Skill level: early intermediate, but I will progress to intermediate to advance quickly after skiing this season. I expect 15-30 full days out their this year.
I'm able to ski down midwest blues, some blacks, can manage moguls, hit some jumps, drop offs, etc.
This year going to midwest locals (Boyne Mountain, Pine Knob, Alpine valley) all small hills, with man-made snow, hard packed /. groomed, turns into mush or ice depending on sunlight. Freak storm may generate less than 6-8" range of powder if even.
I have at trip booked for Feb 8,9,10 at Boyne so I gotta grab something now.
I'd like to spend less than $600, but that is not looking possible right now.
I started to look at the Atomic Blackeye TI for a good versatile all mountain ski,
also 2008 Head Monster Im 78 SW Skis Anthracite 177 length, which I've read might be a little bit more maneuverable vs. blackeye, but still stable and confidence inspiring.
K2 Apache raider seams like a capable ski, but I don't want to spend money on something and find out it is subpar, or flappable, for my skill/conditions/weight.
There are so many choices I'm going blind looking at all of these skis, I don't really have demo options in this area (or time to demo before my trip)
I'm thinking 177-182cm is the right length range for my weight, but any advice is much appreciated.
I'm trying to find a good deal with the bindings included but the IM 78's don't seem to be offered that way so the next item is binding selection. I've read that the Marker Griffon or Jesters are a good choice.
I've also read that the IM 78's come from the factory needing some tuning. Ideally if I could find another ski that already has bindings, doesn't need tuning the first season, and is equivalent or maybe even better for my conditions this would be ideal. Thanks for any insight!
I already have boots: Technica Dragon 90, in size 28.5 (after killing my feet in rentals last year, I found boots based on good fitment (and had them form-fit the soles)).
They are red/black/white and colors happen to match, but that is secondary vs. performance.
my dragon boots:
I just googled these bindings which go up to Din 12, and 250 lbs
based on an online calculator http://www.dinsetting.com/
Din 8.5 to 10 should be adequate if that is accurate then those bindings would cut it.
Thanks for any insight!