2022 has been a vibrant year for SkiMachine. From the ending of Covid-19 restrictions earlier this year to a bunch of succesfull SkiMachine installations worldwide and everything in between. The past year was beyond challenging for us, though overall positive. With 2023 closing in, we’d like to highlight some moments that have stuck with us. Worldwide SkiMachine installations, technology innovations, and memorable experiences: here is a dive into our 2022 recap!
Stay home means time to innovate!
SkiMachine is always setting the standard for technology innovation in the industry. That’s why during the final phase of Covid-19 restrictions earlier this year, we focused on product enhancements and developed a new intuitive concept that will certainly bring changes into corporate life: the Walking Room. Market research in collaboration with the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences reveals that over half of the companies worldwide invest in more healthy and modern workspaces. In addition, the results of qualitative research indicate that 70% of respondents want more physical activity during working hours and 65% of respondents felt more productive due to physical activity.
To facilitate this growing demand, the concept of the Walking Room originated: a room for up to 15 people to meet and collaborate while walking. A SkiMachine treadmill in the center facilitates movement for all participants, while a desk allows for easy presentation or work sharing. The space is designed for energizing, interactive, and inspiring sessions that will make employees happier, healthier, and more productive. The design of the Walking Room includes two treadmill sizes, and the entire device can be folded and wheeled anywhere, making it suitable for all offices. In January 2023, the official launch of the innovative Walking Room concept will take place.
Read more about the Walking Room concept in the news article of real estate developer Edge.
Road trip in the USA to install Boca Ice and Urban Ski
When driving off I-95 Exit 50 Congress Avenue in Boca Raton, you will find a massive 73,000 sqft state-of-the-art indoor family entertainment center. Boca Ice & Fine Arts Center provides visitors with an impressive list of activities, including twin NHL-size hockey rinks, elite figure skating, best-in-class hockey programs, professional ice shows, real snow, pro-shop, outdoor space, and performing arts: dance, music, and ballet. In June, our team of engineers went to Boca Raton, Florida to install a brand new Treadmill SkiMachine at the Boca Ice center. As the SkiMachine was installed on a mezzanine right in the middle of two hockey rinks, the installation required precision, know-how, and expertise in engineering. Our engineers are always up for a challenge so this was not a problem at all. Soon, the visitors of Boca Ice & Fine Arts Center will enjoy the thrills of the hills when skiing on our SkiMachine while having a look at the ice hockey rinks!
After a successful installation at Boca Ice, we faced some difficulties with transportation. Still, when a job needs to be done in time our team knows what to do. Therefore, instead of taking the plane to Bloomington Illinois, our engineers rented a large vehicle for all the equipment and drove for two days straight to get to Urban Ski Bloomington and managed to install the Treadmill SkiMachines without any delays. Sometimes it does not go as we planned but in the end, we always manage to find solutions and turn a smile on the first skier’s face after the installation is finished. It’s our job and we love it!
Portable SkiMachine development and installation in Switzerland
Meanwhile, during the USA tour, we spent our time on the technological development of the Portable SkiMachine. In October, a brand new Portable SkiMachine was shipped to Herbriggen in Switzerland, an area surrounded by beautiful Swiss mountain scenery. As of today, this movable ski slope allows skiers, snowboarders, and athletes off the Neff ski racing team to improve their abilities even when snow vanishes during the off-season.
Ski School Bergen op Zoom, Oosterhout and Playdome Roosendaal
Back in 1990, EGO Indoor Ski started with one conveyor belt, a dry slope, and a climbing wall. This year, EGO Indoor Ski has changed its name to Ski School Bergen op Zoom, marking the start of a new ski school chain in the Netherlands and Belgium. In collaboration with Playdôme Roosendaal, a new ski center has recently opened its doors: Ski School Oosterhout. By using our SkiMachines, Ski School Oosterhout offers an indoor solution to all ski enthusiasts in the South of the Netherlands.
New SkiMachines in Asia
During October and November, our engineers went East for several projects that included both installations and maintenance work. First, we installed two new Treadmill SkiMachines at the beginning of October for BCIS, an international school in Phuket, Thailand. Their new multi activity sports center provides youngsters with a full range of professional tools to fuel their passion for sports.
Later in November, our engineers returned to Asia, visiting the vibrant city of Taipei in Taiwan to replace a not working Chinese ski simulator. To provide visitors with the safest and best possible indoor skiing experience, we recommend investing in ski simulators that are trustworthy, durable, and exceptional in quality and reliability. Manufacturing superior indoor ski simulators is a complex process that requires craftsmanship. As such, we are happy to replace inferior alternatives to indoor ski slopes with our high-end ski simulators that offer a significantly better experience to customers. And to Lee Win-Yi, a Taiwanese Olympic Alpine skier who trains at this location!
By the end of November, our engineers replaced the artificial ski surface at Ski365 in the Zpell Mall in Bangkok, Thailand. In addition to doing some fun shopping, visitors are offered a unique experience at Future Parks mall. Today, visitors of Ski365 can benefit from a fresh layer of Pro Snow Artificial Ski Grass that mimics the feeling of real snow!
Highlights in the snow sports industry
Off course the Olympic games in Beijing early 2022 featured some highlights!
Japanese halfpipe snowboarder Kaishu Hirano broke the world record for the highest amplitude a snowboarder has flown out of a 22-foot snowboard halfpipe. The original world record was 23 feet and nine inches, set by Australian snowboarder Valentino Guseli. Hirano surpassed it during his final run when he flew 24 feet and four inches out of the pipe, over 46 feet off the ground.
American snowboarder Nick Baumgartner made headlines early in the Games when he was eliminated in the men’s snowboard cross event during the quarterfinal. Nick found redemption when he raced in the debut mixed team snowboard cross race with Lindsey Jacobellis. The pair won gold, making the 40-year-old Baumgartner the oldest Olympic medalist in snowboarding.
Finally, Chinese Eileen Gu became the first freeskier to earn medals in big air, slopestyle, and halfpipe. She earned gold medals in halfpipe (her most dominant event) and big air and secured silver in slopestyle. Gu landed her first 1620 to take the Olympic gold medal in big air.
Snow sports industry trends
Sustainability and climate change
Climate and sustainability issues were at the forefront of the Beijing Olympics. The event is the first Winter Games in history to feature 100 percent human-made snow. As a result of the looming climate crisis, ski resorts have already closed permanently due to a lack of cold temperatures and snowfall, while others have had to close lifts due to a lack of snow and glacial retreat. Ski resorts have been acquiring more water rights, increasing their water storage abilities, and upgrading their snowmaking systems to mitigate the dry years. Still, since this can use lots of energy, worldwide ski resorts have committed to more sustainable operations, looking for renewable energy.
The rise of alpine touring
When the industry grappled with the restrictions of Covid-19, snow sports enthusiasts sought alternative ways to access the mountains when lifts were not operating. Hence, alpine touring took off as it proved to be a self-sufficient experience for people to get out on the mountains and avoid crowds.
The increasing popularity of indoor skiing
Due to the effects of the looming climate crisis with a lack of cold temperatures and limited snowfall, indoor skiing is rising immensely in popularity. In times of drought, during the off-season, or for people who do not have access to mountains, indoor ski training can be a good substitute for skiing in the mountains. Therefore, many different ski centers have successfully opened their doors in 2022 to serve this growing demand.
We look ahead
At SkiMachine, we are beyond excited about what 2023 has to offer. Overall, we’d like to wish everyone the best of luck and a happy 2023!