Phillip's Carv story
My introduction to the sport of skiing was like a scene from the iconic Burt Reynolds and Ned Beatty film “Deliverance”. Picture a small ski slope in the rural Southern Appalachian mountains of Western North Carolina. It had one old rickety double chair ascending a mere 800 vertical feet.
I was fifteen, hadn’t skied before, and some men from my church thought it’d be fun to take some of us boys on an adventure . . . night skiing . . on ice! Some of the lights on the slopes didn’t work. With all the snow making machines running it sounded like a tarmac at a major airport. The lift operators looked like summertime moonshiners. There were no lessons or guidance given except, “It’s like sledding but standing up and balancing”. We were taken straight to the top, no bunny slope “practice”, pointed our skis downhill, got pushed from behind, and you can imagine how it turned out! I’ve been self taught, learn as you go, and a fall and get back up type of skier ever since. I’m now 53. But a couple of years ago, my story of learning how to ski forever changed. I bought Carv!
"A couple of years ago, my story of learning how to ski forever changed. I bought Carv."
Three ski seasons ago I saw the Facebook ad for Carv. The price seemed fair and comparable to the average cost of a small group lesson at one of the big ski resorts out West. The “kicker” for me to make the purchase was twofold:
- I read that the product broke the Kickstarter record for the fastest funded sports wearable.
- I’d been thinking for several seasons that I was going to have to break down and spend a lot of money and take some lessons. Especially if I was ever going to break out of the intermediate “blues” and “kick it up a notch” to feel more confident on the black and double black runs.
The results were amazing.
Instead of one lesson, now I had ski coaching and fun challenges every time I went skiing.
This past season (19/20), although understandably abbreviated, was tremendously exciting as a Carv user. The company tested a newly improved beta version for the app. I took a week-long trip to Vail/Beaver Creek in early February. The night I arrived began a 4 day storm cycle that ended up being the third deepest snowfall totals in CO history! Too much of a good thing prevented ample time to ski. See pics below of the “traffic jams” both on AND off the slopes.
"The results were amazing. Instead of one lesson, now I had ski coaching and fun challenges every time I went skiing."
After the storm and with only three full days left to ski I decided to focus on one training drill, edging. Honestly, I had no clue as to how I was actually supposed to use the edges of my skis for turning. I chose the drill called “Pivot Slips”. The Carv app now provides visual coaching segments per drill (see pics below of the instructor making left to right 180 degree pivots). I did this drill for the next three days.
I discovered immediately that I had a weak and strong side when turning. I could pivot to the left fairly easy but almost busted it pivoting to the right. It requires the most subtle angulation to get a feel for the neutral point where you can spin the skis together 180 degrees from left to right, torso facing forward, then tilt inside and outside edges to slightly grab but continue sliding.
The marvel is that the sensors in the boots and metrics in the app synchronize virtually with “dings” for correct pivots as well as real time verbal coaching to make needed adjustments. My “virtual” instructor knows when I slack up and don’t get close to the 180 degrees mark.
My future goal with Carv is to reach the 140 IQ level. During the offseason I’m going to start rollerblading - I’ve discovered an online community of skiers that integrate the same training and strengthening skills required for both sports.
Given my great experience with Carv so far, I’ve been presenting this groundbreaking technology at the regional ski clubs in the Southeast. I did two last year and they are a lot of fun. I connect my smartphone via HDMI to the inhouse AV system, demonstrate the app, and describe the ways a skier can use Carv to greatly improve their technique and ability.
I hope to make two trips out West - so if you’re on a lift and sit next to a skier that has Carv stickers on his helmet and the tips of skis, say 'Hi' and we’ll Carv up a slope together. Cheers!
Want to improve your skiing?
Written by: Phillip Trees