Laser-Guided Missiles

December 17, 2010 at 10:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Laser-Guided Missiles

You know you’re skiing on the perfect ski when you start to forget that you’re wearing skis, when they react to your fine muscle motions so precisely that they feel more like a part of your own leg than like a heavy, unwieldy, odd-shaped appendage.

But picking the perfect ski isn’t easy. There are so many models out there to choose from, and while virtually every pair of skis made today is well-manufactured and performs well, not every pair is the ‘right fit’ for you. Height, weight, strength, skill, style, conditions, terrain, and many other factors influence how well you and your skis will interact.

One of the hot (and expensive) trends right now are custom skis. But even a custom ski is only as ‘custom’ as the information shared by its intended user and gathered by its designer. Measuring stuff like height and weight is easy; determining how aggressiveness and technique come into play is not.

Wagner Custom Skis claims to have solved this problem, relying not only on those easily observable characteristics, but also by collecting millions of pieces of data on your actual skiing. How do they do this? They lend you a pair of skis for the day equipped with laser devices called vLinks. According to WIRED Magazine:

“The vLinks are essentially souped-up optical mouses that grab data 6,500 times per second to track movement spatially along X, Y, and Z axes and rotationally, capturing pitch, roll, and yaw.”

Using this treasure-trove of objective data, as well as asking you lots of subjective questions about your skiing ability, the folks at Wagner Custom claim to be able to build a ski that is perfectly matched to you. They also claim 1,800 or more of your dollars in the process.

Is it worth spending enough to buy roughly 3 pairs of nice, non-customized skis for 1 pair of one-of-a-kind skis? Sadly, I may never know.


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