Hexcel Hexcelerator Skis: Bottoms went concave in spots under boots from the Hexcel core crushing, and then the steel edges sometimes fell off. I went through 4 sets in one month - though they were free at the time being a ski pro.
Hanson Wax Liner Boot : ripped the skin right off your feet if you wore socks, so must of us just dumped in foot power and skied barefoot - again they were free, and they looked cool too.
Scott Superlight Boot: looked minimal but filled with water, and truly needed a drain plug - again they were free.
Spademan Bindings: random pre-release, and sometimes non-release when they should have. A boon for rental shops though as no sizing needed for any boot.from huge to tiny. Set-em loose for the renters, and only tighten up the occasional complainers. These were also free for me, and we ski pros like them as we could easily swap skis with buds.
In the end, free was a bad thing from a performance perspective in the '70s, but we working ski pros were dirt poor and had little choice. Now I prefer to pick what I want, and pay since gear is cheaper in real dollars...