Originally Posted by Boogles
I need advice on what second ski to purchase--not sure if I want an all mountain or true front side ski, even after research.
I am an aggressive advanced skier who lives for deep powder, and these days I ski mostly in-bounds at resorts in CO and UT. I prefer versatile skis and ski the whole mountain except on powder days, when I ski hike-to, bowls, trees, and crud. But I live in Kansas now, so I get what I get, and my only modern alpine ski is the DPS Wailer 112 hybrid, which is awesome but at 114 under foot, it's way too much when there isn't snow. I need a ski for days with 0" snow.
Having read the major reviews, the ski I *want* is the Volkl 90EIGHT, but I think that's too much ski for bombing groomers, hard bumps, and tracked out trees. The two skis I'm leaning toward are the Volkl Kendo and Blizzard Brahma. Also rated high in all mountain narrow are Atomic Vantage 90CTi, Salomon X Drive, Aramada Invictus 89, Dynastar Powertrack 89, Kastly FX series, and Rossi Experience series. Not much info on boutique/indie/smaller brand skis for all mountain that I can find.
My dilemma is that I'm not sure it's wise in a 2-quiver to have a versatile big ski and a versatile medium ski. Should I instead go with an ugly groomer ski? Or a park ski? Or do I go the other way and get a true (wide) all mountain ski that is more "passable" in bad conditions, just in case conditions are better than I had hoped once I get up there? Also, I'm sure there are other skis that the magazines have omitted.
Welcome to Epicski! Great question, and I'll throw in my limited experience in a minute — other people will follow, I'm sure.
If you'll do us a favor, first, though, and head over to http://www.epicski.com/a/five-key-questions-when-buying-new-skis, we could help you a bit better. You've answered many of the key questions, but the missing answers are significant.
So now what I can say:
I own a Kästle FX (last season's 84), and have demoed the 85 hp and non-hp, and the 95 hp — all of them great skis. I ski in the East, mostly, where metal skis have the greatest versatility. My FXs can be skied anywhere out here, and on low snow days in the west (say <6"), and they're light (for a metal ski), agile, and unflappable in crud (loved them in WP, where I first skied them). The newer FXs have more rocker, and may be better off-piste, but the HP model has excellent edge grip, and it skis much like last year's model. Western skiers generally like the versatility of a wider ski — say the FX95 (the new one) or the FX94 (last year's). Both of last year's FXs (84 & 94) are on sale.
I've also demoed the Experience 88 and the Powertrack — both excellent skis. Rossi's sold a lot of the Experience models, and for good reason. A smooth and grippy ski; it was my second favorite of the skis I demoed here early season (the favorite being the Nordica Enforcer, which I bought). Experience models are changing next season, though; reviews have been strongly positive. Just demoed the Powertrack 89, and I was impressed. Nearly as smooth and strong as the Kästle (and cheaper). Certainly worth a look; it's a good all-rounder.
So, caveat — I ski the East, again, I'm 5' 6" & 170 lbs., and somewhere on the high intermediate spectrum. I can only talk about what works for me, with only short-term demo experience on most of those skis.