Upgrade your skiing skills to match your chicest ski suit with Carv, an AI skiing coach
Carv is a new wearable device in the skiing space and we couldn’t be more intrigued. The company claims this app-paired gadget works as a ski coach to help you “unlock the mountain”, providing you with professional audio coaching as you swiftly ski down. Looking forward to that glass of champagne at your favourite aprés? Carv will get you there.
The technology works by fitting “smart inserts” into your ski boots and analysing your technique via 48 pressure sensors. Digital trackers are also mounted onto the back of your boots, connecting to both your headphones and the Carv App via Bluetooth. All of the technical equipment is very small and sleek, (so as not to disrupt that Moncler ski ensemble.)
As you zoom down the mountain, Carv is picking up on the most subtle techniques. Personalised coaching tips are then provided to you in both your headphones and the Carv App. Using their AI technology, every turn and movement is analysed and recommendations given, such as “focus on putting pressure through the balls of your feet as you start your turns”. It’s not just the turns and balance that are measured though, as Carv claims to provide you with 35 real-time metrics.
To continue improving, Carv then provides you with your own Ski IQ. This is calculated by scoring your technique on each run and tracking your progress. Scores can be uploaded to a leaderboard via the App, if you’re the competitive type. Friend with the lowest IQ pays for the next round? Better get practicing.
Gaining quick popularity within the skiing and fitness world, New York Times stated Carv as “The most future-forward App on the slopes”. As coaching tips are provided to you in real-time through your headphones, the technology is also very encouraging. After a suggested adjustment to your technique is made, you then receive a celebratory remark, such as “That’s it! Nice Job!”. Sometimes these little words of encouragement are the confidence boost you need to keep going!
Carv was originally launched as a prototype in 2016, designed by Jamie Grant. Grant, being a recreational skier with a background in physics and machine learning, knew there was a way he could improve his skills more efficiently than just “practice makes perfect”. “I wanted a way to measure technique and understand what I needed to do to improve,” says Grant. “To date, there has been virtually no digital innovation in skiing. As an industry it has been vastly outperformed by other sports such as cycling and golf.”
Boot Inserts, £279
Not only does Carv continue to learn your skiing techniques on a personal level, it also gathers data from millions of other skiers. This means the real-time feedback you receive is getting more advanced each season. To date, the app has gathered data from around 40 million turns and counting.
Are you just in it for the Après Ski? No worries. Carv can coach you whether your goal is to jump, flip, or simply avoid face planting in the snow. The coaches on the App are equally as advanced as the technology itself, with instructors ranging from Eric Lipton, elite coach for the US ski team, and Kaylin Richardson, two time Olympian.
Carv also understands the need to relax. Constant coaching is great, but so is the rush of skiing down a beautiful mountain in pure silence. The App gets it, and offers “Free Ski” mode. This means that your technique continues to be analysed in the background as you ski, but your coach waits to provide you with tips until your run is over and you're back on the chair lift.
All the gear and no idea? Not anymore. See you on the slopes.
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