New member here, this is my first post. Thanks in advance for any help!
So, here is my background info:
6'3", 200 lbs, 41 y.o. male
Ski level: 7 (Probably was an 8 in my 20s. Grew up in LA and skied Mammoth a ton. But, 12 years on the east coast for school etc. and then little kids severely cut back on my ski days. Now kids are starting to learn, so back at it!)
Terrain skied: Mix of frontside groomers, advance runs and bowls. Don't mind some bumps, but I avoid really chewed up or big moguls. I don't do that much tree skiing. I ski moderately fast on groomers but more tentatively on more difficult terrain.
Prior skis: Rossignol 4S and Volkl Supersport Allstars.
Looking for: All mountain ski I can pretty much use in any condition here in CO. Main criteria are that the ski feels stable and solid on groomers but light enough and maneuverable enough so I can feel confident in deeper snow and tougher terrain. I recognize that ideally a 2 ski quiver, at least, would be better to cover all conditions, but can't justify purchasing 2 skis right now. Maybe in a few years if my ski days stay consistently high.
Own: Nordica HotRod boots.
After reading many reviews and articles, it seems like the preferred ski for western conditions is something around 98mm under foot, so that is what I have been looking at.
Demoed so far (at Copper and Loveland):
Nordica H&B (177cm)
Armada ARV Ti (188)
Atomic Vantage Alibi (180)
Rossignol Sin 7 (172)
All performed well in deeper snow, so that was good, but I only liked the H&B on the groomers. The other all felt unstable, to varying degrees, with the Sin 7 almost unskiable on groomers.
I have skied the H&B for about a day and a half in some fresh snow and pretty hardpacked conditions. I noticed a bit of chatter on the really hard stuff, but I feel stable and like the way they turn in all snow types.
Plan: Have another demo day coming up, probably at Copper. They carry Blizzard, Volkl, K2, Rossi and maybe 1 or 2 other brands.
1) I am planning to try the Bonafide, Mantra, and Rossi E98. I am a bit worried that they may feel to stiff for me on moguls and off piste in bowls etc. Any suggestions as to a specific ski I should demo that is similar to H&B?
2) I would like to buy at the end of this season so I no longer have to rent next year. With kids in lessons, some of my ski days are only 3-4 hours, and at $30-50 a pop for rentals, that adds up quick, especially if I can't even ski a full day. Do you guys recommend going with whichever ski I like best out of the ones I have tried, or maybe waiting until next year to try new models like the Nordica NRGY series and Rossi E100? I would risk maybe not being able to find a H&B if I wait, since they are being phased out.
3) Do you agree that the 98mm size is probably my best bet for a one ski quiver, or should I maybe try some slightly narrower skis in the 85-90 range? I might like them better on groomers, but I am pretty worried that I would regret the narrower size when it dumps here and the snow is deep.
Again, really appreciate any advice. Just reading some of the threads and reviews here has already been very informative.