TheArchitect

Working to improve all the time
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Ok thanks. Based on your earlier message I thought you had it figured somehow. Where did you see that the lower score meant you were to far forward?
I went back and re-read my post. I misremembered the app page and had it backwards when I posted. :doh: Anything below 45 and you need to move your weight forward. Anything above 60 you need to lean back. Here's a screenshot from the app. It's under Choose a Ski Mode / Monitor / Fore:aft ratio

IMG_2690.PNG
 

JeffreyInBC

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
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Big White Ski Resort, BC
I have been using CARV, have read several reviews, worked with a Level 4 instructor...he said to me while CARV May be helpful in some areas, CARV clearly, after reviewing results from a few runs, does not take into account changing slope angles, variable snow conditions, terrain variation etc. CARV is a crude measurement at best. Too many details of what is being measured are missing, as are relevant tips for your personal needs. There is an excellent YouTube on how to “get the best SkiIQ”...perfect snow, even pitch, freshly groomed, no variation in angles or snow, and definitely no ice, hard pack, or slush. Bottom line, CARV is a crude tool, and in some cases may make you a worse skier. The instructor I have used for several years said to me: turn it off, you are one of the best students I have, you ski advanced and the app is causing you to hold back.
 
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graham418

Making fresh tracks
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Toronto
^^^ As with anything like this, the interpretations need to be taken with several grains of salt. Pressure sensors , gps and accelerometers can only do so much, as can the algorithm that interprets it all. A lot of times my ski IQ goes down , while my edge similarity or parallel index or other parameter goes up 30%. Go figure
It might be best for bustin your buddies chops afterward over a beer, who scored higher on the IQ.
 

JeffreyInBC

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
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Big White Ski Resort, BC
^^^ As with anything like this, the interpretations need to be taken with several grains of salt. Pressure sensors , gps and accelerometers can only do so much, as can the algorithm that interprets it all. A lot of times my ski IQ goes down , while my edge similarity or parallel index or other parameter goes up 30%. Go figure
It might be best for bustin your buddies chops afterward over a beer, who scored higher on the IQ.
there is no rhyme or reason, it all depends on each run and what happens. A perfectly good run and "score" for all the measurements can suddenly change if another skier crosses your path and you need to take evasive action quickly. It rates based on "perfection". I now only use it to see angles etc...but even that is not accurate as I can be fully on the edge of my ski and the app will read out a stupid low number, then it jumps top next time well over 60. Like you said...grain of salt. Use CARV to see your high numbers in each discipline and try to repeatedly reach that number. In my opinion, it is a point in time app not a full run app under real world full mountain conditions...Big White is approx 700m vertical and many runs are top to bottom with every possible condition in every run.
 

helixbc

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
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Mar 1, 2021
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5
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97703
I have been using CARV, have read several reviews, worked with a Level 4 instructor...he said to me while CARV May be helpful in some areas, CARV clearly, after reviewing results from a few runs, does not take into account changing slope angles, variable snow conditions, terrain variation etc. CARV is a crude measurement at best. Too many details of what is being measured are missing, as are relevant tips for your personal needs. There is an excellent YouTube on how to “get the best SkiIQ”...perfect snow, even pitch, freshly groomed, no variation in angles or snow, and definitely no ice, hard pack, or slush. Bottom line, CARV is a crude tool, and in some cases may make you a worse skier. The instructor I have used for several years said to me: turn it off, you are one of the best students I have, you ski advanced and the app is causing you to hold back.
How could it make you a worse skier if you use it as they recommend? They make it pretty clear that it is optimized for a Blue run groomer. Not to mention all the tips, drills and videos they recommend. And common sense would tell you that it should be perfect conditions if you are looking for a perfect score. My personal experience has been that CARV is very consistent in the data. You just need to know when and how to use it. Bottom line, CARV is a fantastic tool if you know how to use it.
 

JohnnyG

Getting on the lift
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Nov 1, 2017
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252
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Ottawa, ON
I have been using CARV, have read several reviews, worked with a Level 4 instructor...he said to me while CARV May be helpful in some areas, CARV clearly, after reviewing results from a few runs, does not take into account changing slope angles, variable snow conditions, terrain variation etc. CARV is a crude measurement at best. Too many details of what is being measured are missing, as are relevant tips for your personal needs. There is an excellent YouTube on how to “get the best SkiIQ”...perfect snow, even pitch, freshly groomed, no variation in angles or snow, and definitely no ice, hard pack, or slush. Bottom line, CARV is a crude tool, and in some cases may make you a worse skier. The instructor I have used for several years said to me: turn it off, you are one of the best students I have, you ski advanced and the app is causing you to hold back.
Because it's cheaper than his services and doesn't pay him?
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
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2,981
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Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
It can be difficult to figure out what to change in your skiing to improve your score. But Carv is a very good training tool. It is an objective external cue -- every turn will be scored in monitor mode, and the training exercises also provide both a progression of difficulty and an objective measure of success (or failure).

