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Carv digital ski coach thoughts

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I'm back on mine for the next few weeks
The feedback, interface, general usefulness has improved dramatically since I first used them 2 years ago.
Only using "free ski" at present.
The runs I've had access to have been scratchy and icy and I struggle to get an edge in for much of the time - despite that I feel the "tuition" is helping.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I used mine in Italy last week as well.

Mixed response for me. First day, was really enjoying using it, and enjoyed the feedback and tips it gave me on the lift up, but in the afternoon the sensors disconnected, and it stopped working.

Tried it again the next day, and it cut out after lunch again. Spoke with Carv who did some looking in to it, and I had to do a simple reset.

Went to use them a third time and again they kept disconnecting.

Long and short of it is, they've said there's an issue with my left sensor and have to replace it.

Disappointing that I didn't get to use them much, and I won't have a chance for another 2 months and then just for a long weekend, so I won't get as much use as hoped this season, but the feedback I was getting I found useful, and enjoyed putting it in to practise.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I have zero experience of CARV….I’ll admit that. And note I do like tech which helps with safety and navigation. Beacons and GPS very good indeed. But I have had really irritating experience in mtb-ing of people being completely focussed on route tech - every stop: bleep, ping, head down pressing buttons…going uphill…bleep bleep ping….going down…ping….of course you can turn off the alerts but people don’t…grrr….

Grief why are we out there? We shouldn’t forget that….
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valais2 wrote:
I have zero experience of CARV….I’ll admit that. And note I do like tech which helps with safety and navigation. Beacons and GPS very good indeed. But I have had really irritating experience in mtb-ing of people being completely focussed on route tech - every stop: bleep, ping, head down pressing buttons…going uphill…bleep bleep ping….going down…ping….of course you can turn off the alerts but people don’t…grrr….

Grief why are we out there? We shouldn’t forget that….


And that's a particular reason why I like CARV, I switch it on via the app on my phone at the start of the day normally before I've even taken a lift, and then it's put it my pocket, and there's no other interaction until the end of the day when I switch it off (sometimes when I'm all the way back in the ski locker). Obviously there is many different ways to use this tech, but this is how I use it. I'll then look at the output in the evening while chilling on my bed.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@Handy Turnip, +1 if I'm skiing on my own i may leave the volume up on my phone to hear what Carv has to say about my skiing but normally I don't and just look at our after the day is done
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@valais2, I used mine with 1 headphone in on freeski mode, and the only time it really says anything to you is about 20 seconds in to a chairlift ride where it tells you your score and a tip to work on. When you start your run, it gives you a reminder of the tip you should work on and then that's it.

It's really not intrusive at all, and you don't need to look at it until you switch it off.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I am leaning toward returning my Carv, but I thought I would describe my experience here in case I’m overlooking something. Background: I first skied at 37 (learning at the same time as my son), was quite active as he grew up, had fun and kept up with the parents of his friends through middle and high school, then stopped when he went to college. Six years later, I’ve moved to a town with its own learning hill and I bought a pass. I’ve been out about 20 days so far.

I realize I am a below-average skier and with a limited budget and enamoured of gadgets I thought Carv seemed like a good idea.

Here are my results so far:

Day 1 - still pretty shaky after my 6-year hiatus. Average Ski IQ: 73 (roughly the bottom 2% of Carv users)

Day 2 (with some non-Carv skiing in between) - temperatures in the upper 40s, slushy conditions slowing things down but turns felt easier. Average Ski IQ: 73

Day 3 (with some non-Carv skiing in between) - a deep freeze after a day of rain. The whole mountain is like a bumpy ice rink. Turning very difficult. Average Ski IQ: 73

Day 4 (with some non-Carv skiing in between) - a bluebird day, an inch of powder overnight though still a few icy sections. Best I’ve felt all year, managed to get into a good rhythm a few times. Average Ski IQ: 73

When I switch to the mode where it reads out a metric after every turn, things get even more confusing. A hockey stop at the end of the run was good for 85-95. A slow but (I think) well-executed turn where I was thinking about one of the tips usually scored in the 50s. When I stop thinking it’s in the 70s. I associate near-falls with 80s and actual falls with 90s.

