This is my first post here but I've spent several days reading and learning from all you pros. This site really offers a wealth of information so i'd like to thank all of you for contributing your time and knowledge. I've learned a lot of invaluable information from searching and spending time here so far.
A little info about me - 31 yr old male, 5' 10", 185 lbs, intermediate to advanced skier(lower end of advanced spectrum, that is). I'm somewhat new to the sport, with only 3 seasons under my belt but I've skied several resorts in Austria, most all Tahoe resorts (i live in Sacramento so it's a short drive away), as well as Vail and Breckenridge in CO. Total days skied are likely in the 50ish range. I plan to continue at this pace in the future.
This will be my first ski purchase after skiing exclusively rentals and loaners from friends. I waited to buy my own as i wasn't really sure what i wanted, or what was best for me. My boots are Fischer Ranger 12 which i bought and had fitted so i'm set there.
I am of the slightly aggressive type and I've skied the entire variety of runs and can do so comfortably, although black runs with very icy/crappy snow are a little more intimidating at times.
My goals for the near future are to improve carving and generally speaking technique, and to gradually increase speed. The widest ski I've skied so far has been a Rev 78 and with fresh powder and/or groomed runs, as well as end of day chop, they can be a little challenging, although they were 160 cm long(loaner from buddy) which is likely too short for me. The rentals I've skied ranged from 172 to 178 in size. None of them were demos but they were all Nordica and Salomon although i can't remember which models they were (silly that i didn't pay attention to this, but it too late now).
Make a long story short, I want a one-ski that can do it all and carve on piste as well as handle most powder, crud or bumps that you find on piste on the West Coast (incl. CO resort), which is where i will do most of my skiing. Also, it should be something i can grow into as I advance my skills and technique.
I'm not really looking to jump into a wide (90mm+) ski as i think that would hinder my technical improvement and i honestly don't think they're needed with the more recent Tahoe winters we've been having I do not plan to do any off-piste skiing, and will stick to just groomers. That said, i think a ski in the 84-88 mm range would be ideal for what i'm looking for and would provide a little more stability and versatility for those fresh powder days on the groomers.
I've done some reading and think I've narrowed down the choices to the following:
Volkl RTM 84 UVO (2016+ model) 177cm
Elan Amphibio 84 XTI 176cm
Elan Amphibio 88 XTI 176cm
Volkl Brahma (2016 model) 173cm
Budget is $700 or less and would likely want to stay with one of the above, but i've come to you for wisdom :-) so I'd consider any and all your suggestions.
Thanks in advance for your contributions.