This is my first post on this site - so here we go...
About me - 47yrs, 6', 205 lbs, ski in the tahoe area. From reading the posts here it seems that many( if not all) of you are quite experienced skiers and so a bit more about myself so you could relate better to my comments about the skis and FWIW. This is my third season of skiing. First season (2007) I mainly used rentals and bought my 1st pair of boots. Took a bad fall at squaw (on the bunny slope ;) and hurt my back - out for the season after about 20 days. Recovered for 2008 and skied about 40 days - moved on to blues and blacks - took several falls but lasted the whole season. Also upgraded boots to dalbello krypton pro and skis to volkl ac40 sometime towards the end of the season. Over the course of my short ski life, I have taken several lessons, read ski books and tutorials etc, practiced different stuff - you get the picture...
I have put in about 25 days this 2009 season and I demoed the following recently:
Demoed the following on mostly groomed hardpack and some bumpy terrain:
1. Atomic crimson ti - 176 cm
Good ski. Light and easy to turn and from edge to edge, but coming from my ac40s I did not find it as exciting.
2. Volkl Mantra - 177cm
Really liked this ski. Carved great on blues and felt very secure on steeps. Just felt a little heavy and sometimes the tails came around a little slow on quick short turns. Did not get a chance to use it on powder though.
3. Volkl AC50 - 177cm
Felt a tad better than the ac40s. A little quicker edge to edge than the ac40.
4. Dynastar legend 8000 - 178cm.
Seemed to be a solid, good all round ski but I do not remember anything really standing out, although if I recall it did seem on the heavier side and also the fact that I liked the Volkls better.
5. Volkl grizzly - 177cm.
I have tried them on all 3 settings and I usually prefer the middle (dynamic) setting. I found them light, stable and easier to turn after picking up some speed. I found them a little hard on moguls but I guess I am still working on my technique there. I found them excellent on steeps - nice edge control. Also very stable through crud etc.. Not done any off-piste nor powder as yet. Although the left ski came off going down at a fair clip on a blue-black kind of slope - I had the binding set at din 8 for type 3 so I cranked it up to type 3+ at 9.5 and it has been okay so far. I did have a tough choice in deciding to buy between the Grizzly and the Mantra, (especially since I already have an ac40) but I went with the former(grizzly) since I thought it better suited my skiing style. Hopefully my new grizzly will not fail me in the powder though or I might have to trade it in for the Mantras or a real fattie.
Suggestions, comments and feedback most welcome!