Tuesday, April 16, 2024
GadgetsReviewsTravel techWinter sports

REVIEWED: Carv digital ski coach

An addictive real-time virtual coach with advanced tracking and analysis

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Skiers are obsessed with gadgets, constantly upgrading their skis, boots and helmets, and always ready to download the latest and greatest smartphone apps that record where they ski and how fast they get down the mountain. Carv makes all of that look a little frivolous with advanced, real-time coaching that tells you – through earphones exactly what you’re doing wrong … and right.

Carv digital ski coach: concept

Think you’ve perfected your parallel turns? Carv will tell you exactly how good (or not) you are. Combining footpads packed with sensors that communicate wirelessly to a smartphone app.

Carv digital ski coach: set-up 

You do need to supply your own earphones; TravGear recommends wearing either a pair of ‘true wireless’ Bluetooth earphones, such as Apple AirPods (one ear will do since the audio feedback is pretty simple) or finding a ski helmet with built-in Bluetooth wireless earphones. The hardware consists of inserts for each ski boot and two small battery packs. They fit in any ski boots and calibration is merely a few seconds of moving your feet around to tune the sensors. Now you’re good to go.

Carv digital ski coach: performance 

After the initial set-up, it’s all app-based, though know that Carv is not going to teach you how to ski; it’s therefore best used by intermediate skiers or anyone who thinks they’re a great skier … it’s guaranteed to bring them down a peg or two. TravGear found the section on balance really useful at first, with the robotic AI offering valuable feedback like ‘you’re leaning too far forward’ and ‘center yourself’. The sensors are incredible, able to monitor balance, edging, rotation and pressure, with the hardware even able to detect exactly how close your skis are to each other.

Expect real-time tips like ‘your weight is too much on your inside ski’, with a ‘ding!’ every time you execute a turn perfectly. What really impressed TravGear was the addictive nature of the drills. Though feedback on each turn does appear to be a second too slow, once you’re in the rhythm Carv will make you strive to get the 16/20 turns correct to move up a level.

As a bonus, Carv tracks exactly which runs you ski down, how much ground you covered that day, your speed … all the extraneous data you could ever want.

Carv digital ski coach: conclusion

Surprisingly easy to set-up, with plenty of battery power and with no need to touch anything when you’re out on the slopes, Carv has got the hardware right. That’s crucial, though what TravGear liked most was the precision of the measurements and the gamification of skiing. It makes you pay attention to how you’re skiing, and it makes you want to improve. What more could you ask from a ski instructor, virtual or not?

Price as reviewed: US$390/UK£299
Buy the Carv digital ski coach

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