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Thread Starter 
Greetings all! I snuck off from work today and grabbed a few hours on my local hill - Mt. Hood - and I was able to demo five different skis; I guess that my karma from donating to the humane society has come back to me.

My Stats:

Age: 33
Skier Level: 7+
Height: 5'10" (178 cm)
Weight: 185 pounds

The Weather: Started as slush (and snow that had been rained on - SUPER HEAVY) and then turned to frozen crud with about 1 cm of fresh on top. A lot of bumpy ice to go over today!

The runs: 1 groomed (bumpy cut-up groom that refroze), 1 bumps, 1 off-piste (a nice bowl with some super heavy crud)

1st ski: Rossi Bandit B3 168 cm. I didn't care for this ski. It felt lifeless on the hill and I wasn't getting any feeedback from the ski and no push into my next turn. It handled moguls pretty well. It did get me through the crud alright, but it didn't help me to ski better and the ski didn't give me any energy.

2nd ski: K2 Apache Recon 174 cm. Tied for favorite ski of the day. It gave great feedback on the groomed and it was easy to carve. I don't know if it's my lack of form or technique, but I found that the tails were somewhat hard to get around in the bowl with the crud and on the moguls. The ski was stiff and it made me a better skier. It busted through the re-frozen cut-up groomed great and was able to go over small snow-cookies without a care.

3rd ski: Volkl AC4 170 cm. Tied for favorite ski. It took a couple of runs to get the carving technique down due to the wide waist, but the ski gave excellent feedback and provided power through the turns. Moguls were great (that smaller length probably helped) and it ran through any frozen-over crud that I went through. I demoed a 177 cm AC4 about a month ago and the 170 cm was way easier for me and more enjoyable. The 177 felt like it skied me and the 170 felt like I was in charge and not the skis.

4th ski: Salomon X-Wing 10 170 cm. I didn't like this ski. It didn't feel stiff and didn't feel like it was giving me any power or feedback. It wasn't as dead as the Rossignol B3, but I wouldn't buy the ski. I don't know if it was due to a lack of tuning, but it was terrible in icy moguls; I had a lot of trouble finding an edge. The ski could cut through crud, but it didn't provide a me with any energy. This ski had a ton of chatter on the frozen crud.

5th ski: Rossignol Zenith Z5 oversize 176 cm. I didn't like this ski much either. It lacked spring and didn't feel like it was providing me with a lot of power or feedback. By this time the hill had gotten to the point that it was totally frozen. Imagine a bag of ice cubes bought from the big ice box thing outside a 7-11. All the cubes are smashed together into a very bumpy big blob. Well, all the little cuts in the now frozen over groomed were exactly like the surface of that ice blob. There was a fine dusting of fresh on top, so I wasn't directly skiing on ice, but it was pretty bad. The Zenith's weren't fun in the mogul field; I think that the waist is too thin as the skis wanted to carve when I wanted to pop a turn.

Overall, I don't know if it's just in my head, but I think that I could tell the difference between a wood and a foam core. Not to knock the foam core, I'm sure that it has its fans, but I found the wood core skis to be more powerful and responsive and to make the experience more lively.

Of course this is all just my opinion, but I hope that it helps a few fellow skiers out there.