Like anything, it can be overdone. It is NOT a replacement for an instructor. But it can be a useful tool for focusing your training. It can also be an interesting source of discussion. And it is also to go out with a bunch of "Carv-a-holics" and play...

I was just out playing yesterday!

Mike
 

JeffreyInBC

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
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Feb 28, 2021
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Big White Ski Resort, BC
It can be difficult to figure out what to change in your skiing to improve your score. But Carv is a very good training tool. It is an objective external cue -- every turn will be scored in monitor mode, and the training exercises also provide both a progression of difficulty and an objective measure of success (or failure).

Like anything, it can be overdone. It is NOT a replacement for an instructor. But it can be a useful tool for focusing your training. It can also be an interesting source of discussion. And it is also to go out with a bunch of "Carv-a-holics" and play...

I was just out playing yesterday!

Mike
Exactly, it's a tool. It is useful, not a replacement for an instructor and video.
 

JeffreyInBC

In the parking lot (formerly "At the base lodge")
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Feb 28, 2021
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Big White Ski Resort, BC
Because it's cheaper than his services and doesn't pay him?
If you want to look at it in a cynical way, yes. Honestly, an instructor can give specific tips to improve small areas, whereas the app only has general tips and is tuned for perfect groomed constant slope no variation in condition terrain. CARV specifically says "green & blue"groomers, no powder, bumps or other real world items.
 

Mike King

AKA Habacomike
Instructor
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Nov 13, 2015
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Louisville CO/Aspen Snowmass
If you want to look at it in a cynical way, yes. Honestly, an instructor can give specific tips to improve small areas, whereas the app only has general tips and is tuned for perfect groomed constant slope no variation in condition terrain. CARV specifically says "green & blue"groomers, no powder, bumps or other real world items.
Learning how to get performance from your skis on groomed snow will make you a better skier everywhere.
 

TheWombat

Booting up
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Dec 29, 2020
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NC, USA
As the North Carolina ski season is drawing to an end I have created a video showing my skiing progress from Dec 26 (Ski IQ: 85) to Mar 5 (Ski IQ: 120)


While I had returned to skiing for the 2018/2019 season, I switched to snowboarding for 2019/2020. With the pandemic resulting in ski resorts being far busier than normal, and my kids/wife being skiers I returned to skiing for the 2020/2021 season and bought some Blizzard Competition 76 skis which were too advanced for me, but I was confident I would improve enough to get the benefit from them over some beginner skis.

My skiing technique was horrible at the beginning of the season. Luckily Santa was nice enough to bring me Carv. While I took one 60 and 90 minute instructor lesson the majority of the next 9 weeks was spent watching YouTube videos and using Carv for direct feedback and guidance on my skiing. My SkiIQ has increased from ~85 to 120 during this season. I've not quite managed to get to 'Advanced Carving Detected' and with the NC ski season drawing to a close it will now be my goal for next year.

While many Carv videos are from more advanced skiers, as a more intermediate skier I found Carv Digital Ski Coach to be well worth the investment, my wife ended up purchasing one as well after she saw me using Carv for a couple of weeks. While Carv is great for the data (and tips) it provides, it is still incredibly helpful to have someone video you so you can review afterwards. I don't believe it is probably the right solution for everyone though.

I found using Carv plus YouTube videos beneficial for improving my skiing technique and this approach worked well for my learning style. However the GoPro video taken by my kids/wife allowed me to really see what was actually happening vs what I thought was happening. A good example was around angulation/inclination/body separation where I thought I was doing it, although I wasn't seeing the increase in the Carv metrics I wanted to. Watching myself on the GoPro really showed how little I was really doing and how much twisting of my upper body I was still demonstrating.

It was also interesting to see how the changing environment/skis affected my SkiIQ scores. Skiing at night typically knocked my SkiIQ down by 10 points. Skiing on my Völkl Revolt 95 TwinTips initially reduced my SkiIQ by ~10 points but by the end of the season the difference was reduced. Skiing on the days where we had a very dry, coarse granular snow reduced my SkiIQ by ~20 points. On the steeper slopes I typically got a higher SkiIQ however I then started to actively focus on edging/balance metrics on the flatter slopes and was able to bring my SkiIQ to be almost at parity to the steeper slopes.

