Good point, Tecumseh!
Personal preference is highly variable and as complex as individual skiers are in their anatomy, physiology, experience, skiing style, and prefernces for what conditions they like to ski. My preferences for Volkls began with the Presto, ehanced by the Snowwolf, inflated by the Mantra, and, I hope, will be sustained by the Nanuq.
I have never liked K2s (owned a couple of pair and skied others) but many do; seemed too soft to me. In the bc, I prefered Tua AT skis over K2 telemark skis when I was a telemarker.
I like Dynafit for AT because they are light and designed for specific purposes: ski mountaineering, touring, and freeride. Dynafits, to me, vary significantly between models--no single Dynafit feel. The 7-Summits, designed for ski mountaineering were short (longest 178 cm) with traditional camber, reasonably stiff underfoot, quick turning (80 mm waist), and pretty stable at speed on firm snow; sunk in deep powder. I had the Manaslus in 187 cm (95 mm) waist; medium-soft to me (230 lbs) in flex, forgiving, quick turning, handling most snow conditions well, but a little soft in dense powder at speed (maybe they softened after >100 days :-) ); an outstanding touring ski, but perhaps not the best freeride. My Cho Oyus are nice and stiff underfoot (89 mm waist) and very soft in the "flex tip" with tip rocker and narrow tail--skis much differently than the 7-Summits and Manaslus--but is proving to be a good firm snow touring ski (not enuf experience in deep snows yet). The Stoke was different yet, very stiff underfoot (106 mm), and reasonably stiff in the earlly rise tip. Not as forgiving or versatile--more for freeride.
But some of my younger, stronger friends prefer heavy skis for their power & robustness
Edited by Andy Carey - 5/26/14 at 8:39am