Originally Posted by Dorm57
Bingo! 65% of my skiing would be on trail. I'd like to have a pair in the quiv for when the storms roll in, and some off piste' as well. Skiing off piste' on the non-storm days is something I'm working up to ... just not there yet, and my hope is that these would help make the transition a bit easier.
Cool. One of the limitations of the web is it's hard to tell whether you mean "ungroomed" by off-piste, or beyond resort boundaries, which are tow very different things. The good news is with some planning @ the right resorts you can find pretty good soft snow inbounds many days after a storm, and skis designed for it will help.
Based on limited info, I'm thinking Volkl Katana, Armada JJ, Praxis RX, something like that. You should find lots of Katanas used; many will have slight delam or other issues that you may not really care about too much. Just talk the the seller & make sure you have good vibes about the communication beforehand. Check TGR and Newschoolers among others both for deals and more info on these types of skis.
One strategy for some of the "niche" manufacturers is to call them at a time that's not super-busy, be respectful of their time, and ask if they have factory seconds or last season's demos, etc. available. If they get the sense you're sincere and that they won't be seeing them on ebay in a week, a lot of people will work with you.
Honestly I like Bluehouse skis a lot, though I haven't beenon the Maven -- and that's a great deal Bumpfreaq linked. But depending on your athleticism and comfort level with just sliding through moments on ice/firmer snow, I'm thinking those skis could take you for a ride when you are taking them to/from soft snow at this point.
If you do add to the quiver, remember structuring your vacation plans around exposing yourself to max soft snow wilth appropriate,mellow, easily accessed terrain is equally critical. I would be thinking Powder Mountain or maybe Snowbasin in UT for instance for a destination vaca. Before you get there it would pay to actually research the resort's terrain and have a strategy laid out for hitting the goods. With altitude effects, the "fun" factor of just being there, and getting used to a resort's layout it's easy otherwise to spend several days kind of wandering. Fun but it won't maximize the snow you're looking for. Because I have a spaniel brain I actually write out a list of what I want to do that I can carry with me.
Between now and then, any time you can spend in a skatepark on inline skates (I shudder saying that, but am serious, but pad up and take it slow and easy if you were to try it and know you can get hurt) or skateboard, or on a mountain bike,. or even trail running on steep, up/down trails, will also help you at least as much as different skis, probably more, probably much more.