Skiing the moguls - Page 4


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  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by kingslug View Post
    Stuff like this you can fly through on fat boards..or any board I guess if you want. Launch, turn in the stuff.
    Those are like "baby moguls" though, or moguls-to-be. I would not want to navigate a legitimate mogul field on fat skis.
    President - Bicknell's Thrush Extermination Solutions (BTES), LLC

  2. #32
    kingslug's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Stamford Ct and Stowe
    yeah..had to hop turn down upper Goat..tight in there..
    Lets go!
    I'll drive.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by makimono View Post
    1993. I was on a steep 35-ish degree slope with massive shoulder high moguls at Bridger Bowl MT. My buddy and I were both pretty decent skiers and were having fun wiggling our way down this thing. I stopped half way down for a breather and my friend pulled up next to me when we both heard this sound coming and getting louder: thump, Thump THUMP THUMP!

    I think we were both wondering if maybe an avalanche was coming? when out of nowhere 2 guys, one right after the other, come ripping down this thing at ludicrous speed just slamming into the tops of each bump and airing right over the troughs. Just about straight lining it. They practically skied right over our heads about ten feet away and as quickly as they appeared they were gone. That moment changed my life. I'd never seen anything like it before, never knew something like that was even possible on skis and it really changed the way I thought about skiing from that point on.

    I have seen some that can do this in person and I'm still at awe.
    I rather be @ss noodling

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by jack97 View Post

    I have seen some that can do this in person and I'm still at awe.
    These kind of mogul fields don't exist anymore. These roundish half peach shaped mounds with perfect sinusoidal lines between them seem to be a thing of the past. What we do have is something looking more like bunch a banana shaped ridges that have a lot of perpendicular orientation and a lot of space in between. No rhythm or line, just a slog.

    Two weeks ago I had a vacation week at Sugarloaf. There was a ton of good snow and moguls, but my favorite runs like Ripsaw, Bubblecuffer, Winters Way, Boomauger that usually grow some fabulous lines of moguls all sucked. Weird bumps all over the place.
    I don't know what changed, wide skis? snowboard made lines? Who knows.
    I don't ski anything wider than 80mm under my feet and in spring, I really like to bring out by "skinny" K2 Kevlars from the bygone era and dance in corn bumps. No more.
    I could never do even a fraction of what the video shows, but I could do some and that was a blast.
    Live for today

  5. #35
    Some of my favorite days of the year are K in May when Superstar is all that's left and it's edge to edge hot buttered corn bumps.

    The monoski is really a great tool for soft moguls. I know Plake could probably rip moguls on a lunch tray, but this clip from License to Thrill was the reason I bought my first mono over 25 years ago

    he went so far off axis he was in fact on axis...the progression had become regression

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Bumpsis View Post
    These kind of mogul fields don't exist anymore
    I thought I was the only one who thought like that . I recall bumps being more tightly spaced . My favorite trick was to launch off one ,clear another and land the downside of the 3rd trough . I can only clear one trough now but they seem much further apart to me , Shaped skis , snowboard effects ? Or maybe I gained 40lbs ?
    "Make Greenland Green again"

  7. #37
    If the goal is "mogul skiing," then I definitely wouldn't recommend fat boards. If the goal is just to get around the hill, then sure, you can ski them on fats. But I'd make that distinction between "getting through" the moguls, and actually skiing the moguls.

    I have quite a few thoughts about mogul skiing. Here's a summary. More detail to follow.

    • Ski in a tall stacked position (straight line from balls of feet through hips through shoulders), with legs together in a tight stance, driving forward with your hips
    • In this stacked position, you should always feel positive shin pressure on the tongues of your boots; this allows you to drive your tips
    • Keep your hands out in front, and elbows close to the ribs
    • Initiate your turns with "lead change", tucking one knee behind the other to lead with the new downhill ski, which should then carry most of your weight
    • Make your pole plants just on downhill side of the bump, and with a subtle flick of the wrist; never let your arms drag behind you, or rest lazily at your hips
    • Keep your eyes up and focused downhill by at least 3 bumps
    • Absorb & Extend - this is both passive and active. As your tips contact a bump, begin an active absorption, then let the bump push you further to a full absorption. As you crest the bump, begin the lead change and STAND UP! Actively extend, fully.
    • Narrower skis with less sidecut are requisite for efficient and enjoyable bump skiing. Fat skis don't allow you to keep your legs together, and take up too much real estate. Heavy sidecut initiates and holds turns at undesired moments, and often in too wide a radius. You don't strictly need bump skis. But 80mm or less at the waist is helpful, and minimal sidecut.

