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Thread Starter 
(warning, long winded post ahead!)
I'll start this by stating that I don't have much to compare this ski to.

This will be my 3rd season on snow after a ~10 year hiatus, and I'm not terribly knowledgable about modern skis and equipment. When I started back up 3 years ago, knowing nothing about shaped skis, I went with a sales persons recommendation for a 163 Head C140, without demoing. While I feel this ski has served me pretty well, as I've gained more confidence and started skiing more varried terrain at higher speeds, they've started to feel like...well, something like drunken toothpicks Not a lot of edge grip, super squirrily, difficult to carve, and unstable in general.

I'm looking for something that will be stable at higher speeds, hold an edge, and ski well in varied conditions (chop, bumps, groomed, trees, light powder).

After reading all the gobs and gobs of excellent info here and other places, I was looking towards the HR Nitrous, which I had a chance to demo this past weekend at Breck.

Now, keeping I mind I only have the Head's to compare to.... Wow! What a difference! I only had to think about turning and slightly set an edge and it locked right into a solid carving arc, quick and effortless edge-to-edge, super stable at higher speeds, plowed through everything I encountered, and just generally seemed glued to the snow. I was skiing a good deal faster and with much more confidence instantly, and also didn't feel like I was burning nearly as much energy as I do on the heads trying to keep them in control and hold an edge.

The only problem I had was that it was a bit *too* locked into a carve - at lower speeds I didn't have much trouble making whatever radius turns I wanted, but once at speed it took some work to release the tails when I wanted to skid a bit and slow down - I assume this could be mostly remedied with a slight detune of the tails (these were straight from factory and hadn't been skied or touched at all).

So, definately a happy skier, and definately wanting to pick up a pair of my own.

My only real concern is length. I demoed the 170, which is all that was available. I am about 5'9", around 165lbs. I don't think I would be considered an agressive skier, probably around a level 7, but I do hope to progress significantly this season and want something that won't be too limiting in a year or two. The 170 didn't seem unstable or skittish at all no matter how fast I went.

I do like the ski to be manueverable in bumps and trees, and although this will be my everyday ski and I'd like it to perform well everywhere, I'm not terribly concerned about float in deeper snow as I got an excellent deal on a pair of v2 Chubbs for those special days.

Would it make sense to try the Nitrous in 178 as well?

Worth mentioning that I also demoed the Karma in 177 and, though it was still a huge step above my current heads, I wasn't nearly as excited about it as I was the Nit. May have been the length, but it wasn't nearly as quick edge to edge, didn't seem very snappy in turns, and didn't have nearly the edge grip of the Nit - I wasn't feeling as confident on the 177 Karmas as the 170 Nit's.

Also, given the characteristics I loved about the Nit, can anyone who has also tried it recommend any other skis I should really be checking out before plunking down my cash?

I don't want to sink too much more cash into demos, and I was super happy w/ the 170 Nits, but don't have much to base any comparison on. I'd love to hear anyones opinions whether it would really be worth my checking out the 178 Nit or another ski.