If you go skiing this winter, you can abide by the tried-and-true method practiced by countless skiers around the globe: take a few runs each day before adjourning to the bar for après-ski activities, thereby having a great time but never really improving.
Or you could take some lessons. Which is always a good idea, but lessons are expensive and generally less fun than barreling down the slopes with your friends.
We like this third option, which involves an Olympian-approved training program and acts like a digital ski coach who lives in your boots.
Carv is a smart device that consists of ultra-thin inserts packed with 72 pressure and motion sensors. These fit into your ski boots and measure 13 different metrics each time you turn, including balance, edge angle, turn shape and outside ski pressure. The inserts sync with the corresponding app, giving you real-time audio feedback while you ski. The app also creates detailed reports and visuals to consult on the chair lift between runs or when your day is over, so you can see how you're progressing and note areas that need improvement.
Carv partnered with some of the best skiers and instructors in the world to develop its programs, including two-time Olympic gold medalist and five-time World Alpine Ski Champion Ted Ligety. The app even compares your turns to data captured from Ligety’s own skiing to see how close you can get to mirroring the Olympian’s technique.
Aside from the personalized instruction, users also get access to expert-led videos, articles, drills and workouts, so you can improve your skiing on and off the mountain.
Carv is doing for skiing what other companies have done for cycling, boxing and other fitness disciplines. But in this case, you're racing down a mountain, not glued to a stationary bike or a rowing machine.
And post-workout hot toddies are basically mandatory.