Originally Posted by lon33
Thanks freeski. I had heard similar advice on beginning to shop for skis and that makes sense to me. I know JOe Jones is pretty reputable, but I have been to Strands ski shop in Worcestor and they were pretty helpful and informative, with a wide selection of boots. I will probably end up buying from there if I can't make the trip up to North Conway.
I was going to recommend stopping in there, as they custom-fit my boots and did a great job. (They're one of the few places that sells Strolz in the NE, and those are one of the few boots that come in my size.)
I really like the Dynastar Contacts (and was also impressed by the Fischer Progressor), but these days there are really not many "bad" skis. It's more a matter of finding a ski that fits your style of skiing than anything else.
For Eastern conditions, you probably want something 78mm or narrower in the waist, and not too huge a radius. Just about every manufacturer makes something like this (examples: K2 Recon or Crossfire, Salomon X-Wing, Head SuperShape or Xenon).
Demo if you can. Try a few different pairs until you find something you like. If you're in the Worcester area, you can get a pair at Strand's and drive up to Wachusett... or you can demo at the shop at Wachusett and try 3 pairs for ~$30. As mentioned above, many mountains will have scheduled demo days where you can try lots of new skis for free.