Over the last few decades, skiing has evolved into a mainstream winter activity. According to the report by Swiss researcher Laurent Vanat, around 400 million skiers visit 6,000 ski areas each year. The rapid development of ski tourism has caused the rise of a large number of ski apps to cater for every skier’s needs.
There are ski apps for tracking the weather, snowfall, discounts, and runs down the slopes. With a few taps on their phones, users can book accommodation and ski lessons, rent equipment, and look for scheduled events. Ski resort apps are often developed alongside smartwatch versions to make them even more convenient to use.
Ski app features
Most ski apps have a wide range of features, bringing outdoor winter sports to a new level. Dedicated both to beginners and pros, to one-man skiing and conquering slopes with friends, ski apps have the following functionality stack:
- Weather forecasts
- Safety kit
- Social communication
Similar to fitness trackers, ski apps use a skier’s phone or wristband sensors to measure the skier’s daily activities and display metrics including speed, distance, verticals, airtime, time spent on lifts, and calories burned. Skiers can track their riding achievements, see progress during the season, and compare data with previous years.
Ski apps provide avalanche reports and regular updates on weather/mountain conditions. Some apps allow users to contribute data on hazards and obstacles on traces in order to inform other skiers about dangerous routes or slippery slopes. Skiers can use geotags to indicate the exact places other skiers should avoid.
All ski apps contain maps of mountain terrain and resort facilities. Many apps integrate augmented reality (AR) technology to enhance the user experience and give skiers more detailed information about slopes. By simply pointing their camera at a peak, a user can get information about its height and traces as well as tips on how to ski it. An AR-powered app places digital overlays on a skier’s live view. Usually, these overlays include information about lodges, restrooms, restaurants, lifts, and recreation areas.
A feature that allows skiers to stream video while on the slopes is a way to attract hardcore winter sports enthusiasts and inspire others. Streaming works as self-promotion but also helps to promote winter sports. Users can stream right on their phones or connect an action camera with an app.
This feature allows users to book accommodation, equipment, skiing/snowboarding lessons, and lift tickets within an app and far before the beginning of the ski season.
This feature’s main mission is to ensure that skiers come back safe and sound. It shows user where there’s a stronger internet signal and automatically sends the user’s current location to the server every hour so rescuers can use this information in case the skier is absent for a long time and connection with him lost.
Ski apps feature in-app messaging and groups so users can share their sessions online with friends and other riders. Social features include private chats, photo and video sharing, joint challenges, and halls of honor. An in-app community helps riders not to lose sight of their buddies in vast ski resort territories. Users also can rate each other’s content.
How to promote a ski app
Social marketing has long been an important part of app promotion. By effectively using social media, you can build an audience, drive demand for your app, and increase downloads. And that fact that the average age of potential ski app users is between 20 to 40 makes social marketing the perfect tool for creating a community of skiers and snowboarders. Don’t forget to focus on your users: regularly respond to their reviews, provide support, and ask them to share their experience using your app.
To encourage users to follow your social pages, make sure to post news and useful information about promos, app updates, and new features. For ski resort apps, skiers will be happy to learn about lift queues, forecasts, the best traces, tutorials for beginners, etc. By creating an online community for people interested in winter sports, you’ll be able to introduce your app to more people.
Give new users a welcome bonus in the form of an immediate promo code. Incentivize long-term users with tangible rewards such as discounts, stars, badges, and even real money they can spend on lift tickets, ski lessons, or food and drinks.
Gamification is a great way to catch the interest of your target audience and improve user retention. Implementing game elements in a ski app will encourage user to solve quests and complete levels in exchange for rewards or new features. Puzzles and simple tasks will refresh your app.
The 10 best ski applications
It’s easy to get buried under an avalanche of apps dedicated to alpine sports. So we’ve gathered the top 10 apps for skiers and snowboarders.
Available for both iOS and Android, this app works as a GPS tracker to record a user’s ski sessions. Ski Tracks collects comprehensive data, including maximum and average speed, total distance traveled per day, and slope angle. All of these metrics can be logged, divided into different runs, and plotted on a map.
No data or phone signal is required, which makes Ski Tracks an ideal app for the backcountry. Battery efficient technology allows users to record up to 14 hours, as the app runs in the background. What’s more, it has support for Apple Watch, Android Wear, and Pebble, so there’s no need to get the phone out. Both the iOS and Android version cost $0.99, and there are no in-app purchases.
