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Outdoors: Ski and snowboard gear

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Ski Haus’s Pete Normand shows off a pair of skis that demonstrate the newest changes in ski shape. The Rossignol S7, left, $799 at Ski Haus, features camber and rocker technology, making it an ideal powder ski that won’t feel too squirrelly or uncomfortable on more stable groomed trails. The K2 Hell Bent, right, $729, has an intense rocker bend, making it a premium powder ski. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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Evolution is again at the heart of the newest crop of gear available at shops around Steamboat Springs. New shapes and new thinking about what a ski or snowboard should be able to do will dominate the winter. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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A pair of Armada skis from One Stop Ski Shop follow the year’s trend in shape innovation. The Armada Alpha 1, left, $699, and the JP vs. Julien, $775, feature Armada’s Elf Shoe Tech. The skis break at different angles at five points, allowing for the rocker effect, which is great for a deep powder, and for a little camber under foot, allowing traction on groomed runs. “You can ski powder all day and still come out on the groomers and carve it up,” One Stop Ski Shop’s Sean Battiste said. “We sell out of these every year, so we stocked up this year.” Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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The heel section of the KneeBinding, $480 at One Stop Ski Shop, will twist, potentially releasing the back of a skier’s boot horizontally or at an angle and hopefully reducing the stress applied to the delicate knee ligaments in a crash. “It releases laterally at the heel where ACL injuries happen,” shop owner John Kole said. “Injuries happen so often, so if there’s something we can do to help alleviate it, it seems like a great way to go.” Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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New ski boots and bindings offer greater versatility and comfort. The Marker Griffon Schizo binding, from $395 at Ski Haus, includes a small plastic key that tucks into the base of the binding. It is used to crank the binding forward or back on the ski to make it easy to carve around the mountain all morning and spend the afternoon in the terrain park. Meanwhile, Salomon’s latest ski boots, the Falcon CS Pro on the left, $729, and the Falcon CS Crystal, $629, both at Ski Haus, don’t just include the ability to heat and mold the inner boot. Skiers can mold the outer boot as well, allowing for a more comfortable fit, especially for skiers with wider feet. The innovation also is available on women’s boots, including the $549 Idol 9 CS and the $629 Instinct CS. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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A slew of new snowboards take advantage of the latest in rocker thinking. No board company does it the same way, either, so finding one to suit a particular taste is important. The Smokin’ MIP with dirt rocker technology for women, far left in the Vixen, $450, and second from right in shape of the men’s Superpark Disco Limited, $420, feature a flat section between the feet but curved up ends, making for a stable ride that still incorporates some of the powder advantages of rocker boards. The women’s Gnu B-Street Banana Traction, second from left, $470, and the Never Summer Evo-R, far right, $450, have a wavy, serrated edge that helps add traction that is often lost with rocker boards. “The biggest thing going off right now is the whole rocker or banana thing,” The Click’s Philip Johnson said. “Every company calls it something different and does it a little bit differently. Some of them have it figured out, some of them don’t. “Some people argue you lose things and you need to have camber in your snowboard to feel certain things, but I say if you’re having fun and if you’re able to do it, who cares what you’re on?” Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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The Union Force binding, left, $200, offers increased padding underfoot and on the straps that helps make a long day that much more comfortable. Rubber sections on the bottom help prevent board damage. The Union Contact, right, $180, provides extra flexibility and also comes with much of the same focus on increased comfort. Photo by Joel Reichenberger

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