> ...Please no more phone calls........We have a winner.
But this is a talk show, right? So, you got to listen to all sorts of nuts.
Now, as I was saying ...
I agree with everyone that said skill will make up for poorer equipment.
In addition, in my own case, outside of the realm of race times, I think the major equipment-related changes in my skiing are:
1) I ski much prettier these days (because I can carve at lower speeds, have better adjusted boots, etc.);
2) I often take up much more LR room on groomers(because I often carve across the hill at high speeds instead of staying in a narrow corridor as one can if doing a series of pivot/skids). Related to this is that my speed across the snow in free skiing is probably about the same as it used to be, but because of doing more recreational-speed carving, I'm spending more time NOT in the fall line, so my downhill progress is probably slower than it used to be;
3) I ski crud better (because of wider skis);
4) I use less energy (as others hve pointed out).
OTOH, one change in my skiing that is not at all related to equipment probably is more significant than any of the above:
Over the last three decades, I have become MUCH more cautious about speed in crowded conditions, no matter what equipment I'm on. I've slowed down somewhat even when nobody is around me (see above, plus, the "smell the flowers - enjoy the view" old fart syndrome), but crowded trails really spook me, so I don't take chances like being absolutely sure that the guy in front is going to turn left and passing him at high speeds on the right.
Just my $0.02,
Tom / PM