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Vertical Drop Ski Shop is home to training technology traditionally only available to professional skiers. Vertical Drop Ski Shop has a SkyTechSport Ski Simulator (www.skytechsport.com) that combines smart sensor technology and virtual reality to create the effects of an actual ski slope. 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 simulator can be tuned for various levels of ski and snowboarding - from beginners to Olympic racers. "I wanted to bring something unique and exciting to skiers in Michigan," said Bob Thomas. "Helping customers truly become better skiers is what sets ski shops apart. The SkyTechSport simulator takes training to an entirely new level for kids and adults who are committed to the sport, or just want to become a better skier." Vertical Drop's SkyTechSport Simulator is the only in-store version in the country and is available to anyone. The simulator will benefit those who aren't ski racers, too. The technology is ideal for beginners to get the "feel" of skiing, as well as those recovering from an injury. "There is that tricky time when a patient is done with formal physical therapy, but not quite ready to get back on skis," said Robb Aikens, physical therapist and co-owner of Health Quest Physical Therapy and Medical Fitness. "The SkyTechSport simulator opens up a whole new opportunity to get back to peak performance on the hill as quickly and safely as possible. You can simulate the physical demands of carving turns in a safe, controlled environment." Sessions on the SkyTechSport Ski Simulator can be purchased individually, or as a bundle. Sessions last 30 minutes on average.
The Thomas Family. Over 65 Years of Excellence and Innovation Here's a little history that you should know. In 1953, a young Don Thomas met Olympian, Stein Eriksen. Don lured Stein to the United States where he became Boyne Mountain's ski school director and recreational skiing as we know it today was born! Don went on to pioneer and champion many of the ski industry technologies and retail practices we have today. A member of the Michigan Ski Hall of Fame, Don established an unmatched legacy of commitment to innovation and dedication to the skiing community.

Serving Michigan's ski community for over 40 years - 50 if you count the years his dad let him work in the store after school, Don's son, Bob Thomas, continues the commitment to excellence. In short, there's a reason why the best ski racing gear, most innovative programs and tools, such as the Midwest's only ski simulator and foot mapping system for the perfect boot fit, are found at Vertical Drop Ski Shop.

Bob has more hands on, day-to-day experience in the ski industry than anyone else on the planet. His dad saw to that. Stop by the shop and learn from the best.