The Ski Coach
The Ski Coach is designed to teach you upper body control whilst skiing. It gives an instant audible feedback if you are correctly aligned with your shoulders approximately horizontal or if you are dropping your shoulders.
It is fundamentally elegant in its simplicity. Three ball bearings each about 1.5cm across roll in a perspex tube and are thrown across the tube as you turn. If you are turning with your shoulders horizontal down the hill then they move with centrifugal reaction force at the end of the turn and you hear a satisfying "clunk". If you drop your shoulder they clunk at the initiation of the turn and not at the end.
By learning to time the "clunks" you can improve your stance and hence your skiing.
Ian: I thought it was OK. It clearly worked on groomed runs where you could initiate nice smooth turns either short or long radius. It was noticable if you dropped your shoulder that you didn't get the end of turn clunk and if you didn't then they obediently flew across the perspex pipe and gave the reasurring clunking sound near turn completion.
In moguls or less even ground there seemed to be more random rattling and it became less useful. This is possibly due to my poor style in these conditions! It is light and unobtrusive sitting on your back and after a couple of runs you get tuned into it and I think it provides useful feedback. Depending on the price and level of skier it is possibly a useful addition to ski with for a few hours or days from time to time (especially early season) to help you ensure your stance is good.
Slushii: Seems to work okay. It was hard for me to be 100% certain as the foggy conditions and rough snow made it hard to ski consistently enough to demonstrate the device. I did not find it uncomfortable, after a few minutes I even forgot I had the device on me (until the "clunks"). I can see this being a useful tool on the groomed slopes, but not sure how it will work in the bumps, especially when the mogul field is irregular. Personally, I can't see myself buying such a device (unless it is quite cheap).
Suski: I used the ski coach for 3 cruisy runs down Sun Run and found it provided useful feedback as to the correctness of my turns. The "clunk" at the end of each turn was a nice reassurance that I'm keeping my shoulders level. I would have liked to try it on a more challenging run to see how I go in bumps or on less even terrain.
Schmenz: It was small and comfy... so ergonomically good.
On my mach schnell runs it wasnt much use... it was either silent or just a bunch of random clunks.
When the punters cleared in the arvo and i got to do some decent turns in a medium radius it was good. Turned and then got the clunk at the end.
If u have the space on a run to work on your turn shape and technique it would be good.
If it was something you were using as an instructor or a ski coach it would be a good teaching aid.
When I got it on short radius turns or moguls or my mach schnelling or large crc-y turns in wasn't any use.