I'm brand new to Epciski, but have been doing a bunch of reading tonight and could use some help.
Some brief background. Early 40's guy in New England. Skied heavily through high school, college and a few years beyond that. Spent 10 years as a ski patroller, both in New England and Wyoming, instructor for a few years in high school, skied a ton both in the east and the rockies, etc.
But, "real life" hit in the early 2000's with an overwhelming tech career, marriage to a non-skier, kids, etc. and then we moved to Asia for the last ~6 years. So, basically my skiing has been nonexistent in 10+ years, limited to 1-2 days every other year or so. That said, we are back in New England, its getting colder, I can see mountains from my back yard, my kids are starting lessons this year, and I'm buying new skis and a season pass - I'm back....but, I'm essentially completely ignorant to what I should be buying. My plan is to likely narrow down my choice and then demo, demo, demo before i buy.
I will be skiing all east coast for the next couple of seasons. I tend to ski fairly fast, a mix of short and long turns and generally like a ski that is responsive and playful at both moderate and higher speeds. I'm not a racer, nor a terrain park guy. My typical is a run that is a mix of long GS turns, then onto the edge of the trail playing in the fluffier stuff with quick turns, maybe a detour into the bumps for a bit and then back to some speed. I'm looking for something that is going to feel solid on groomed and hardpack, as well as the crud on the sides as it gets skied off, playful and alive, but I'm not going to be out racing on ice or skiing in the deep trees.
My initial thought was an all mountain ski, but I'm concerned that it will be ho-hum and moderately good at everything, but great at nothing Am I off base here? Also, I was leaning more to something in the carver realm as it sounded more like what I find to be fun. But I also don't want something that is going to be pure work and no fun unless I'm at high speeds. Keep in mind that my frame of reference is all pre-shaped ski revolution and my current technique would look perfect in a 1997 Warren Miller movie, but that will be aggressively modified this season.
Essentially, I'm looking for something that is going to be a joy to ski, not boring, yet not punishing either in a wide variety of applications. As I read reviews, I seem to be gravitating to the Head Supershape Rally, but I could really use some opinions from you all on where I should be looking and what I should be thinking about.
Also, I could use some thoughts on length as well - I'm 5'11" and 185lbs.