Your Guide to Ski:IQ™
What is Ski:IQ™
Ski:IQ™ provides a quantified estimate of your skiing technique. We have worked with top instructors from PSIA (The Professional Ski Instructors of America), CSIA (Canadian Ski Instructors Association) & Interski to create metrics that reliably assess your technique for a broad range of turn types.
Skiing technique can be broken down into 4 key skills:
The Ski:IQ™ scoring system is a weighted average of the metrics contained in these skills. Ski:IQ™ has (theoretical) minimum of 0 and a maximum of 200.
The average skier on a piste will be scoring around 100. Intermediates will score between 110-125, experts between 125-140 and professionals 140+.
How Ski:IQ™ works
Ski:IQ™ is currently optimised for blue/red groomed trails since this is the most commonly skied terrain. The quality of your skiing often depends on conditions, so be aware that varied conditions will affect your Ski:IQ™.
The Ski:IQ™ scoring system is relative and may fluctuate as more performance data is collected. Your scores may change as improvements to the performance algorithms are made. Explore the Carv Leaderboard to see how your Ski:IQ™ compares to other skiers in the Carv community.
Jump to section to learn more:
- Description: We use our 36 force sensors in each insole to map where the centre of pressure is located in real-time. This mapping is designed so that 0% is the back of your foot and 100% is the front of your foot. For high-level skiing, your weight should be centred on the arches of your feet, this translates into a score between 50%-60%. Scores in this range will score best.
- To improve: Allow your shins to make contact with the tongue of your ski boots (touching not pressing). Think of bending your knees and hips so that your shoulders are over the toes of your boots. As you ski, try to keep your balance between the balls of your feet and the back of the arch. Try to aim for a score of between 50%-60%.
Top instructors using Carv score between 50%-60%
- Description: This score is assessed at the run level. We take the center of pressure for each turn and translate this into a score for your run. Carv rewards a well-balanced stance. A score of 100 indicates perfect balance (all of your turns measure between 50-60% in Fore:Aft balance) and 0 indicates all of your turns are too far back (0-20% Fore:Aft balance) or too far forwards (85-100% Fore:Aft balance).
- Improvement: score as close to between 50-60% for Fore:aft balance as possible for every turn which will translate into a score close to 100. Use your hips, knees and ankles proportionally in an athletic stance (shins in contact but not pressing), and your hands in front as you ski
Top instructors using Carv score 90%
- Description: We track the edge angle of each ski over the duration of the turn. Edge similarity describes how well you edge your skis together and is given as a percent. If you edge both of your skis in exactly the same way (perfect carving) then you will score 100, if you snow-plough or carve your skis in an A-frame, you will have a much lower score.
- Improvement: make sure you keep your skis parallel and turn them together. Initiate the turn with both skis, trying to roll your ankles and knees at the same time to create the ski angle uniformly. Leaving your weight on the uphill ski (due to a lack of trust in your turn) will create an A-frame in your knees as your body will not be able to roll the uphill ski to the same degree as the downhill. It is much easier to turn your edges together using carving turns rather than skidded turns. Click here to learn how to carve.
Top instructors using Carv score 95% for this skill
Average edge angle
- Description: As we track your edge angle throughout the turn we make a note of the highest angle. We then average this across the run to give your average edge angle. Most high level instructors we’ve worked with are able to get edge angles of over 75 degrees and averages of over 60 degrees. This is very difficult to achieve, but anything above 40 degrees is very good. Higher angles result from a more active engagement of the ski radius in the carving turn, made possible by extremely well-controlled body position, pressure and balance.
- Improvement: When turning, engage your edges as soon as possible by rolling your ankles into the turn early, focusing on the building of pressure against your outside ski’s inside edge - creating a solid platform to balance on. The pressure should quickly and smoothly increase as you balance against the inside edge of the outside ski. Creating the right angles in your body (through lateral articulation of the body) maintains your pressure against the outside ski.
Top instructors using Carv can score over 60° for this skill, depending on the slope type.
- Description: The best skiers are able to create high edge angles very early in the turn and sustain these high edge angles throughout the turn with their maximum at the apex in the turn. This creates clean tracks in the snow. For this metric we measure the amount of time you keep the ski within 10% of your maximum edge angle during a turn. This is scored as a percentage. To score a higher percentage, engage your edges early and hold them throughout the turn.
- Improvement: Great skiers create a high edge angle earlier in the turn. To move your edging earlier in the turn try to roll your ankles into your turn before you reach the apex of the turn. You can do this by rolling your ankles into the turn to engage the edges at the start. Make sure you keep your core stable, trust your edges and continue to drive the skis through the turn. Leaning too far forward and you will wash out your tails, too far backward and you’ll struggle to engage the arc of the ski.
Top instructors using Carv will score over 50% for this metric
- Description: When a skier carves a turn the ski cuts through the snow and the edged ski opposes the forces of the turn. As the turn develops, the forces increase and the required edge angle to oppose the forces also increases. This type of arced turn results in a very smooth increase and decrease of edge angle over the course of the turn. If the ski skids out of the turn this smooth motion turns jerky. We measure the smoothness of your edge angle to see how well you are opposing your edge angle against the force of the turn. 100% is perfectly smooth and 0% is a rough turn.
