Mark Hendrickson Shares Tips For Staying Injury-Free This Ski Season
Get back on your feet—and stay there—with Canadian Freestyle skier, Mark Hendrickson.
For professional freestyle skier, Mark Hendrickson, growing up in Calgary gave him access to some of the best skiing in the world. Unsurprisingly, it only took Mark until he was nine to catch the “hucking yourself off things” bug, and the rest was history. At age 14, Mark landed a spot on the Canadian Freestyle ski team where he still is today, splitting his time between training in Calgary and competing all over the world—yes, Mark is living the Canadian dream.
As all athletic stories go, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Mark, suffering from two ACL tears early on in his career. We sat down with Mark to chat all things rehabilitation, prevention, and the role his Stoko K1s play in his journey.
How have your injuries changed your relationship to movement, both during and after recovery?
I was really young when I first tore my ACL in 2014, and it had a huge impact on how I approach skiing. It’s injuries like this that show you the importance of staying healthy—mentally and physically—when you’re performing in such a competitive sport. The last thing I want to worry about when I’m dropping into a contest run is restrictions on my movement.
What role do your K1s play in your skiing, and movement in general?
This has been my first season using K1s and I’ve been loving the comfort and stability that they bring to the table. I’ve struggled to find a system that allows me to forget about the small aches and pains I get, and my K1s have miraculously done this for me. The compression fit and adjustable cables feel like a natural safety net when I put them on. With my K1s, I’m able to train for longer with less discomfort, more consecutively. As an athlete, that’s gold.
How do your experiences with traditional knee braces compare to your K1?
If I could sell all the custom knee braces I’ve bought over the years, I’d be a millionaire. Nothing has ever worked for me the way my K1s one do. The heavy, uncomfortable braces of the past would never stay put, leaving my body more vulnerable than if I wasn’t wearing one. They were working against me, not for me.
What have your K1s made possible for you?
After a tough year I finally feel confident on my skis again. Finding a product like the K1 that will help prolong my competitive career is a huge relief. My K1s have allowed me to see a positive (and long) future in sport after derailing injuries in the past.
What advice would you give someone looking to get back to movement after an injury?
Don’t get discouraged if it takes longer than you expected. Continue to move your body because you want to, not because you have too. Moving with intention and joy is just as important in the healing process as the physical side—so have some fun with your moves.
For more trade secrets on how to make this ski season one for the books, check out our blog. And make sure to stay up to date on Mark’s adventures (and olympic pursuit) @m0rkk.