Gadgets and apps for skiers and snowboarders


  • Technology
  • Sunday, 15 Dec 2019

It's a good idea to protect your smartphone with a shockproof cover while you're out on the slopes. — dpa

In this age of innovation and technical wizardry, there’s more to winter sports that skis and poles. If you’re heading off for a skiing or snowboarding holiday in the mountains, here is some stuff you never knew you needed:

Plan your day

What are the conditions on the mountain and which lifts are in use? The world's most downloaded skiing and snowboarding app is On The Snow's Ski and Snow Report app. This delivers daily snow reports and current conditions from the slopes of more than 2,000 ski areas globally.

“It's important that an app not only provides information on whether the sun is shining or whether it is snowing, but also on the condition of the slopes,” says Rainer Schuldt from Germany’s Computerbild website.

He recommends an app called Bergfex/Ski which covers the Alpine region along with Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia.

Protect your smartphone

It’s a good idea to protect your smartphone with a shockproof cover while you’re out on the slopes. Lisa Brack from the Chip Online portal recommends a neoprene bag, which will keep out moisture and provide some cushioning.

It’s also important to keep your phone close to your body, for example in the breast pocket of your ski jacket. This will keep it warm and prevent battery capacity from decreasing as the external temperature drops.

Save energy and recharge

To conserve as much battery power as possible, you can put the smartphone in flight mode when you don't need the Internet and aren't expecting any calls.

You could also consider taking along an additional power source. “It's best to bring a small power bank with you,” says Brack. “Five thousand milliamperes will be enough.” Current models are no bigger than a pack of cigarettes, do not weigh much, and can recharge a smartphone several times.

E-clothing

How can you operate your smartphone while still keeping your hands warm? Experts recommend gloves with a special coating on the tips of the fingers for interaction with the touchscreen.

Heated ski boots, socks or insoles can provide an added dose of comfort. Vests are also available with battery-powered heating that can be controlled via Bluetooth using a smartphone, says Beate Hitzler from Ski und Berge, the magazine of the German Ski Association (DSV). A power bank could come in handy here, too.

However, Rainer Schuldt is less keen on heatable electric winter jackets. “The technology is not mature,” he warns, “so you should choose a proven normal ski suit instead.” – dpa

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