The ski season is in full swing around the world (well, depending on your latitude, admittedly). All over the place, people are sashaying down slopes, sitting on slowly chugging lifts back up, before rinsing and repeating.
Whether you're skiing or snowboarding, there aren't many pastimes that can so comprehensively distract you from your everyday life, and pack in some beautiful mountain sights while you're at it. Still, though, skiing isn't exactly the cheapest activity, so it can be a bit daunting to consider it.
Something that could make your life a bit easier, though, is some tech - whether you're looking to learn how to ski, or perfect your downhill game, there are a range of gadgets you could take with you for support. We've gathered some of the very best on this list for you.
Our pick of the best ski tech to buy today
Whether you're pretty new to skiing or are reaching the point where you're not sure how to improve your technique, a coaching companion would be ideal, wouldn't it? Teachers are hugely expensive though and can be a bit restricted in terms of the time spent with you.
Thankfully, Carv has arrived on the scene to offer personalised coaching entirely digitally. The app connects to sensors that you wear in and on your boots, which tell it in minute detail how you're skiing and whether your balance is as it should be.
It'll tell you how you did after each run, and what you need to improve on, plus show you how to do that, all through your headphones so that you don't have to fumble around on your phone each time you need an update. It's a great little gadget that will really help you to develop your abilities and confidence.
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro
Garmin's latest flagship watch is pretty much the marker to beat when it comes to sports tracking and metrics. It'll keep track of every detail of your health and fitness, as well as offering pinpoint maps and GPS data to boot. Plus, on the top-range version, you'll even get some power back through solar charging to expand the battery life a bit.
It's rugged and hardy, too, which makes it perfect for a skiing holiday. You'll be able to track your progress around a resort or mountain without needing to pull out a frozen phone every couple of minutes.
Coincidentally, the Apple Watch can also now do ski tracking.
Livall RS1 Ski Helmet
Safety is a serious business on the slopes - we're completely opposed to the idea of not wearing a helmet while pelting down a mountain on some sticks, personally. If you want to meld safety with some smart features, though, then Livall's helmets are godsends. In particular, there's ability to play music via Bluetooth without needing headphones,
The RS1 will let you listen to music (or, for example, Carv's instructions) clearly through its earpieces, but won't drown out the surrounding world, to help you avoid other skiers or hazards. Plus, they look great and aren't too much pricier than a normal helmet.
Once you're sorted on the helmet front, though, you might be vulnerable to some goggle-envy out on the piste. There are all sorts of designs and aesthetics you can go for, but one problem is likely to persist - fogging up.
Abom's Heet range are impressive goggles that get rid of that issue by building in heating elements to keep the goggles free of mist. That means that you'll be able to see perfectly while you ski, with the added bonus of a range of finishes to choose from. Of course, it also means that you'll be short of one potential excuse if you wipe out, so bear that in mind.
Phoozy XP3 Series
Anyone that's been up a mountain recently will know the anxiety of taking your phone out after a few great runs to find it worryingly freezing and inexplicably low on battery. That's because modern smartphones aren't anywhere near hardy enough for seriously cold temperatures, and battery life takes a serious hit as a result.
Sidestepping that whole issue isn't too challenging, though, thankfully - pick up a Phoozy pouch for your phone, pop it in your in your pocket or bag, and relax in the knowledge that it's both protected from water and rain ingress, and from extreme temperatures. When you need to check it, you should find that it's happy and performs normally.
GoPro Hero 8 Black
Once you're a bit more sure on your feet, let's talk about action cameras. There are few activities that lend themselves better to filming than skiing - even mediocre performances look great in wide-angle slow motion. If you're looking to film your descents, GoPro is the obvious choice.
Its latest Hero camera is the 8 Black, and it's predictably the best it's made yet. You'll get amazingly smooth video even without a stabilizer, and crystal-clear resolution will mean that your memories are preserved forever.
Mammut Avalanche Airbag Backpack
For our final entry, though, we're returning to the question of safety. Skiing and snowboarding are amazing fun, but there's also the question that they're a damn sight more dangerous than most alternative pastimes. Crashing is one thing, but when you're up in the mountains there's a background risk of an avalanche that's a little terrifying, especially if you venture off-piste.
Mammut's range of Airbag Backpacks could save your life if you are caught in an avalanche - they have expanding Airbags built-in which could ensure that you're not buried too tightly, letting you manoeuvre and either escape or call for help to do so.