The Best Technology for Resort Skiing

A few select gadgets, devices and apps can improve your on-mountain ski or snowboard experience this winter.

You rely on technology for everything from navigation to ordering food and adjusting your thermostat—why should your ski days be any different? A variety of gadgets and apps can help keep you warm, communicate with friends, learn more about the landscape, and even ski better. 

Here’s how the best ski tech on the market can make your lift days smarter, smoother, and more fun.

To improve your ski technique: Ski coaching app

A good ski instructor can help you master parallel turns, point out bad habits, and help you work on your weaknesses—for a price. But what if you don’t have the cash, or the time, for private ski lessons? Yes, there’s an app for that. 

Carv is a virtual ski coach powered by artificial intelligence that tracks your movement using pressure sensors in your ski boots. It delivers real-time feedback via Bluetooth-connected headphones: Carv will tell you if you’re applying uneven or inconsistent pressure in your turns and offers up drills and advice to get back on track and improve your technique. Snowcookie is another AI ski analytics app that serves up data from three biometric sensors to gauge stamina, engagement, body position, and style. 

To stay warm: Hand and foot warmers

For some, a fluffy pair of mittens and a cozy pair of socks keep hands and feet comfortable all day. For others, even the warmest goods can’t fully beat the chill. If you’re prone to popsicle fingers and toes, integrate gear accessories that bring the heat. While single-use hand and toe warmers will often suffice, a little electronic help is sometimes needed to stay toasty and comfortable all day long. Heated boot liners, socks and gloves can send warmth to your most cold-prone extremities via wires and rechargeable or replaceable battery packs. Before you make a purchase, consider what problem you’re trying to solve: Are your feet cold on the chairlift? How many hours of battery life do you need? Make sure to look for ski-specific socks as a tight boot will exacerbate any fit issues, like an oddly placed wire or extra bulk.

There’s no shortage of heated garment types to choose from: boot liners, socks, gloves, jackets and vests. Rechargeable hand warmers—powered by a rechargeable battery or even some models that use lighter fluid—are a less pricey alternative (a good set costs $15-35) that can sufficiently keep your fingers warm on a chilly outing. The lighter-fluid models burn hotter, but some folks don’t like having to refill them and prefer the ease of a rechargeable version.

Male skier in the mountains looking at his phone

To keep your phone alive: Phone sleeping bag

Nobody likes whipping out a phone to take a photo of a stunning vista, only to find the cold has drained the battery dead. Solution: Keep your phone nice and cozy. An insulated thermal pouch will extend your battery life even in the chilliest temps. If you’re headed out on a ski tour you’ll likely pay attention to weight. And if you might find yourself on a winter fishing trip, a waterproof option that floats is important. 

To track your laps: Smartwatch

It’s fun to keep a tally of your runs in a resort, or to see how many vertical feet you’ve skied or ridden in a day. Track it all with a smartwatch. If you’re an avid skier, for example, there are smartwatches that come preloaded with some 2,000 ski resort maps complete with trail names and difficulties. You can also track your blood oxygen levels, elevation, and other biometric fitness data. If you’re more of a general fitness buff, other smartwatches pair with a number of different apps specifically built for the ski resort experience, tracking vert, distance, speed, location, and calories. 

To document your shredding: POV camera

You can talk about your ski trip all you want, but it’s easier (and more fun) to show your friends the proof. A number of cameras fit the bill for lightweight, wearable (or easy-mounting) designs to capture point-of-view action, so it’s hard to go wrong. When making your pick, think about what you want from your footage. Film your run so you can watch it again? Make a movie of a day out with your friends? Do you want to mount it on your head, chest, or ski pole? Do you need a certain image quality or frame rate so you can go home and put an edit together? Pro tip: Make sure whatever you choose is easy to handle while skiing or riding, and that the record button is big enough that you can press it with a glove on.

To connect with your group: Walkie-talkies

When was the last time you used walkie-talkies? Not only are they fun, but they’re incredibly convenient, especially in places (like ski areas) that often have spotty cell service. While they’re invaluable for folks who venture into the backcountry, they’re helpful in the resort when it can be frustrating (and even scary) to get separated from your group. Pay attention to size and weight—a bulky radio is not something you’ll want to clip to your backpack strap. It’s also nice to have a radio with buttons that lock (so you don’t accidentally switch channels). A scan function that finds an open channel is another helpful feature to consider.

All articles are for general informational purposes.  Each individual’s needs, preferences, goals and abilities may vary.  Be sure to obtain all appropriate training, expert supervision and/or medical advice before engaging in strenuous or potentially hazardous activity.