I know this question comes up over and over again but I've read many explanations but I'm still confused what width I should really be looking for. Hopefully you guys can help!
I am 5'10" 190lbs and moderately athletic. I am an advanced intermediate to advanced skier actively trying to progress. I only ski about 15 days a year avg, 5-10 days in Michigan and 5-10 days out west. I like to ski fast, and ski moderately aggressive, (but again I'm not an athlete). I am currently using a pair of Big Stix 98s 176cm as my one ski quiver, but after using my brothers RC4 progressors last winter at park city I can't go back to my Big Stix on hard snow. Im looking to add a more front side oriented ski to make a 2 ski quiver. This ski would only be used for hard snow, say 80% groomers, 10% moguls and 10% trees. So, Id say I am kind of between a performance carving ski and a font side leaning all mountain ski.
As far as my skiing style, I tend to make bigger turns at higher speeds, but I think part of that is just because thats what my big stix do best. The two days I skied the Progressors I enjoyed making some quicker slalom style turns. Im looking for a ski that I can develop my technique on, but won't be a total disaster if I get into trees or bumps.
I really liked the RC4s on groomers but my initial impression was that they were just a bit to stiff and damp and speed loving for trees and bumps (Maybe that is exactly what I need to learn proper technique?) This had me thinking something like the RC4 superior or progressor 900 at around 75cm under foot would be ideal. Since then I have had a couple people recommend skis in the mid to even upper 80s underfoot, and in the new Ski Magazine, many of the "groomer" skis were in the mid to upper 80s.
So my question is this, do I want something in the mid 70s or mid 80s? On a front side carver, how important is width compared to design and materials? Ive noticed that once you get out of race specific skis, the manufactures recommended skill level and price generally goes down with width. In other words can a 88cm ski actually be a better carver than a 75mm of the same line? For example Ive heard really good things about the experience 88s, specifically that they might carve better than the 84s.
Skis currently at the top of my list are:
Fischer RC4 Superior
Fisher Progressor 900
Rossignol Experience 88 or 84 (Im thinking these be a little to similar to my Big Stix?)
Volkl RTM 81