I am sure if someone wanted to maximize their SkiIQ on a leaderboard they can just do the perfect 10-15 turn run on a perfect slope so it is possible to 'misuse/abuse' Carv. However as a consistent set of data points for measuring progress it works well. For next season I plan to use more of the 'Drills' and 'Monitors' features as while I briefly tried them I am sure I could have made much more use of the these features.

Is Carv perfect? No, I've had a few issues during the 9 weeks. One time Carv updated the iOS app and broke it (which is what originally brought me to this forum/thread several weeks ago), however the Carv team were very responsive and quickly fixed the issue. I have had a few occasions where Carv has not correctly registered that a run has ended - a couple of times on a shorter chair lift it never registered the end of the run at all, whereas on a longer chair lift it gave me the post run feedback but then merged the run with the next one. A couple of times I have had to 'force close' the iOS Carv application at the beginning of the day as Carv was asking me to go through the full calibration exercise rather than just the Force calibration. However, of the ~460 runs across the 9 weeks there have probably been < 10 runs that have had any impact from issues.

So for me, Carv was a great investment and I have no regrets. I also like that Carv has an active Facebook group where they seek feedback/ideas and provide tips. Some of my suggestions to Carv so far include:
  • Moving the data to the Cloud so an instructor can view it as well
  • Showing the 'blue' course line as a heat map where it is colored red/yellow/green based on each 5 turns and whether those 5 turns are better/at/below the overall SkiIQ for the run. This would help show where on a run you are limiting your SkiIQ etc.
  • Adding notes to a run e.g. powder/fog/ice for future reference
  • Having a 'friends' feature and begin to add more social type aspects
  • Integrate with the Garmin ecosystem
  • Creating a kids version
  • Creating a snowboarding version
  • etc

regards

TheWombat
 
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SamR

Booting up
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May 7, 2020
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23
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New York
I like the @TheWombat video from an intermediate skier's perspective. I've been bombarded with Instagram ads for Carv, and scanned through this thread for some insight. Given the limitations on bumps, in trees and on crud, it looks to be targeted to intermediate skiers. Perhaps it could also be suitable for expert skiers in the Midwest or Mid-Atlantic regions, who can get bored after a while since nearly everything is groomed.

How effective is Carv's feedback on steep groomers in icy or other less-than-ideal conditions? To me, the hallmark of an expert carver is being able to vary your turn shape to adapt to different slope angles, obstacles such as ice patches, and changes in the direction of the fall line. Does Carv encourage varied turns, or does it push you to do the same turns from top to bottom?
 

TheArchitect

Working to improve all the time
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I like the @TheWombat video from an intermediate skier's perspective. I've been bombarded with Instagram ads for Carv, and scanned through this thread for some insight. Given the limitations on bumps, in trees and on crud, it looks to be targeted to intermediate skiers. Perhaps it could also be suitable for expert skiers in the Midwest or Mid-Atlantic regions, who can get bored after a while since nearly everything is groomed.

How effective is Carv's feedback on steep groomers in icy or other less-than-ideal conditions? To me, the hallmark of an expert carver is being able to vary your turn shape to adapt to different slope angles, obstacles such as ice patches, and changes in the direction of the fall line. Does Carv encourage varied turns, or does it push you to do the same turns from top to bottom?
I think that you can argue that it should be targeted at intermediate skiers as that level of skier is much more likely to be trying to make big changes to their skiing. Advanced skiers can get less but still a lot out of Carv as well but expert skiers should be beyond what Carv is attempting to do.
 

TheWombat

Booting up
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While I am not an expert (yet) ;-) It is going to be far easier for someone with a SkiIQ of 100-120 to go to 120-140, than for someone with a SkiIQ of 160 making material increases in their SkiIQ. So from that perspective Carv is going to be most beneficial to the Intermediate skier who wants to improve (the wanting to improve is an important point). My wife has a SkiIQ floating around the 95-105 mark and hasn't been able to see the same increase that I have this season due to our different learning styles etc.

However, there is a Facebook group that is managed by Carv called 'Carv Skiers' Community' that has a number of skiers on it who have Carv and have SkiIQs ranging from 150-169 and they are finding Carv useful. So to some degree how beneficial Carv is will be dependent upon both your current ability and what you are looking to get out of it. There are various modes it supports (FreeSki, Challenge, Monitors etc) that can help people of any level to some degree.

I am hopeful that we will continue to see the software/data analytics behind Carv evolve so it can begin to understand more of the specific conditions being skied (mogul/groomed; powder/ice; fog/blue skies etc). This ties back to @SamR 's query about the feedback and varying - at present I believe this is still an area where Carv has not fully matured and hence the SkiIQ is not going to be fully aware of those conditions. There are definitely limitations as to what Carv can do.

