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Fitness Watch - skiing

kiki

Angel Diva
I was looking at the Garmin and other fitness sports watches and see several have ski tracking features. There was a couple articles in ski magazine about these, and I was curious if anyone here has used these to track skiing and how was it?

Here are some listed by ski mag:
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Edition
Apple Watch Series 6
Suunto 7
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
FitBit Versa 3
 
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kiki

Angel Diva
Curious to hear who is using fitness watches / smart watches and if anyone has tried the ski features?

For golf it is very common to use a garmin gps watch to determine distance to pin, I see at least 50% of lady golfers with one of these. Also, lots of folks wearing Fitbits or similar watches to track their steps, some ladies wear a fitbit on one wrist and a garmin on the other.
I wanted to get a new watch that would combine both garmin and fitbit so I just have one device on my wrist then noticed some of the watch options have ski tracking to monitor # of runs, vertical, speed etc. That looks very cool, some have trail maps too. Is that useful?
I am thinking pulling my glove off and pulling up my coat sleeve to look at my smart watch while skiing may be very cumbersome. So was curious if anyone had tried this.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
I'm currently looking for a new watch with GPS built in. Neither my old Garmin or my current Samsung do. I have to take the phone with me. I want to get away from that with the OC-1. A friend that has an in for Garmin has supposedly ordered me one. But haven't heard from him in awhile. Boating season is coming up!!
 

kiki

Angel Diva
I'm currently looking for a new watch with GPS built in. Neither my old Garmin or my current Samsung do. I have to take the phone with me. I want to get away from that with the OC-1. A friend that has an in for Garmin has supposedly ordered me one. But haven't heard from him in awhile. Boating season is coming up!!
@Jilly curious how the gps would benefit with the boating—as a non water person lol! To track your distances or help you find your way?
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
I have the Apple Watch Series 5. I use Slopes to track ski stats. Slopes has a watch interface and I can start and stop the app from my watch. I can also see some current stats on the watch. I also carry my phone with me and sometimes I run Ski Tracks in parallel to see the difference between the 2 apps.
 

Little Lightning

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I used Sunnto watches for years. Always liked their reliability and their desktop app. Never had any issues with them. However, I ended up buying a Garmin Vivioactive 3 a couple of years ago when Suunto decided to do away with their desktop app. I don't have a Smartphone so I had to buy a Tablet to access my workouts.

My Suunto didn't track skiing although I could put an app on it which I never did. With the GPS it did track the runs I skied but didn't pause on the lifts which my Garmin does. My Garmin does a good job of tracking my ski time, bicycling, hiking etc. It was the smallest Garmin at the time I bought it and it fits pretty well on my small wrist. I wear it comfortably 24/7. My Suunto is huge and while it was comfortable to wear it looked huge on my wrist.
My Suunto was bulky under sleeves, especially with lots of layers.

Recently the band attachment broke on my Garmin. I contacted them, they sent me a shipping label to return the watch for a replacement. Refurbished watch sent with no questions asked. The entire process took 4 days. Garmin also regularly updates the technology on their watches. Not sure if Suunto is doing that for my older watch.

Due to my small wrist the Garmin wrist heart rate tracking is not accurate. I get better heart rate results wearing a chest strap.

Many of the Smartwatches I looked at recently have features I don't care about or will use. I don't use the all the features on my Garmin which is one of the simpler watches available.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
@kiki - I want to track time and distance. The club uses OC-2's as an individual test. So how far in 2 minutes.

I had the Garmin Vivosmart. I found the watch too big/high off my wrist. And it bothered me when wearing long sleeves. So I got the Samsung, since I have a Samsung phone and tablet. Looking at the Venu, without the music.
 

Ski Sine Fine

Angel Diva
There is something to be said about tech eco system. I started with a Vivosmart a few years ago and got frustrated with the lack of integration with the iPhone. I still had to do most everything on the phone. I switched to the Apple Watch and it was much better. I have the Series 5 with cellular now and I can handle caIls, messages, to-dos, calendars, and much more on the watch. I hardly have to touch my phone anymore. I imagine it’s similarly seamless with the Android eco system.
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
I was looking at the Garmin and other fitness sports watches and see several have ski tracking features. There was a couple articles in ski magazine about these, and I was curious if anyone here has used these to track skiing and how was it?

