Following the success of action-sports mobile apps "Skate or Dice" and "Snow Dice," world champion freeskier Jossi Wells and three friends are releasing "Ski Dice" on Sept. 15 -- an iTunes app they hope will push freeskiers to try new tricks on snow, as directed by their smart phones.
The app, which the creators stress is not a game, works like this: You shake your phone to simulate the shaking of dice, three dice come up with varying trick combinations, then you throw whatever trick is on the screen. One of the die dictates whether your trick is thrown switch or regular, the second dictates how much spinning is involved and the third dictates the grab.
"Right now the range is from straight airs to 1080s, spinning both directions," Wells said in a phone interview from his hometown of Wanaka, New Zealand. "We have six different grab options and we also have a wild card that'll let you choose what grab you want to do."
The app, which can be purchased for $1.99, has been in the works for "the last few months," Wells said. It was developed by Wanaka-based Send It! Apps and is a collaboration involving Wells' childhood friend and Send It! co-founder Robett Hollis, as well as developer/Send It! co-founder Ted Bendixson and graphic designer Nick Gladding. Ski Dice is the second freeskiing app to be announced in the last few weeks, following news that Tanner Hall's first-of-its-kind halfpipe game will be released in January.
For Wells, the key was making sure Ski Dice represented the sport accurately. "I got involved so we could make a product that was legit and so we could get it right," the 21-year-old said. "We wanted to make an app that caters to everyone who goes through the pipe or park, from beginner park riders right up to pros."
Wells, who skis with his iPhone every day, said he's used the Ski Dice app while training the past few weeks and that "it's got me throwing tricks I've never done before." He also hopes skiers will use it with their friends, spawning can-you-top-this games in which they try to match each other's tricks. When asked what's the hardest trick in the app, Wells chuckled.
"I rolled an unnatural cork 1080 blunt the other day," he said. "I skipped over that one and rolled again. The only person I've seen do that trick was Matt Walker two years ago at Mt. Bachelor."
Wells and his associates plan to launch the app's first update a few days after its release -- a "ski tricktionary" in which every spin, grab and slide is explained. "We're writing those now," Wells said Tuesday night. He expects the app to be available for Androids soon as well.