Snowboard: Flow Mercury ($370; 905-841-4001 or www.flow.com).
In an industry rife with hair-trigger boards designed for spinning
jumps and keeled-over turns, Flow's mellow Mercury is the welcome
bastion of sanity. It's a lightweight, easy-riding board that does
exactly what you ask of it, and nothing more.
The Mountain: Sun Valley, Idaho (800-786-8259 or www.sunvalley.com).
The aptly named Sun Valley might be hard to get to (it's a
two-and-a-half-hour drive from Boise), but the reward is refreshing
serenity and perhaps the best grooming operation in North America.
Don't forget the sunblock.
DEAL OF THE SEASON
Skis regularly and enthusiastically,
but isn't willing to let the kids go without shoes just to buy new
boards. OK, so maybe if it were summer, but it's cold out
With trickle-down technology and integrated
ski/binding systems, manufacturers are offering more performance
for less money than ever before.
Ski: Volkl Carver V3 Motion 10 ($650, including bindings;
603-298-0314 or www.volkl.com).