Special thanks go out to SierraJim (member here) and the guys at Sierra Ski and Snowboard. They are simply one of the BEST ski shops I've ever been to around the country. You'd be amazed at what they have--you just have to ask!
Okay, yesterday I had the chance to ski the above skis, minus the Snoop Daddy skis (these are my personal skis). All skis were in the 178 (too short for me) range, other than the snoops (185)
1. Fischer Watea 84
2. Atomic Snoop Daddy
3. Dynastar Mythic Rider
4. Volkl Bridge
I can ski well sometimes, bad others. Not "super solid" all of the time, I have my good turns and my bad turns. Probably worse than I think I am. Out of shape, fat. Pretty aggressive in loading skis, pushing through turns.
Perfect Mid-Fat Conditions. About 12" of dust on crust. Some bottomless turns in the valleys, some sketchy ice at the top of a couple runs. Variable conditions all the way, you had to be centered on the skis and ready for anything.
Atomic Snoop Daddy:
This is my personal ski. Didn't ski it yesterday, but I can compare it, and it's in the same category. I love this ski, it is versatile, FUN, and "pops" in and out of turns. I think I like it because it's a softer, lighter ski with a ton of pop in and out of turns. I don't know, I just think the snoop is a great ski. So this is the benchmark for the reviews below.
This ski had WAY too much shape, and was WAY too soft. There just wasn't any balance there, couldn't plow through stuff the way I had hoped. It just felt like there wasn't too much there that I could "lean on" when I needed. In other words, they had decent float, but when conditions got variable, I couldn't count on them to be solid through the snow transitions.
Fischer Watea 84:
Pretty good, all around, light ski. I liked this more than the Volkl, but when I started to push the ski, I wasn't getting anything back. There just was not very much "there" if you will. The ski was pretty good (and fun!) on the upper groomer part (better than the Bridge and the Mythic on the low angle groomed runs), presumably because of the shape and stiffness, and was predictable and still pretty solid in the variable conditions. It's just that when I pushed the ski, I wasn't getting anything back. it wasn't "enough" for me.
Dynastar Mythic Rider:
Best ski in the test (other than the benchmark ski, the Snoop) for what it is supposed to do. I described this ski as "neutral", because it pretty much did everything that I asked it to, and well. Granted, I still skied it in a size that was too small for me, but still the ski kept up just fine, except when I REALLY pushed it, the ski didn't provide enough of a platform for me in the fore-aft balance--probably because of my poor technique and not being centered over the ski more than anything. This was a good ski, highly recommended for the mid-fat category, if you're looking for a straighter, more neutral ski that will keep up and just be "there" overall.