OUT OF THE GATE
SkiClubZ.com has video sharing for racers.
An example of SkiClubZ.com’s overlay
and split-screen capabilities.
What you might see as part of a
team that uses SkiClubZ.com.
New technologies are changing ski racing — what does
it mean for athletes and fans? BY BRYCE HUBNER
The Wired World of Sports
It’s hard to believe there was once a day when the only thing ski
racers and fans could do with their fingertips was cover them up from
the cold. Today, we can manage virtually every aspect of ski racing
(including clanging a cowbell) from the tips of our fingers. Sure, quantum leaps in technology and engineering occur on a regular basis
when it comes to ski racing equipment, training and diet regimens. But
as 2011 hits full stride, some of the most influential innovations in our
sport are arriving electronically. Reading and watching news with your
phone is one thing — now you manage your race and training interval
times, watch overlay and split-screen video wherever and whenever
you want, and ping your coach to let him know you got his notes on
that video as you share it with your friends.
The best part? Everyone from manufacturers to coaches, athletes
and parents have cost-effective opportunities to engage these technologies and improve performance across the board.
E-tools for everyone
If you belong to a ski team or club that hasn’t been able to afford cut-ting-edge timing and video tools from companies like Dartfish or TAG
Heuer, take heart: you can now get your hands on similar technologies for next to nothing.
SkiClubZ.com is a Palo Alto-based video and athlete management
system designed to meet the needs of club and college ski racers. Coaches can create an account, upload video, manage athlete
schedules and allow those athletes to jump online and watch video
whenever they want. The product features easy-to-navigate information and video sharing for friends and coaches, as well as overlay and
split-screen capabilities, too.
“My cousin, Muzi Gazioglu, grew up racing at Ski Club Vail,” says
27-year-old Can Babaoglu, a native of Turkey who founded SkiClubZ.
com after graduating from Cornell. “One
day, he was frustrated with having to wait
to watch his videos and with the fact that
he couldn’t analyze them whenever and
wherever he wanted. His coach told him
he should do something about it rather
than complain, and that’s how the idea
And the cost?
“I think that’s where we’re truly innovative,” says Babaoglu. “We allow ski teams
to use the platform for free and we don’t
charge coaches. We charge a very small
subscription fee to the athlete — $12 a month or $99 a year. Our whole
value proposition is that with our platform you don’t even need programs like Dartfish. It’s not only simpler to upload the video and edit it,
you can use split screen and overlays right inside your account.”
In other words, instead of spending thousands on video software, any
ski team with an Internet connection can employ important video and
management tools thanks to SkiClubZ.com. As of Jan. 7, 53 teams
in the United States, Canada and Sweden are using SkiClubZ.com,
including Park City, Burke Mountain Academy, the University of Colorado and, of course, Ski Club Vail.
The nordic skiing community is also ushering in a brand new, inexpensive e-tool. RaceSplitter ( RaceSplitter.com) is an iPhone and iPod
Touch (iPad to follow soon) timing application developed in a joint effort among New England Nordic Skiing Association (NENSA) board
member Steve Fuller, NENSA, FasterSkier.com and Europe-based
web developers Makalu Media.
“Ultimately, it’s simple,” says Fuller, who is also the chief marketing
A screenshot of the