We recently hit the bike park with Finnish MTB and Downhill racer Salli Saimovaara. We talked about her sport, training routines, ambitions, adrenaline and – obviously – injury prevention & contact wear protection.

Salli is a daredevil who proclaims to have lost her self-protection instinct at a very young age — a trait that has served her well in her chosen sports. Her lifelong love for sports with breakneck speed led her to downhill and enduro racing. She loves the adrenaline rush that the sport gives her and the ability to overcome obstacles:

“Downhill racing is about being on your limits and pushing yourself to overcome your fears. It’s a very hard sport that requires strength, fitness and excellent reactivity. I can’t resist the feeling of being in the moment while your adrenaline is spreading. You can jump huge jumps or try to clear steep sections or just hang out and have fun with your mates. When I’m riding I won’t think about anything else. It keeps me sane.”

What we love most? Adrenaline!

Gear up: ready to hit the bike park ©Marko Niemelä


This year Salli even won the Finnish Championships in Downhill Racing – a goal she has been chasing for a while that has demanded not only a good training routine but also a good mindset:

“Winning is always great and rewarding, I can’t lie. Winning has demanded that I feel confident and fast on my bike during this year. I’m very proud that I’ve learned so much but also tolerated failures and tried again and again.”


Slay: Salli taking a high jump ©Marko Niemelä


Her training routine includes various biking disciplines from bike park training to regular mountain biking and even riding easy tracks simply to keep up fitness level. As in every sport, technique training is also part of her schedule as well as regular visits to the gym to strengthen those arms, legs and core. To keep her body and mind guessing, Salli likes to mix things up with new workouts like her current obsession: bouldering.

Downhill Racing explained

In case you are wondering what downhill racing and enduro racing look like, check out this video explaining the difference between mountain bike racing disciplines cross country, downhill and enduro. It will also help you appreciate the fitness level athletes like Salli need to have.



STEAKS® Contact Wear & MTB

Salli is one of many athletes out there who is not active in our origin sports roller derby or ramp skating but still values the freedom of movement and low-profile protection STEAKS® gives her as an athlete.


Cooldown: Sweat, Mud & Smiles @Marko Niemelä


“STEAKS® feels great because I don’t feel it. Many protection pants are thick and unpleasant to wear, but STEAKS® are light and seamless. The SMACKANAWA VEST stays in place and feels great. Many riders have old injuries and sometimes you might need extra protection, so it’s luxurious that you can order custom gear. And of course, I want my gear to look cool and STEAKS® solve this problem easily. STEAKS® doesn’t look like protection gear so you can use it (Smackanawa Vest) as a top after riding.”


Find Salli's STEAKS® Contact Wear recommendation for MTB below.