    A couple other general thoughts:

    • For serious skiers, skiing technique should be like a toolbox, not a "one-size-fits-all." You can drive a screw with a hammer. It's not efficient or pretty. You can ski bumps with a slalom or GS carve. It's not efficient or pretty. Different terrain and different conditions dictate different techniques. Tools can be expensive up front, but save you money down the road. Invest in filling your toolbox.
    • Learning to ski moguls is like learning a musical instrument. You don't become proficient overnight, or with one lesson. It takes dedication and practice, and there's always more to learn. If you think you've "made it," you're wrong.

  8. #38

    The tips that follow are from a brain dump I spewed out more than ten years ago. Some stuff may be out of date; I'm not going through it line by line to find out. I wrote this at a time when I thought I knew a lot more than I probably did. But after a few years of teaching mogul clinics, and a lot more years skiing moguls, I think the gist of it is still a good foundation. Hopefully it can be of some use to someone!

    Mogul Skiing Tips

    Basic Stance
    Before you decide to go gung-ho in the zipper-line, there are some technique and posture ideas with which you should become comfortable.

    You should immediately get to know the appropriate mogul skiing native posture. This is the basic stance you will use in all of your skiing, in or out of the bumps. In the native stance, you should be what folks in the mogul world call “stacked.” This means that your feet, knees, and shoulders should make a line, and should all be stacked on top of each other. If you do this correctly, you should feel your shins putting solid pressure on your boot tongues (be sure to maintain this pressure while skiing). You need to become comfortable with this position… it is absolutely crucial to your success in the bumps. Skiing in a stacked posture will help to keep your skis under your body, and keep them from shooting out in front of you.

    Another key to correct mogul skiing is a relatively tight stance. In other words, as mogul skiers, we ski with our skis much closer together than we would if we were laying down railroad track carves. I personally ski with a stance so tight that my ankles are practically locked together. My ski tips are well shaved from crossing at the inside corners. You could adopt this type of stance, or you could go for a slightly wider stance. A general rule of thumb would be to try to keep your stance no wider than about 4 or 5 inches (space between your boots). This helps you to keep balanced in the bumps, and helps your skis work together in absorbing them.

    The best way to become comfortable with this stacked stance is to practice it on the groomers for hours. If you are a 20+ day/season skier, devote 3 or more days to just practicing on intermediate and single-diamond groomed runs, always trying to keep yourself in this stacked posture. Try to make medium radius turns using solely knee angulation (do not drop your hips or shoulders toward the snow as you would in a typical alpine turn). Hint: it’s okay to slide a little bit when making these turns!

    As you become more comfortable with those turns, begin progressing toward quicker short radius turns using the same technique as the medium radius turns (short radius turns will be discussed in detail in section 4).

    If you only have several days each season to ski, then learning to ski moguls could prove quite a challenging task. However, do not fret! You’ll do yourself a big favor if you be certain to master this stance on the flats before even setting ski in the bumps, even if it takes all of your ski days in one season. Once you have the posture down, you will be able to improve in the bumps much more quickly.

    Remember: if you don’t have many days each season to ski, don’t rush it and don’t get frustrated if it takes a while to get to your desired level. Anyone who has learned to play a musical instrument understands that it takes time, dedication, and practice to achieve proficiency. Skiing is no different. Take your time, and enjoy the process.

