Nothing will give you a headache faster on the mountain than losing or misplacing your skis. Maybe you’re caught in a tree well and the ski disappeared into its depths. Maybe you had a brake malfunction and a ski took off down the mountain on its own. Or, maybe you just put it down on a rack during a busy day on the slopes and can’t for the life of you remember where.
These things happen.
And understanding the frustration that comes with such a situation (and possibly the expense if your skis stay lost), Peak Ski Company has come up with a solution. The Montana-based ski company founded by Andy Wirth and Bode Miller partnered with the tracking technology company Pebblebee to design a ski that you can track, with your phone.
The PEAK Lôc8 makes it much harder to lose or misplace skis. And, needless to say, it also could deter would-be thieves.
“After years of work on the concept and the development criteria, we are thrilled to unveil PEAK Lôc8 to our community of customers and the world of skiing,” said Wirth, CEO of Peak Ski Company.
Track Your Skis Anywhere on the Mountain
Wirth was training for an expedition up to Mt. Denali in Alaska when the seeds for the PEAK Lôc8 started growing in his mind. Curious about tracking technology, Wirth decided to duct tape a tracking device to his skis and see how the device would perform in winter conditions. He learned a lot. The experiment revealed limitations on battery life and durability.
But Wirth also realized just how useful a ski tracker could be if the technology was refined and improved. So he reached out to the tracking technology company Pebblebee. He started a dialogue to see what it would take to incorporate a tracker directly into a pair of skis.
“As an avid technologist and passionate skier myself, I know how much people value their ski gear. I’ve always dreamt of having our tracking technology built into performance skis,” said Daniel Daoura, Pebblebee’s CTO and founder. “Peak Ski Company is remarkably innovative on every front. And it’s exciting to be a part of their continued commitment to innovation for their customers.”
Pebblebee is no ordinary tracking company. Former Boeing military asset tracking engineers founded Pebblebee in 2013. It has designed and developed devices and technologies that include Bluetooth and cellular trackers, Apple FindMy MFi-certified trackers, and much more. It was a logical partner for Wirth as he tried to develop a ski you could track, just like a lost phone.
Meet the Tech: The PEAK Lôc8
When you look at skis with PEAK Lôc8, the tracking device is somewhat obvious. It looks a little like Iron Man’s “Arc Reactor” implanted on his chest. And it’s almost as techy. The device can pair with either Android or iOS phones. It’s used through an app that allows you to track each ski, use “left behind” alerts, and also individually control the LEDs.
Currently, Peak says the technology has been tested (and can function) between -20 and 80 degrees Celsius.
For the readers who have as many questions as we do, yes, there are some limitations.
The device needs to be charged. But Pebblebee and Peak claim that a single charge should be enough to last an entire ski season. So you won’t have to plug your skis in after every day on the slopes. We also have questions about the actual range of tracking in order to find skis that may have tumbled further away, or, in Peak’s example of skis lost in an airport while traveling.
Peak Ski Company plans to incorporate this technology throughout its 23/24 lineup of backcountry and sidecountry skis. The company is determined to stay on the cutting edge of ski design, placing an emphasis on integrating new technologies into its skis. And the PEAK Lôc8 is a perfect example of that.
“Through a joint development agreement, Peak Ski Company has established exclusive global licensing rights within the mountain and winter sports sector with Pebblebee,” said Wirth. So, you likely won’t see this same tracking technology embedded in skis anywhere else.
To learn more about the technology and the lineup of skis Peak offers, visit Peak Ski Company’s website.