It’s possible I’m just getting garbled data, or maybe it just doesn’t work at the low end of the distribution (none of the testimonials on their site are from anyone with scores this low). Either way, it’s kind of sucked out the joy from skiing.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Quote:

Either way, it’s kind of sucked out the joy from skiing.


Clear your mind.
Feel the skis!

#zenskiing Cool
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If I were you I'd sell them. Or you could watch some of the free tutorials and/or go through some of the free drills and training exercises available through the app.
Forget about your scores - all you seem to have done, from your description above, is monitor without any will to improve.
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@Fpb1, skiing is amazing, and if it's sucked the joy from it, then obviously that's not good.

Personally I turn the audio off, put in free ski mode and just enjoy my skiing. I then review the feedback in the evening, and put into practice the next day. And I saw a continued improvement in my skiing throughout the week, and at the same time didn't let it interrupt my pure enjoyment of unburdened skiing.
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Do you really need a computer to tell you how much you enjoyed your day? I can’t imagine anything worse Toofy Grin
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@telford_mike I am in full agreement. The hardware is boxed and ready to return.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@telford_mike, @Fpb1, I am also in full agreement, which is why I use carv the way I do and will continue to. And no doubt be happy with.

I suspect their frustrations go deeper than carv.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I don’t think my frustrations go too much deeper than carv. Yes, I’m miffed that an algorithm would tell me that after 15 years I’m in the bottom 2% of skiers and that after 15 hours of skiing I was not able to budge the needle. As a statistician by trade I know that their sample database of “bad” skiing is probably shallow and biased, because that is not the target market. Anyhow, in a positive spirit I will use the refund to pay for 5 hours of lessons - although with thin cover already and a 60 F degree day forecast for Wednesday, it might be a moot point.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@Fpb1, I think using the refund to pay for 5 hours of lessons is actually a really shout. As has been mentioned quite a few times on here, Carv isn't there to replace instruction - and at the point you're at, having lessons is probably the best thing you can do to progress.

It's a shame you can't do both (but obviously understand that people haven't got an endless pot of money) - as hopefully lessons will give you an immediate step change in progress, and then you can use Carv to build on it.

Personally I have the audio switched off and just have it in free ski mode - so I can ignore it and just enjoy my skiing. I then review the feedback in the evening and put it's advice into practice the next day (again with audio off and in free ski mode). Using this method I managed to increase my IQ by 20% during the week.

But it's different strokes for different folks I guess..
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Fpb1 wrote:
I don’t think my frustrations go too much deeper than carv. Yes, I’m miffed that an algorithm would tell me that after 15 years I’m in the bottom 2% of skiers and that after 15 hours of skiing I was not able to budge the needle. As a statistician by trade I know that their sample database of “bad” skiing is probably shallow and biased, because that is not the target market. Anyhow, in a positive spirit I will use the refund to pay for 5 hours of lessons - although with thin cover already and a 60 F degree day forecast for Wednesday, it might be a moot point.


I hope I don't come across as snarky or needlessly critising someone I don't know. Time does not equal competence. I should know, 25 years of skiing+snowboarding and I'm not much more than intermediate at both.
I do have Carv, and I'm sitting at around 104 Ski IQ. The thing about Carv IQ rating is that it's for a specific type of carving turns that's uses more or less across the entire slope, which doesn't really happen that often during a normal run. I would pay more attention to your edge angle, balance, synchronisation etc. data and try to improve those.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@luanb, but how many days in each of those 25 years?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Not snarky at all, thought I think that while time does not equal expertise, it does yield competence. Little Angel
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under a new name wrote:
@luanb, but how many days in each of those 25 years?

