note A few
I've had a few skirts and they all tend to work pretty well as long as they fit the boat and you. Seals, Mountain Surf, Snapdragon, IR have all been functional on various boats, but my go-to has been an IR Lucky Charm here recently.

Buy a helmet that is appropriate for what you plan to do. If you're doing Class II for the next couple of years, most any helmet is fine. If you plan to hit some creeky III or IV, buy something more substantial with good protection and a good fit to your head shape. Try before you buy if you can. Don't start with a full face, but expect to get one when you get into real Class IV creeking.