Yes there are a few threads on this out there, but some are older and some were ... I don't know - they just didn't seem as grounded in 1st-hand observation and experimentation as some of the adult threads.
12 year old kid. 5' 2", 105lbs. East coast. He is, in terms of his time and energy investment, a more casual skier than I am, and skis only about 10 - 12 days a year. He does not race or otherwise compete, and does not seem to have that kind of fire. However, he has been skiing since he was 4, has good fundamentals, skis aggressively and - at times - very fast. He can carve a proper clean arc on easier groomers when he has a mind to (which isn't always). He's very comfortable - if not always fully on top of things from my critical point of view - all over the mountain, including bumps, steeps, tight trees, and ice. He's probably an honest level 7. (Not a blinkered parent's idea of level 7.) He is not a park rat at all, but enjoys the occasional trip through the half pipe.
Looking for knowledgeable recommendation on an all-mountain east coast ski. Needs to be one that's from a previous year or at least translatable to a previous year. (I generally don't buy current-year gear, except maybe in the spring at deep discount.) Few years ago he was on an Elan RCX - a laminated junior combi race ski, which he skied well on. Last couple years he's been on an Elan RC Race 140cm, which - despite the name - was actually their mid-range recreational groomer ski for kids. It's not impossibly short for him yet, but we're getting there quickly. I don't feel he has been doing as well on that ski, though what can I tell from watching? More to the point, the quality of the base material is truly pitiful compared with the stuff on my last few pairs of skis, so we have to wax them every darn outing. They just seem like not the greatest quality overall. Anyway, I'm thinking he should be on something wider than these 68mm boards, and I want something that has actual adult-level performance, build- and materials-quality, for a someone who can really ski, not just a wanna-be. He probably needs about a 150 or 155, so we're just short of the adult ski range, I think, unless you start looking at women's skis. (??) Cool graphics are good, but no park-specific skis.
Thanks in advance.