Originally Posted by Gerben
Thank you for the answer,
Well, I have a great shop here in the neighbourhood but then don't do custom shoes like you told with shaving things off or making custom footbeds. The just sell atomic, nordica and technica shoes.
However, they are some good informed people and already figured I should by my stuff there. But before I go shopping I would like a sort of clear thought of some other persons so I know where to be heading instead of checking virtually all skis.
If you're relatively easy to fit and they have a decent selection of boots, you may be able to find something at your local shop that will work well for you. If you buy new boots and they're not working quite right, you may be able to take them to another shop that can do modifications.
Unfortunately, I know almost nothing about Atomic's current lineup of skis. Not sold at the mountain where I work, and my local shop doesn't carry them either.
The two best front-side skis right now IMO are actually both European makes -- the Dynastar Contacts and Fischer Progressors. Nordica also makes some really nice skis, although most of the ones I've tried (Afterburner, Mach2, Mach3) really like to go fast and not much else. I hear good things about Stockli as well, but I have not tried any of their skis.
You could try the gear review forum, or looking at ski ratings/reviews in the "Gear" section of the website. Or just hang around and see if any other posters want to comment on ski selection.
Again, if at all possible, I would suggest demoing at least 2-3 different skis. There are lots of great skis out there -- it's hard to find really bad ones these days -- but depending on your preferences and technique some may work a lot better for you. Depending on how many days you ski per season, a good approach can be to rent/demo different things for most of a season, then buy in the spring when everything goes on clearance.
Also, if you find a new ski you like, you can almost always get something very similar from a year or two ago for much less money. There are tons of lightly used skis available, either through local ski swaps or the Internet. In fact, with the current economy there are probably lots of people looking to sell equipment (although probably also lots of people looking to buy something cheap.)