Originally Posted by Lemon Zest
Thank you for the suggestions.
Would a Line Sick Day 95 be a good All-mountain Intermediate?
Or a Nordica Steadfast?
I ask because we have found a pair of these two locally for a pretty good deal. Out of the two I am thinking the Sick Day might be a bit easier and more versatile all mountain.
The Lines are OK . Soft and easy to ski for sure. Not a horrible choice for an intermediate who is not too heavy. But is your friend really skiing off-piste? The issue here is that if your friend is actually skiing groomers 80% of the time (in the real, non-imaginary world) there are better choices, better tuned to that terrain, maybe a click more narrow in the 85-90mm range. Although to be fair, many lighter folks have enjoyed the Sick Day 95s and there have been reviewers (pro and lay) who claim that the SD95 carves well - I personally didn't feel it.
So, one point of anecdotal data. . . I wasn't a huge fan of the SD95, which is OK. I'm too heavy and it wasn't designed for my tastes. But I get that others might like it. I liked the SD110 much better - I thought that the 110 was a way better implementation of that design and layup.
The other thing about the Sick Days is that they ski uber-short. At 5'11, 165#, as an intermediate, he'd fall between sizes. His height says 186 in that ski (I'm 5'11" and I thought that the 179 felt ridiculous - and I liked the 179 in the prophet and Influence series), but for an intermediate who is mostly groomer cruising, mixing in some easy bumps and doing a bit of off-piste-101, 186 in the SD95 is way too much of the wrong ski. 179 would be workable and easy, but kind of short and insubstantial to be really great off-piste and not particularly well optimized (in my estimation) for where he is spending 80% of his time.
I'd look for a recommendation from a pro for a compliant ski in the 85-90 range - all the usual suspects. . . but I don't like to comment on skis I haven't tried. I have tried Scott the Ski (175) and that would be an awesome choice for now with top end that he could grow into as he improves. And they look cool. But that isn't a value-play. But really, anything well-recommended in that range would be fun and a vast improvement in terms of versatility for western all-mountain skiing.