I am a newbie member here, so apologies in advance for any protocol violations. I have looked around for this information on-line but cannot find any helpful / non-marketing advice.
- 52 years
- 100 kg / 220 lb and trying to aim lower
- advanced/expert level, with about 75 weeks experience (instructor training 20 years ago) but I now ski for pleasure about 12 to 15 days a year primarily in the Alps
- take off-piste/backcountry whenever the opportunity presents, but inevitably end up 50:50 on/off piste
- usually a one-quiver skier: current skis -- Head super-cross Ti circa 2001/2 (109-71-99 by my ruler) -- or rather the Marker M1 Titanium bindings suddenly developed a problem last season and need dramatic work or replacement, and the newer toys are rather interesting (have hired a few all-mountain skis on short trips)...
I've therefore been searching for a replacement all-mountain ski, something good on groomed trails and able to cope well with speed but not relient on a lot of hard work to get the ski responding. At the same time, I want the ski to be able to give me sufficient float off-piste (more than my current 71 under foot, for sure). Usual story, I would like the lot in one package!
I had been considering the K2 Xplorer, but couldn't find anyone in resort with a pair (to demo or buy) when the problems emerged with my current skis/binding. Now I find that K2 have now replaced the Xplorer with the Aftershock, which features an all-terrain rocker in the design. I hear that several manufacturers are going down this track as the rocker design gives easier turn initiation, but I am not sure how this affects those of us who have learnt to cope with thinner skis off-piste...
I would be very grateful to hear from anyone who has tried both the Xplorer and Aftershock, and whether this new design is better/worse, different (advantages/disadvantages, less stable, more stable or no difference), improvement or not etc?
Aside from these K2 offerings, what other skis are a "must try"? I know that different skis suit different folks, and don't know yet if the K2's are good or bad for me. But there is so much choice now, it looks difficult to test or consider every possibility when there are only so many test days available.
I am very interested to hear members thoughts -- thanks in advance.