    Your Eyes: Always One Step Ahead of Your Feet
    A common problem among many recreational mogul skiers is their eyes. When you’re in a bump field, you should always look at least 3-4 bumps ahead of you. Your head and your eyes should always be up, looking ahead, not down. Think about it: if you’re only looking down at the bump beneath you, then how are you going to be able to prepare for what lies ahead? That’s right… you can’t. Half the battle in skiing moguls well is being prepared for the upcoming bumps (or other obstacles). If you are looking ahead 3 or 4 moguls, you will be able to plan (subconsciously, sometimes) what to do when you actually get to that bump. You will be able to ski a much smoother run, and you will be ready for whatever is ahead. If there’s a stray ski pole in your line, you’ll have time to switch lines to avoid disaster. If someone ahead of you has fallen, you will be able to adjust before plowing him over. If your line is irregular, you won’t be surprised when you run into a bump that isn’t where you wanted it to be.

    Looking ahead is critical to skiing a safe and fluid mogul run. At first, you may feel uncomfortable not looking at what is underneath you. But think about it: since you’ve already seen the bump (because you looked at it a couple of bumps ago), you already know what’s there. You also may feel like your feet won’t know what to do unless you’re carefully studying what’s beneath them. Nonsense! Your feet, legs, boots, and skis can do a lot more on their own than you’d like to believe!

    Head to a relatively easy intermediate groomed run. Pick a reasonable portion of the trail to ski without stopping. Find an object at the end of that portion to focus on. It could be a tree, a snowmaking hydrant, a sign, a lift tower, whatever (as long as it is stationary, of course). As you ski that portion of the trail, keep your eyes on that object and ski in your stacked stance making short-radius turns. Do this until you become very comfortable with the idea of looking ahead instead of down.

    Then, take this same idea and apply it in a low-pitch bump field, preferably one that is half groomed/half bumps so that you can safely bail out if necessary. Start out just looking one bump ahead. Then, as you become used to that, move on to 2, 3, 4. If you can get comfortable looking 5+ bumps ahead, then more power to you! It will certainly work to your advantage!

    Quiet Upper Body
    To be successful in the bumps, and to look like a fluid bump skier, you need to have what is referred to as a quiet upper body. This means that your lower body (you skis, boots, knees, legs, hips, etc.) need to be doing all of the movement and the work, and your upper body needs to remain as still as possible. Yes… your arms will be moving a little bit for pole plants, but we’ll cover that technique later.
    As you progress down a bump line, you will be turning your skis, absorbing the shock, moving up and down, maybe taking a little jump here and there. But as long as you are in the bumps, you should try to keep everything above your hips as quiet as possible. Your shoulders must always remain square down the fall line. This sets your entire body in the mode of skiing the fall line smoothly and properly. If you watch the pros in competition runs, you’ll notice that they’re flying through the bumps, turning and absorbing with incredible speed; but through it all, their upper bodies remain nice and still, and directed straight down the fall line.

    Any excess movement in the upper body can cause trouble in the bumps. It can move your CG (center of gravity) and cause you to lose your balance. It can also dampen the effectiveness of absorption and extension, and it just plain looks sloppy.

    This all works hand in hand with the previous section. Keeping your upper body still will help you to keep your head up, and looking down the fall line. Vice-versa, looking ahead a few bumps and keeping your focus down the fall line will also help you to keep your upper body still.

    As with the topics covered earlier, the place to practice is on the groomers. Schuss yourself to a medium-pitch intermediate trail. Keeping your eyes focused ahead of you and down the fall line, make quick short-radius turns. Pay close attention to keeping your upper body still, and not turning your shoulders with your skis. A good way to hone this skill is to pick an object like you did in the last section, and focus on it again. This time, instead of just looking at it and skiing toward it, hold your poles upside down (handles in your hands, baskets pointed to the sky, a little less than shoulder-width apart, making a "TV screen" for your eyes to look through. Try to ski down to that object, keeping it between your poles at all times. Be sure to make you turns like to always do, but remember to keep your upper body still enough to keep that object between your arms.

    Short Radius Turns
    Short radius turns are crucial to bump skiing for two main reasons: first, because the turns you will make in the bumps are short radius, since 95% of the bumps you will encounter are relatively close together (certainly closer than would allow for a slalom or a GS style turn). Secondly, because the short radius turn on the groomers allows for the closest imitation of actually being in the bumps, which gives you the opportunity to practice bump skiing techniques on the flats.

