Originally Posted by nemesis256
Ski in the east, 5'7", 135lb, 20 days this year (not quite done!), advanced intermediate (I think).
Currently have Head Rev 80 @ 163, most of the time carving, but that's only because limitations in the terrain. If steep enough, I'll steer/skid. Beginner in the glades.
I'm looking for skis to use in spring conditions and the rare powder day we get here. With these two types of conditions, I may be going after glades more than usual thanks to the soft conditions. I assume something in the 90-100 range is best, but should they be hard/stiff or soft/damp (is that the correct use for "damp"?). Is a stiff ski made stiff by adding metal like my Rev 80? How about rocker vs camber?
I might demo something the coming two weekends if conditions are slushy enough, and maybe even buy if I like what I demo. That means it might be best to not go looking for specific skis yet. Since I won't use these very often, i don't want to spend a fortune. $500 max probably.
Oh and since the season is almost over, when do I buy if I don't do the spur of the moment purchase?
This is another one of those lovely "it depends" answers. Spring snow is typically one of 2 types: great spring corn, the hero inch or 2 of softening over a hard surface that appears mid-morning, and is arguably just as good or better than a pow day. The 2nd condition is later day (or if it didn't freeze the night before) slush, which can be deep and much tougher to ski.
Today I was in both conditions, on a pretty narrow, aggressive ski (74mm carver). The hero spring snow was no problem on the 74mm ski, although I would have preferred something a touch longer and softer (my Kastle MX88 is incredible in those conditions). For those conditions, you want something mid-width (your REV 80 would be fine) and fairly stiff. The real joy of skiing newly thawed spring corn is being on that buttery top, and then dropping down, hitting the firmer snow an inch down, and rebounding out of the turn, almost like you are in a race course, although much less demanding. For that, you want something medium width, medium to medium-stiff flex, and I think your REV 80 would be fine there. You don't want a wide ski for those conditions: seeing people on big wide powder rockers this morning, they were just sliding around on the top of the snow, not getting that rebound and ski loading that makes hero spring snow such a thrill. Turning in corn is not the same as angulating and getting rebound out of the ski, and there is no easier place to really rip a ski aggressively than hero spring snow. A wide rockered ski in those conditions is akin to outfitting your high performance car w/bald tires.
However, if you are sticking around throughout the day, the snow will get soft and deep. Once this happens, a wider, rockered tip ski is your friend. Having a tip that wants to dive is frustrating (and even dangerous) in those conditions: 6" of slush is not much fun to ski on a narrow ski. You would be much better served if you are sticking around all day, skiing 9-4, to use a wide ski in the PM. At your weight, 100mm is plenty of width. It would also work for your occasional deeper snow day (if you are not skiing more than 8-10" of new snow, at your size, the REV 80 would be great too. That is about the cutoff of my MX88, before I go wider, and I am 158lbs in the winter). Of course, a lot of people in the spring will leave mid-day when it really gets slushy, unless they have a cool bump line to work.
I would keep the REV 80 for morning spring (it will also handle early morning ice very well) and get something wider. Since you are happy with Head, look at the REV 98. Very fun ski, nice tip shape, lots of sidecut, flat tail, very high performance in junk snow and new snow. I have one mounted up in 184cm for that very purpose.