It's my first post here, but I've been reading the site for awhile so thank you all for the information in the past. There are some great deals to be had right now on end of year gear, but I'm wondering what everyone's luck has been like buying skis based only on reader reviews and no on-snow experience.
I'm currently skiing an Atomic Nomad Highnoon (178), and looking to make the jump to a new ski as I make the transition from Advanced to Expert. I've been skiing my whole life, but went to school in the south so took a few years off and am regaining my abilities. I'll end up skiing around 30 times this year and 20-30 times a year moving forward.
The three skis I'm looking at are the Line Prophet 90s and the Volkl Mantras or AC50s. I live in the Northeast and demo days for these specific skis are tough to find, and likely all done for the year. Being that I'm in the northeast, powder days are few and far between (unfortunately), but I'd like something that I can use to ski anything and everything the conditions present. I spend most of my time on trail, and about 50% of the time on the edge of the trail snapping out quick turns in what's left of the soft stuff and 50% railing the longer arcs over the ice and crud. Kind of a weird combo I know but I like to mix it up a bit as the day goes on or depending on who I am skiing with.
Any thoughts you all have on purchasing a ski without a demo would be appreciated (or ideas how I can demo this late in the season as well). Also, any thoughts on these three skis (or other suggestions) would be appreciated as well. I have read most everything on the forums I can find on them and am currently leaning towards the Prophet 90s based on reviews and value, but am certainly open to ideas.
Thanks in advance, and sorry for the long first post!