Texas Ski Ranch and Cablestock Embrace ShadowBox 3D Ride Capture Technology
New Braunfel, TX - ShadowBox, the space-age, 3D ride capture system that allows wakeboarders, kiteboarders, windsurfers, snowboarders and more to capture, analyze and share their rides in 3D, will be utilized in the competition at this year's Cablestock at Texas Ski Ranch, May 7-9. For those not yet familiar with the ShadowBox (or Sbox as it's often called), the device is about the size of a deck-of- cards, weighs about 4 oz. and secures to the center of your board with a screw-in mounting system. The Sbox not only records a person's ride and complete set of tricks in 3D, it also captures all the rider's stats, including speed, jump heights, airtime, jump distances, board angles, rates and degrees of spin, roll and flip, g-forces and more.
While the stats from each recorded ride and trick can be viewed immediately on the small, waterproof box, the entire ride can later be uploaded (via USB) to a PC or Mac for visual 3D playback and a much greater depth of analysis, including exporting the entire ride track into Google Earth. The visuals and information from the box can be used for learning new tricks, competitive training, equipment analysis or just simply proving to your friends what you've pulled off and where. The ride files are very small in memory and easy to e-mail around. Event organizers are looking to the technology to bring new and interesting information to spectators about what's happening with the sports they are watching. Brands are using the device to compare their equipment to others, seeing performance differences that can be improved upon in an R&D fashion or touted in a marketing pitch.
Cablestock is shaping up to be the biggest and best event at Texas Ski Ranch. TSR is excited about the addition of Shadowbox and it's possibilities related to cable wakeboarding. While the device has been put through the paces in many sports, including wakeboarding, it has never been fully used with cable riders. The two top names in cable wakeboarding, Tom Fooshee and Nick Davies, guarantee to put on a show and ShadowBox will be there to capture each movement that takes place. Exactly how the ShadowBox technology will be used at this year's Cablestock is yet to be determined and will be the focus of some exploration and testing next week at the ranch.
More than likely, given both its power and novelty, and the fact that most riders are not yet used to the system, the application this time around will likely be limited. However, Blake Hess of TSR and Dan Meyers of ShadowBox are indeed looking to the future here. Having a tool that can objectively measure so many different physical stats truly blows open the doors of possibility. With access to things such as g-forces, board angle and speed, new statistical mixes like "smoothness of transition" or "biggest impact" can be determined. Measures of real jump height, distance and hang time can be gleaned...as can who had the biggest and/or fastest rotation.
For reference, Rusty Malinoski's spin rate while pulling a 1080 was clocked at 856 degrees per second on the box. Check it out for yourself on the ShadowBox website Downloads page, where you can grab their free 3D player 'Ridetracker' along with Rusty's 1080 recording. You'll see Rusty unwinding at that breakneck rate as he completes the last part of the spin, just before hitting the water.
The Cablestock judges may or may not decide to use data to assist in their decisions, but if you are interested in checking out what the riders have done, the information will all be available on CableWakeboard.com after the event.
For purchasing, the ShadowBox is available online at ShadowBoxLive.com. The current model of ShadowBox (v1.0) is presently sold-out. However, pre-orders have begun for the next batch. For more information, please contact Dan Meyers at 503-550-6110 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Texas Ski Ranch at their location in New Braunfels, Texas or online at TexasSkiRanch.com.