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Then you stand straight up, your legs shoot out, and your arms fly over your head. Now you’re flipping downhill like a starfish. It’s time to learn to handle rollers the way World Cuppers do. Truth is, it’s not that hard.
First, repeat this phrase: “Suck it, don’t huck it. The closer you can come to keeping your skis in contact with the snow, the better off you’ll be.
Before you come to the crest of the roll, begin to extend your legs and stand up, out of any sort of tuck. Then, as you get near the crest of the roll, pull your feet back up toward your torso. As you do this, drive your hands forward and think of driving your shins and tips down the hill. Next, project yourself down the hill, into the steep part of the landing area, by forcing yourself to focus past it and into your next turn. I can’t guarantee that this will wow the fans, but it will keep you out of the nets.
Age: 31 Height: 5 feet 9 inches Weight: 185 pounds Home Area: Sugar Bowl Resort, CA Accomplishments: 2001 super G World Champion; second overall in 2003 World Cup downhill; winner of the 2003 Hahnenkamm World Cup downhill; eight career World Cup wins. Worst Learning Experience: “During training runs, my teammate Marco Sullivan and I sometimes pop airs and throw tricks at high speed. It keeps things fun. Last winter we were at Beaver Creek and Marco missed a gate on his run, so he decided to launch at the bottom. He hit the last roller, popped, and threw a mute grab. It looked good, but his skis got pulled sideways before the landing—when you’re going 70 miles per hour on 215s, the wind does strange things to your skis. He hit, and his knee just blew apart. Screwing around is fun, but I learned something about picking the time and place.