I haven't bought a pair of skis since the late 80s. I've rented parabolic skis in Colorado and British Columbia, but the rental selection, even at the top of their list, generally doesn't have that much variety, and they typically have "all-mountain" types of skis to suit just about everyone.
I'm finally looking to get a new pair of skis, but I'm really uncertain as to what to get. I raced slalom in high school, and beyond what I learned on as a kid, I've never had anything but dedicated slalom skis.
I'll never run gates again, and I've slowed down since then, but I'm wondering if I should stick with the stiffness and characteristics of a racing ski, since that's what I've always had, or if I should go with something different. GS? All-mountain? What Rossignol calls "on-piste"? I suspect I'll always want a quicker, stiffer ski, but I really don't have much experience with modern skis. I'm still using my 200cm Rossignol 4SKs, and they work just fine for me, but I'm sure that 25 years of technology advancement should be able to get me something that will be noticeably better.
So, what's the thinking here? Do people who used to race and are used to stiff racing skis generally move into something more "all-around" when they get older, or do they stay with what they're used to? Am I limiting myself to racing skis for vanity or at least no good reason, and is another type of ski better for me now? Is the difference in shape and design so much different now that I would probably love even all-around skis compared to the racing skis of the late 80s?
I'm in my 40s, am 195 pounds, six feet, and I'm still a pretty aggressive skier. I ski a bit in Minnesota where it's generally icy, but I travel out west as well. I don't do moguls or powder very much, and am pretty much a hardpack, groomed trail skier these days. I'd say my speeds are average for advanced skiers, but I do like to turn a lot. In my head I think I'm always running gates, at least in terms of the frequency of my turns, but my speed is much lower.
Any perspective anyone can offer would be very helpful. Thanks!