WildSnow Valentines — Lisa Gets Her Ski-Mojo On


Post by WildSnow.com blogger | February 14, 2019      

This post sponsored by our publishing partner Cripple Creek Backcountry.

A butt lift for Valentine's surprise? Read on to find out.

A butt lift for Valentine’s surprise? Read on to find out.

Lou always surprises me on special occasions with unusual gifts. I’ve received a cowhide tool belt for my birthday, a bug zapper for our wedding anniversary and a log splitter for Christmas.

But this Valentines Day Lou outdid himself and got me a new pair of ski legs.

Ibuprofen, Cortisone, Synvisc or just skip skiing? Those thoughts have swirled around in my mind as I try to get through another winter of avoiding knee replacement surgery. Eventually I should get it done but I’m hoping to postpone it to a season when my life if less busy and more conducive to the time and attention recovery will require.

The two laps I recently skied with Roam Robotics enlightened me that there are drug-free ways to alleviate my pain and keep skiing.

At this winter’s Outdoor Retailer show, Lou walked by the Ski-Mojo booth and noticed their “pain relieving” knee brace. Intrigued, he made arrangements with developer Martin Hannaford to try it out. A few days later, we met in Aspen, fitted the device and rode up the mountain on the ski lift. I took a few turns: no pain — marvelous! I skied lap after lap. It was so glorious to forget about my aching knees. I didn’t even stop for lunch. The next day my muscles were sore from the full day of skiing but my knees were not even swollen. So psyched, I headed off to ski again.

skimojo

Ski-Mojo is an analog exoskeleton made for skiing. Rods with internal springs are attached to ski boot and harness, secured with neoprene straps around thigh and below knee. I like the simplicity of the system: there are no batteries to charge and the system packs up neatly into a small backpack: handy for traveling.

But, this is WildSnow so the real test is how Ski-Mojo works while touring. I have not worn them on a long mountain ascent yet, but I skinned up our local ski hill and they were unobtrusive.

In order to uphill with Ski-Mojo, you need to disengage the device. Thus it doesn’t offer any assistance with uphilling, but I didn’t notice any hindrance either.

There are three ways to disengage Ski-Mojo:

  • The on/off button releases the springs so your legs can move freely, but the rods are still connected to ski boot and harness. To re-engage, simply snap the button down and Ski-Mojo is ready for the downhill.
  • To fully disengage, the rods can be released from the ski boot attachment. The rods then dangle from the harness. The harness can be attached to a waist belt so it doesn’t slip down while walking or touring. The two neoprene straps which go around each leg also help the rods to stay in place.
  • For a lengthy uphill, you could remove the device entirely and store it in your backpack, re-installing on your legs only takes minutes.
  • A comfortable stretchy harness and pads keep rods in place.

    A comfortable stretchy harness and pads keep rods in place.

    Ski-Mojo can easily be engaged and disengaged with side button.

    Ski-Mojo can easily be engaged and disengaged with side on/off button.

    I plan to do a proper backcountry ski tour test with the Ski-Mojo soon. But this is a quick first look for Valentines Day. During the initial test, Ski-Mojo got high marks, and Lou did too. His reputation as a talented gift giver lives on.

    Ski-Mojo specs:

  • Weight for my pair: 3lbs 11oz or 1676gm
  • Available for purchase in EU and at Ski-Mojo website
  • Plans to distribute in North America hopefully soon
  • Cost: $530 GBP plus shipping
  • More info on Ski-Mojo here.



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    Comments

    21 Responses to “WildSnow Valentines — Lisa Gets Her Ski-Mojo On”

    1. John B February 14th, 2019 10:46 am

      I’m not sure how much inbounds skiing you do Lisa, but do you usually ski a tech binding inbounds? I know the folks on some other ski forums swear by heavier duty in bound bindings feeling a lot better on their knees as compared to tech bindings.

      The SkiMojo setup looks pretty cool and a lot less obtrusive than the Robo-legs. Plus I’d imagine with the Roam legs that so many people would have quesitons that it would cut into your skiing!

    2. Lou Dawson 2 February 14th, 2019 10:57 am

      John, the Ski-mojo can be easily worn under roomy pants, that’s one of the nice things about it. I used it as well, interesting and positive. One interesting benefit is it forces some aspects of good modern piste technique, such as not lifting a foot during turn initiation. It’s not always perfect, but can be easily switched off.

      Alpine bindings might be a little softer (have more slop) than tech bindings at some angles, but we don’t ski a lot of super hard snow, and we don’t ski high volume vert at the resort, so I don’t think our tech bindings are an issue in terms of harshness. Where some of them ARE an issue is in having excessive ramp that makes it difficult to achieve an upright relaxed body position during parts of the turn. We usually fix that with shims, unless we’re just testing a binding.

      Lou

    3. Joe John February 14th, 2019 11:28 am

      Ha ha! Way to go Lou. My knees probably will need a pair soon!

    4. VT skier February 14th, 2019 2:00 pm

      John B,
      I regularly ski inbounds, at the resort, on a similar AT binding to the one pictured; the ION LT.
      I just can’t justify a full blown Alpine setup, and most resort days, I ski tele anyways, like today.

