Originally Posted by mtcyclist
Actually he did mention that he also needs boots, last sentence of his post.
Fair enough, I must've looked over that last sentence. Either way, I'm glad I was able to address what appears to be his biggest concern. On that note, let me address his other two areas of interest: bindings and poles.
Bindings: This is always an area of mixed opinion, so it's probably worth hearing a few other opinions besides mine on this topic. If you plan to be skiing in the terrain park, one of your biggest concerns should definitely be durable. From my experience, this mostly means that you should avoid price point bindings. Typically cheaper bindings are made using mostly plastic. In the park, you're going to end up cracking these pieces. In my opinion, some of the most durable bindings are the Rossignol FKS 14, Marker Griffon, and Salomon STH 14. All of these bindings feature metal pieces and from my experiences, seem to be pretty sturdy.
Another idea to consider is whether or not the heel of the binding pivots laterally. From the suggestions I've listed, the only binding to do that is the Rossignol FKS 14. The benefit to a pivoting heel is that it allows your bindings to release in the event of a fall in which your heel experiences a good amount of torque. I personally ride these bindings for just that reason. Some people will argue that this leads to pre releases, but that definitely hasn't been my experience. Again, bindings are a heavily opinionated area of ski equipment.
Finally, it's worth knowing that Marker's Royal Family (like the Marker Griffon) claims the widest footprint of any bindings on the market. The argument here is that a wider binding will help get your power to the edges of a wider ski more effectively. In my previous post I was suggesting a ski between 90mm-100mm, which would be a perfect candidate for a wide binding like the Marker Griffon. A lot of people would argue with this claim, and seeing as I ride the Rossignol FKS 14, I can't speak from experience on this one.
Poles: In all honesty, poles are really the least important part of your set up. Essentially, there's three types of poles available at the moment. You have aluminum poles, carbon poles, and adjustable poles. In your case, I'd recommend with aluminum poles or possibly adjustable poles. I'd steer clear of carbon poles though, because they're pretty pricey and prone to breaking if you're skiing in the terrain park. When carbon poles break, they don't just bend. They actually shatter and you'll probably be finding invisible carbon fibers in your hands for weeks.
Aluminum poles are going to be the most price effective, and probably your best bet. A decent pair of aluminum poles, such as the Salomon Brigade Team Pole, would be a solid choice. These poles are light weight and durable, and while they might get a bit banged up, they should easily last a season or two in the park.
In your case, you might actually consider an adjustable pole as well. Poles of this style are growing in popularity amongst freestyle oriented skiers who hit both the back bowls as well as the park. The reasoning is simple. In the park, you don't need long poles to get around, and they can actually get in the way and cause problems when you're in the middle of a trick. On the other hand, a longer pole can be of huge assistance in the backcountry where you might need a little extra help getting around. The K2 50th Anniversary Party Ski Pole would be a great choice from this category. It's light weight, very simple to adjust, and has a wide range of sizes. This pole would let you decide on the spot how long you want your poles to be.
Hopefully I didn't overwhelm you with this response! I know it's a lot to take in, so once again, feel free to shoot me a message if you have any questions. Good luck with your search!
- Matt @ Skiessentials.com