The word to describe the upcoming season is refined Rocker..Two seasons age K2 introduced Rocker to the ski industry...the technology borrowed from the snowboard industry. In short what rocker is is the raising of the forebody and sometimes the tail of the ski to give the impression of a negative camber "barrel stave" appearance. This is being refined..K2 seems to be cutting edge in this Rocker technology. They have defined several Rocker formulas determined by the usage of the ski. As you could expect the powder skis and the park/pipe skis have the most rocker and the hard snow rippers have the least. What the Rocker does for the ski is shorten the effective turning length...picture a shorter wheel base car...a VW bug verses a limo. The way the new "shaped" skis are turned is by rolling side to side, not the exagerated tip pressure of the earlier straight skis. We are much more upright and centered in our stance. The bend the knee, plant the pole, and switch edges is going the way of counter rotation and the old Head standards. The new techniques make these Rockered skis much easier than ever to turn. The edge when rolled over gives the grab of the full length ski. The only skiers who will not be extoling their virtue are the old school racer type that still use the techniques of the 1990's. These Rocker skis are pervasive, all the manufacturers have embraced this technology and are making their skis in this new standard. The refinement is now just that, those who didn't have Rocker in their skis now do, those who had it already are refining. Ths snowboards are ahead of the ski technology, with a few exceptions they are all embracing this Rocker technology. Some have gone off the deep end and make boards that are so "slippery" and surfy that they are terrible anywhere but park, pipe and powder. K2 here again seems to be in the forefront, the Rocker and new Bamboo in the core to give the boards durability and pop. The Bamboo boards have a 5 year warranty. The snowboard boots have gone BOA...BOA is a dial that uses a steel cable that closes the boot instead of the traditional laces. The hassle of laces was recognized back in the 1960's with leather boots with inner and outer laces. Ths snowboard boots have morfed from that inner "lace" and outer lace to either an inner lace and outer BOA or BOA both inner and outer. Any rider that has laces knows what a hassle it is to get the laces correct in retention and not coming appart while riding...we see the whole lace thing going away. The top boots have three BOA coilers, one for lower, one for upper and a third for the inner. Snowboard bindings are not changing much, a little refinement here and there but no major changes. Ski boots are all over the road...the newest incantation is the "side country" boots. These are boots that are designed to allow the upper cuff to free hinge when unlocked, this facilitates hiking to that new snowfield. The individuals we see needing this design are ski patrollers who are walking around while helping injured skiers, ski coaches who spend most of their time walking and instruction the racers and these "side country" hikers. I can understand the desire to make walking in ski boots easier but that feature doesn't seem to be worth the additional expense for the average skier. The newest technology is the Fischer Vacuum boots. Here the shell is heated in an oven till the plastic has softened..about 15 minute the skiers foot and liner are put in the heated shell, a pressure bag is wrapped around the shell with the skiers foot and liner inside. An outside pressure is applied, the shell being soft stretches from the pressure of the skiers foot, the pressure applied outside pushes the shell in where there are voids, making a custom shell. This accomodates width, narrow heels,insteps and the total fit arround the foot. We have always said the best fit would be to dip your foot in molten plastic and form a lip to attach it to the binding. This seems to be as close to that as we have seen. This technology isn't inexpensive...minimum $800.00 but those with foot problems or need for foam boots, might find this an option. The other move in the industry in boots is three buckles, all the manufacturers have "side country" with the walk feature, four buckle, and three buckle models...covering all possible abilities and needs. The way the skis are being turned has lessoned the need for the four buckle design. The old school guy are still going to want four buckles but the three buckle designs are proliferating. It all comes down to what fits your foot and skiing style. Ski bindings haven't changed...a few new players, the Knee binding, but I didn't see any other technology changes. This "side country" with skins and off piste skis with randenier bindings is being pushed big time, in the East and most recreational skiers I don't see how they apply.