Conundrum. After skiing every season during my youth - Southern Hemisphere (NZ): patchy cover, a lot of chop, and plenty of volcanic rocks to avoid - I've been sporadically hitting the slopes again in the past few years with my husband, kids, and wider family after a very long hiatus. (The skiing break was so big, I missed the parabolic revolution and suddenly found myself going from a straight 180 to a 153, which was a bit of mind-bender!) On a straight ski, I always considered myself a solid but pretty cautious intermediate. I was never a speedster and was happiest on or near a marked track. I could follow more skilled friends down a black run, but it was slow and not particularly pretty. However, the change in shape and size and weight of skis has opened up a huge amount of scope for me. I'm 5'4 and just touching 100 lbs, so not having to haul long, heavy planks around has been huge in terms of giving me confidence and helping me improve after being stuck in a rut for a long time. Upon my return to the slopes, I initially opted for the Volkl Oceana (153), which I still have and use. However, a few years back, we did a family trip to the French alps and I rented a pair of Rossignol Temptation 80s for the week. They were a revelation, and I skied better on them than anything I have before or since. They were great to turn, had some speed to them (something that I never thought I'd want), and I really wanted to be more aggressive in my approach with them on my feet. Incidentally, I also tried the Blizzard Black Pearls while in France and, whilst on paper they looked like a really good match, I didn't like them. At all. They felt too light and we just didn't gel. I tried to purchase a pair of the Rossignols before departing but, unfortunately, they didn't have any in my size and I was unable to find the 80 once back in New Zealand. I've continued to search for the Temptations since (even a secondhand pair) but these have now been superseded by the Experience and, again, the 80 waist seems to be incredibly difficult to find here. I desperately want to upgrade the Oceanas (which now feel slow and too short) but demoing is not the easiest in NZ, so it's a bit of a 'jump in and see' game. The ski that seems to come closest to what I want in reviews and on paper (a stable carving ski with a bit of 'voom' that can cope with the variable NZ conditions - ice, chop, etc.) is the Head Absolut Joy, but after my Black Pearl experience I'm nervous. Has anyone has skied the Absolute Joy and the Rossignol Temptation 80, and, if so, what were your thoughts on the two?