Hi folks, yet another request for new ski advice...
I ski mostly the PNW (home mountain Stevens Pass w/ frequent trips to Whistler/Blackcomb) and like to get a bit of variety, so I'm looking for an all-mountain ski, just like everyone else. I'm 5'10", 130lbs, and ski aggressively. In a typical day I might spend 30% of my time carving the corduroy at high speed, 30% in the bumps & trees, 30% in chutes & bowls, and 10% wherever. I don't really do any park skiing, so I'm certainly willing to compromise in the springiness/playfulness area for better performance elsewhere.
I've been doing a whole bunch of research and the main three skis I'm considering at the moment are Head Kore 93s, K2 Mindbender 99s, and Völkl Mantra M5s. My general understanding of the skis is as follows:
- Kore 93s are much lighter, so they'll be more maneuverable for tight tree & bump skiing. However, without any metal in them, I'll lose out on a bit of stability at speed and won't be able to cut through crud as smoothly.
- Mantras are beefier, what with the metal frame, so I'll be sacrifice some of that agility for damper performance in crud and at speed.
- Mindbenders are fairly similar to the Mantras, but a bit more forgiving (especially in the tails), so bumps & trees won't require quite as much precision to make the skis do work. The downside is losing a bit of that carving performance.
My main question is how my relatively low weight will play into this, since most detailed reviews I've found have been from people in the 185-225lb range (and maybe a bit taller, too). I'm curious to hear thoughts from anyone with a similar body type who has a lot of experience with any or all of these skis (or alternatives!). At 130lbs, is stability still a problem on the Kores? Do the Mantras feel like they require a ton of force to handle well at that weight, or are they still able to dance through quick turns in the trees?
For possibilities beyond these three, budget isn't a major concern as long as it's really worth it, but if I'm going to spend a lot more than the cost of the pairs above, I'd want a compelling reason.
Thanks and cheers,