Gadget corner

Ski Walker
It is difficult not to get a little excited about new gadgets for winter sports. My favourite ones this season include “The Handle” from ski-walker.com. It is a very simple idea – you just attach a loop around each side of your bindings and hold a handle in between when you carry your skis around. Going skiing every week with sometimes numerous changes of bus, tram, train and cablecar I find it makes carting my skis around a doddle. What’s more the device is very compact, no bigger than a Velcro ski strap which it obviates the need to carry, and can be popped into your pocket whilst you are skiing. it also holds your ski sticks too. Direct from the manufacturers you can pick it up for 12 pounds plus p&p, and you can get it even cheaper from some winter sports shops who stock it.

Another favourite gadget of mine has been an iON HD camera built into a nice pair of Zeal goggles. It is so unobtrusive that nobody can see you are actually filming and the output is really very good although they will set you back around 400 dollars. I won’t go into the technical details – you can find them here – but I’ll let you know my experiences with them. As I mention the quality is pretty good with an excellent wide angle coverage, although I find it a little over-exposed in very sunny conditions. I also find the in-goggles screen hard to see, although I guess you wouldn’t want it to be obtrusive whilst you are skiing – especially if you are not filming. The four controls also take some getting used to so you would probably want to set up the camera before you go out for the day. Also you need to be disciplined about copying and deleting video from the goggles and making sure the battery is topped up if you don’t want to find yourself without juice or capacity. Having said that, I haven’t yet either run out of battery or storage. Normally I find the cold conditions of a winter sports resort kill batteries in cameras and phones, so the ability to hold a charge through a couple of hours of footage is pretty impressive. For an example of me using the goggles I have several videos on Youtube, including the one above taken at Feldberg.

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