    To make these short radius turns on the groomers, you need to ski in your stacked mogul skiing stance, and keep your upper body quiet like we discussed in the previous section. As you start down the run, initiate this short turn with "lead change," which describes the subtle knee angulation and ankle roll that allows fast, tight, carved mogul turns. As you begin the turn, one knee tucks behind the other knee, positioning your legs and feet to transition to the new downhill ski. To initiate the right turn, the left knee angles to tuck just behind the right knee. To initiate the left turn, the right knee angles to tuck just behind the left knee. As you do this, the majority of your weight should shift to the new downhill ski. If you are keeping the stacked position and good shin pressure, this will automatically initiate a short radius carve from the tip of the new downhill ski. Your tails might "wash out" and slide a bit; that's okay.

    You can vary your speed by adjusting when and how hard you make a firm edge set at the end of the turn. Making extremely short radius turns and initiating the lead change with a minimal edge set when your skis are barely across the fall line will allow you to take a more direct line and ski more quickly. Waiting for your skis to come more perpendicular to the fall line and edging harder will help you to keep your speed down a little.


    The best way to practice is to simply do it. Lots. Vary your speed and your edge set, getting a feel for the lead change motion. Perhaps start with a larger radius turn, and little-by-little tighten the radius until you are making tons of tiny turns. Then work your way back to a slightly wider radius. Do this until you are more than comfortable with making short-radius turns. As you practice, it is key to remember to keep your eyes up and you upper body still!

    The most effective method to rehearse keeping your weight on the downhill ski is to spend some time on the groomers doing wedge turns like you did when you first learned to ski. If you’re not familiar with these turns, place your skis in the snowplow ( / \ ) position. Begin going down the trail. To turn left, keep your left ski straight and turn your right ski left, putting your weight on the downhill (right) ski ( | \ ) and drive the tip of the downhill ski with firm shin pressure. Do the opposite for your right turn ( / | ). As you turn, you should feel a pinch near your hip. These wedge turns will make weighting your downhill ski second-nature.

    Picking a Line
    One of the most common questions aspiring bump skiers always ask is: “Where do I ski in the bump field? How do I pick my line?” Well, the most obvious answer would be, “ski down the fall line!” Of course, that’s not very helpful when you’re a new mogul skier trying to make a logical choice as to how to ski a particular bump field.

    As you come to the beginning of a bump trail, take a few seconds to survey the moguls, looking for possible hazards such as ice, bare spots, fallen skiers, etc. Pick a part of the trail to ski that is free of any such hazards. If you are skiing seeded bumps (moguls built by snowcats or other mogul-building techniques) then your line will be right there in front of you: left, right, left, right, left, right. Also, in ideal conditions on a natural bump run with only expert bumpers skiing the trail, the lines will be obvious and straight down the fall line. However, many of the natural bumps you will encounter will not be in straight lines, and will include some irregularities and some odd bump locations.

    On natural mogul runs, the most important concept for you to understand is that you shouldn't allow the troughs (ruts between the bumps) or bump alignment to totally dictate your line. As mogul skiers, our sole interest and intent is to ski the fall line as straight as possible. Therefore, when you choose a line, choose one that is as regular as possible, but as you ski it, simply absorb through the irregularities (more on this later) and stay in your line straight down the trail. Sometimes you will encounter troughs so deep that you feel like they’ll suck you right in. You have two options: ski through it, or make a hop turn over it onto your next bump. What you do not want to do (as much as possible) is leave your line to avoid an irregular bump or a deep trough. This makes for choppy, disconnected mogul skiing, and you often have to stop to regain composure and pick your line again.

    Line selection is one of those concepts that you’ll become comfortable with as you ski more and more moguls. As you master the techniques discussed herein, you’ll begin to realize that you’re not even “picking” a line anymore, so much as just skiing the fall line without having to think about it.

