ArgyleNJOk, it's honesty time. The first ski that caught my eye was the mindbeder 108. The graphics to me are the perfect amount of silly-ness that I want in my life. But after all the digging I realized I'm not crazy about going with china-made (though it's not gonna completely sway my decision making). Also, the mindbender 99s are the most boring things I've ever seen. (I'm 51% concerned with finding the right ski, and 49% concerned with what they look like).
I thought to myself, why shouldn't I buy american if there are are so many US ski companies? But there are very few ski shops in north jersey and they hardly carry any US brands aside from Icelantic, so it's tough to make a $700+ decision on something you can't see for yourself in real life.
I stumbled upon ON3P and was really into that vibe, but everything I'm reading is that they are very stiff. On the flip side of that, I was liking the idea of Candide 2.0s, but everyone online says they're super soft. So I'm basically battling myself here wondering what the right balance of waist size + stiffness is the way to go. I know I'm on the wrong side of my prime athletic self, but I like to think that I'm still gonna be pushing it pretty good for the next 10 years. This seems like a classic case of over-thinking, though. I've been riding the same Solomon snowboard since 2004 and it might be the single greatest purchase of my adult life.
Yeah to first echo what everyone else said, anything ~5 smaller or larger than 100mm is my choice personally for skiing New England. I grew up in Europe and grew really accustomed to wide skis, so I don’t own anything under 98 (and the one 98 I do have sees 1, maybe 2 days a year). To your point about buying Chinese (or not) made skis, it’s really up to you. K2 makes good quality stuff, it’s cheaper for them to outsource to China so it’s business as usual, save money where you can. The quality is there and @bradwalters
does a fucking insane job on graphics. To your point about ON3P, they’re not 2x4s. Compared to other skis in their categories, as far as twin tips go, they’re burlier than most. All that means is they have more backbone and are more capable on the rest of the hill. I’ve owned a couple and it’s really tough to find a speed limit on them. Check out the Jeffrey 102 for IMO just about the best 1 ski quiver for a freestyle skier in New England. The Candide 2.0 USED to be super soft, but it’s undergone 3 revamps in the last 3 years. This years is a little more stable than the first gen, while not nearly as heavy or damp as the 2nd gen (last year). It’s a good ski as well if you want a 1 ski quiver. I’d personally shell out an extra 70 bucks for the ON3P but that’s just me. It’s tough to not get overwhelmed by today’s market because it’s so fucking saturated but if you know what to look for, there are standouts.
TLDR. China made K2s = good but not twin
Candide 2.0 = good
ON3P = 70 bucks more than Candide, better ski IMO
Also check out Moment Wildcat 101