I am 6' tall and 190 pounds. I am approximately a level 7 skier getting more and more into off piste steeps/bowls/etc. I currently have a pair of Rossignol E88s in 178cm (two versions old) which I enjoy for on piste and some off piste skiing but they do not have metal in them and are not the most stable in off piste conditions with crud and tracked out powder. On the scale of timid to professional extreme skier aggressive, I would be on the aggressive side but not the utmost aggressive (7.5/10 probably).
I am specifically looking for a mid-fat ski that I will use almost exclusively for off piste conditions and challenging myself. Specifically, I am looking for a very stable ski that will handle crud and moderately deep to deep tracked out powder. I mostly prefer steeps and open bowls to trees; I will ski couloirs and chutes, as well. I am looking for a ski that will take care of me and will track and be stable in these conditions but also will be maneuverable. I do not plan to use the skis for backcountry or any substantial hiking. Obviously, I am looking for skis more on the damp and stable side than playful.
I live in the Southeast and will probably be taking 2-3 ski trips out West every year (Whistler, Alta, Snowbird, etc). Therefore, the possibility of me getting a large number of pristine powder days is low so I am not as much concerned about pure powder performance; if I get a picture perfect deep powder day when I am out West I can just rent super fats if need be. That being said, powder performance would be a nice bonus if possible. Since I live in the Southeast, keep in mind that I realistically will not be able to demo any of the skis I am looking at while at home. I do not want to spend close to the entirety of a rare trip out West for me to demo skis, either (lots of the ones I am looking at can be difficult to find to demo, also).
I have been looking at skis extensively and have pretty much decided on a waist width of 104-108 ish and a ski probably with metal. I want a ski that will charge but also be able to be maneuverable and ski short turns, as well. I want a ski with camber. Forgiving isn't as high on my list of wants, but it would be nice; I want to be able to trust the skis when I am stepping out of my comfort zone and pushing myself. Price is a factor, but I am willing to pay Kastle/Stockli money if the skis are that much better for what I want them for. I have narrowed the list down to the following skis and am hoping on some feedback. Be sure to let me know if I missed any good options, as well.
Very top contenders: I am planning on buying one of these three unless you guys steer me away from them for good reason
1. Kastle BMX 105HP in 181cm: Ski has gotten a lot of rave reviews on this website/forums and others, but has had some mixed reviews, as well. It pretty much fits all of the criteria I am looking for, but I am not sure if 181cm at my height and weight would be long enough given the ski has rocker. I would not be comfortable going with the 189cm. They are pricey but if they are worth it, I will pay it.
2. 2016 Blizzard Cochise in 185cm: Ski is definitely stable and damp and has received very good reviews. The only concerning thing to me is if it will be maneuverable enough for me with a length of 185cm and a sidecut radius of 27m. It has been described in the past as a "forgiving charger" which is what I am looking for. Powder performance is recognized to be lacking, but as I mentioned, powder performance is not what I am specifically seeking.
3. 2016 Stockli Stormrider 107 in 183cm: Ski has metal, seems to be a good length for me given the rocker. The ski is not as popular as the others, so reviews are harder to come by. That being said, I have not read a bad review of the ski. However, to me the ski has an oddly (nearly) symmetrical shape and the mount point seems too far forward for a more directional crud crushing ski. Rounded tail may help maneuverability but perhaps hinder stability at speed. Flex is reportedly softer than the other two. Additionally, I cannot find an online store that has them for sale in 183cm right now so availability may be an issue.
4. 2017 Rossignol Soul 7 HD: The one thing I am looking for in the ski, stability at speed and through rough conditions for a heavier skier, is the one thing the Soul 7 has lacked. The HD looks to improve on this problem, though the ski does not have any metal in it and instead uses a carbon fiber layer. Reviews are few and far between, though most mention that the ski is indeed stiffer now. I am still not sold that it will be stable enough for what I am looking for, but the maneuverability and fun factor of the Soul 7 comes highly recommended.
5. Volkl 100 eight: Has received universally good reviews, though the ski is fully rockered and lacks metal. I have historically not liked skis with full rocker, so I would be extremely hesitant to blind buy them.
6. Fischer Ranger 108: Has some spectacular reviews and some mixed reviews. Mixed reviews pretty much rule it out as I likely won't get a chance to demo it.
Thanks in advance.
TL;DR version: 6' tall 190lbs, level 7 looking for off piste crud crusher for open bowls and some chutes/couloirs; powder performance less important. Considering Kastle BMX 105HP in 181cm, 2016 Blizzard Cochise in 185cm, 2016 Stockli Stormrider 107 in 183cm.