Truth: Randy The Hammer

On moguls, mullets, and why East Coast skiing is superior.

It was an auspicious day in 1979 when Randy Grasso landed in Killington, Vermont: the day the resort opened Outer Limits, its notorious mogul run. The Merrimac, Massachusetts, native had never skied bumps, and the moguls he found opened his eyes. Since then the Hammer, as Grasso’s known, has won many competitions and regularly appears in Meathead Films ski flicks. Come winter, he’ll be zipper-lining down Outer Limits with no plans to slow down soon.

I got the name “the Hammer” because I was hammering up and down the bumps on Outer Limits and two guys starting calling me the Hammer.

Mogul skiing is probably the hardest aspect of skiing to master. No matter how many times you ski bumps, they always come at you from different angles. You’re always adjusting. You can always improve. It’s a never-ending challenge.

East Coast skiers are better overall because of the conditions that they have to deal with on a daily basis. Ice. Powder. Mank. Slush. Corn. You name it. And the trees are tighter, so you have to be quicker in the woods. You have to negotiate bumps on almost every run. You also usually have to negotiate some sort of ice along the way.

We call Killington “the land of the misfit toys.” Almost everyone you meet at Killington came there alone. We’re all misfits from different ski areas, different walks of life. But once you’re there, everyone’s the same and it’s a never-ending ski posse. There’s no place else like it.

I’ve had a mullet since I was 18 years old. To be honest, I didn’t know I even had one until about 12 years ago. I saw a sticker on the back of my nephew’s car that said, “Mullets Rock.” And I said, “What’s a mullet?” My nephew started laughing and said, “You have a mullet.” I didn’t know what that was, so I looked it up on the internet.

I have an undying love for skiing. When everything goes bad in life, you go out skiing, and everything just goes away. All the weight comes off your shoulders. From the minute you put your skis on to the minute you take them off, you’re just having fun. It’s the ultimate source of freedom.