      I think a softer , AT boot can do more to reduce stress on your knees, than any particular binding that “locks the heels”. So yesterday, after skinning up AT at 7:00, I skied all day on my Maestrale RS, and no knee pain.

    5. DavidB February 14th, 2019 3:49 pm

      Hi Lisa / Lou, if you were skiing the mojo inbounds on firm snow and crashed onto your hip, is there enough padding to adequately protect you from the rods? In your opinion if you were motoring along as happens inbounds, is the mojo strong enough to withstand a good garage sale. No chance of spearing yourself with a rod etc?

    6. Lou Dawson 2 February 14th, 2019 4:34 pm

      Seemed ok in that regard David, though of course the rod and spring cartridge are hard objects next to you leg, can’t get around that. There is some padding and you could add more. Who falls, anyway? Lou

    7. Kyle February 14th, 2019 5:38 pm

      That’s fantastic that the device is letting you ski pain free, a great gift. Good luck with it and I would imagine the technology can only improve.

    8. Pavol February 14th, 2019 5:39 pm

      Hi Lou, can you expand on your comment about use of ramps and shims with tech binding? One thing I noticed is that ever since I moved to tech binding some 7 years ago I seam to always get sever muscle strain on my thighs even aften good 1 day of skiing regardless whether in pow or less pleasant conditions. Ok my skiing technique may be one thing and there is always lots of room for improvement but I do not recall having this sort of problems with standard alpine setup.

    9. Lou Dawson 2 February 15th, 2019 4:22 am

      Hi Pavol, first, try using our site search function, at top of page, to left. Among years of writing about this, you’ll find the following:

      https://www.wildsnow.com/10733/get-up-rise-up-stand-up-for-your-ramp/

      https://www.wildsnow.com/957/switch-hitting-gear-its-all-in-the-angle/

    10. Chase Harrison February 15th, 2019 6:47 am

      Hey Lou,
      How do they perform skining up hill? Do they add weight at all?

    11. HBS February 15th, 2019 8:11 am

      Why not adjust the canting of the boot instead of shimming the binding and losing heel lift?

    12. Lisa February 15th, 2019 7:25 pm

      Chase, total weight for my set is 3lbs 11oz. I didn’t notice the weight, probably because my legs were less fatigued. (Ski-Mojos alleviate approximately 30% of pressure/body weight off of knees). The braces were unobtrusive going uphill: they didn’t offer any assistance on the uphill, but no hindrance either.

    13. Jim Milstein February 16th, 2019 8:18 am

      To Lou’s question, Who falls, anyway? If it is you, stop right now! You could get hurt. Almost all ski injuries involve falling. Falling teaches you nothing beyond how to fall better, if even that.

    14. Lou Dawson 2 February 16th, 2019 4:28 pm

      I fell today. Skiing downhill with my heels unlatched. I guess I’ll never make a good telemarker (smile). My life is ruined.

    15. Jim Milstein February 17th, 2019 10:57 am

      Just curious, Lou, since you survived your fall, I’m wondering whether your cuffs were unlatched, too. If so, that’s likely the reason for your very terrible event. But, don’t give up hope. Your life will improve.

    16. Jim Milstein February 17th, 2019 11:00 am

      Since you survived your fall, Lou, I’m just wondering whether your cuffs were unlatched too. If so, that is likely the cause of your very terrible event. But, don’t give up hope; your life will improve!

    17. Kristian February 17th, 2019 3:49 pm

      The picture of the fire extinguisher reminds me of the Ohio Players.

      And, the rare abrupt sit down is not a fall….

    18. Christopher February 17th, 2019 3:54 pm

      Lisa:
      This seems to work well for you. Makes me think that maybe the right physiotherapy can be done and you dont need to have knee surgery?
      Increase muscle strength by weight lifting so your body can become its own ski-mojo? Just me thinking out loud 🙂

    19. Lisa February 17th, 2019 4:59 pm

      Christopher,
      Excellent point. I’ve been thinking about getting some PT, and your suggestion prompts me to do it. Thank you!

    20. xav February 18th, 2019 5:27 am

      @Lisa: have you ever tried visceral manipulation therapy? I swear by it as it has totally changed my comfort vs pain levels. Finding a well trained and skilled practitioner is another matter though… You could find more info here:
      https://www.barralinstitute.com/therapies/index.php

    21. Lisa Dawson February 18th, 2019 9:31 am

      XAV,
      I’ve not heard of visceral manipulation therapy but according to the website, there are some certified practitioners in our area. I’ll check into it. Thanks so much for the recommendation.





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  • Welcome to Louis (Lou) Dawson's backcountry skiing information & opinion website. Lou's passion for the past 50 years has been alpinism, climbing, mountaineering and skiing -- along with all manner of outdoor recreation. He has authored numerous books and articles about ski touring and is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado's 14,000-foot peaks, otherwise known as the Fourteeners! Books and free ski touring news and information here.

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