We love it for the retro colors alone. The Ace of Spades ($749), a midseason launch, is Nordica’s entry into the jib-specific ski-boot market. The three-buckle, three-piece shell promotes ease of entry while still providing good rearward support. It’s light (just 4.5 pounds) and roomy (100-plus mm across the forefoot), with a progressive flex that Nordica rates as 100 to 130. Other niceties: Vibram sole, shock-absorbing bootboard and a pant clip. nordica.com
Balance and alignment - both are indispensible for gliding down a mountain on two slippery sticks. Balance and alignment are also the cornerstones of a yoga practice. The way that you stand on your skis is going to affect how you get down the mountain; think about positioning yourself in as natural a stance as possible. This means feet hip width apart, knees soft, upper body and shoulders relaxed. The only thing that won’t feel natural is the position of the hips; they should be tipped forward slightly (ski boots help with this).