    One issue that arises for many mogul skiers is that they spend too much time dwelling over choosing their line. Some go to the extent of planning out each of their first dozen or two turns. This is not necessarily helpful. The biggest issue here is that, if you plan out your first, say, 15 turns and you miss the 7th planned turn, you’re completely flustered, out of your line, and out of rhythm. The other problem here is that, if you’re planning your turns based on where the bumps are, you’re letting the terrain dictate your line instead of vice-versa. It's like a jazz musician planning the first 12 bars of his solo, then missing a lick in the fifth bar... it's all downhill from there! Instead, he'll probably plan the basic shape of his solo, and improvise. It's the same in the bumps... you're basic shape is down the fall line. Improvise as needed!

    There are no specific drills for this idea. The only way to get better at line selection is to ski more bumps.

    Shin Pressure, Stand Tall, Hips Forward!
    Each of these things should happen naturally when skiing moguls with the correct stacked posture. That said, they are important enough to warrant additional consideration. Standing tall with your hips forward ensuring constant pressure on the tongue of your boot are the things that will allow you to ski the fall line in control and smoothly, looking like a pro.

    Shin Pressure. What mogul skiers mean when they talk about shin pressure is a constant pressure between your shin and the tongue of your boots. This doesn’t mean to push as hard as you can. Just maintain contact/pressure 100% of the time, in or out of the bumps. This helps to keep you stacked, and keeps your knees in the correct position to comfortably absorb and extend. The minute you feel that you’ve lost pressure to the tongues, do whatever you need to in order to reestablish that pressure. Often driving your hands forward will help you regain this pressure.

    Stand Tall. You should make sure that, while maintaining shin pressure, you keep your back straight while you ski. If you ski with your back hunched over or arched backwards or you begin to crouch you are losing your balance and moving your CG, thus leaving your stacked posture. You are no longer able to properly control your speed, and it’s difficult to absorb and extend. Keep a tall stance also helps you avoid "hinging," which occurs when you absorb the impact with your back rather than your knees. This is harmful to your skiing, and your back!

    Staying forward and stacked is critical. Letting yourself get in the backseat while skiing moguls is like trying to drive a backhoe up a steep grade. When you're going straight up a steep grade in a backhoe, it puts the CG so far back that the front end will pick up off the ground and you will likely tip backward onto the boom/dipper assembly. Similarly, when you're in the bumps, your CG gets too far behind you and your skis shoot out in front of you. When this happens, you tip over backwards just like the backhoe would.

    One problem that many mogul skiers must overcome is getting their hips too far back and ending up in the back seat. This causes your skis to shoot out in front of you, and you lose control. It also gives you the urge to crouch. The best way to get your hips forward is to think of them leading you down the hill. Now, you don’t want to end up with your hips way out in front of you, but it’s the train of thought that you need to get into. Thrust your hips forward and try to keep them there so that your butt doesn’t end up over your tails.

    As with most of the topics discussed previously, the place to get used to this is on the groomers. Pick a short section of a medium-pitch intermediate trail, and ski making short radius turns while being conscious the whole time of maintaining constant shin pressure (feel your shins against the tongues of your boots), standing tall, and driving your hips forward. You need to do this as long as it takes until it’s second nature and simply part of the way you ski. You should do it enough that you no longer have to think about it… to the point that if you ever lose shin pressure, or start to crouch, or feel your hips moving backward, you can immediately compensate and fix the problem without any real thought or effort.

    Beginning Absorption and Extension
    Absorption and Extension (A&E) refers to the shock absorber-like motion in which the mogul skier absorbs the moguls and then extends his legs toward the next mogul, and repeating the process continuously for the entire run. It is an integral part of a correctly executed mogul turn. A&E seems to be the most talked about component of good mogul skiing. Unfortunately, many people stress A&E so much that they forget all of the other equally important parts of the sport. If you skipped to this section because you think A&E is all you need to learn, forget it. Believe me, you’ll be doing yourself a HUGE favor if you go back and read through the ealiers sections first. Without the foundation that those sections lay, A&E is worthless. Really. I’m serious.

    A&E is one of the most noticed features of mogul skiers. Many people easily associate it with mogul skiing from watching the pros and seeing their knees work like shock absorbers. Most people think that they will never be able to do that. Well, you can. As important as A&E is, it’s not any more difficult than any of the other techniques you’ll practice in the bumps. If you do it enough, you’ll become proficient.

