What's new with Ski:IQ™

By Team Carv

January 1, 2020

5 min read

Carv has created the largest collection of skiing data on the planet recorded with over 25.8 million skiing turns (and counting).

Over the last 6 months we have worked with a number of top ski instructors to add a very robust professional instructor dataset to the system to systematically improve our Ski:IQ™ metric. Our data scientists have taken the data from a number of world-class instructors (as well as intermediates and beginners) to train our Carv engine to recognise a range of skiing levels with even more accuracy.

What does this mean for you?

  • Ski:IQ™ will now more accurately reflect your skiing technique. This means you can better identify which skills to focus on and see when you have improved.
  • Your past data will be re-calculated to score your skiing more accurately. You will now get more useful insights from past sessions.
  • Your leaderboard positions will change as everyone's top Ski:IQ™ changes

What did our Ski:IQ analysis show:

1. Most skiers could score well in fore:aft balance and inside:outside pressure

We’ve found skiers of most abilities were able to score well on fore:aft balance and inside:outside pressure without necessarily skiing well (for example, a snow plough will score highly on both of these). These users were rewarded with a high Ski:IQ, even if their technique needed work in other areas. As a result, top skiers were not getting differentiated enough for skiing with flawless technique across the board.

There is no doubt that a well-maintained stance over the foot and a body position that balances against the outside ski is critical for good skiing. These two metrics will remain in the app as an important diagnostic, but will not be factored into the new Ski:IQ with the same weighting as before.

Ski:IQ™ change 1: fore/aft balance and inside:outside pressure metrics will only take your Ski:IQ™ score so far - other metrics are needed to reach higher levels.

2. Only the very best skiers can get top scores in edge similarity and parallel index

Top instructors skiers will score highly for all of our metrics, but edge similarity and parallel index were the two metrics that truly differentiate good skiers. This is true across short, medium and long turns. A skier needs a huge amount of technical proficiency to direct their skis with almost perfect uniformity and similarity. After all, this is why top skiers turn heads and are so mesmerising to watch.

To achieve a high score on these metrics, you will need very strong foundations in balance, edging, pressure and rotation for both feet across multiple turn types- making it a fantastic diagnostic measure for Ski:IQ™.

Ski:IQ™ change 2: edge similarity and parallel index metrics are weighted highly in the new Ski:IQ™ calculation

3. Smooth skiing wasn’t being rewarded enough

We’ve all seen skiers who ski with style, rhythm and flow. They draw eyes from the chairlift with their gorgeous turns.

At Carv we’ve been deconstructing the way our top ambassadors put together these beautiful smooth turns. Their Carv data signature shows that they do this by changing their edge angles applying pressure incredibly smoothly. This smoothness is present whether they are doing short turns, medium turns, or long carves.

We’ve created a smoothness metric to capture how fluidly a skier changes their edge angle and transitions pressure between the skis. Needless to say, this is quite difficult to achieve in practice. We have validated this smoothness metric against our top skiers to make sure that smooth skiing is rewarded over and above jerky/jagged turning.

Ski:IQ™ change 3: edge smoothness and pressure smoothness are new metrics designed to reward controlled, smooth turning by looking at pressure and edging.

Want to improve your new Ski:IQ score?

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

1. Keep your balance and outside ski pressure - these are the fundamentals that make it possible to improve the other metrics.

  • If you are not scoring well here, jump into training mode and use the Balance Training and Outside ski drill to get yourself up and running.

2. Improve your edge similarity

  • Start the Edge Similarity monitor and test yourself as you ski small turns. Gradually increase then reduce the turn radius and notice which turn types you struggle to score highly on. NB top instructors can regularly get over 90% on this metric.
  • Perform the Carving Training drill on the lowest levels on a blue. Really focus on your ‘touch on the snow’, starting with small movements and noticing how similarly you skis move. Do you have problems rolling identically to the left or right? Is your uphill ski the one causing problems?
  • Progress through to level 20 in Carving Training. The app looks for high edge angle and similarity as you progress.

3. Focus on smoothness

  • Ski with Free Session mode and review your edge smoothness score and pressure smoothness score (in the edging and pressure sections respectively). Which one is weaker?
  • Pick a quiet, gentle and well-groomed slope. Try skiing with the Rhythm drill to get Carv to set the 'flow' for you, then focus on how you are pressuring and rolling your ankles. Are you engaging your edge early and rolling into a pressurised but stable platform against your outside ski, or are you jerking and hockey stopping in the last third of the turn to control your speed.
  • Skiing smoothly is a factor of confident and controlled early edging. Learning to build up the pressure on the inside edge of your outside ski is a very difficult skill that takes time to master. Keep an eye on this metric as you improve and never be afraid to move down to easier slopes to dial it in!

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Written by: Team Carv