38 year old male, 5' 7" 180lbs. First full year of skiing, had 3 lessons last season and skiied 8-10 times this season. Currently a level 4 intermediate (comfortable on easier blues, linking parallel turns, trying to learn to carve.) Ski only in northeast US, 90% on groomed (or heavily skiied powder). Casual style, not looking to rip down trails at mach speed, but not poking along either. Have a season long equipment lease. I was given a 142cm Head Rev 80 that I spent most of the season with. Recently went back in and asked for a longer ski, and they gave me a 150cm Head The Link. He said it was a 150, but if I stand next to it with no shoes, they come to right under my nose. I definitely felt better on the 150s than I did on the 142. More comfortable at speed and seemed to hold an edge better.
I have done a lot of reading on gear, and have decided I will be making the investment into good boots over the summer. I will be headed to Inner Bootworks in Stowe, VT to get fitted. The Dalbello lease boots I had this season are definitely too loose around the foot and heal (I was careful to make sure they are not too long, I think they are just packed out), but worked OK, so I don't think I have any major fit issues, so I'm hoping to get out for under $400-$500. Does this sound reasonable?
My question now is if I should lease skis for another season, or buy a pair of used skis. I can lease skis for roughly $110-$200 (depending on shop and used vs new equipment), or I could spend only a little more and buy a decent pair of used skis. I'm generally looking for something 2009 or newer, and in the 75mm to 85mm waist width. Pretty much anything in the K2 AMP series seems like it would work, particularly the Recon or Rictor. I've seen skis like the K2 AMP Rictor or the Rossignol Avenger 76 around 160cm in decent condition for under $200 on eBay. If I can get 2 seasons out of them, I'd be better of in terms of $s and based on the reviews, they seem to be at least as good as the leased skis I'd be on. (Depending on which shop, new equipment lease is a Volkl RTM or the Head Rev 80, used lease is the Head Link I'm using now or an unspecified pair of Rossignols)
Thoughts and recommendations?
I know I'll likely get advice to demo skis, but right now I usually only have a 3-4 hour block of time to ski while kids are in lessons, and don't want to spend time in the rental/demo shop. I honestly don't know that I'm consistent enough yet to really evaluate skis anyways. I'm really just looking for something that should work as well as the lease equipment and can be had for little more than the price of leasing for a season.
edit: As an example of what I think is a decent ski for the money, here is one pair I would consider if I could get it to my house for under $180. Is this a reasonable ski for the money?
Edited by tobiusnc - 3/18/14 at 12:17pm