What's new with Ski:IQ™

By Team Carv

December 21, 2020

6 min read

Carv has created the largest collection of skiing data on the planet recorded with over 30 million skiing turns (and counting).

Over the last year we have worked with a number of top ski instructors to systematically improve our Ski:IQ™ system, validating it with various ski schools to test it against every skiing level.

Here's what's changed...

Ski:IQ™ will more accurately reflect your skiing technique

  • Accurate data is the foundation of Carv and we are excited to share this latest update with you. Our new Ski:IQ can better identify the skills you need to focus on and give you more specific tips. It also means we can tailor the tips to your ability level more precisely.

We have re-levelled Ski:IQ™ (130 is the new 150...)

  • In our quest to deliver the best coaching possible, some of your scores may have decreased with this Ski:IQ update. We have levelled Ski:IQ around a median score of 110 and higher scores are now suitably hard to earn to allow differentiation at the professional level.
  • If you are scoring higher than 110, you are an 'above average skier'. Any score above 130 is advanced skiing, representing the top 6% of all runs on Carv, and a score over 150 is a world-class instructor level (top 0.1% of all runs).

You have 3 new metrics

  • We have worked with instructors like Tom Gellie (APSI examiner), to define three new metrics to help you understand components of quality skiing. Read on to find out more.

Want to find out about the other app changes this year? Read this.

Balance: what's changed

1. Fore:aft balance is gone. Meet Forward Stance.

Fore:aft balance looked at your center of pressure across both feet throughout the turn. However, skiers of many abilities were able to score well without skiing well (e.g. a snowplough could score highly).

The best skiers shift their weight forward at the start of the turn helping to engage the ski in the turn. At the end of the turn, they subtly shift their weight back to maintain tail edge grip. So we have refined the metric to look at the balance point at the turn initiation only.

Forward Stance will now give you a precise reading of whether you are in an athletic stance as you start your turns.

2. Foot Roll

Balance is not only along the forward/backward axis. We wanted to include the idea of 'lateral balance' in this year's Ski:IQ.

Great skiers control their turns by using their feet, ankles, knees & hips to balance against their outside ski.

Foot Roll measures how the center of pressure in each of your feet moves as you edge angle increases at the start of the turn. Put simply, are you rolling your foot to balance from the small toe side to the large toe side of each turn - or are you throwing your skis around in an uncontrolled fashion?

Edging: what's changed

1. Something for the racers - Early Edging

Dynamic carving is a huge goal for most skiers. However, great carving requires skiers to roll their skis and create high edge angles at the start of the turn. Until now this movement has been impossible for the average skier to accurately measure.

The new Early Edging metric specifically looks at how quickly you are able to increase your edge angles at the start of the turn. Early edging allows you to apply pressure earlier in the turn, acting as a foundation for high-performance carving.


We have also built this metric as a monitor so you can get your early edge score live on every turn. Racers eat your heart out.

Rotary: what's changed

1. Differentiating carving turns

Measuring the parallel index (rotation) of the skis is an important factor for intermediate level skiing. We all remember (or are currently working on) the progression from 'pizza' to 'french fries'.

However, once you are starting to tip the ski onto its edge in a carving turn, the rotation of each ski becomes less important. Instead, outside ski pressure and edge control take over as the main factors to focus on.

This season, if Carv detects high performance carving over most of your run you will notice that Rotary becomes greyed out. We did not want rotary scores to affect your Ski:IQ when we detect carving turns.

Turn Comparison: what's changed

1. Become an ambiturner

Most of us have one turn direction that's stronger than another. It's often related to the comfort of using our dominant foot, or perhaps it's an embedded bad habit. Either way, it stops us skiing with beautiful flow.

To help you rout out your own bias, Carv will now show you the Edging and Pressure Turn Comparison with a directional (left/right) bias. Find that bias and crush it with some focussed training!

Ski:IQ weightings

Our secret sauce is all in the way we construct and weight each metric.

To improve this feature of Carv we have trained machine learning models to classify skier ability and we have inspected what the models found to be important up to judge skiing ability. This means that our Ski:IQ is now more accurate than ever.

Skills that have a high weighting (they are defining factors in great skiing):

  1. Edge similarity
  2. Early edging
  3. Edge angle
  4. Outside ski pressure

Skills that now have a lower weighting in the Ski:IQ calculation:

  1. Parallel index
  2. Pressure symmetry

Want to improve your new Ski:IQ score?

Here’s what you need to do to get closer to the skiing of top instructors.

Ski:IQ 90-100

Try to move from snow plough turns to parallel turns focusing on rotating & edging your skis at the same time. A classic barrier to doing this is not having an athletic stance & having too much pressure on your inside ski. Try this article for help.

Ski:IQ 100-115

As you get more comfortable with parallel turns, try increasing your speed to turn with higher edge angles & more pressure on the outside ski. This will help you out.

Ski:IQ 115-130

If you are comfortable with higher edge angles & more pressure on the outside ski, look to start toppling from one turn into another in order to engage your edges earlier. Learn from out the secrets hidden within.

Ski:IQ 130-150

To really take your skiing to the next level level & beat 140 you need to master:

  • Toppling into the turn

  • Applying pressure to your early outside ski edge after the topple

  • Dynamically balancing against your outside ski to maintain ski grip throughout the turn

  • Linking turns with smooth transitions & symmetrical shape

Theres not one article/video that can teach you all of this, but we think this might help.

Ski:IQ 150+

To beat 150 you’ll need to master all aspects of the turn. If you're at this level you will need to start reading between the lines of the information listed above - the algorithm is yours to crack if you can start exploring. You may be excited to know that you are in a select club of about 50 skiers using Carv - scoring in the top 0.2% of all runs.

Here's a random link
about edge similarity (wink wink).

Want to learn with Carv's video tips?

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Written by: Team Carv