Olympian or beginner, Clarkston ski shop has state-of-the-art downhill simulator

Posted at 8:00 AM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-08 08:00:01-05

Have you ever wondered if you had the chops to ski an Olympic ski run?

Thanks to a new ski simulator in Clarkston, you can test your abilities on the same ski mountain Olympians attempt to tame at this year’s 2018 Winter Olympics.

“Right now we’re getting a lot of high school teams,” said Bob Thomas, the owner of Vertical Drop Ski Shop. “We’re also getting recreational skiers who want it for a workout, or simply training.”

The simulator, which is used for beginners all the way up to top professionals, is currently the only one of it’s kind in Michigan. It can be used to learn how to work the edges and gain speed, but also for injured athletes that are rehabbing.

Thomas said a number of Team USA Olympic ski team members have been using the “SkyTechSport Ski Simulator” for the past year. That’s because the simulator can be used for a rare workout that mimics skiing unlike typical gym equipment can, but it also can be used to simulate ski mountains found around the globe.

“One of the benefits is that they’ve been running Pyeongchang a full year ago,” said Thomas.

The simulator, traditionally only available to professional skiers including the U.S. Olympic Ski Team, includes a pair of skis, or snowboard, mounted to rails on a lateral surface. The equipment allows skiers to move like they would on the slopes and includes the optional addition of ice, racing gates, moguls and powerful G-forces. Through a series of sensors and a virtual reality computer system, the skiers experience a virtual ski environment.

The ski simulator is available to anyone interested whether they’re a ski team looking to split time, a group looking to compete against each other for fun, or anyone who wants to attempt to learn/improve their skiing/snowboarding ability.