    The reason we absorb and extend is the same as the reason cars have shock absorbers: it saves the equipment from excess stress (in this case, you). It maintains a quiet upper body, it reduces jarring, it allows us to ski the fall line, and it looks smooth. It also saves our knees. Most people believe that mogul skiing is bad for your knees. It doesn't have to be! Although there is always inherent risk of knee injury in any type of skiing, mogul skiing doesn't have to be any worse than any other form of alpine skiing. Because we absorb the shock of the moguls, they do not jar our knees. Frankly, skiing moguls well may be easier on your knees than going for a jog or running up a staircase.

    When coupled with effective short turns and edging, absorbing and extending keeps the mogul skier at the desired speed. By varying your turn size, edging pressure, and A&E, you can vary the speed that you travel.

    Most mogul skiers, even advanced mogul skiers, often misinterpret the act of absorbing. They interpret it as a pulling of the knees toward the jaw. However, this is not correct. Sitting on a chair, if you pull your knees up to your chin, where is your center of gravity? That’s right… way behind your feet. Absorbing by pulling your knees to your face will immediately throw you into the backseat, a place no mogul skier wants to be!

    The correct motion for absorbing a mogul is more like reverse pedaling a bike. As you reach the mogul with your tips, begin to absorb the mogul in your knees, and use a pulling motion of the heels toward the buttocks while driving the tips down upon reaching the crest of the mogul. While doing this, you will make sure to maintain your weight on the balls of your feet. Always, always, always maintain solid shin pressure. This keeps you stacked and balanced, and you will be ready for the next bump. As your CG moves slightly backward, your skis do as well since you are pulling your heels directly to that CG. In essence, you are adjusting your fore/aft balance. Although there is quite a lot of obvious vertical knee motion, it is not caused by pulling the knees up, but by pulling the heels back and up. This pulling back of the heels motion also keeps the skis on the snow as much as possible, a goal of the aspiring mogul skier. You should consciously be sure to drive your tips into the snow as much as possible. Note that it is during the crest of the absorption that lead change begins, leading into the extension.

    Extension is often considered far less important than absorption. Not so. After absorbing a mogul, it is crucial that a full extension be part of you short radius mogul turn. If you want to be able to fully absorb the next mogul, the you need to fully extend and drive those tips.

    To put this into context, here’s the general idea for skiing a series of 3 moguls: attack the first mogul (we’ll say it’s on the left side of your line) in as straight a line as possible. Absorb the mogul as soon as you reach its crest by pulling your heels toward your buttocks. After absorbing and cresting the mogul, lead change to turn your skis quickly to the left and fully extend into the next mogul. As impact and then crest the bump, absorb as fully as possible pulling your heels to your buttocks, and make a quick right turn fully extending through the trough to the third bump. Repeat the process for absorbing the mogul, and continue your run by repeating these techniques.
    Later we’ll revisit A&E and discuss how you can fine-tune it to skiing straighter and faster lines.

    As much as I hate to admit it, the best way to get a feel for (and become comfortable with) A&E is to ski across the fall line on an intermediate-grade mogul run. Slowly ski across the fall line and practice absorbing each bump as you begin to crest it. Extend your skis and repeat until you’ve made it the whole way across the trail. Continue to do this, and each time across the trail, point your skis a little more down the fall line. Soon you’ll be absorbing and extending straight down the trail!

    Where to Aim on the Bump
    So you’re getting the hang of the techniques in the earlier sections and you’re starting to really feel good about the bumps. Now you want to go a little faster and look a little better. Well, part of the key to that is where you aim your tips as you approach the next bump. When skiing bumps slowly, your skis often rotate pretty far across the fall line. As you long to ski a straighter faster line, you need to adjust this.

    We have a specific point on the bump that we aim for. That point is not the top of the mogul, not the middle of the side of the mogul, but just several inches up the front corner/side of the mogul. We're attempting to take as straight a path down the fall line as possible, while still maintaining complete control. Sometimes you have to throw your skis across the fall line a little to slow down if your speed begins to get away from you. That's okay, but always strive for fall line. You can adjust this line to be more or less direct. A less direct line would involve and more complete turn, using more of the mogul. A more direct line would mean a minimal turn radius, only really contacting that "corner" of each mogul.

