PisteOff

Jeff
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Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
866
Location
Effen Texas
Before you read the review you should familiarize yourself with the equipment I am reviewing. I've not taken the time to outline exactly what it is the CARV is purported to do nor how exactly that is achieved. I do get into detail with regards to the info it provides and the metrics it is looking at. The website is here.... https://usa.getcarv.com/

My CARV arrived via DHL from overseas. It was well packaged and arrived timely. The components all appear very well made. They look well made and they feel well made. It does not come with a charger but it does come with the USB cables required to charge the transmitters. Again, the cabling is well made and the manner in which it plugs into the transmitter is designed so that the plug and the pins don't get fouled by misalignment. It engages well.

While the transmitters were charging I started looking at the foot beds. Again, well made. Cabling well designed and constructed. It all appears as if it should hold up well. Sticky tabs are provided for securing the foot beds to your boot's foot beds. I'm not sold on this yet but I haven't checked to see how it held up. Seemed too simple to me given that the CARV foot bed was a little smaller than my boot's. They also provide tape pieces to secure the cabling to inside of the cuff. That aspect seemed just fine.

Having already downloaded the app to my iPhone and set up my profile basics I began the calibration process. First you sync the transmitters. Turn on bluetooth, push the sync button in the app and then touch your phone to the transmitter and it syncs. You sync left and right. Then you do the motion sync. You need to face magnetic North, push the button on the app and it has you move the boot to match how the picture in the app is moving. Final sync is force. You put on your boot, push the button and lift your foot in the air, done. (The transmitters clip to the back of your boot and plug in to the foot beds.)

The next evening I went up to the slope to do some skiing with the Carv. Plugged them in, opened the app, they synced right up. I ran some ear buds to my phone so I could hear the interface. You choose record and it gives you a free session option and a training option. I chose the free session to get a feel for it and see how well it was calibrated. I did a number of free sessions. It gives a Ski IQ score based on your recorded performance.

The Metrics are as follows:
  1. Balance - fore/aft
  2. Edging - Edge Similarity, Max Edge Angle, and Max Edge Duration through the turn are measured and scored individually.
  3. Rotary - Smoothness (are you smooth or jerky when you rotate your skis) and Yaw Similarity or do you move your skis together
  4. Pressure - Pressure Stability (is it consistent) and Outside vs. Inside pressure in the turn
The scoring is represented on sliding scales in percentages or degrees in the case of edge angle. The scales show a green target zone that represents where you want to be. All of your scores are taken together to give you a final score they call your Ski IQ. I haven't seen a grading scale for the Ski IQ itself. Higher is better.

It also gives you a bunch of other information like max slope angle, average slope angle, max speed, max g force, overall linear travel, and descent. I will post pictures of that screen in a follow up post.

Interesting stuff. I like it for a number of reasons. A) Data is always good, B) It gives you an actual measurement of your performance, C) it measures the changes you make in bettering different aspects of your performance.

For example, think you're forward? I found out I was more neutral than I had thought. I get better edge angle than I thought I did. My rotation is smooth and skis stay parallel well. At least on the run I was on lol :)....

So after several free sessions and playing with different attributes to see how the results would come back (verifying) I decided to do a training exercise. I chose my weakest metric....balance. I actually score very well in the other 3. Each metric has a set of lessons/drills. The set consists of 5 drills for each metric, 20 in total. In order to advance through the lessons you have to successfully complete the predecessor. You can legitimately consider them challenges. So, I chose balance and had to do balance challenge 1 which consisted of having to make 16 of your last 20 turns in balance. This information is given to you via a woman's voice in the earbuds. For every balanced turn you make you hear an audible, likewise for every out of balance turn you make you hear an audible for that as well. So you receive pretty instant feedback on your turn so you can relate the feeling of how you performed that turn with either a positive or negative feedback helping you to identify what the difference between the two feels like. I like that. I ran this drill a few times but never unlocked challenge 2. Couple things.... other than the audibles I was given no score for my efforts. I intend to write CARV about that. I think it's a big fail. The challenge will keep going until your legs burn out or batteries die, or you succeed, but at no time do you have any idea how close you are because the challenge is 16 of your "last" 20 turns. I could've stopped with one more turn to go. Am I supposed to count effen beeps? That's not going to happen. I'm concentrating on what I'm doing and what I did and how it related to the audible I received. You can do multiple runs to get there. Hell I actually got a good turn audible when I cut into the maze LOL.

