The 2012 year saw the most equipment update in a long time (I have young kids), which included skis, boots, bindings, helmet, googles.
I'll deal with the easiest items first, helmet and googles, no problems, enjoy the new Smith I/O's, helmet well, this was a no brainer, I wear one there is no excuse for the kids not to wear one (plus in the old days, the option wasn't there either).
On skis boots and bindings the matter is completely different.
Bindings (well 2 this year Dynastar (Look) PX14 and finally Dynastar (Look) PX15). Overall did not cause any issues in skiing, format of calculating DIN settings has changed a little, but other than that no problems (had one release, I think premature, as I had them intentionally set lower, as it was the first day out on new skis, though it is hard to tell). Overall I don't think bindings have changed much in the last 20 years...little better here, little worse there...the Look design is solid and it show.
Skis...2010 (new old stock) Dynastar Speed Course 176 WC 23R FIS...Love them. The performance jump over my old 205 GS race skis is just amazing, however technique still needs some adjustment. More on that later.
Boots... 2008 (new old stock) Lange WC 130 WC fit. Definitely a little softer than my old Rossi Course "E" boots, but a better fit and overall match the ski and my style very well.
- Not as neutral on the skis as I'd like, very occasionally still feel slightly off balance. I attribute this to not enough hill time and to many changes at once skis...then boots. (In this case the front to back balance portion)
- Ski technique. I'm sure this will start a raft of comments, but.....I've skied on straight skis until now, yes very Adelberg style, while this works very well on the shaped skis (and is sometimes required to make them do things very well that the skis weren't designed for) it does not take full advantage of the design of the ski. I've spend about 2 days understand and getting the new technique. Unfortunately, it is not yet ingrained in my brain yet and occasionally still rquires some thought (my whole life on straight skis sure made an impact, now it is time to add to the skill set).
- Less torque on the knees (yes I notice the difference) with the shorter skis, without the penalty of going shorter as would be the case with straight skis.
- FUN the energy return just blows the mind, makes me feel like of 16 years old all over again. Full of vinger and no brains, again!
- Carving...see FUN!
- Stability at insane speeds....see FUN!
- Doing 360s to get balance point "Hooked those GS Race Skis" fell at really slow speeds and popped a bindings (noted above), yes you can comment
- 2 ski days later, looking over shoulder "Hooked those GS Race Skis" getting off the lift, Don't say it.
Lesson learn for the slow, this are less forgiving, balance point must be maintained. Otherwise these skis are a blast.