I am what I would call an advanced intermediate to low level expert skier. I'm 49 years old, 5' 9", 155 lbs. I live in Western Canada and ski at places like Lake Louise, Kicking Horse, Fernie, Red Mountain and Blackcomb. I like to ski the steeps, & trees whenever I can but sometimes like to tear down a groomer or two just for fun. I ski some mogul runs too but tend to ski down the edges where there might be some loose snow and the bumps are a little smaller and spaced further apart. I generally ski fairly fast (except when I'm with my better half. I guess I still ski fairly fast when I'm with her but I wait a lot more. )
I currently ski on Atomic SX-11 Supercross 180 cm. I find them very easy to ski on and very versatile. I like them because I can go as fast as I dare on the groomers carving big GS turns but also because they're great on the steeps, glades and everywhere else. They're a great all-mountain type ski in my opinion but not the best in deep powder and heavier snow because they are pretty narrow. The thing I really like about the SX-11s is how easy they are to turn. I just think about turning and they do. Great edge control too. Lots of fun. Compared to the 205 cm straight skis I used to ski on they are super easy to ski on and I thought some of the long boards I used to ski were really easy to ski on !
So now I am thinking about getting some wider skis but want the same sort of performance and versatility that I got with the SX-11s. I note that the Crimson Ti has pretty close to the same amount of side-cut that the SX-11s have but are much wider. They're also reported to be a very versatile all-mountain ski. Then there's also the Blackeye Tis. They're a bit narrower and apparently a bit less agressive than the Crimson Tis but I'm not sure if they'd be up to the level that my SX-11s are.
So I'm thinking the Crimson Tis at 178 cm. I suppose I could be convinced to go to 171s but if I don't have any problem turning my 180 SX-11s I can't see why I would have any problem turning the 178 Crimson Tis. I'm afraid of going too short because I don't want a ski that makes me turn way more than I want to or gets squirrely when I'm cruising the groomers at high speed. I just want to make sure I don't get a pair of skis that are a lot of work to keep up with. The 180 SX-11s are real easy to ski so I want something just like that but wider so they're better in powder and crud. Something very versatile and easy to ski in all types of terrain and conditions.
I'm hoping someone on this forum is familiar with the SX-11s and the Crimson and/or Blackeye Tis can give me advice on which model to choose. Any sage and learned advice would be much appreciated.