i'm looking for a higher performance carver to replace my atomic rs8's at 154cm. i've outgrown these skis skill-wise and am looking to pick up something that will provide some room for me to grow at a budget price.
some background:i'm 5'-9" 150 lbs and an all-around athletic type. i ski primarily in michigan, so my style is built around what we have to ski here. short runs= lots of turns if you want to have fun. so i'm looking for something really turny. i have no idea what level to rate myself at, but i feel like i ski pretty aggressively and like to carve hard at speed. i learned to carve from a buddy who absolutely rips, and he taught me about form/athletic position etc. i think i'm a pretty cerebral skier, i'm usually looking to lay down that "perfect run". i ski'd the rs8's until last year. i feel like i've maxed these ski's out. i push them as hard as i can at the highest speeds they can take before turning into spaghetti and i still want more. my buddy moved to alabama last fall and he left me his elan sx pro 165's. i ski'd those all winter last year and absolutely loved them. for the most-part i can stay on top of them, but they require a lot more concentration to keep them in line. i had a few runs where i wasn't paying attention and they bucked me like a bronco coming out of hard turns. i really like that feeling, though... like the skis have no ceiling. anyway, i can't keep skiing his skis, so i need something similar for my own quiver.
so here's what i'm looking for: a ski that can challenge me, that will help me grow into an expert. i want to be limited by my own skill, not the ski. i need something with a turn radius under 15m, closer the 12m the better. probably something around 165cm. i know there are a ton of really great skis out there that fit this bill, but my budget is around $250. i don't mind buying something second-hand, maybe a racer's pair of retired carvers, something like that. i also don't mind if they are a model from a few seasons back. just need something that can push me, as i'm pretty serious about getting better.
any suggestions on where to start looking? thanks in advance.
btw- i also have a pair of icelantic pilgrims that i ski when it's cruddy, so i can be pretty picky about a true carver for when conditions are right.