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Could These 'Shape-Shifting' Skis Dominate The Overlooked $1.2 Billion Global Ski Gear Market?

Many die-hard skiers have several pairs of boards to use in conditions ranging from hard-packed snow to deep, fluffy powder.

But for most people, one pair of skis is all they can afford to buy, so they’re stuck adjusting their skis based on the day's conditions.

Now, there’s technology that enables skiers and snowboarders around the globe to adjust their equipment to suit the conditions — all through a Bluetooth-enabled app on the user's smartphone.

Verispellis Skis + Snowboards Inc. says it’s created the first pairs of skis and snowboards with digital electronics and metallurgical technology to change physical performance characteristics on demand.

The journey to create the technology began with two Boston-area medical professionals who joined forces to explore applying shape memory alloys — a cutting-edge material used in medical devices — to ski and snowboard technology.

The material — called Nitinol — was used to create a pair of “shape-shifting” skis and snowboards. Its flexible properties and basic molecular structure allow it to respond to changes in temperature. The innovation enables Verispellis to offer skis with variable torsional stiffness and rocker, plus added vibration control.

The technology is being introduced as snow sports see a surge in popularity and the resulting demand for equipment and gear.

Last year, Vail Resorts Inc. reported a 76% increase to 2.1 million over 2019 in sales of its Epic season passes. The global ski gear and equipment market was valued at around $1.22 billion in 2018 and is forecast to reach about $1.74 billion by 2028, according to Statista.

Skiers and riders can adjust the stiffness of their skis or snowboards based on changes in conditions. By inserting Nitinol in key locations of the ski or snowboard and modulating the stiffness of the Nitinol sheets via an app, skiers and riders can change the performance of their equipment in seconds.

The Verispellis technology can be incorporated into different brands of skis and boards. The battery pack clicks and unclicks easily from the base with one motion.

Olympic alpine skier Arman Serebrakian, who is a product adviser for Verispellis, has been instrumental in testing the skis and providing expert insight on the technology.

Verispellis launched a crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine to raise $1 million. The minimum investment is $257.

The Natick, Massachusetts-based company plans to use the funding raised for the development of consumer-ready products, marketing campaigns, industry demos and the cultivation of industry relationships.

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Photo by Lukas Gojda on Shutterstock

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