I am a recreational open water skier (have never run a course) and have been skiing for about 30yrs. I ski at ~34MPH and just enjoy cutting and shooting across the wake. Not looking to break any records or set a personal best. I broke my ankle a month ago in an OTF fall and now my wife has stolen my F1X that I had been using and enjoyed a lot. I am going to get a releasable binding system once my ankle heals and will probably need a new ski as she is no longer satisfied with the beginner ski she used to use. The question is, should I take back my ski and put my bindings on it and get my wife a new ski, or is there another ski out there for a big guy like me that I should be considering.
Like Chef23, I'm also very satisfied with my 68.75 A1. I happen to be 6'3", 230 lb., ski about 1/2 open water and 1/2 course these days, and speed around 32 - 33.5 MPH depending on water conditions (fairly large, public lake with really variable water conditions). I took a pretty good OTF wipeout this weekend and thankfully came out of my double Wiley's. They do the job for me, and I seem to come out of them when you should. Very fun ski. I also think the Senate-C and Strada would be good to check out as I know a few pretty big guys on those who really like them.
My thoughts are...
What size is the F1X? Is to the right size for you or your wife. If it is sized for you, suggest you keep it and get something for her in her size. Talk to the guys at H2Osmosis for their try and buy program.
Others have mentioned some very good / awesome ski's, but the F1x is reasonable in price and designed for exactly the type of skiing you do. Others make similar ski's but in your position, I would spend the money on bindings that you feel will work. If you use a toe loop the Reflex is hard to beat especially for OTF IMHO. HO has their new set of releasble double boots and there are ton's of people who really like the Radar RS-1's.
FWIW I have an A1 with Reflex front and half shell rear. Great ski, but a pricey set up and for open water I don't think it handles rough conditions as well as somthing like the F1x or Radar Senate.