Originally Posted by twochordcool
Oh, and I'm by no means an expert carver but I'm well on my way to having a little bit of a clue!
I'd leave that one for third party validation.
Originally Posted by twochordcool
Why is it so hard here to get an actual discussion going?
OK, I'll bite. The real question is what problem are you trying to solve? Are you trying to replace or upgrade the hard snow slot in your quiver, or are you replacing the P98 because they didn't work out as planned (which wouldn't surprise me all that much).
I think that repairing the Storms and skiing the bad edge as your outside edge, is a fine solution for a skier at your stage of the game. That would be a reasonable thing to do. As would replacement/upgrade. You just have to decide if that is a priority and if you want to invest the cash in that direction. If I were a skier in the east, I'd definitely prioritize something appropriate for firm conditions, as that is what you are most likely to encounter in your region and having that sort of tool makes more days "good" days. . . I think there have been good recommendations here for your level (I think that your idea of something 75-80, compliant, decent grip, easy to manage is probably a good call and will aide in your technical progression). But repair of the Storms might be the least expensive, short-term way to get there.
But that doesn't really get to the rationale for the Q105. What for? It only makes sense if you are getting rid of the P98s because the difference in performance envelope isn't significant. But, if you are looking at it in isolation, sure, go for it. Paired with the Q90, the Q105 would give you an overlapping but OK 2 ski quiver for western conditions. And you like Sollies generally and you like the QSeries of skis, etc. . .
But you live in the east, enjoy skiing in the east and don't have immediate plans to ski in the west in the near future. So it seems odd to optimize in that direction unless you are actually skiing in 6-12 depth snow regularly (which is possible, but not likely). Especially because the Q90 should be perfectly great in softer hard pack, loose stuff and even in moderate powder.
Back to "having a clue" . . . my impression, watching all of these threads (and contributing here and there), is that you tend to focus your purchase decisions around the aspects of skiing about which you have least clue. Which is too bad, because there are certainly aspects of this where by now you are "on your way . . . ." You know that you like the feel of a light'ish monocoque ski. You know that you like the Q90s in a broad range of conditions. Go with that. Ski your Q90s for 30 days this season in every condition that mountain throws at you. After that, if you are paying attention, you'll have even more of a clue as to the strengths and limitations of that design profile.
In this case, however, you have chosen to focus where you have extremely limited experience, powder skiing. And you then conclude that you "need" a "powder ski" and yet you are not considering "powder skis" - instead, you are considering adding another all-mountain type of ski. And you already have a pretty good one (P98) in most folks estimation. Consider why that seems a little strange to folks who have a fair bit more experience at this than you do.
I think that you already have what you need, even if the 90s were your only skis. What you don't have is experience, days on the mountain, time in variable conditions and technical training and understanding. Ski a bit more on the mountain, a bit less on the internet. It is fun to lust after cool gear. . . after all, that is why everyone hangs out around here. But rather than take your big check and dump it into another set of skis that may or may not meet a need, invest in more skiing (lodging, lifts, lessons), or treat your family to something cool (how about a weekend trip to the mountains?). . . and if you are really, really, really Jones'in to try the Q105, plunk down $40-50 for a demo on a day where there is some soft snow. Consider it a cheap entertainment expense - about the same cost as two movie tickets, popcorn, soda and big box of milk duds. If it changes your life, go buy a pair, if not, move on to the next object of desire.
So if you are still reading, and you want one man's practical advice, my answer is (a) repair the storms. . . or replace if you want to and are ready for an upgrade and (b) ride your Q90s to death, whenever it seems fun, every day, firm days, soft days, etc. . . . Unless you are travelling west you have everything that you need to handle all of the likely conditions in your neighborhood this season. And as you learned last February, you also already have everything that you need to handle 75% of days in most western locations. And a full day on an awesome powder board is only a daily demo rate away.
Good luck and have fun. You already have all the requisite tools to make that happen.