Originally Posted by qcanoe
A back country / soft snow / tight tree ski for Maine and a ski for icy groomers in Maine dictate two polar opposite skis. Sorry to break the bad news. Patron fits the first bucket well. Closest thing to a tweener is something like a Blizzard Bushwacker or Fischer Ranger. At your weight / height ratio I would stay away from shorter and stiffer (Kendo, Mantra, Brahma) and go longer and softer.
No bad news, I'm well aware of the differences between tree skis and on-piste skis around here. Like I said I'm looking for a light, tree skiing oriented ski, preferably one light enough to do a bit of touring on. I am sure I want something softer than the Mantras as one of the biggest issues I've run into with them is their stiffness (given my weight). How's the stiffness on the Patron and what would you recommend as a good length for it? Also, wouldn't longer skis make it harder to maneuver in tight trees?
Originally Posted by east coast ice
I've heard great things about the Patrons, but they might be a little on the fat side for eastern groomers. Have you liked the Mantras, other than finding them tough to turn in the woods? Maybe stepping down to a shorter size on the Kendos, or the Blizzard Brahma. If you're getting into some backcountry skiing, you might want to check out the Volkl Nanuq. It's a similar shape to the Mantra but a bit lighter. You may even look into the new Mantras. They're fully rockered now, which might make them a bit easier to whip around in the trees. I've found that my Mantras from last year have been pretty easy to get around in tight spaces, but I'm also about 40 pounds heavier than you are.
Frankly I haven't been a massive fan of the Mantras. The stiffness is a big factor for someone my weight, and while they're really nice and stable at high speeds I've found getting nice turns out of them to be... troublesome. I've checked out the Brahma before, do you have any more comments on how it performs?
Thanks for the feedback all