The Apple Watch Series 3 Now Tracks Ski Performance—And I Loved It

It counts your runs, vertical distance and even knows when you're on a chairlift!

Bianca Cheah Skiing with the Apple Watch series 3

I’d been skiing for the better half of the morning with my Apple Watch Series 3 fitted snugly to my wrist. Mainly blue runs with my ski instructor Oly. Even though there was no fresh snow on the mountain, it was good enough for me! I’m no seasoned skier, but I do love to ski and find it so therapeutic at the best of times, especially when it’s a bluebird day.

Apple Watch series 3 ski capabilities
Photo by Dundas Media

Oly was helping me perfect my form. Since I’m a yoga instructor, us yogis tend to sit back in our heels when we are in a chair position. However, in skiing, it’s all about leaning forward of the waist—the total opposite of yoga, of which you can imagine feels highly abnormal.
Run after run, I’d chase him down the mountain leaning as far forward as I could, watching him like a hawk, he’d ski faster and faster yelling at me, “lean forward, lean forward” and, before I knew how fast I was going, I’d glance up at the trees whizzing past me, realise my speed, squeak and totally freak out pushing into a plough—my safety net, something my ski instructor was vigorously teaching me to break, as he called it ‘lazy skiing’—apparently side skiing is the proper way to slow down.
By the time I’d make it down the bottom of the mountain sliding through the wet mush of snow, my legs would be burning and my ski goggles would be dripping wet with snow water and hair knotted into dreadlocks. But all we cared about was comparing our ski data on our Apple Watches! I hit a 38 km per hour at 990m vertical—I was killing it! (Well that’s really fast for me ha!).
Comparing our ski stats became so addictive after every run, but the real fun came when we were on a mission to close our rings for the day and compete for first place.
Bianca Cheah and Rachel Sharp with the Apple Watch series 3
Bianca Cheah and Rachel Sharp

Here’s a run down of the Apple Watch Series 3 and its brand new snow capabilities!

The features:

With a built-in GPS, the Apple Watch Series 3 has some nifty skiing features of a built-in altimeter that measures elevation and, can even tell when you’re standing still, sitting on a lift or skiing downhill. It’s the ultimate ski watch as it accurately tracks my ski and workout data.

Recommended app:

If there’s one ski app that I recommend, it’s the snoww app—created by U.K born Eddy Healey—out of a pure need of wanting to track his own ski data. The snoww app is a social ski tracking app that allows you to follow friends and compare vital ski/snowboard statistics or compete with other skiers/snowboarders to climb your way to the top of the mountain’s leaderboard.

“We designed snoww thinking about quick interactions and glances while out on the mountain so these updates have helped us make it easy to record accurate, relevant metrics as well as create a fun and social experience for our users,” says Eddy Healy, developer of snoww. 

Although the new Apple Watch Series 3 snow functionalities don’t teach form, it totally helped me to close out my activity rings for the day and got me studying my ski data—totally addictive and such a great way to improve and track my skiing. Way to go Apple.

Bianca Cheah using the Apple Watch series 3 new snow capabilities
Photo by Dundas Media

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