Every year manufacturers release new tech designed to enhance our time on the mountain. While some of these products are questionable, some are fantastic. The very best snow sport tech allows us to have more fun, hone our techniques, stay in contact with each other or keep us safe and warm. In this post, we will go through the best snow sport tech for 2021.
Over the years, there has been a lot of research into when skiing injuries happen. After analyzing the circumstances that result in the majority of injuries, doctors have determined that most skiing injuries occur when the skier is getting tired. When a skier is exhausted, their technique deteriorates, causing them to make mistakes and subsequently hurting themselves. This research led to the development of the Snowcookie Smart Ski System, a wearable tech device that monitors fatigue and performance during a day out on the slopes.
The Snowcookie Smart Ski System includes three sensors. You attach one on each ski with the provided adhesive ski mounts while wearing the third using the chest harness. Like most tech these days, the Snowcookie pairs to your phone and works via a very innovative app. The app measures body position relative to your skis. This information lets you know how good your turns are and the quality of your carving. The app monitors inclination, the angle of your ski to the ground, and angulation, the angle of your hips.
After each run, the Snowcookie app gives you a score and in-depth detail of your run. It highlights the weakest parts of your technique, so you can work on it, progressing you to the next level.
Throughout the day, the Snowcookie system builds a profile and rates the quality of your turns and body position.
The Snowcookie is a fantastic system to see what you are doing wrong and to measure your progress. It motivates you to improve, as you become obsessed with improving your rating run-by-run, day-by-day.
Smith x Aleck 006
ISPO Munich has been the global platform for the sports industry and a popular meeting place for industry professionals worldwide. More than 2,800 international exhibitors showcase their latest products to around 85,000 visitors from 120 countries.
The event covers all aspects of the sports industry, including clothing, sports goods, fashion, and tech. Usually, the event is held in Munich, but for 2021, the organizers made ISPO into an online event.
For 2021 ISPO has been converted to an online event, but their independent ISPO Award jury of experts still choose the most innovative new products in the sports industry. The Smith x Aleck 006 is an ISPO Award Winner in the Snowsports Hardgoods segment in the Snowsports Equipment category.
The Smith x Aleck 006 is a fantastic system that allows skiers and snowboarders to communicate and find each other with ease. The system consists of two high-quality smart speakers tucked away in the earpads of your helmet.
With just one tap on your helmet, you can contact everyone in your group. This is the perfect solution for all aspects of skiing and snowboarding. Whether you are organizing where to meet up for lunch or discussing backcountry lines, the Smith x Aleck 006 is a brilliant solution.
The speakers pair to your phone via Bluetooth to create a system with a high level of functionality.
In the Aleck Go! app, you create a group that everyone you are riding with that day can join. This allows you to communicate with them exceptionally easily and even spot where they are in real-time on a map. The system allows you to talk to individuals or address the whole group at the same time. This functionality is incredibly useful for organizing, having fun, and keeping safe.
The speakers themselves give you fantastic sound quality, so you can enjoy your favorite tunes while shredding the mountain. But, the music automatically fades out when a conversation is started, so nobody misses important information.
The innovative design and use of modern technology used by the Smith x Aleck 006 to create a way of enhancing fun and safety on the mountain, is what caught the ISPO judge's eye. We are extremely proud to have been recognised by the panel and to receive this award.
Insta360 One R
The Insta360 One R is an alternative to action camera to a GoPro. Its smart modular design makes it extremely versatile. One-third of the camera is the battery, another block is reserved for the controls and screen, while the last part is home to the lens and sensor.
This innovative design lets you choose one of three cameras to slot into the Insta360 One R – there’s a 4K action camera, a 360-degree camera, and a camera with a one-inch sensor. The brilliant thing about it is that you have the versatility of a high-quality camera while being able to turn it into a 360 camera too.
The benefit of a 360 camera is that you will never miss a shot. Stick it on your helmet or the incredibly clever “invisible selfie stick,” and you don’t have to think about where you are pointing it. You choose the field of view during the editing process.
The Insta360 One R meets the IPX8 standard. This means it is resistant to five meters. Therefore when you are chest-deep in powder, your camera won’t have any issues capturing all the fun you are having. You also get super smooth 4k video, as the One R uses Insta 360’s FlowState technology, which negates the use of a gimble.
When you compare the Insta 360 One R to a GoPro, it isn’t quite as polished. But, it can capture great 4K video and solid 360-degree footage for less money, while the modular approach is excellent and adds little to the unit’s size.
Never be out of touch by turning your cell phone into a satellite communication device with a Bivy Stick. This brilliant device is ideal for taking into the backcountry, as it allows you to text, call for help, share your location and receive detailed weather reports.
The system uses the Iridium satellite network to keep you in contact with the civilized world when exploring the unknown where there wouldn’t usually be a cell phone network connection.
The Bivy Stick device itself is smaller than your phone and weighs just 100g. It allows your friends and family to track your progress or share your location once you reach your destination. Featuring 100% global coverage, you can check in from anywhere using the check-in button. This sends preset messages and your location without the need to use your phone. It also has an SOS button, so you can quickly alert Global Rescue when things go wrong.
