Here's how I see it. If this its your 1-3rd season, getting new gear alone is good enough. It doesn't need to be top of the line or even advanced, just good gear from good brands for your style should be enough. It's like comparing two different sport bikes when you're buying your first one, you can't tell the difference since it's all so fast at the start (notice I'm comparing sport bikes, not sport bikes to cruisers aka freestyle/freeride to racing board). When you get used to the speed or used to the handling, then you can tell the difference after enough experience to narrow down what you prefer for your style.
For goggles, personally I think you need to invest in a good pair that has good reviews for no fog ups and likely has at least a $80 tag on it. You can get great discounts on those this time of year for maybe 60 or even 50 bucks. Anything over 100 in general are more fancier goggles with spherical lens and mirror lens for different lighting conditions, not necessary for the typical rider. For the more advanced and tuned in rider, yes, but to each their own. Just my 2 cents
So in short, stop worrying about what or how you will perform. Just get out there and DO IT. Now, maybe 2 years later depending on how much you ride or maybe even next year, try a different board, and bindings. If your feet hurt a lot, get new boots that are comfortable next season. Point is, be willing to try different things on each end of the stick to get a feel for what YOU want and feel works and you love, regardless of what everyone else says.
Yes I read reviews and base a lot of choices on them for getting new gear, but I also make a lot of personal choices on my own gear regardless of what people or lack of people say to try something different. IMO the equipment will start to affect your natural ability to board effectively when you start to progress more at it and your style to develop your own preference and feel. Get out there and SHRED ^_^
Last edited by Vlaze; 12-04-2008 at 09:14 PM.