Gone are the days of strapping on wooden skis, grabbing your favorite winter sweater, and hitting the slopes until your fingers go numb. Thanks to rapidly evolving tech, the winter sports market has been flooded with gear that elevates our experience.
Some may argue that fancy gear takes some magic away from the challenge of the alpine experience. We politely disagree. After all, doesn’t every piece of gear give us a boost? On a powder day, wouldn’t you rather wear low-light goggles than your beach sunglasses?
We embrace the best of these evolving technologies as a way to keep the snowball rolling, making skiing more accessible for those getting started and more advanceable for the brave pioneers. Whether checking the day’s stats on a Garmin watch or deploying an avalanche airbag, skiers can use high-tech gear to increase fun and safety on the mountain.
Here are the 6 best pieces of high-tech ski gear that will take your skill and comfort to the next level:
1. Propagation Labs: The Smart Avi Probe
This probe tells you the exact snowpack composition in seconds. Using state-of-the-art sensors in it's tip, the Snow Scope translates snow layers into easy-to-read and highly accurate graphs to give you comprehensive analysis of the snow—with a single jab.
Safety in the backcountry is more important than ever and this little gadget allows you to make informed decisions to keep you and your friends safe. It's one of the best examples of technology enhancing our experience (and safety) while out in nature.
Faster than digging snow pits and far more accurate, we think the Snow Probe is a no-brainer if you care about backcountry safety.
2. KJUS 7SPHERE Hydro_Bot Ski Jacket
Swiss sports apparel company KJUS announced its new Hydro_Bot ski jacket a few years ago, the “world’s first wearable technology ski jacket that allows you to control your sweat at the touch of a button”—and it still is unmatched.
Using a clever combination of electrical pulses triggering electro-osmosis delivered through a mobile app, skiers can wick moisture away from their bodies and maintain optimal comfort. These ski jackets employ a breathable, multi-pore membrane made from conductive fabric. When electrical pulses are delivered to this membrane, body sweat is pumped to the outside of the ski jacket, a process called electro-osmosis. The gear is user-regulated through a Bluetooth-enabled mobile app.
The KJUS 7SPHERE Hydro_Bot was designed to enhance skiers’ performance and comfort in varying environments and is the best, most creative wicking technology on the market.
3. CARV: Your Digital Ski Coach
Think of CARV as a personal ski coach tucked in your pocket. CARV is the first digital, AI-enabled ski program designed to act as a virtual coach and technique analyzer. With this high-tech gear, users can get real-time insights such as rotation, compression, and turn comparisons on each run. With your digital coach in your ear, you can get instant advice so you can improve on the go.
The compact tracker device simply attaches to the front or side of your boot, and the “smart insert” pads are placed inside like foot warmers. The CARV system is lightweight and waterproof, is compatible with all ski boots, and has a new 3-day battery life using low-energy Bluetooth tech.
Not only has CARV’s virtual coaching gear been praised for its effectiveness and relatively low cost, but the company is on a mission to continually evolve the product to cater to new demands. In the 2021/2022 update, the app will deliver a personalized focus area and relevant drills based on your last several days of skiing, a move sure to entice the most driven, results-oriented fans.
4. VibeStop™: Anti-Vibration Technology for skis
Ever wished that you had a ski that was stiff enough to rip down groomed trails and flexible enough to jump around? After countless trials and errors, Renoun Skis came up with VibeStop™ technology – an anti-vibration hyper-damping technology (HDT) recognized as one of the most efficient gear stabilizing technologies on the market.
Here’s how it works: VibeStop™ is a malleable substance that changes density depending on its exposure to vibrational activity. More vibration, more density. Less vibration, less density.
What it feels like: At lower speeds, the material stays soft and pliable, making the ski more playful and nimble – perfect for popping around trees and off side hits. At higher speeds, the VibeStop™ will actively dampen vibration, reducing “chatter,” or the amount the ski vibrates against the slope. The result? A much smoother, confidence-inspiring, and speedy ride.
For the vast majority of skiers, versatility is a must, making these skis the perfect match.
5. Garmin Fenix 6 Series
The multisport Garmin watches just keep getting better and better. Building on the Fenix 5X technology, the Fenix 6 series keeps the best features of the older models and incorporates some ski-specific elements.
The Fenix 6 is a versatile watch that tracks everything from body health (heart rate, O2 saturation, and respiration rate) to environmental data such as barometric altitude, GPS location, and speed analysis. When adding to your ski gear collection, this product will track your run’s speed, distance, and vertical drop and will know when you have paused for a rest or jumped on a lift.
In addition to the core features that make this product top of its class, the Fenix 6 now offers 2000+ ski resort maps pre-downloaded on the device, giving you accurate information on the location and difficulty of the ski runs.
6. Phoozy Thermal Cases
A smartphone has practically become one of the ten essentials for venturing outside. Our phones are now tools for analyzing our technique, tracking our progress, and acting as emergency devices should the need arise. Given that most smartphones were not designed for the variable environments of a ski hill, being prepared with protective thermal gear for your devices is a necessary measure.
Phoozy provides high-quality thermal casings for smart devices in all environments. They arguably offer the best gear for device protection on the slopes. The flagship Apollo Series uses a Chromium Thermal Barrier™, a technology created with similar materials to those found in a NASA spacesuit. The outer layers reflect heat while the inner layers retain heat, keeping your phone at an optimal temperature and preserving much-needed battery life.
7. Mammut Avalanche Airbag 3.0
What’s some high-tech gear without a crucial piece of high-tech safety? As once quiet ski areas gain in popularity, there is a natural pull for eager skiers to seek more peaceful pastures and move off-piste. The Mammut Avalanche Airbag 3.0 line allows skiers to explore the mountain with added protection from the elements. In case of an emergency, this high-tech safety product can save your life by offering flotation if you’re caught in an avalanche.
The Avalanche Airbag 3.0 series has various designs based on needs, from lightweight touring airbags to all-around trauma protection. The airbag itself takes up a mere 2 liters of the backpack’s 22-liter capacity, leaving lots of room for all your other gear and gadgets.
Important note: The Avalanche Airbag 3.0 system is not a replacement for rigorous avalanche education or essential gear like the beacon, shovel, and probe. Backcountry travel carries inherent risks, and it is crucial to be educated about how to mitigate those risks before heading out.
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