Sorry for the redundancy...
I've read countless reviews/discussions of the shamans and other powder skis, but still seek clarity.
A bit about myself:
I'm a 6'2" skinny (150lbs) 20 year old - grew up skiing Taos ~ 1 week per year since I was 3, now live in Colorado and have one solid season under my belt. I ski mostly at copper, winter park and taos. I would consider myself type III in that I can ski anything at a resort, just not always gracefully. I ski primarily trees, seek bowls when the snow is fresh, I like bumps and ripping the occasional groomer but only if I can't find any fresh snow. I tend to ski pretty aggressively until I get tired/intimidated, then things fall apart. Huck an occasional cliff but no park/freestyle for me. Enough about me.
I currently ski Nordica Hot Rod Afterburners - 170cm - 84 waists, pretty conventional carving skis. They rip groomers but are very heavy and definitely could use more float/length.
Since my five early season ski days this season have all been 6"-3' of powder, I'm looking for a lighter, quicker responding and significantly fatter ski.
Great reviews, good for tight trees, good float, good all mountain capability (except maybe bumps). But do they compete with newer rockered pow skis? People call them outdated.
So if I did decide to go for the shamans, would 173's or 184's be better? It sounds like the 173's could easily keep me afloat and I tend to like light skis. I also hear the 184's feel like a different (i.e. inferior) ski to some reviewers, but still, 173 sounds short for pow skis even with massive tips.
OR, would I be better suited looking at some rockered skis? I would still like some on-piste performance since I do primarily resort skiing and can't always be guaranteed powder. That being said powder is obviously my priority - I can always hang onto my nordicas. Some skis I've read good things about:
Is there a serious loss of groomer/bump performance with these skis vs. the shamans? Or is the lack of rocker on the Shaman's mean significantly worse powder performance? Any one ski shine as a great powder ski and good enough groomer ski?
Ultimately, as a poor student, the reason I'm asking these questions on a forum is because I can't really afford to demo all these skis and then simply pick up a new pair. I've gotta do some bargain hunting and get the best skis I can for, say, under $600.
Any opinions are greatly appreciated! Happy holidays and ski season!