Looking for advice on my first ski purchase. Answers to these prerequisite questions http://www.epicski.com/a/five-key-questions-when-buying-new-skis here:
- Where am I skiing? about 70% Mid-Atlantic/East and 30% out West. I went to CO last two years but plan to invest my ski vacation money into skis and more local mileage/lessons this season to get better. Will likely do one week long trip out West every 1-2 years going forward.
- Preferred terrain? As an intermediate, I'm most comfortable on groomed blue runs out West (Snowmass, Copper so far) and groomed single blacks in the East. That said, at Snowmass last year I started to really get into and enjoy soft bumps, ungroomed blues and groomed single blacks; this is the terrain I want to ski and want to be more comfortable on and is where I'm striving to spend more time on over the next few seasons. I would also like to venture into the trees sooner than later.
- How many days a year do you ski? 10-15, maybe 20 if I'm really lucky.
- How advanced are you as a skier? Intermediate. I'll ski up to an ungroomed single black in CO but I'm really pushing myself to ski that and get exhausted when I do. As noted above, I'm most comfortable on groomed western blues but striving to get better.
- I'm 6'1", 175-180 lbs
I think I want an all mountain ski that will serve me well in east but would also be reasonable to take on my trips out West for non-powder days (I could demo powder skis for the days I'm lucky enough to need them). Given the typical hardpack and ice around here, a carver would seem to make sense but I was thinking something more versatile. I don't want to be doomed to only carving the groomers forever.
Most importantly, I want something that will benefit me as I'm learning. I anticipate the majority of my skiing this coming season to be spent locally practicing to get better and taking a lot of lessons. By next season I would like to go back out west again with hopefully better skills.
My local shop strongly suggested one of the following options - Rossi E 88, Blizzard Brahma or Vokl RTM 84. Based on my research I'm worried that the Brahma and RTM both may be a little too stiff, but I don't know for sure. Specifically, he suggested E88s in a 172 length with Salamon Warden bindings for $795. I demo'd the E88s last year at Snowmass and liked them but only had them for a couple of hours.
I also demo'd the Vokl Kendos, which were nice on the groomers but a little stiff for me I think, and the Kastle LX 82, which were fine on the groomers but seemed to be mostly just a carver?. I also tried both the Nordica Soul Rider and Rossi Sin 7 on powder days; liked the Soul Riders much better than the Sin 7s; the Soul Riders seemed much more forgiving to me. Prior to that I had been on typical "high performance" rentals.
So, I'm curious what the experts here think.
- Am I trying to serve too many purposes with one ski for Eastern and Western skiing?
- Is it dumb to buy a ski without more time demoing it?
- Do you think E88 would be a good fit for an intermediate striving to improve a couple of levels over the next 3-4 seasons?
- Would the Brahma or RTM 84 be worth extra consideration? something else altogether?
- is low 170s the right length for my size and ability
- What should I be considering in bindings?
- What else should I be asking myself?
And, yes, BTW I do already have my own boots. Got Salomon X Pro 100s prior to last season, custom fitted by a good bootfitter recommend on EpiSki - Brian Eardly in DC.