My thread title refers to the fact that I am two entirely different skiers depending upon whether I’m skiing in the East or West.
Home is the East and, for the last ten years, I’ve skied exclusively on Atomic GS racing skis (Beta Race 9.20s from about 1999 - 105/61(!)/98 in 180). I'm 6’1”, 185lbs, probably a level 7 skier +/- depending upon how much I've been skiing, which has thankfully picked up the last two years as my kids are now 2 and 4 and we have use of a ski place most weekends. 90+% of my time in the East is spent carving high speed turns on groomers. I absolutely love my ancient skis for that purpose and won’t change ‘em unless they break.
I go out West at least once a year and, when I do, I am an entirely different skier. I never spend a second on a groomer if I can help it. I spend most of my time in the woods and/or traversing farther than the last guy to find the least broken snow. Obviously, I leave my GS race skis at home and always demo. I’ve never loved any of the skis I’ve demoed and I didn’t go west last year so it’s been awhile – the last ski I can remember demoing is the Volkl AC30 and I thought it was too heavy and cumbersome. I must admit that when I go west the altitude usually kicks my butt for the first day or two and the weight of the ski really matters to me for this reason.
I’m looking for a second ski to bring out west with me and be able to use say 25% of the time in the East. I want it to be light and lively but not wimpy. I want to be able to whip it around in the moguls and crud (or preferably powder) in the trees and bowls, so capability to make short turns is a necessity, but also let it rip bigger turns if I have the space. I’m usually on tougher terrain picking my spots, so it needn’t be a rocketship (but it would be nice). I also would like a softer flex than my GS race skis.
After a month plus of research on this site and others, I’ve narrowed my focus to the following:
Blizzard Titan Cronus (180)
Dynastar Sultan 85 (178)
Elan 888 (177)
Fischer Watea 84 (176)
Line Prophet 90 (179)
I can only demo the Prophets without considerable effort, which I may do this weekend. Unless I fall in love with or hate the Prophets, my plan is to wait until early February when the sales start and pick the one from the list above on which I can get the best deal. I’d like to get some time skiing on the new ski before taking it with me to Jackson Hole the first week of March.
All other things being equal, I think I'd get the 888s based on my research.
Thoughts? Admonishments? Anybody bother to read this whole thing?