Here are some listed by ski mag:
Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Solar Edition
Apple Watch Series 6
Suunto 7
Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
FitBit Versa 3

I have a Garmin Fenix 6S Sapphire. They didn't have the solar edition in the 6S when I bought, and the "normal" 6 would have been massive on my wrist (for reference, my wrist is approx. 5.75"). So if you have small wrists, definitely take the watch face size into account. I mostly bought it for mountain biking, which I find it pretty perfect for. I've tried it for skiing, and it's fine...it does what it's supposed to. But I find it really bulky and awkwardly fitting around my layers and glove cuff. It's better with a gauntlet style mitten/glove cuff, but still not ideal. I haven't used it as a ski map. While it's a novel idea, and would work in a pinch, I don't see it being super helpful for actually navigating a ski resort...since maps are readily available in so many locations on the mountain. I have no idea how accurate the speed is...personally, I don't really care. Fun stats...but I just haven't really dove into using it for those reasons. Overall, I've been really happy with it...and often feel like I'm using it for a tiny drop of what it's capabilities are.

It has golf features that I haven't used yet (I've occupied most of my past couple summers with mountain biking and have have slacked on golf).

Another small note if you decide to go this route...I spent a bit extra (I had an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocket) to get the nylon band, because I liked the look of it. While I still like the look of it, the silicon band holds onto my wrist during activity significantly better. If I bought again, I'd skip the nylon band.

ETA: Here's an in depth review of the Fenix that I found very helpful (but be prepared that it's VERY in depth...Garmin Fenix 6 Series In-Depth Review | DC Rainmaker ). DC Rainmaker has a bunch of other sport watch reviews, if you browse the website.
 
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BlueSkies

Angel Diva
I have the Garmin Fenix 5s plus and it works for skiing. It seems accurate for speeds and distance. I got mine because it also has the navigation for hiking. As mentioned above it is somewhat bulky, but I like it enough to wear all the time.
 

Peppermint

Angel Diva
I have wanted to purchase a smart watch for years now but I always find the face is too big and the watch sits too high up on my wrist, which seems to be a common complaint. Does anyone know of a smart watch that is made for women that are lighter and smaller? I would think it would be possible with the speed of technology these days. Jeez, just typing that makes me sound old!
 

newboots

Angel Diva
Jeez, just typing that makes me sound old!

I feel old due to this issue on a regular basis! Often I feel like my grandfather, who after retirement from owning a little grocery store, was often astounded by inflation in food prices. (He was also fascinated by TV dinners: “Look, Annie! The whole meal in this little box!”)

Uh oh. You have to be pretty old to remember the innovation of TV dinners!
 

elemmac

Angel Diva
I have wanted to purchase a smart watch for years now but I always find the face is too big and the watch sits too high up on my wrist, which seems to be a common complaint. Does anyone know of a smart watch that is made for women that are lighter and smaller? I would think it would be possible with the speed of technology these days. Jeez, just typing that makes me sound old!

I went down this path before purchasing the 6S. There's a fine line between it being a comfortable size and being large enough to actually use for what you want it to do. For example, topo maps are only helpful if you can read them, and if the watch is so small...what's the point in paying for a map you can't really use. Same goes with text messages, if you can't read the message or need to really strain to read it, what's the point.

So for buying one, you'll need to first narrow down what you really want it to do...smart watch with cell service, smart watch linked to your phone, fitness tracker, GPS mapping...so on. From there you can search out the smallest watch with those "non-negotiable" features.

As for sitting high on your wrist; that was one of the things I needed to get used to when I first got it. I used to wear a small watch regularly, but wore it a bit loose...more of a bracelet looseness. Switching to a larger smart watch designed to fit snug above the wrist bone was not very comfortable at first, but you get used to it.

Garmin just came out with a model called the Lily that is made with small wrists in mind...might be worth a look.
 

MrsPlow

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Just wanted to comment that the Garmin Fenix 5S is fairly tough - I fell a couple of times last summer while running on a rocky path and the screen took a good battering. I had a tempered glass screen protector over it and both that and the underlying screen cracked. Watch is completely fine, still seems to work. I stuck another screen protector over it to keep water out and no problems so far.
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
My Garmin Venu arrived on Friday. It may look big, but It's light. Has a skiing mode, but more important a paddle mode. Still working on figuring all the info available.
 

KWlovessnow

Certified Ski Diva
I have the Garmin Vivoactive 3 and have had it for a few years. I use it primarily for biking, hiking and golf, but have tracked skiing with it. It works fine for skiing. Start it and then it goes without having to mess with it much. I have had trouble with it running out of battery if not fully charged while skiing, but only when using it for a full day (its fine for a few hours).
Also, its a super tough watch. I dropped it on my hard tile bathroom floor last night, face down. No cracks and seems to be working just fine this morning.
 

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