But, there is more to the system, thanks to the Bivy App. The app is loaded with over 50,000 adventures and routes to take, no matter what you are doing. This is super useful when you are hiking a peak to hunt for the freshest powder. The app also allows you to track your adventures, buy providing stats on your pace, mileage, altitude, and more. In addition to all this, the app has lots of preloaded maps. These are from all over the world, and you can browse them all while offline.
You might not think that a phone case is that impressive, but the Hitcase pro is made for adventurers and action sports enthusiasts.
This phone case is machined from a single piece of aluminum and fitted with a high-strength polycarbonate panel. It is tightly sealed with a TPU seal to make it totally waterproof to 10m/33ft.
The Railslide mounting bar allows you to use the Hitcase Pro with any GoPro mount, as well as ten in-house Hitcase mounts. This makes it ideal for skiing and snowboarding as an alternative to carrying a GoPro, especially as the rugged design makes the Hitcase shockproof from a drop of 5m/16ft.
Often phone cases compromise the camera quality when taking photos or video. But the Hitcase Pro allows you to attach up to three different TrueLUX lenses. Each lens creates a different look, but the wide lens is perfect for landscape, travel, and snow sports photography. So mount your phone on a chest mount to capture that incredible treelined powder blast.
Out of Electra
When you are skiing or snowboarding, your choice of goggle lens can make or break your day. Wearing a dark goggle lens is great when it's sunny, but when the cloud rolls in, you can struggle to see bumps and imperfections in the terrain. Low light lenses are perfect for riding in flat light, but you will be left squinting when the sun comes out.
The Electra from Out of is an ISPO gold award-winning design that solves the problem of not having the correct lens for the conditions. As you ride in and out of forests or as the weather conditions change, the Electra automatically adjusts the lens's tint.
The Electra uses a sensor to monitor the light conditions to determine the correct level of tint. One of the great things about these goggles is that you don't need to charge them up. A small solar panel provides enough power for the lens to adjust accordingly.
We love that the Electra gives you the best vision possible, whatever the conditions you are riding in, without carrying alternative lenses.
Ortovox Diract Voice
With the recent boom in ski touring and splitboarding, there has also been a rise in avalanche fatalities. When someone gets buried in an avalanche, the speed of the rescue is critical. Therefore, anything that will help rescuers get to avalanche victims quicker is a good thing.
Ortovox has been making fantastic avalanche rescue equipment for years, but for 2021, they have released the Diaract Voice. This avalanche transceiver uses voice prompts to direct rescuers to the victims. The idea behind using voice prompts is to help rescuers use the correct search technique in extremely stressful situations. The intuitive Diaract Voice makes avalanche rescues much quicker, increasing the chance of survival.
Arva Airbag Calgary 18 Reactor
Anyone who has done any kind of splitboarding or ski touring knows that your backpack is super heavy due to all the stuff you need to carry. This weight makes a difference in how difficult it is when ascending, but it also affects your ride back down.
The weight comes from your spare layers, food, drink, and your avalanche safety equipment. When you have an airbag backpack, this weight is increased further. Therefore, ski tourers and split boarders have been screaming out for a backpack that will shave off some weight to make their life easier and more fun.
The Airbag Calgary 18 Reactor from Arva features a carbon cartridge and a lightweight airbag that only weighs only two kilos. However, this backpack's standout characteristic is that its fabric and lining are made from recycled polyester. Its design cleverly minimizes the use of materials to be more sustainable and lightweight.
We love that this backpack makes riding in the backcountry and touring easier and more environmentally friendly.
The Elan Voyager is at the core of a whole new area of skiing. This system allows you to reduce the hassle of traveling with skis by folding them in half.
The idea behind the Elan Voyager is to make boarding planes, busses, trains, and packing small cars effortless. They work using a revolutionary four-axis mechanism that safely holds the skis together at the folding joint. The skis are reinforced with a load-bearing carbon plate to provide the necessary stiffness and fantastic performance.
But, these skis are not just token planks that fold up small enough to fit in a bag. Elan has made the Voyager skis with both rocker and camber profiles. This design gives you great precision and smooth transitions when carving.
All this tech and innovation has earned the Elan Voyager an ISPO Gold Award. The judges loved the Voyager's convenience without compromising on-mountain performance.
Roam Elevate Exoskeleton
The Roam Elevate Exoskeleton uses pneumatic actuators and on-board sensors to support you as you ski. This fantastic device supports up to 30% of your bodyweight, protecting your knees and reducing fatigue, allowing you to ski more.
This system is primarily designed for people that have weak knees following injury or medical procedures. Elevate cleverly anticipates your turns and automatically adjusts the support to your knees and quads, aiding your natural motion. It doesn’t do all the work for you, but it will help you ski stronger and longer.
Unfortunately, the launch of the Roam Elevate Exoskeleton has been delayed due to the pandemic. But we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will be able to get going again in the near future. We love the fact that this product will help older skiers and those that don’t want their ailments to keep them off the mountain.
The best snow sport tech for 2021 will help you to enjoy those snowy days even more. These ingenious products will go a long way to enhance your next trip to the mountains, whether you want to record your experiences for prosperity, stay safe, improve your technique or stay in contact, there is something for you.