Skip to main content

Trace action tracker is about to turn real life into ‘Tony Hawk Pro Skater’

Trace action tracker main
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Last week, David Lokshin’s Kickstarter campaign for his new board sport-specific action tracker Trace blew past it’s funding goal, ultimately closing out at $161,260 on an initial ask of $150,000. He’s completely sold out the pre-production run of 300 Traces at $99 each. That means surfers, skateboarders, snowboarders and skiers are a lot closer to having communities of data-obsessed peers popping up around them in the same way runners and cyclists have been bombarded by Strava.

Trace is a Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup-sized technology puck that attaches to a skateboard, surfboard or snowboard and keeps an exact digital record of the board’s movement through time and space. It’s armed with an inertia sensor, built-in GPS, and Bluetooth 4.0, so it can communicate all the details of a wave, snowboard run, or skate session to an iPhone or Android phone and the rest of the world through social channels.

It can tell when a trick is attempted, how high off the ground or water it was, whether it was completed successfully and even – as Lokshin gathers more data – what the trick was.

Unlike Strava and its ilk, Trace tracks more than speed and distance. Because the device mounts an inertia sensor directly on a board, it can tell when a trick is attempted, how high off the ground or water it was, whether it was completed successfully and even – as Lokshin gathers more data – what the trick was.

Lokshin explains: “Inside of Trace there is a nine-axis inertia sensor that can very accurately tell us what your board is doing,” he says. “We then look at the sensor data and map what tricks are what. We look for the patterns, we then segregate all the information and move through each data sample. At every level we segregate more and more detail data.”

In surfing, this has the potential to change the competitive game rather dramatically. Surfing competition has always been subjectively judged by a panel of experts. Over the years, different organizations have tried to objectively quantify surfer’s performances, but aside from counting and timing the waves ridden by competitors during heats, there wasn’t much hard data that could be analyzed. With Trace, every wave can be logged and analyzed for max speed, average speed, length of wave in both time and distance, air time, and how tight the surfer’s turns were. All the judges would have to do is give the surfers style points and near-objective judging could be a reality.

For snowboarders, Trace will keep track of all kinds of data in addition to the speed, tricks, and distance. It will also count runs, chairlifts ridden, and where your friends are riding on any given day.

Skateboarders using trace will come ever-closer to turning their sessions into a game of Tony Hawk Pro Skater, as they’ll have the ability to track every trick landed on every feature at their favorite park or spot. And because all the skater’s (or snowboarder’s or surfer’s) data will be logged on the Trace app and website and can be easily shared, it could bring the concept of “gamification” to new levels for board sports participants.

Trace sounds considerably more promising than some of the action trackers we’ve seen lately (looking at you, Lit Action Tracker), and it’s chances of a successful production run may be better, too. In addition to the successful Kickstarter campaign, this isn’t Lokshin’s first rodeo flip. His business partner is his father, Anatole Lokshin, who happens to be the former CTO at Magellan Navigation and the two have already released an app for snowboarders and skiers called AlpineReplay, which they launched during the winter of 2011/12.

Trace Activity Monitor
Image used with permission by copyright holder

“AlpineReplay started as a side project,” Lokshin says. “It was kind of built out of jealousy, actually. Runners and bikers have all of these measurable metrics but there was never anything like that for action sports. We started working nights and had friends testing it. In the two seasons since we’ve gotten more than a quarter of a million users logging more than a billion vertical, 2.5 million jumps, and 380 hours of airtime.”

While somewhat sport-specific, AlpineReplay isn’t all that different from a host of GPS-enabled fitness apps. Trace, with its enhanced motion-sensing capabilities and ever-growing data library of trick recognition, may seriously shake up the action sports space in a way similar to how GoPro did just a few years ago with their POV cameras. That’s Lokshin’s hope, anyway.

“When we started [AlpineReplay] everyone kept telling us that skiers and snowboarders don’t want this info,” Lokshin says. “But once you have it you can’t live without it.”

If Trace can deliver on its potential, we’re already feeling left out by not being able to run a Trace right now. Because, as they say on Strava: if it wasn’t tracked it didn’t happen.

(Image credit Transworld Skateboarding)

Lee Crane
Lee Crane's career in action sports spans print, TV, and digital media; his work and handsome mug have appeared in and on Fox…
Circular confirms its $259 smart ring is coming to the U.S.
best wearables of ces 2022 circular ring

The Circular smart ring is finally going to be available for pre-order on Sunday, February 27, via the Circular website and will cost $259. The wearable tech will be available for presale in European countries (France, Germany, the U.K., and Italy,) the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Pre-orders will go live at 1:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, February 27. Those who pre-order the smart ring should expect delivery between April and June 2022, according to a Circular press release.

Circular doesn't clarify what ring sizes will be available when presales go live, however, the company has said that seven sizes for both men and women will be available. Digital Trends has reached out for clarification on the available sizes, and will update this article when we hear back. The Circular smart ring also comes in four different colors that can be switched out with replaceable outer shells: Black, rose gold, silver, and gold.

Read more
Working out at home? These are the best total gyms for home use
home gym total system multifunction

Home gym systems are a one-stop shop for adding fitness equipment to your home gym. If you've been working out at home, you know how important it is to mix up the routine once in a while. Although a home gym is a significant investment, it actually saves you money in the long run over paying for a monthly gym membership. Having a total gym in your home can also save you time because you don’t have to physically go anywhere to work out. Multigym equipment systems also let you do a wide variety of workouts in one sitting or allow you to do legs one day and arms the next. There are many to choose from, and the price range is vast, so we have done the homework for you and selected a few of the best for you to review before making a purchase.
Most Compact: Bowflex Blaze Home Gym

The Bowflex Blaze features over 60 different exercises and 210 pounds of power-rod resistance. The sliding seat rail allows you to perform aerobic rowing and leg presses. You can customize your workouts by building on the wide range of cable and pulley positions. This machine includes a lat bar and a squat bar and triple-function hand grip or ankle cuffs. This is a well-rounded machine and will do the job for many households, especially since you can buy additional weight to upgrade this machine to 310 pounds or 410 pounds of resistance. The Bowflex Blaze has a bench that folds up and wheels for easy storage.

Read more
How to take an ECG with your Apple Watch and see irregular heart notifications
ecg app apple watch

The ECG app is one of the most vital features of the Apple Watch, allowing you to see an electrocardiogram of your heart whenever you want. Along with this, the Apple Watch can notify you of irregular heart rhythms.

Read more