Well, it has certainly been a groomer year! Skiing concrete up at Bachelor the past 2 days.
The plus of skiing firm groomers on the correct skis: you get good if you are committed to working on technique, using those days to really refine balance, CA skills, working on foot balance. For that reason, I am a huge fan of owning groomer skis for when the conditions are not great. Not only does it make skiing more fun, as skiing concrete on a pair of S7's just isn't as much fun, but it really allows you to have the feedback you need to improve on such conditions. And if you can ski concrete and ice, you can ski anything.
Skis I really like
Blizzard Power 800s (my current choice, skied those in 174cm the past 2 days as a hybrid SL/GS feel, skis a bit shorter due to early rise, 167cm rocks as more pure quick carver)
Kastle RX12 (went with a 168cm at the end of the last year, it ripped).
Elan Waveflex SLX 170cm (the ultimate slalom carver)
Fischer Progressor 900 (a bit softer than some of the other dedicated carvers, super fun)
Head Supershape series (Magnum and Rally)
Stockli AX or SX are highly recommended (by me)
Kastle MX78 (more of an all-mountain carver, incredible edge grip, especially if you throw a slightly stiffer plate on there).
Those are the skis I am most familiar with. I also really liked Dynastar's blue race carver offering a few years ago. Hopefully I can test a few more this spring. Always looking for a good frontside ski. The past few years has pretty much meant groomers or nothing for at least half the season around here. Last season, my Power 800s had by far the most laps of any ski I owned.
If you want a deal on a carver, we still have a couple of pairs of the Blizzard Power 800s. A demo pair in 174cm for $520, and a new pair in 167cm for $589. Both with bindings. Truly outstanding ski. We also have a pair of the Progressor 900's on sale in 170cm, and the Head Rally on sale for $ 685 w/binding, 170 and 177cm
I am also a fan of detuned SL carvers, like the Elan SLX mentioned above. I personally like the 170cm length, being on a larger hill. The skis can run a bit better than on a 165. But still quick and powerful. The skis mentioned above such as the P900 and MX78, power 800s, are more of an SL/GS hybrid, 15-16m radius. Different feel than your typical 13m slalom carver; it depends on your preference. If I lived on a really small hill, I would opt for the former, but with 2k vertical on most runs here, wide open, I prefer something that I can bend into a tight arc, but isn't always turning on me.
Edited by dawgcatching - 1/15/15 at 12:43pm