Wherever you’re chasing powder this winter, you need to make sure you’re getting the best experience possible. And that doesn’t just come from hitting the chalet minibar as hard as the slopes; upgrading your ski gear with some futuristic tech is the name of this game.
From action cams to real-time performance analysis, these apps, gadgets and websites are designed to amplify your ski season – the kind of kit to make you want, and be able to produce, a highlights reel, instead of floundering off piste.
Ski coaching generally shapes up as a beginner’s crash course followed by tips from fellow riders on the slopes – not what you’d call comprehensive. To enjoy your runs even more and avoid stacking it too hard, try out CARV, a digital ski coach. Using real-time performance analysis and audio instructions, it coaches you as you’re skiing with instructions to adjust your balance, body position and angles. The data is collected via a super thin insert into your boot connected to a Bluetooth tracker, which tracks pressure points and feeds the information to the app on your phone. Developed alongside pro skiers, CARV boasts an online community where you can compare your stats to other users. This is high performance (and affordable) tech for sliders at all levels.
Keen to progress your skiing to take on new lines, steeper slopes and faster turns? You’ll get on well with the guys at Snowcookie. They’re so stoked about getting better on skis that they developed new tech and a new term at once: smart skiing. Their performance analysing system provides accurate and detailed feedback on ski runs, using GPS and highly-sensitive tracking ‘cookies’ to provide real time data and instructions. Better still, their tech features battery saving enhancements to stop the app from killing your phone, keeping your Facebook Live stream going just long enough to catch that monster stack.
No ski trip is complete without an action camera to capture every ride, trick and fall – and industry leaders GoPro have excelled with their latest product drop. The Fusion has an array of amazing features, including stunning 5.4K footage, but what caught our eye is the next-level stabilisation; perfect for high-octane ski runs. Whether you’re smashing moguls, handling a gnarly black, or barreling down a cruisy blue, the Fusion will track your ride seamlessly and bump-free, all without using a gimbal. Take into account its hands-free commands and VR capability, and the Fusion is the most advanced action cam around.
If you’re anything like us, you find an area of the mountain you really like, and tend to hang around there for a while. Nothing wrong with that. But before long, you’re keen to explore further. But which way to head? SKADI is essentially a sat nav for skiers, using real-time voice navigation to direct you around the mountain. But it’s more than that. Using complex algorithms of terrain geo-data, resort info and accumulated user behaviour, it plots routes designed specifically for a bespoke ski experience guaranteed to impress. What’s more, it works this all out before you hit the slopes. With personalised challenges and trophies to collect, it’s like a highly evolved Pokemon Go for the slopes. Brilliant.
For most beginners, the prospect of joining a large ski school class is unsavory at best, and potential off-putting. For intermediate and advanced skiers looking to up their game – mountain guides and one-to-one coaching gets very expensive. Besides, surely the most enjoyable way to improve you skills is to share the experience with people who love doing the same thing.
Enter Roped Up. Their growing platform for booking ski instruction and guided sessions with other skiers near you. Shared adventure, yes. But this is shared adventure with a highly-qualified mountain guide for much less cash then if you were on your own. Whether you’re already in a small group or skiing solo, you can take advantage of expert tuition from a professional coach – and share the experience.
Facebook for skiers and snowboarders? Almost, but that doesn’t do this social network app justice – as well as sharing images and stats from your ski days with friends, you can track your gnarliest rides on Snoww for a comprehensive analysis of your prowess. Completing challenges and acquiring trophies is one way to upgrade your time out on the snow, and you can follow pros online too, and compete with them on the leaderboards. It’s not all about vying for the top spot though – Snoww allows casual skiers to catch up with fellow adventurers and share experiences. At the end of an epic day, that’s what it’s all about.