- Improvement: Try to make sure you are carving your turns, by leaving clean arcs in the snow. To do this as effectively as possible use this sequence…
- Increase the edge angle to the fall line (maximum angle is at the fall line)
- Think of starting to decrease the edge angle as soon as you change direction. This will give you a smoother arc to arc sensation.
Top instructors using Carv will score over 80% for this metric
- Description: A classic issue for most skiers is having one turn side stronger than the other. For this metric we take both of your skis for left and right turns then we compare if there are any differences in how you edge. If you edge your inside and outside skis in exactly the same way for both left and right you will score 100%. If one turn is more dominant that the other then you will score lower.
- Improvement: To achieve this symmetry think of skiing foot to foot so that you commit to the outside ski. Think of skiing to a music tempo (eg. The waltz) this can help you get one turn the same as the the other turn. Practice this on a gentle slope and gradually increase speed on this slope until it is comfortable. Progress to steeper terrain as you see the results in your tracks
Top instructors will score over 95% for this metric
Average edging analysis diagram
- The edge analysis graph shows the average of all of your turns from a run.
- The bottom of the graph is the start of the turn and the top of the graph is the end of the turn.
- Red/orange indicates high scores and green/blue indicates low scores. The lines that curve to the right are your right turns, correspondly the lines curving to the left are your left turns.
- For ‘perfect’ edging these lines should change colour at the same rate, this shows that your inside and outside skis are edging together. If one of your skis is much stronger than it will be more red.
- The highest edging should be in the halfway point or just before it, when your ski is pointing down the fall-line. However, some steeper slopes require later edging to control speed.
- Description: The parallel index is measuring how well you rotate your skis together during a turn. Perfect parallel skiing will give you high scores on this metric and show that your skis are moving as one. Skiing in ‘Snow-Plough’ or ‘Pizza’ shape will give low scores for this metric.
- Improvement: Try to keep your skis as parallel as possible and move them together. Ensure you are skiing with rhythm and rolling your skis smoothly through the transition into your next turn. Attempting 'rollerblade turns' on a cat track or on any gentle terrain can really improve this aspect of your skiing.
- Description: One of the most important movements in skiing is balancing against the outside ski as you turn. This creates pressure on the outside ski, bending the ski into the turn and providing a platform for the skier (especially on steeper terrain or when turning with higher edge angles). For this metric, we measure the pressure on both your inside and outside skis and calculate the percentage of your total force that you put through the outside ski. The best skiers will score between 60-75% for this metric depending on the slope pitch. The ideal score will vary depending on the turn type you are performing so we have a wide margin for this metric.
- Improvement: Focus on balancing against the outside ski as you turn. Try skiing on just your outside ski to get the feel of it (the Carv app has an interactive drill for this). As you increase the speed of your turns, this pressure will need to be maintained with more lateral separation. Keep your centre of mass over the outside ski by utilizing appropriate bending of the joints (Hip, Knee and Ankle) to manage the forces and the turn shape.
- Description: Great skiing is smooth and has ‘flow’. To ski smoothly you need to master applying and releasing pressure from your skis with rhythm and flow. We measure how smoothly you can build up and release pressure during your turn.
- Improvement: Avoid jerky movements by moving your weight smoothly through the phases of the turn. As you enter the new turn, focus on gradually increasing pressure on the outside ski by lightning the inside ski. Starting with rolling your ankles and pressing down on the arch of your foot of the outside ski. When you exit the turn, you will need to start to release the pressure on the outside ski and start shifting the balance to the inside ski to prepare for early edging on your next turn.
- Description: A classic issue for most skiers is having one turn side stronger than the other. For this metric we take both of your skis for left and right turns then we compare if there are any differences in how apply pressure. If you apply and release pressure on your inside and outside skis in exactly the same way for both left and right you will score 100%. If one turn is more dominant that the other then you will score lower.
- Improvement: Again using a rhythm can assist greatly here. Try counting... Bend..2...3 when you reach the fall line (skis pointed down the slope) in every turn. This is effective no matter what the slope….for short turns or bumps just going to a count of 1 will likely be sufficient.
Average Pressure Analysis
- The pressure analysis graph shows the average of all of your turns from a run. The bottom of the graph is the start of the turn and the top of the graph is the end of the turn, red/orange indicates high pressure and green/blue show low pressure and the lines that curve to the right are your right turns, correspondly the lines curving to the left are your left turns.
- For ‘perfect’ carved turns, your outside ski should show much higher pressure than your inside. It is not unusual for inside ski pressure to be high at the start of the turn as this was your outside ski for the previous turn and it is still loaded with a lot of pressure when you transition between turns.
- An optimal graph will show the maximum pressure (red) in the fall line of the turn for the outside ski and minimum pressure (blue) for the inside ski.