Makayla Gerken-Schofield
01 October 2020

AN INTRODUCTION TO MY MOGUL SKIING CAREER

By Will Feneley, Moguls Athlete

I have been skiing since the age of six, in a range of disciplines as I’ve been growing up and started Mogul skiing full time around five years ago. When I was fifteen turning sixteen, I headed out to Australia, to join a team over there, where I ended up spending five seasons worth of Australian winters, the last two of those years being full time with them year round. They took me to NorAm level events, which are the North American equivalent of Europa Cups. Over the last two years I’ve been transitioning to the GB squad, competing in one World Cup in Tremblant, Canada (the first place I ever skied!) and the World Championships in Deer Valley. Finally, over the last year, I’ve fully transitioned and am now full time with the GB team.

I did alpine racing for five years, from eight to thirteen years old, spending most winters in Les Houches near Chamonix with the BSA. Later on, between eleven and fifteen years old, I got interested in park skiing. From fifteen years old, I have been involved in Mogul Skiing primarily. Mogul skiing is great, as it involves a lot of different aspects that I have grown up doing in different disciplines. Alpine Skiing is all about fastest lines and being able to turn the ski smoothly. Park skiing is all about style and jumps (and rails: not in mogul skiing… yet!). Mogul skiing is a big jumble of everything, and that’s why I love it. You are constantly on your feet, with no time to relax. You’ve got to be fast, you’ve got to be technical, and you’ve got to have a good jump package, with two jumps placed in the course. It is such a great sport, which is so hard to get right that it makes you want to keep pushing to get that impossible perfect run.

When competing, you travel to many places around the world, and spend many chairlifts with international recreational skiers. The one thing that is always asked when they find out we do moguls is: “How are your knees??”. It’s true that mogul skiing is a high impact sport, and that injuries are not uncommon, but we prepare our bodies so that they can endure year-round impact. We train to make sure our bodies are strong enough, and also nimble enough. When you’re skiing bumps, you’re trying to reduce impact, but even with strong bodies, and good technique, things can go wrong. I’m lucky enough to be fairly injury free, having only suffered a small torn meniscus in 2016, requiring a minor surgery. You have to rely on a good mental attitude and your physical preparation, so that you can push your body to limits, not hold back and send it!

 

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