I've been reading the epicski.com forums every once in a while and finally I've decided to stop lurking and ask a question. But first, a little about myself.
I've started skiing when I was 7 and did that regularly every season for four or five years. At my best I was an early advanced according to the guide http://www.insideoutskiing.com/level.html except for the off-piste skiing simply because my dad wouldn't allow me to do that (I was around 11 at that time). Since then, I've been hitting the slopes every three or four years (I'm 30 now) and but due to lack of practice my skills regressed.
Five years ago I started hitting the slopes quite regularly and I almost got back to the level I was 20 years ago but with a terrible lack of fitness mostly due to the fact that I'm 5'11" and weigh 227 pounds. So three years ago I decided to get my own pair of skis. I saw a good deal on a pair of used Fischer RC4 World Cup SCs from 2005 and pulled the trigger because one of my ski instructors used an older version of those. They were difficult to work with in slower speeds, but when I got more confident and pushed a bit more they were superb.
However, around the time I got more confident I also got a foot stuck in fluffier snow, fell and tore my ACL. That was two years ago and I haven't felt ready to ski until now.
The problem I'm having is that the old Fischers are beyond my current level right now and I might risk another injury so I've started looking at other skis. Unfortunately, because I live in Romania and few people afford new skis, there are few brands (mainly Atomic, Head, Rossignol, Salomon) available and few shops stock them. Also, nobody offers demo skis, so I have to rely solely on reviews and advice.
So, to sum up, I'm a 30 year old intermediate skier that's spending 100% of his time on groomed slopes (some have hard snow, some have really fluffy snow), I'm 5'11" and 227 pounds heavy (I've started a diet and a fitness program so I'm hoping to lower that number).
Based on my budged and availability, I'm looking at these skis:
- Atomic Nomad Smoke TI
- Salomon X-Drive 80
- Salomon X-Drive 80 TI
I know that the Smoke TI and regular X-Drive 80 are targeting similar audience and that the X-Drive 80 TI is a bit more advanced so, in theory, I could use it longer and might help me get a bit better. The only problem with the X-Drive 80 TI is that just one shop is stocking them (according to their website, which might not be right). The same shop is also stocking some other options not available elsewhere, like the Head Rev 80 Pro (which I think it might be a bit out of my league) or the Fischer Motive 86 TI (same thing) but they might just fit in the budget.
So, are you folks recommending anything on that list for me? Maybe a couple of other options from Atomic, Head, Rossignol or Salomon? Or should I simply stick with my current Fischers and simply try harder?