I don't keep count, probably somewhere around 7 per year. A week most years, 2 weeks in a few. Split between ski and snowboard. I did have a gap of 4 years, due to child.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@luanb, would you expect to be a good tennis player on one week a year?
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under a new name wrote:
@luanb, would you expect to be a good tennis player on one week a year?

Yes. I'm amazing like that. Very Happy
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Just back from ten days in Sunshine and Louise, my first time using Carv outside.

A mixture of sessions where I could really use Carv - so wide blues where I could (try and) carve and work on some of the drills - and other skiing where it wasn't appropriate to pay any attention to the metrics.

YMMV, but I found the times when Carv was appropriate to be really useful. It helped me to focus on pressure, edging and balance rather than being lazy and gave me immediate feedback which I found helpful. Other times I turned off the audio or Carv completely.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
under a new name wrote:
@luanb, would you expect to be a good tennis player on one week a year?


It's a ski thing that makes zero sense!

The carv user group is going to be extremely bias towards the better end of skiers. The kind of people buying them are likely doing multiple weeks per year and fairly advanced skiers already. So if you only ski 1 week a year and are a self confessed below average skier it's maybe not surprising you are near the bottom.

Carb may well be terrible for those closer to the beginner end of the spectrum. The big issue with it, that I've mentioned before is that it has no idea what your body is actually doing. It's all well and good instructing you to pressure here or there more or less at certain points of a turn but if your body positioning is all out it's not much use. A bit like trying to improve someone's tennis serving action when they are throwing the ball a couple of metres away from themselves in the air. In which case a human instructior is going to be of much more help - and may even improve your carv IQ score!

At the end of the day it's just a number from an algorithm. It's not going to be 100% accurate and improving your score doesn't guarantee you being a better skier and vice versa. If it's taking the fun out of skiing definitely time to return it.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
boarder2020 wrote:
under a new name wrote:
@luanb, would you expect to be a good tennis player on one week a year?


It's a ski thing that makes zero sense!

The carv user group is going to be extremely bias towards the better end of skiers. The kind of people buying them are likely doing multiple weeks per year and fairly advanced skiers already. So if you only ski 1 week a year and are a self confessed below average skier it's maybe not surprising you are near the bottom.

Carb may well be terrible for those closer to the beginner end of the spectrum. The big issue with it, that I've mentioned before is that it has no idea what your body is actually doing. It's all well and good instructing you to pressure here or there more or less at certain points of a turn but if your body positioning is all out it's not much use. A bit like trying to improve someone's tennis serving action when they are throwing the ball a couple of metres away from themselves in the air. In which case a human instructior is going to be of much more help - and may even improve your carv IQ score!

At the end of the day it's just a number from an algorithm. It's not going to be 100% accurate and improving your score doesn't guarantee you being a better skier and vice versa. If it's taking the fun out of skiing definitely time to return it.

Indeed, Carv themselves admitted that it doesn't work well in choppy snow conditions. Also, a significant part of their promotional stuff is about how coaches can use the data in their teaching sessions.
As you said, for casual users it doesn't make sense as there's no time for repeated practices demand by the system and an instructor is much more time effective at teaching. I've ended up just using it as observation points on how the day went at the end.

p.s. Carv has moved to a subscriptions model, you only get the first year "free". So it's definitely really for regular skiers.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
Quick question: I’m thinking of buying Carv. I would like to share it with my kids & wife and not have to buy a subscription 4 times, which would be a bit pricey. How easy is it to swap the footbed sensor between boots (we are all similar sized ski boots)? Do I need to get 4 foot beds at 150 each or can I get away with only one? Advice welcomed.
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@gohuwgo, I actually don't have a definitive answer.
Tbh, I'd expect frequent swopping might not be the easiest thing to do. You'd need to recalibrate each time.
As far as I understand it, each unit has only one user so you'd be yo-yoing back and forth and I'm not sure how beneficial the tips would be for progression with the constant change.
For a specific day and on the spot feedback you'd be fine.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.


Sorry, forgot the official answer
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
There will be a size guide - have you checked that? I think it's quite broadbrush,, but that's where I'd start.
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