However Carv is not just about the SkiIQ, there have been some days where I just want to go out and ski, have fun, and see what the maximum edge angle I can achieve is.. Carv allows me to do this easily as it measures and reports back on my edge angle for each turn for example.

I do expect that Carv will continue to evolve and that for me is important. Over the next few years as my skiing improves, I hope that Carv will become ever more useful with new features etc.

TheWombat
 

VS_Power

Booting up
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Palo Alto, California
I took the plunge on a Carv and it was worth every penny. I'd pay double for this technology if I had to - it is indispensable to me now.

First off - there is no impact to boot fit. I've got a pair of Lange 130 RS boots with custom liners AND custom footbeds. They still feel perfect post installation.

While setting up your Carv there's a mode where you can see a readout of the sensors. It'll have a picture of each boot and show where it's feeling pressure, what the angle is, etc. Turning the boot 1 degree in any direction in my hand was picked up perfectly by the sensor. Changes in foot pressure were also easily picked up. This gave me a lot of confidence the tech is there. Now I just wondered if the advice it gave me from there was correct.

There are three modes with Carv and IMO one of them is garbage. That's the challenge mode, where it encourages you to level up 20 levels in your carving skills. After each turn it gives you a good or bad sound, but it never tells you what to improve. Not sure what the point is for this when SkiIQ does the same thing but gives you a more easily understood score plus tips on improvement.

To get your SkiIQ you have to do free ski mode, which measures your entire run then reads out to you your SkiIQ plus a tip to improve while you're going up on the chairlift. I like this mode because nothing's barking in your ear during the run and the tips are awesome. For example, it told me to focus less on pressuring my edge, instead focus on lifting up my outside edge. That's really interesting and something I imagine that's difficult for someone to see but easy for Carv to measure. I'm a fairly advanced snowboarder switching to skiing this season and these tips helped me get from an ~80 SkiIQ to ~110 in less than 10 days on the mountain. Really helpful. Other tips include "pressure your tips at the start of a turn as if you're dropping a bowling ball on them. At the end of the turn you should have your weight more balanced instead". Only downside of this mode is you can't really have any chairlift convos anymore because your Carv is talking to you. And you bet your ass you wanna know your SkiIQ ASAP after a run.

The final mode is monitor mode which reads out to you your stat of choice after every turn. In the beginning Carv kept telling me to have more of my weight forward. I started to really focus on this and eventually assumed I was doing a good job - until I turned on this mode. Every turn I was only getting 40 - 50% scores here when the target is 60%. It was eye opening knowing that even though I was trying to improve this, I still had a lot more to go. This was the kick in the butt I needed to dramatically change my approach to leaning forward. Great mode when you're targeting a specific improvement. Next I'll probably do this with the edge angle metric.

My Carv broke this season after ~10 days and after a quick diagnostic test for support they sent me a replacement. They were easy enough to work with and I appreciated not having to fight them on anything.

I was extremely skeptical at first (especially because I started on challenge mode) but this was worth every penny and I highly recommend it to other beginner/intermediates who don't want to pay for a private lesson every few days on the mountain. It was $300 well spent and I estimate I've progressed nearly twice as quickly because of it. I just wonder if it's less useful once you hit a certain skill level. But for me in the <120 SkiIQ range it's indispensable.

Also their YouTube channel has surprisingly good content that has very little marketing or fluff.
 

Noodler

Just piste off
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Joined
Oct 4, 2017
Posts
4,077
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Denver, CO
I took the plunge on a Carv and it was worth every penny. I'd pay double for this technology if I had to - it is indispensable to me now.

First off - there is no impact to boot fit. I've got a pair of Lange 130 RS boots with custom liners AND custom footbeds. They still feel perfect post installation.

While setting up your Carv there's a mode where you can see a readout of the sensors. It'll have a picture of each boot and show where it's feeling pressure, what the angle is, etc. Turning the boot 1 degree in any direction in my hand was picked up perfectly by the sensor. Changes in foot pressure were also easily picked up. This gave me a lot of confidence the tech is there. Now I just wondered if the advice it gave me from there was correct.

There are three modes with Carv and IMO one of them is garbage. That's the challenge mode, where it encourages you to level up 20 levels in your carving skills. After each turn it gives you a good or bad sound, but it never tells you what to improve. Not sure what the point is for this when SkiIQ does the same thing but gives you a more easily understood score plus tips on improvement.

