I'm looking to make my first ski purchase, and I am amazed at all of my options. I live in Chicago and have taken one trip out west for about the last 10 years to ski 3-4 days, so buying skis has never made economical sense. However, my wife and I are taking a sort of "ski sabbatical" this year and renting a place in Summit County for the month of January. I hope to ski ~20 days.
I am a 5'8" 150lb 29 year old and would classify myself as a level 7 skier or advanced intermediate. I ski a mix of blues and blacks between mostly groomed runs and some back bowls. I would like to improve my bumps and off-piste skiing, and plan on getting a couple lessons the first week we are there. Since I'll be skiing a lot with my wife and friends, I'll probably be ~80% on/20% off piste.
I'm looking to buy one ski for the trip. I have boots that I purchased at a boot shop, so I'm good there. I would like a ski that will not be too difficult to manage for my size and skill and would allow me to go out and cruise with my wife, but I also don't want to buy a ski that will limit my development on the trip.
Based on reading a lot of these posts and a budget of $500, I'm considering the following:
Fischer Motive 86ti (168cm)
Fischer Motive 80 (168cm)
Head Monster 83 (170cm)
Head Strong Instinct (170cm)
Noridca NRGY 80 (169cm)
I have never skied anything wider than 80mm underfoot on my rentals. It seems most people suggest 85-95mm for a Colorado all-mountain ski, and the Motive 86ti seemed to be a good fit. Given I'll spend so much time on the front, should I go for something narrower instead? Would the Monster be too stiff for a 150lb strong intermediate?
Thank you for all your help so far!