Hi all, been reading here for awhile and learning a ton. Finally decided to register.
My situation - getting back into skiing at a small local mountain. Advanced skier, 6'1", 175 lbs, mostly groomers due to the local terrain, but plan to do off piste and moguls when I can travel a bit further but still likely in the Northeast. Will rent for trips out west.
Just upgraded boots to Salomon X Pro 120 at Heino's in NJ and am thrilled with them (Greg and Derek are great). As for skis, I'm currently using Rossi Bandit XX 184 from around 2003. I'm not unhappy with them but don't love them either. They seem a little long and a bit blah. My ski shop tells me my bindings are shot and I should get something new. Right now I don't want to spend a ton and am looking for an end of season sale.
Mostly looking at front side all mountain. Although most people here seem to be interested in high 80s waist, ski shops around here are recommending high 70s. So I'm mostly looking at high 70s to low 80s. In terms of brands my brother who's expert and rides Stockli Stormriders from the early 2000s told me to buy Volkl, but reviews here have been mixed and seems like Blizzard is the new Volkl. There is no opportunity for me to demo here. Some skis that have caught my attention include based on reviews I've read.
Blizzard Latigo or the 8.0
Next year's Head Monster 80
Head Rev 85
Salomon X drive 8.0
Could consider others like Fischer, Nordica, Atomic, Volkl but they don't seem too popular here.
Would it be fair to say any of the above would be a huge upgrade over my Bandit XX (width is 78 I think)? If not I may hold off, but I figure if there are some deals in the $400 range including bindings I may pull the trigger. Although I read a lot of nuanced reviews here, I figure I can't tell the difference and am pretty agnostic about which one to get.
Where can one find the best deals, online or in store?
What length should I be looking at (I'm 185 cm tall)?
Thanks in advance.