seen. But it seemed a little ponderous at times -- I couldn't whip through some of the stuff as quickly.
Volkl Kendo: this was very familiar for me; I've demo'ed it three times before. It was very reassuring on the ice, but not as forgiving in the bumps. I caught an edge on it, and went down. I like the Kendo; if I hadn't demo'ed other skis I'd own this now.
Atomic Alibi: I had wanted to demo the Theory, but the demo guys told me it doesn't come in a length in my sweet spot (168 and 177, but not in between), so they suggested I try the Alibi. It was wider (98) than I was looking for, but I actually liked it. It didn't grip the hardback like the Kendo, but was light and flexible enough for me to get through/over ice.
Decision: I got the Bushwacker. I tried it three times during the five days. It was simply the most fun. It was no problem for me on hard pack, and the easiest to ski on everything else.
Edited by Jimski - 1/5/14 at 9:38am