Just returned from Mammoth and had a chance to demo the Kastle MX78 from Footloose, a shop w/ wonderful ski techs. The conditions were corduroy on top of a previous day 5" powder layer. 58 yrs, 5.8, 170 lb arc fan. The 167 ski had a very nice long edge feel, w good initiation and smoothness. Very light sensation. Had some trouble getting the upper ski to get in the trac w/ two footed pressure; it wanted to wobble in the trench, well would not make the trench rather. I could only stand this (probably operator error) for three runs until returned to car and got on 174 Blizz SSonics. These are always a joy w/ more stability at speed, 30% more damping, and yet a relative quickness that lets you pay total attention to the hill and your route, w/out a worry about the equipment. Spectacular IQ bindings give the best boot/ski adhesion.
W/ so much favorable commentary on the MX I was getting ready to capitulate but was relieved to be disappointed w/ the 78. The appearance, by the way, is offputting to say the least. The 70 would be a better ticket w/ my arc preferences, and this may be a better ski in looser conditions.
Footloose cured a bad tune on my short ski, Head SS MAgnums, 163, and these were a ball with super quick short arcs, only needing a bit more stability. The Head SS (Bode ski??) in 170 at PCMR on dry groomed remains the most wicked, quick, tenacious race like carver I've been on, and even w/ the demands it remains a tempting ski, but is so hard to find... Progressor 9 at Sun Valley (my first trip there after skiing 56 yrs) was one I should have kept but the snow was so hard it left a bad taste on everything. It was quick but manageable, up for any moves I could dream up, and just very capable. Not quiet, but on that SV boilerplate not sure what would be quiet. SV is one of the most impressive small ski towns ever w/ corporate CEO's at every restaurant table, and the Lodge is a dream come true for fans of history and an interest in the 30's and 40's... BUT THE MOUNTAIN? Forget carving, too steep. Short swing or slip and slide.... PCMR any day.