If you're new to the sport, or even if you've taken a few years off since last trying it, the latest advances can be daunting.
Skis: As advanced materials allow for lighter skis with improved flexibility, ski designs also tended towards very specific uses in very specific conditions. However, the specific-use designs of the early 2000s are being replaced quickly with all-condition hybrid skis that adapt to the conditions and can handle any terrain equally. Mixing rocker technology and traditional camber provides more control.
Boots: Molding the boot to your foot is the way to go and the personal fitting process takes just 20 minutes. Flexibility and stiffness are proportioned where you need them and active flex zones adjust dynamically. Many boots now feature a “walk mode” that improves comfort out of the skis. Modern boots are also much lighter.
Bindings: The evolution of quick-release bindings greatly reduced the dangers associated with falling. When properly adjusted, the skis will release from the boots when a fall or collision applies a particular level of torque. This feature is an important element of safety, so bindings should always be adjusted in a ski store and should be checked at the beginning of every season.
Helmets: Helmets are standard equipment these days. Thankfully, they are more comfortable than ever. Many also include add-on features such as action camera mounts, bluetooth headphones, GPS and even heaters.