Are you suffering from cold feet? (no, we don’t mean that kind!) Tired of being covered in bruises after a day of snowboarding? Panicking about how to hide the scratch you made on the brand-new car as you were clumsily hoisting your skis off the roof rack? You might want to check out a few of these awesome new ski and snowboard gadgets in the upcoming 2017/2018 ski season. Hardcore athletes and pleasure skiers alike will appreciate the thought and effort that the inventors put into these technological marvels, just so that our lives could be that much better out on the slopes!
Every year, the best innovations of the sports world are presented at the ISPO Awards, the international trade fair for sporting goods and sportswear. In addition to new ski and snowboard models and nifty clothing, the ISPO gives awards for the best skiing and snowboarding accessories. Here are some of the top picks among these new gadgets for the upcoming ski season. It’s never too late to start planning your 2018 skiing holidays!
On truly cold days it just seems impossible to keep your hands warm while skiing. Just when the biting cold starts to disappear from your fingertips, you catch a glimpse of the truly spectacular view over the glaciers and you’re forced to whip off your gloves to take a photo, thereby restarting the whole heating process. Anyone who’s had this problem will be delighted to hear about Level's NFC gloves. They’re not just your average warm and durable ski glove. Level’s NFC (“near field communication”) technology allows the wearer to use their smartphone with the bulky gloves still on, eliminating all need to freeze your fingers off. They have won the coveted ISPO Award 2017/2018 for their efforts.
Protect your most critical body parts with this ergonomic airbag. The ski airbag vest designed by In&Motion is truly creepy in its ability to predict, protect and improve on its own data in the event of a fall. Tried and tested over the last few seasons by top World Cup Alpine and Skicross racers, this technology is now available to the public. The airbag is ergonomic and hardly noticeable until it’s deployed – perfect for freestylers, slalom enthusiasts or anybody who wants to ski with peace of mind.
Keep your toes nice and comfy with the BootDoc Heat Socks, tailored to distribute warmth evenly and fit snugly inside your ski boots. The socks have the added advantage of lending extra support to your feet while skiing. They run on rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, with four heating levels plus a PowerBoost setting for an extra shot of warmth during those windy chairlift rides.
Anyone who has had to share the back seat with five sets of skis poking through from the trunk will know what a relief it is to finally buy a roof rack. But anyone who has a roof rack will tell you what a pain it is to load and unload! With the arrival of the Thule Snowpack Extender, we finally have a compromise. The innovative roof rack slides towards you, making it easy to access even if you drive a giant SUV. The Thule Snowpack Extender has also been awarded the ISPO Gold Award 2017/2018 for their meaningful contribution to car paint across the world.
Another gold winner of the ISPO Awards 2017/2018, Komperdell's Fatso ski poles are the ideal design for powder days. The cushy grip zone has been extended to a length of 43cm to assist in ascents and traverses, and the straps have a quick release mechanism in case of emergency. The poles themselves are extremely lightweight and well-suited to anything the mountain has to throw at them.
The result of a partnership between POMOCA and Gait Up, the Pomocup is a small device that you can attach to your skis to measure your touring data. The combined efforts of a thermometer, barometer, 3D accelerometer and 3D gyroscope produce a highly precise picture of your day on the mountain, including your stride length, the percentage of grip vs. glide, your altitude gained and lost and your vertical speed. The Pomocup was awarded the ISPO Gold Award 2017/2018 for its accuracy and ease of use.
This Integrated Avalanche System is your go-to tool for off-piste adventures. The device is equipped with an extra-light, high-volume airbag and it is super comfortable to wear. It also features an additional breathing system which takes air from the surrounding snowpack and filters out the CO2 from exhaled air, thereby providing the wearer with fresh breathing oxygen in case of an avalanche. Both emergency devices can be quickly and easily activated with one easy pull of the convenient handle.
There’s something for everybody on this list, whether you’re already up to your eyeballs in gadgets to support your freeriding excursions or whether you simply want an easy way to keep your hands warm while snapping a picture of your kids. What winter sport gadgets can’t you live without? Leave a comment below!
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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