Hi Jim, you may have bought your ski's by now but for what it's worth I have a pair of Contact 8s and have skied about 22 days on them this season in all conditions from ice to powder mostly in the Alps and the Jura in France and Switzerland, The 8's are good Ski's for the improving intermediate to Advanced Skier. Easily a notch or two above the average rentals depending on what you rent of course, in Europe you can now rent all the top Skis so it depends what you are comparing them with. They are forgiving, good Carvers and you will Ski on them all day long without having to think too hard. I Ski 165 cms on mostly Euro Red and Black runs I am told our reds are about the same as the US blacks if that gives you an idea ( someone correct me if I am wrong) and the Skis are fine and confidence building. I am an advanced skier and I find the Skis good for most of what I do one review I read described them as like a Labrador dog which I guess means they are reliable, capable and well mannered and they are. I bought them because at 50 I thought I should slow down and try and enjoy my Skiing a bit more and for the most part I do with these, problem is my heart thinks it's still 25 and I still like to Ski fast and at speed thes 8's are not quite so good as I would like, you do have to push hard to notice but that crispness you get with some Skis is missing. Weakpoints for me would be that the Skis are competent rather than exciting to Ski. Theres nothing wrong with them but a bit like the attractive nice girlfriend who is perfect in nearly every respect and you know you should love but that little bit of zing is missing. So for next year I will keep the 8s and enjoy them but I may also buy a pair of blasters for the days when I am out on my own or with the boys.