I'm a fairly new skier and am looking to purchase a set of skis with your help. I having recently come back from a trip to a nearby mountain where I confirmed that I really do enjoy skiing tremendously, and my instructor is very happy with the progress that I've made. He and I would both like me to get in as much practice as I can before the year ends so I can solidify what we worked on and continue to progress. I spent a great deal of time roller-blading in my childhood and early teenage years, which helped me pick up skiing. I have also been fortunate to have taken 5 private lessons with a truly wonderful instructor so far in my short skiing career. I am planning on visiting Heino's Bootfitting in Pequannock NJ to be properly fitted for boots. Now that I've taken care of investing in proper boots and lessons (which I will continue in the future), I felt I should invest in my first set of skis, and would appreciate any suggestions and advice you all could offer.
Where in the world are you skiing?
The northeast almost exclusively for some time. This is my second year skiing, and I have only gone to the Catskills, and expect this to continue for the foreseeable future. I am located in NYC, and am hoping to make a few day trips on weekends to the smaller mountains that are nearby (e.g., Mount Peter, Tuxedo Ridge, Campgaw, Thunder Ridge), and if time permits, trips to the mountains in the Catskills if I get a chance. At most, I might make a several day midweek trip to Killington or Stowe if I am fortunate in March, but my expectation is to be skiing at the small mountains near NYC and Belleayre/Hunter/Wyndham/Butternut (in MA) if I get lucky. Thus, my focus is on acquiring skis that are appropriate for this environment.
I would love to eventually go ski out west in Utah or Wyoming or Colorado or California, and might make a trip as soon as next year with a close friend, but would be happy with renting equipment that is better suited for the snow out west during that trip, and buying equipment that is better suited for northeastern skiing.
What kinds of terrain do you prefer (groomed runs, moguls, race course, park'n'pipe, trees, steeps, backcountry/sidecountry)
I'm really only interested in skiing groomed runs. My day job provides me with more excitement than I would like, and I find my time skiing to be a chance to step back and relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. I'm an extremely cautious person by nature and don't anticipate myself ever having an interest in Park, Trees, Racing, Moguls, or anything outside of official boundaries. If I'm ever able to ski a double black diamond, I will be thrilled, but if I stay on blues or blacks, I won't be disappointed by any stretch.
How many days a year do you ski?
This year I anticipate up to 10 more days of skiing. In a typical year in the future I would like to get 10-20 days annually. I routinely work weekends and holidays right now, but this will change starting next year, which should make it easier to ski more frequently.
How advanced are you as a skier?
Based on http://skiing.about.com/od/downhillskiing/a/abilitylevels.htm, I am a level 6.
Level Six skiers confidently make parallel turns on blue runs but do not ski many advanced trails. Level Six skiers use their poles to time turns. A Level Six skier is interested in learning to ski better on more challenging terrain."
Based on Aspen's website, this describes me best:
"I am skiing mostly parallel in a couple different size and shape turns, I am beginning to use my poles and can hockey stop in both directions", although I do not feel extremely confident with my hockey stops.
Based on Whistler-Blackcomb, I am an intermediate:
"Level 4: Intermediate
Able to ski parallel turns with pole plant. Can ski most blue runs, more advanced blues remain a challenge. Would like to explore more varied terrain"
What's your height and weight?
I am 5'5 (165 cm) and 160 pounds (72.6 kg), which I expect to drop to about 150 pounds (68 kg) gradually.
During my latest trip, I used rental skis from Rossignol, specifically the Rossignol Experience RTL in 150 cm length, with a sidecut of 123-78-112. I enjoyed using them, but regret not trying a longer sized ski. I have done some research on the rest of the Rossignol Experience line and am trying to decide between the Experience 74 (156 or 166 cm), Experience 76 (156 or 166 cm), Experience 78 (166 cm), and Experience 83 (168 cm) (the lengths in parentheses are what Rossignol recommends on their website for my weight). Again, this ski purchase is specifically for northeastern skiing with a focus on leisurely skiing on groomed runs. I would rate myself as Intermediate at present, but would love to advance to Advanced or Expert over time. I would appreciate any specific recommendations regarding these skis, any alternatives, or any general information you wish you had known at this stage in your careers. Thanks a lot!