In the Store:
If you're buying just one pair of skis (and not building a quiver), look for a set that matches your style of skiing and the terrain you frequent 70 percent of the time. And don't be afraid to upgrade: Buy skis slightly above your ability levelthey're (almost) as easy to ski on, and you won't outgrow them in a year.
On the Hill:
If, like most people, you get your skis professionally tuned only once a year, at least make the most of it by deburring and sharpening your own edges and waxing the base.
On the Road:
Gravel, salt, and road grime corrode bindings, rust edges, and degrade ski bases. Throw your precious new boards in the car or, better yet, get a roof box. When flying, make sure you pad the inside of your bag with laundry, especially around the tips and tails. Boots? Take 'em, and always carry them on. Rental boots are disgusting.