The Ski Mojo is not a ski. It is an exoskeleton that basically assists the leg muscles by taking over some of the forces involved in skiing. But how does it work? And is it worth using?
It was first devised in the UK a decade or so ago. In the past few years, production has been moved to France, and now, the company is trying to win over the skiing world. But what is this Ski Mojo contraption, really?
How does it work?
Ski Mojo is an exoskeleton. Both at the hips and at the ski boots it is fixated (by a harness and by clamps on your ski boots), and strapped to your legs with neoprene and velcro straps. Two tubes connect in alignment with the knee joint. Inside, a spring produces a force that helps straighten the legs. As you bend your knees, the spring is loaded. When released – during the transition from one turn to the next – the spring assists in getting your bum back up. The manufacturer claims it generates about ⅓ of your body weight in force. There are several sizes and load ranges to accommodate different body types.
That’s really all Ski Mojo does: it generates a force, assisting the quadriceps (or rather, relieving the quadriceps, taking some of the load externally). By doing so, it is quite reasonable to state that you save physical energy while skiing. Meaning you can ski more aggressively with the same physical input, and/or have longer ski days with the same amount of energy.
Note that it does not increase knee stability or anything like that. It simply aids the quadriceps by loading part of the body weight onto the spring instead of the muscles.
Installation and use
Setting up the Ski Mojo initially takes a bit of time – 15 minutes or so. But once you’ve aligned everything properly and dialed everything in, subsequent daily attachment takes a minute or two – literally. And since you can switch the spring on and off with a simple button, you can wear the thing all day. Unless you have to use the bathroom, that is…
In the ski lift and on the slopes, switching the Mojo on and off is easy enough. And skiing with it does need some getting used to. You can definitely feel the help and added power. It punishes backseat skiing even more, though. It will let you know when you make a mistake. Everything is exaggerated, basically.
My personal take on the ski Mojo: it took a few runs to get used to it. As a renowned ‘backseat skier’ with a very stubborn learning curve, my first runs felt more or less like taking a skiing lesson. I had to adapt my posture to a more balanced position to make smooth turns again and it gave me direct feedback if I slipped back into old habits. However, stubborn or not, after a few runs I could ski short and long turns and carve with Mojo and the positive effect on my posture lasted even after I had taken the Mojo off again.
After skiing, I even wondered if I really had just skied at all – my upper legs felt like they had just begun and were ready for another go. Also, I have a knee injury. The Mojo does not directly influence knee stability in itself, but my knee did benefit from the relief of force Mojo offered.
So, is it worth it?
There’s no doubt Ski Mojo can assist in producing the forces that the legs normally produce on their own. If for whatever reason you need a power boost, it delivers. So I suppose it can make your time on snow less fatiguing and your days on snow potentially longer. It could get your skiing life longer too. But at a price: € 675 to be precise.
There are a few practical drawbacks. The main one is that you have to disconnect the thing every time you use the bathroom. Nothing major, but it requires some extra action. And if you really have to go… You could wear it under your outer layer of ski gear, but directly on the skin would not be our recommendation (extra sweating and chafing might occur). But hey, if it keeps you on skis longer – this may very well be something to invest in.