06 February 2015

The gadget lover’s skiing guide

If you’re jetting off to the slopes this half term, it’s worth packing more than your salopettes and sunglasses. From mobile apps to wearable cameras, there are plenty of gadgets to help you make the most of your time in the mountains. Here are five to choose from:

GoPro wearable camera

Shoot first-person footage

The GoPro¹ is the wearable camera that’s designed to show off your moves on the piste. Waterproof and tough, its become one of the most important accessories to be seen with on the slopes, mainly because of the way it captures professional-quality footage with minimum fuss – and whilst keeping your hands free for ski poles. You can review and upload photos and video to Facebook, YouTube and other social media channels using the GoPro App², which can work as well from a chairlift as from a chalet. Obviously you’ll also need some accessories³ to provide the ‘immersive’ experience that GoPro is renowned for – be it a strap attaching the camera to your chest or helmet, a mount to stick on your pole, or a remote control to capture the action from a distance.

Trace

Track your performance on the slopes

Want to know if you completed your last run in your fastest time? Check how many miles you covered? Even the number of calories you’ve burned from today’s skiing session? Then you may want to consider investing in Trace4, an innocuous, flashing little tracker device that you attach onto your skis or snowboard. With 10 hours’ battery life, it’ll last a whole day on the mountain and inconspicuously monitor all your activities. Later in the evening, you can log onto the free Trace Snow mobile app5 to get a breakdown of your vital statistics, including your speed, distance and time. It’s an incredibly useful way of tracking your progress and, if you’re the competitive type, comparing your performance against your friends on the leaderboard.

Skiresort.info App

Your guidebook on the move

This all-in-one free app6 lists details of a mind-boggling 5,000 ski resorts worldwide, including valuable information such as slopes, lifts, ski pass prices and opening times, plus all-important snow reports and weather forecasts. To help get your bearings on arrival, you’ll find 3,000 trail maps (with zoom-in function) and you don’t have to worry about hefty data roaming charges. Simply save your favourite ski resorts to the app and you can view trail maps for your resort without an internet connection. There are also webcams and live streams if you’re eager to check out the conditions for yourself. Suffering withdrawal symptoms back in the UK? Simply open the app and shake your phone to get a recommendation at random for next year’s skiing holiday.

Oakley Airwave goggles

Google Glass for the slopes

Sunglasses or goggles are vital for protecting your eyes from snow-glare. And technology is increasingly deciding what’s fashionable on the piste. Oakley Airwave goggles7 combine a famous brand with the latest ‘heads up display’ technology (the kind behind Google Glass) to deliver GPS data on how far and fast you’ve travelled on a small screen at the bottom of the visor. The goggles can also show you preloaded maps, controls for your music playlist and ‘buddy tracking’ to locate your pals on the slopes. There’s even Bluetooth integration, so you can view incoming calls and text messages through your goggles – if you can bear to have your skiing time interrupted, that is.

Resqski tag

Say goodbye to lost skis and boards

Taking a tumble is a rite of passage for all skiers and snowboarders – as is spending the next half an hour cursing while you try and locate your lost skis or board buried somewhere beneath the powder snow. Stick the Resqski homing tags8 to your skis or board, however, and you’ll be able to find the missing articles in no time using a handheld transceiver. These clever gizmos use RF technology (the kind used in Transport for London’s Oyster card) and can detect the presence of your skis or board from up to 30m away and up to one metre below ground. A series of flashing lights that change from red to green and sonic beeps that get progressively louder the closer your equipment is, will help you get back on your feet quickly.

How Nationwide can help

Travel insurance is a necessity whenever you jet off on holiday, but especially so if you’re going to be undertaking an activity like skiing. If you’re a FlexPlus account holder, you’ll get Worldwide Family Travel Insurance – including coverage for winter sports – as one of the benefit of the account. Our FlexPlus current account has a £10 per month fee and full details of what that covers, including worldwide travel insurance cover and commission free cash withdrawals abroad, can be on our features and benefits page. Limits and Exclusions apply. FlexPlus Worldwide Family Travel Insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited.

Sources:

  1. http://gopro.com/
  2. https://shop.gopro.com/EMEA/softwareandapp/
  3. http://shop.gopro.com/EMEA/mounts/
  4. http://www.traceup.com/
  5. https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/alpinereplay-ski-snowboard/id457396498?mt=8
  6. http://www.skiresort.info/app/
  7. http://uk.oakley.com/en/mens/goggles/snow-goggles/airwave-snow/category/m030101
  8. http://www.resqski.com/

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