Originally Posted by Bandit Man
As an owner of 183 Got's for the past few seasons and 184 R:EX's for a few more, I'd take my Got's into the bumps before the R:EX's...And if you want a western soft snow ski that still does bumps, there are much better than either the Gotama or Mantra. Scratch BC's, Salomon 1080 Gun's/PR's, Seth's, all come to mind. Also, in response to my R:EX comment above, they are lousy bump skis and I suspect you like/tolerate them in the bumps is due to the shorter length you ride, as an R:EX in the 177 would have been my pick for someone your size and stated ability (8-9).
hmmm....for me the 184 R:ex was by far the best bump ski I've owned in a long time - problem was they didn't have enough heft for anything else so I switched to an iM85 as my firm snow/bump/spring ski...
...just goes to show you how differently a ski can be perceived by different skiers....and Phil is right a lot depends on what kind of bumps (and snow and terrain and style and skill level) we're talking about....so take our internet advice for what it is.
Even though I completely disagree with Bandit Man's assessment of the volkls in bumps vs those other skis - those other skis are mighty fine options and could be looked at too....
..problem with the seth and scratch bc though is that you'd be kind of between lengths (169/179 & 171/178 respectively). I think you'll find the same thing with the Mantra with the 170/177 (I'd recommend sacking up and get the 177 and grow into it). The PR/Gun would be an nice easier option in a 175. If you want to step it up to a bit more of a ripper but still want a quick edge-to-edge ski, take a look at the 176 mojo 90. If you want a nice soft snow compliment to the R:ex that is still very quick and agile for a fatty then I still say the 176 gotama is a great way to go.
There's more too (174 K2 Apache Chief, 173 Sugar Daddy) and some older models you could find used on ebay for quite cheap.
Again all of these are great options, just stick to a softish to medium flexing, 90-105 waist ski , low 170s length with a flat tail, a bit longer with a twin tip.