Hi Fellow Ski Bums,
After 10 days on the mountain so far this year, I have come to the conclusion that my 8 year old Elan Magfire 8 skis are ready for retirement. (Thanks Dawg, they have served me well).
I am 5'8", 210 pounds, 50 years old. I am an advanced intermediate skier who at a younger age could not find a run too steep or bumps too big. I ski lift serviced areas only (no hiking here) mainly in Colorado. I like bowls and wide open runs that will allow me to take big turns at speed. I also enjoy circling my favorite lifts at Crested Butte (paradise) and Keystone (Outback Express). I generally spend 10-20 days a year skiing. I love powder skiing but living in Austin, I get what I get when I go up to the mountains. I need a do everything ski, that ever elusive one ski quiver.
Following everyone's recommendations, I demo'd some skis this week but didn't fall in love with any of them.
I demo'd the following:
Rossignol Experience 88 in a 178
Volkl Kendo in a 177
Armada TST in a 183
Rossignol Soul 7 in a 180
I think the 177-183 length is good for me. I definitely would not go any shorter.
I found the Experience 88 to be too turny for my taste; maybe too much sidecut.
The Kendo was a solid ski but I didn't fall in love.
TST turned out to be my favorite of the bunch after getting used to the ski. And it took a few runs to get comfortable on these skis. I was able to ski fast and arc big turns nicely. However, I didn't find it as playful as I would like. That said, I did like the way it charged down the mountain.
I didn't like the Soul 7. Even though it is one of the best selling skis on the market, I found it to be loose (for lack of a better term). Turn initiation was easy and I could throw the skis around where ever I wanted to, they just didn't feel as stable at speed as I would have liked. Also, at the end of the day the skis seemed to get tossed around in the hard pack and grooves laid down by people skiing all day.
I did not get to ski any of the Blizzard line, which I really wanted to do.
Based on my demo experience with the TST, I am really interested in the Armada ARV Ti. It is a little narrower with more of a traditional shape with rocker and camber. I wasn't able to demo these skis.
I am also intrigued by the Blizzard line. After reading reviews, it sounds like either the Kabookie or the Peace Maker would be my choices. I like the way the Armada skis have a turned up tail even though there isn't any rocker in the tail. From the pictures, it looks like the Kabookie has a flat tail, which would make me want to lean toward the Peace Maker.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated!