High-tech ski pole can track skiers' power and efficiency
'There is nothing comparable in the world right now,' says national ski team coach
A Whitehorse-based startup company hopes to make a mark in the competitive cross-country ski world with new technology that measures a skier's power and efficiency.
The company — Proskida — has created ski pole grips with embedded electronic gear. Computer chips in the upper part of the poles record data, focusing on upper body strength and technique.
"There is nothing comparable in the world right now," said Stephane Barrette, director of coaching and athletes at Cross Country Canada. He met with Proskida designers this week during the Haywood Ski Nationals in Whitehorse, and agreed Canada's national skiers will help test the new product.
A competitive edge
Barrette hopes collecting data from elite skiers will help give the national team a competitive edge by allowing it to analyze things such as poling technique, and muscle strength.
"We hope we can have them tell us what they need out of the tool, and we can modify and make it work for them, " says entrepreneur Alastair Smith, one of the founders of Proskida.
"The primary market is going to be racers" said Smith, noting similar technology is used to measure efficiency in other sports, such as cycling.
Proskida has already filed for a patent on its product and has gone through a couple of prototypes since design work began last fall.
Smith believes there is a ready market in North America, but he hopes to also have the product selling internationally within a year.
"Definitely getting it into Scandinavia — Finland, Norway, Sweden — it would definitely be a goal for us to have it used globally," he said.