Are you planning on purchasing any new ski gear for the upcoming season?
I have such plans, but nothing major.
I am planning on a helmet purchase. I have rung my bell once while skiing and the snow I fell onto seemed soft, but of course us Midwestern skiers are always not too far from a hard surface. One person I knew talked of wiping out on bare hard ice and putting a major dent into their helmet, she was glad it was the helmet taking the beating and not her head.
I do not buy the idea that safety gear makes a person more reckless — counting on their safety gear to help them out when they crash. I know that is not unheard of, people taking more risk with safety gear than without, but it is always up to the individual. It does not take all that much time for one to get seriously off course even under normal conditions. An edge grab at the side of a trail, a downhill skier zigging when you thought they would zag, a rough patch of snow, etc. That is a scary feeling and none of those circumstances necessarily comes as a result of skiing out of your abilities. Having that helmet gives one a bit more of safety margin.
Here is an in depth article on ski & snowboard helmets. The article discusses in depth some history and goes in depth on the standards and testing ski & snowboard helmets must meet and are subjected to.
How about you, do you ski helmeted or not?