If there’s one area where things move fast, it’s technology. Ski tech is no exception to this rule; from Carv (the virtual reality ski lessons) to AR Ski Goggles, there are always a few innovations a season. So, you ask, what’s on the menu for 2017/18?
Whilst there are a few great drones, wifi buttons, cameras and heat functions around at the moment, the first thing on my personal list is the POC Airbag Vest.
Designed by ski racers, the Airbag Vest is made to provide protection without compromising the streamlining that racers need if they want to be as successful as Lindsay Vonn. Approved by the FIS, the Airbag Vest offers the highest level of protection ever. That means, even as someone who makes a point of never racing, it’s a pretty smart bit of kit.
The next piece I’ve singled out isn’t so much protection, as it is preparation. It’s probably not something that those of us who’re just heading out to the Alps for a week or two of sun, snow and long, slope side lunches, but backcountry and touring fans will be delighted by the chance to train from anywhere.
Ok, maybe not delighted, but it’s an incredibly useful piece of kit. Designed to regulate the amount of airflow while you exercise, the Training Mask is a great way of simulating high altitude while training.
Finally, no tech list would be complete without a GPS watch. It can be pretty tricky to set yourself apart from the crowd when it comes to making GPS watches; there are, after all, quite a few on the market. The Suunto Spartan Ultra manages pretty well though. It’s set up for 80 sports, including diving (let’s face it, most skiers are adrenaline junkies- diving is right up our collective alley).
The watch has an inbuilt air pressure sensor, which provides precise altitude readings and storm warnings. It keeps track of the number of runs you’ve done, how long they were, the vertical ascent and descent, and the maximum speed. Basically, it’s everything from ski tracks, to maps and health, all combined into one, great looking watch.