So there are some things that CARV did not do that their marketing material says it should. I will get into that in another post. I will also share some photos of the interface on the app. Suffice it to say that I've found nothing that is a show stopper or makes me regret my decision. I am assuming these features will be added in app updates in the coming months. I will be writing them as I discover things that are missing or I think should be included The app also performs firmware updates for the transmitters when they're available (the updates).

So, I'm going to leave this here for now. I will be adding some more in another post as outlined above. Unfortunately the next time I will get a chance to get on skis won't be until the weekend of the 17th - 19th of February as I am going to be on a 7-10's schedule until Friday the 17th.
 

Wendy

Trying not to face plant
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Mar 13, 2016
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1,271
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í mínum huga er ég í vestri
This would be way too much information for me, but it sounds fun for a numbers person.

....or, a great tool for a science fair project! :)
 
Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
866
Location
Effen Texas
@PisteOff, have you used your Carv anymore? Have you found it useful?
I did not get a chance to. After the Gathering I returned to Indiana and closed out my project there and returned home and our season here in Michigan was all but over. I was hoping to. They’ve issued a couple updates. I’ve sent them a couple emails about the UI and other things that could use improvement.
 

James

Skiing the powder
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Dec 2, 2015
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How do they define "balance", or "fore/aft"?
 

James

Skiing the powder
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Simply fore/aft. Not sure if there has been any upgrade or changes to that. I can only see the data collected prior to the updates.
But what data is the computer seeing that feeds the fore/aft algorithm? And how does the algorithm decide? "Balance" is even more nebulous. How's that defined?
Someone is deciding whether you're fore or aft or in balance. How?
 
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Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
866
Location
Effen Texas
But what data is the computer seeing that feeds the fore/aft algorithm? And how does the algorithm decide? "Balance" is even more nebulous. How's that defined?
Someone is deciding whether you're fore or aft or in balance. How?
It's calculated by how you pressure the foot. Their is an insole that goes into your boots with a few dozen pressure sensors in it.
 

James

Skiing the powder
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It's calculated by how you pressure the foot. Their is an insole that goes into your boots with a few dozen pressure sensors in it.
The key is in the details. Do you get to see the pressure map or is it just a readout saying balanced/unbalanced, fore/aft?
 
Thread Starter
TS
PisteOff

PisteOff

Jeff
Skier
Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Posts
866
Location
Effen Texas
The key is in the details. Do you get to see the pressure map or is it just a readout saying balanced/unbalanced, fore/aft?
That’s been one of my complaints. In their promotional stuff they show the detailed foot mapping with all 50 or so sensors represented as dots that go from green to red depending on pressure input.... well that’s not how it’s presently displayed. It’s just displayed as a slider fore/aft. Now, I don’t know if that has changed with the updates. I could upgrade the firmware and test them. Maybe I will when I get home. I was rather pissed about that little shortcoming when I first used them.
 

Slasher

Booting up
Skier
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Posts
36
The big gap, as mentioned by others elsewhere, is the lack of sensors to measure boot cuff pressure. Boot sole pressure, taken in isolation, provides a very incomplete picture of your balance. If/when fix this is when I’ll consider it to be a worthwhile product.
 

pete

not peace but 2 Beers!
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Nov 14, 2015
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Iowa
interesting idea, saw a BBC story on it and found this tread here.

On sale (or reduced) at $229. I can see where it'd be fun just to play with .. then loan out. Maybe they could embed heaters too, bulk up the battery and give it a duel use?

I see it notes having 9 axis 3D motion but this stuff varies greatly in quality and accuracy. Of course, maybe for learning one needn't a high degree of accuracy but simple overall trend data. Given the founders note themselves to be ski fanatics, I'd be nice to have a handful of instructors try and track em for a month or so.

if it were a bit cheaper, I'd maybe give it a try.
 

Josh Matta

Skiing the powder
Instructor
Pass Pulled
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Dec 21, 2015
Posts
4,126
its a flawed premise that your in balance should be on the ball of your foot. So flawed that I think using this product and trying to keep it from beeping at you could potentially make someone a worse skier.

BTW I am not nervous about being replaced, I would love to use something like this if it was based on actually movements and balanced, not what some well meaning but ill informed creator decided was right and wrong.
 
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