Given the insatiable appetite for new equipment, it is surprising that the technology of wearing is not a big deal in winter sports. Various applications and settings for the smartwatch provide data on speed, altitude and distance from the track, although nothing that we would find particularly useful or innovative.
But with a sensor-filled insole and ski boot app, Carv has other ideas offering the promise of real-time training and performance analysis through 72 pressure and motion sensors. As you ski, your technique is broken down into 13 live metrics – based on balance, edges, rotation and pressure – before the software gives you a performance rating (your “Ski: IQ”) and offers personalized tips, advice and training exercises. to help you improve.
Developed with contributions from the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America), CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors Association) and Interski in the UK, Carv says it has analyzed millions of turns to ensure it gives consumers the best advice, such as at the same time it offers tried and tested training exercises that you would expect to receive from a human instructor. But can that make WIRED staff ski better for just one weekend?
Mounting the Carv insoles involves pulling on the ski boot pad and gluing the cables down using tape (included in the box). This is not the most elegant or simple installation, but step-by-step videos are available in the app to make things easier. If you are buying from a regular retailer, we would advise you to find a professional to fit them.
Once the pads have been replaced and the battery is attached to the outside of the boot, you’re ready to calibrate, which means syncing with the app via Bluetooth and following a few on-screen instructions.
At a thickness of 3 mm, once installed, the insoles and the battery, gripped on the outside of the boot, did not interfere and we could not feel them. The whole setting adds only 296 grams to the weight of each boot. Once we added our vital signs to the app and put on our headphones, we were ready to ski. Using headphones – in our case AirPod Pros – allows you to get real-time training while skiing, and more in-depth training on the lifts without disturbing others. One of the recommendations here is to use low profile headphones, as they can feel uncomfortable when worn under a helmet. The best option would be a cover with built-in Bluetooth speakers.
The Carv system is based on this Ski: IQ determination, quantifying your skiing technique, which, if you follow the training, you should hopefully increase over time. The average skier will score about 100 points, the average advanced will score between 110-125, the experts 125-140 and the professionals 140+.