Height: 6' 1-2"
Weight: 195-200 lbs
Skier Level: Advanced
I spend most of my skiing days up at Mad River Glen in Vermont, where I belong to the Hartford Ski Club. I currently live in Virginia, but still make the trip several times a year. I've been out west twice before (Utah, both times) and will be heading out to Jackson Hole in two weeks.
The last pair of skis I had was about a 168cm long Elan, at least 8 years ago. Since then I jumped up to a 180cm ski (honestly not sure of the brand, I want to say Atomic, I know the model is "Cross Ti"). I resisted the "shaped ski" movement and now I'm wondering if that's going to bit me in the butt since I'm clearly going to be experiencing some design changes from the past decade I missed. That said, I've actually been pretty unhappy with the Cross Ti's -- 180cm is significantly longer than I like, despite my size.
Last weekend I was at Mad River and tried out an older pair of 182cm Dynastars (which I foolishly forgot to note the name of), then demoed some Dynastar Sultans (85mm underfoot, about 172 length) and K2 Apache Recons (78 underfoot, about 177 length). I was happiest with the Recons, but definitely wanted a little bit shorter (I'm a big woods skier, for one) and a thought a few mm less underfoot would be fine too.
I've been reading reviews online (that's how I found this fine site!) and getting advice from friends who work in ski shops. I like the idea of a twin-tip ski too, and a light ski. That all lead me to the Line Prophet 90s, which I've heard nothing but great things about. I really liked how stable the Sultans were that I demoed, but the width did feel like it was harder to carve and change directions on a dime, and the stance had to be wider for the bumps, so I wasn't running into myself constantly. But all the reviews I read of the Prophet 90s say "they turn so much better than I was expecting!" so I wonder if there's something there which will make me like them more than I did the Sultans.
Ultimately I'm looking for a very all-mountain ski: short enough for the woods, not so wide I can't turn (I like short, sharp turns on the groomers sometimes), agile enough for the bumps and with enough float so I'm not 3 feet deep when I do get out west to the powder. I realize this may be asking for the "dream ski" which doesn't exist, but any advice would be great!
Finally: should I be looking for a certain kind of bindings with either of these skis? I've heard good things from salesmen about high-end Markers (Jester 12, Barron 12, Griffon 12) and how they somehow "make turning on a wide ski easier", but I'm wondering if that's just to sell me a more expensive product. I wouldn't mind a pair of bindings that can pop off when I twist a ski in a crash, but I don't want to spend more on a binding than a ski either.
I realize this is a lot to ask, but the members here seem to have a lot of good insight from what I've read, so thank you for reading this far and please share your thoughts! I will take them to heart!