OnTheSnow Ski & Snow Report
The Ski & Snow Report app is produced by OnTheSnow, the worldwide leader in snow reports and ski conditions. This app delivers daily snow reports and current conditions from the slopes of more than 2,000 ski destinations globally. It’s also a place where skiers can check for the latest discounts and coupons on lift tickets and gear. Ski & Snow Report sends notifications when ski resorts receive fresh powder on their slopes. Extras include trail maps, resort details and reviews, and skiing news. The app is free for both mobile platforms.
Mountain Hub is a community-fueled app that allows users to map out a mountain and geotag possible concerns and hazards. It can be used as a planning app, a safety aid, a track logger, and a navigation app. This app provides updates about current conditions and adventures from other members of the community. The option to save maps for offline use will come in handy for those wandering away from civilization. There’s no subscription fee or in-app purchases: Mountain Hub is free for iOS and Android.
Snocru is a social ski app that allows users to group themselves in teams and compete with each other. Snocru users can set up a Daycru of fellow skiers and snowboarders, making it easy to locate and communicate with skiing buddies while on a ride. Snocru records a variety of metrics for each Cru member, such as most vertical feet traveled, most runs in a day, and fastest speed. Users can then share the details of their skiing sessions on social media.
The Snocru app offers several subscription options that give access to premium features. These features include unlimited tracking, an ad-free experience, and monthly pro deals in the in-app store.
This app offers an extensive amount of ski-related information and can be used as an ultimate guide for skiing and snowboarding. Skiresort contains detailed information about over 5,000 ski resorts and ski lifts worldwide, zoomed-in trail maps, data on snow depth and weather conditions (updated four times a day), webcams, and live streams. It shares info with users regarding ski pass prices and opening times and accommodation for ski holidays. Skiresort is free but contains advertisements.
The GoSnow app covers 120 resorts in 16 countries and has around 75,000 users. It can be used to purchase lift passes and book ski and snowboard lessons with instructors at selected resorts. The app also allows users to join groups of like-minded riders on the slopes or at resort events and organize car sharing to/from or around resorts. Payment for lessons is done within the app and no booking fee is charged.
GoSnow is free to download for iOS and Android.
CheckYeti makes booking winter sports activities such as ski lessons, snowboard courses, and freeride tours simple. The app allows users to search for ski/snowboard instructors and guides in more than 350 resorts across Europe. Users can choose between group courses and private lessons as well as choose a level. Everything from kids’ courses to off-piste lessons are available, and all registered instructors and schools have appropriate qualifications and licences to teach. There are no ads or in-app purchases.
Liftopia makes it easier to plan a ski trip on a budget by giving users access to thousands of deals on lift tickets, ski and snowboard lessons, equipment rentals, and other winter sports-related purchases. Low prices are combined with easy booking, which helps users plan vacations at affordable prices all through the app. Extra features include the option to save favorite ski destinations and courses to check on deals and receive updated snow reports. Liftopia is free of charge.
Slopes is an iOS-only skiing and snowboarding tracking app that tracks ski lift rides and downhill runs even when there’s no internet connection. Users can add photos and notes, view a timeline and breakdown of the day’s activity on the slopes, and track their stats over the season. It also allows users to replay their runs with heat maps. All stats are easily accessible from Apple Watch. A premium subscription adds more detailed winter, terrain, and satellite maps and an option to relive runs on a virtual 3D mountain.
Ski Tracker is a freemium ad-supported app for skiers and snowboarders. It measures the maximum speed, records tracks, marks slopes on the map, and provides full statistics on a user’s winter sports activities. Premium subscribers get an ad-free experience and extra tools like a more detailed map and the option to add geotags to photos. Users can activate a 30-day premium version to try out additional functionality.
There are many ski tracking applications on the market offering similar features but with distinctive functionality of their own. This allows skiers to choose the app that provides the most valuable information for them. One of the most important features for ski applications is the ability to work offline, since internet connections are often lost in the mountains. Almost all ski apps serve as trackers, collecting stats and helping riders watch their progress. The only disadvantage of such apps is that they actively use GPS, discharging the battery fast.
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