Originally Posted by jasonmiller74
Thx for all the advice...still if i get an advanced ski like the Bonafide wont my abilities grow into the skis as opposed to outgrowing intermediate skis?
I am not a big believer in this theory. The better way to "grow" your skill set is (a) coaching and (b) ski days.
You can strap the award-winning, best reviewed "ski of the year" to your feet - but that won't necessarily make you ski better. You still have to ski it.
IMO, based on what you have said, you need a ski that you can bend, that won't punish mistakes and that is going to be fun in diverse western terrain. If you were 220lbs, I'd have a slightly different POV on the Bonafide, because you'd be able to bend it just by standing on it. But as a lighter intermediate, I'd have a hard time recommending the Bonafide, Brahma, Kendo, etc. . . especially when there are so many options (perhaps less enthusiastically reviewed here and elsewhere) that would be so much more mission-appropriate.
Also, once your skills improve, who is to say that a damp, stiff, metal-laminate ski, that happens to be loved and lauded by strangers on a chat board (or professionals doing reviews for magazines) is going to be your preference? Based on your size, it is equally, if not more, likely that you'd prefer something on the other end of the feel spectrum. It is worth noting that skis do not exist on a perfect linear continuum from "Beginner" to "Expert." Rather when you get to a certain point, it becomes a question of preference and plenty of very strong skiers prefer softer, more playful skis. It is, however, probably true that certain skis - the stiffer ones, the more "charger" in character (and I'd include the Bonafide and Brahma in that category) are best enjoyed if you have requisite skills or some beef. But that doesn't mean that the skier who favors other flavors is any less "expert" - or that the fan of a ski like the Bonafide is per se more "expert."
Lastly, if you are really only going to ski a couple of days a year, it makes way more economic sense to just demo. Get performance rentals or demos at ~$40 a pop - you'd have to get to 10 days before you are even close to a pair of quality skis on close out + bindings (more like 20 days if you are buying something new - and I am not even factoring in baggage costs on most airlines). And you can swap skis in and out all day until you find one that you like. Skis are not forever. Technology changes - maybe not in huge annual jumps, but across 3-4 years, the improvements are pretty significant (regardless of the category). If you are looking at an ownership window longer than 4 years because either (a) you won't ride the skis enough in 3 years to justify the investment or (b) you won't ride them enough to wear them out, you are probably better off economically and from a technology perspective "hiring" skis (as the Brits would say).
One of the guys I do an annual ski trip with lives in the flatlands these days, so his ski days are sadly limited, well under 10 per season. So he does exactly this - he just demos (or skis a pair out of one of the other guy's bags) - it is way more practical and he gets to try awesome new skis every day. And it is fun - he has a pretty solid grasp in the current ski market given that he has tried quite a few options over the last few years (and because we have the same BSL - an added bonus is that I get to sample stuff as well ;-) ). Of course, he owns everything else (most importantly, professionally-fit boots).
So with respect to the "magical" Blizzie flip cores (which I am sure you are seeing on sale for $400ish right now), unless you can find a Bushwacker on close out somewhere, I recommend that you lie down and let the feeling go away. Instead, make sure that your boots are totally dialed in, get a great shell (you said that you ski in the PNW, right), demo skis, and spend the rest of your budget on more ski days and coaching on the limited days you get.
. . . On the other hand, if you really like the idea of "ownership," pick up something more appropriate for your size and level on close out, ski it into the ground and buy something new when you are ready.