I'm 5'7" 155-160 lb advanced skier. I ski almost exclusively East coast (Gore Mtn. and MRG are primary ski areas). I like to ski bumps and trees, but need skis that can also hold an edge on ice 'cause it's a fact of life where I ski. I hate groomers and will ski even near-bulletproof bumps to avoid making laps on the groomers.
Skis I own and like: 2007 Fischer RX8 160cm, 2007 K2 PE's 164 cm (mounted 4 cm forward of the rear mounting point/3 cm back from forward mounting point), 2008 Nomad Crimson 169 cm.
Skis I own and I'm lukewarm about: 2008 Fischer Watea 78 167 cm. I find their grip on ice to be below average--I thought the tune could be an issue, but my local ski shop says not so. Also, they're okay in bumps but don't perform as well for me as my RX8's or PEs (perhaps due to length/relative stiffness??).
Skis I have demoed or borrowed and liked: 2007 Dstar Troublemaker 165 +/- cm. I liked them in relatively soft bumps.
Characteristics I like in skis (in no particular order): sharp/grippy edges, light weight (I consider my PE's relatively heavy), quick edge-to-edge, relatively tight turn radius.
I'm strongly considering picking up either the 8k or the IM78 in 165 cm at end-of-season prices as possible replacements for my Watea 78's. Alternatively, I'm also considering, going to a high-end/race shop and getting a premium tune on the Wateas to see if it will make a difference in how they ski.
Which of the two (8k or IM78) do you think I'm more likely to find to be a noticable improvement over my Wateas? If you think replacing the Wateas w/o a demo would be a waste of $, feel free to let me know (I might possibly be able to get my hands on a pair of IM78's, I have no way to demo the 8ks this season).
Thanks in advance for your advice.