Originally Posted by moranimal
I'm a little curious about them being so wide as I do spend most of my time on the groomed trails. This would be a 1 quiver ski for me.
Well, I wuz reacting to your statement that you wanted to start venturing off-piste, trees, and those mysterious bowls. The Sultan is said to be a great middle flex, mid fat, all-around ski that dominates at nothing but is solid at everything. (I skied/owned the Legend 8000, 8800, LPR, among other D's, so all last generation's designs, but have a hunch the same general feel and missions apply; feedback from SJ's review of it suggests classic feel, upgraded carving.) If I had to deal with all conditions back here, one ski allowed, the 85 would be on my list.
OTOH, if you're seeing yourself more as a groomer guy for a while yet, then I'd say buy a 72-78 mm carver right now, lot to choose from, and plan to pick up a 95-105 softer snow ski when you're ready to hit the trees. For an intermediate who plans to advance, and wants some flexibility, I can think of three great choices: Salomon Tornado Ti, Blizzard Supersonic, Dynastar Contact Cross Ti. Though narrow enough to carve really well, all three will be surprisingly adept at bumps and chop, even trees after they've been skied out a bit.
Oh yeah, and the difference between the Sultan and the Crimson is like 2 or 3 mm. Take your fingers and hold them that far apart. Not much, huh? Rule of thumb 1: Unless we're racers, we can't detect differences in width under 5 mm when we ski. ROT 2: Within say 10-15 mm of width, sidecut, shape, and flex pattern are a lot more relevant for how a ski handles. The Contact, for instance, handles 6" of powder a lot better than the Magnum 8.1 IMO. Why? Because it's got a softer front end, a more progressive flex, and major taper from tip to tail. It comes up and smears around, while the 8.1 blasts through. My .02, anyway.