To get your SkiIQ you have to do free ski mode, which measures your entire run then reads out to you your SkiIQ plus a tip to improve while you're going up on the chairlift. I like this mode because nothing's barking in your ear during the run and the tips are awesome. For example, it told me to focus less on pressuring my edge, instead focus on lifting up my outside edge. That's really interesting and something I imagine that's difficult for someone to see but easy for Carv to measure. I'm a fairly advanced snowboarder switching to skiing this season and these tips helped me get from an ~80 SkiIQ to ~110 in less than 10 days on the mountain. Really helpful. Other tips include "pressure your tips at the start of a turn as if you're dropping a bowling ball on them. At the end of the turn you should have your weight more balanced instead". Only downside of this mode is you can't really have any chairlift convos anymore because your Carv is talking to you. And you bet your ass you wanna know your SkiIQ ASAP after a run.

The final mode is monitor mode which reads out to you your stat of choice after every turn. In the beginning Carv kept telling me to have more of my weight forward. I started to really focus on this and eventually assumed I was doing a good job - until I turned on this mode. Every turn I was only getting 40 - 50% scores here when the target is 60%. It was eye opening knowing that even though I was trying to improve this, I still had a lot more to go. This was the kick in the butt I needed to dramatically change my approach to leaning forward. Great mode when you're targeting a specific improvement. Next I'll probably do this with the edge angle metric.

My Carv broke this season after ~10 days and after a quick diagnostic test for support they sent me a replacement. They were easy enough to work with and I appreciated not having to fight them on anything.

I was extremely skeptical at first (especially because I started on challenge mode) but this was worth every penny and I highly recommend it to other beginner/intermediates who don't want to pay for a private lesson every few days on the mountain. It was $300 well spent and I estimate I've progressed nearly twice as quickly because of it. I just wonder if it's less useful once you hit a certain skill level. But for me in the <120 SkiIQ range it's indispensable.

Also their YouTube channel has surprisingly good content that has very little marketing or fluff.
CARV would never understand when I’m forward because I do not pressure my BoF. I dorsiflex strongly throughout every turn.

And a millimeter is a mile in boot fitting. No way that this doesn’t change your boot fit.
 

VS_Power

Booting up
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Palo Alto, California
@Noodler you're probably right and I'm just too much of a newb to know honestly. I'm gonna guess you're probably too advanced for Carv as IMO the sweetspot is beginner / intermediates.

I'd be really curious to see how the sensors read dorsiflexion in their setup mode (where you get a visual of what the sensors read). Even without pressure on the balls of your feet I assume they notice the lack of pressure there in addition to advanced numbers elsewhere (speed, edge angles, etc). Given how sensitive they are I have to imagine it is a readable metric, but I don't even know what dorsiflexion means so I won't speculate further. You are definitely right however that sensors can only read so much, as for example they wouldn't be able to tell me if my hands / pole positions were wrong.

In terms of boot fit I've generally noticed a millimeter to be a big deal (ex: 99 vs 100 last), but surprisingly when I brought the Carv into the bootfitter they said it wouldn't be a big deal. This is my local expert bootfitter specialist too. Perhaps it's because the position of the Carv is between the liner and the boot, below the foot, and it's semi flexible. In any case I haven't noticed any fit differences in my Lange RS 130 or my Fischer Ranger One 130 with and without the inserts.
 
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Noodler

Just piste off
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Denver, CO
@Noodler you're probably right and I'm just too much of a newb to know honestly. I'm gonna guess you're probably too advanced for Carv as IMO the sweetspot is beginner / intermediates.

I'd be really curious to see how the sensors read dorsiflexion in their setup mode (where you get a visual of what the sensors read). Even without pressure on the balls of your feet I assume they notice the lack of pressure there in addition to advanced numbers elsewhere (speed, edge angles, etc). Given how sensitive they are I have to imagine it is a readable metric, but I don't even know what dorsiflexion means so I won't speculate further. You are definitely right however that sensors can only read so much, as for example they wouldn't be able to tell me if my hands / pole positions were wrong.

In terms of boot fit I've generally noticed a millimeter to be a big deal (ex: 99 vs 100 last), but surprisingly when I brought the Carv into the bootfitter they said it wouldn't be a big deal. This is my local expert bootfitter specialist too. Perhaps it's because the position of the Carv is between the liner and the boot, below the foot, and it's semi flexible. In any case I haven't noticed any fit differences in my Lange RS 130 or my Fischer Ranger One 130 with and without the inserts.
I'm curious too. I think there's more to be done in this arena of active bio-feedback devices for skiing. I think what the CARV really needs is more sensors in other areas of the boot to get a clearer picture of the reality of the movements; potentially even adding something across the waist/pelvis to help make a better determination of inclination and angulation data.
 
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