    The only way to practice this is to get out there in a bump field, and point your skis for an imaginary mark a foot or two up the front corner/side of the bump. This can be a gradual process. Consider starting out aiming for a point a little over halfway up the bump. Then each run, aim a little lower until you become comfortable with the speed you'll experience. It will take time. Skiing moguls fast can be intimidating at first. But don't give up. Just take your time, and be careful. You'll get there.

    Absorption and Extension: Revisited
    Now that you're aiming for the right spot, taking a straighter and faster path through the bumps, we can take another brief look at how to use A&E effectively.

    As you ski faster, the motions involved in A&E must happen faster and automatically. In this case, you will begin absorbing as soon as you hit the bump, and as you reach the apex (highest point) of where you're aiming, you will fully absorb the mogul by driving your tips down over the bump and pulling your heels back. You will continue making your lead change turn to the next bump, and fully absorb, repeating this process.

    If the bumps aren't very large, you may find that you don't need to absorb so much. I will warn you that there is in fact such a thing as too much absorption. Actively fully absorb the bump, but do not force extra absorption afterward. Use that time to extend to the next bump. Remember to keep constant shin pressure, and keep your upper body as completely quiet as possible, and keep your tips in the snow!

    Arm Position and Pole Plants
    Another key aspect of quality mogul skiing is the positioning of your arms and your pole plants. When you're skiing moguls, you want to keep your hands in front as if you are carrying a tray, about shoulder length apart. As you ski, you want your hands to keep driving you forward. Don't let them drop to your sides or get lazy. Keep them out in front and about shoulder width apart, much like you would in your normal alpine skiing form.

    Pole planting in the moguls is all about timing and a light touch. The pole should never be used as a weight support during a turn. In fact, if you are poling properly, it is simply a flick of the wrist. All the while, your arms/shoulders should remain quiet with the rest of your upper body.

    As you ski the moguls, your pole plants should be placed just on the downhill side of each mogul. Patience truly is a virtue when discussing mogul poling. You don't want to plant on the face (front) of the mogul, because this will get you off balance, pull your arms behind you as you absorb and advance toward the next bump, and will thus create problems with your turn timing, pulling you into the back seat. You don't want to plant on top of the mogul, because this will force you to reach up and will also pull your arm back behind you. You want to aim for a spot just on the downhill side of the bump. Many bump skiers (even good ones) have trouble waiting for the right moment to pole plant. But it is very important that you be patient and wait for the moment when you can effortlessly plant on that downhill side. This will act, then, as your pivot point for the next turn and allow you to plant with a very light touch and a simple wrist movement. Again... do not lean your weight into your pole plant. It is not a speed controller.
    I have no specific drills to offer. However, just practice by skiing slowly enough at first to really make sure that pole plant happens just at the right time and on the right spot. Patience truly is a virtue in mogul poling. Slowly increase your speed as you get used to this poling. Soon it will become second nature like many of the other mogul skiing topics. Make sure this quiet, wrist-flicking, hands-in-front poling technique carries over into your flats turns as well. Practice makes perfect!

    Speed Control
    The most voluntary and active method of controlling speed is adjusting the radius of the turn and strength of edging. The more you turn your skis across the fall line, the more your speed will dissipate. Also, the harder you edge, the more speed you'll bleed.

    Aggressive, Athletic Skiing
    One key to skiing bumps well is being aggressive and athletic about your skiing. This doesn't mean you have to ski really fast. This means you need to be willing to push yourself and to ski hard and ski with passion, not being afraid of what's ahead of you.
    If you're trying to push your skills further, being over-cautious and over-conservative about your skiing might get you into more trouble than skiing aggressively. You need to be skiing with a purpose, doing everything to the very best of your ability. You need to be unafraid to try running your skis a little straighter or taking the occasional jump off of a bump. You need to always push on down the fall-line, and not be afraid to absorb whatever happens to be in your path (anything that doesn't pose a danger, that is). Timidity will not get you far in the bumps. Be aggressive, be strong, be athletic. That doesn't necessarily mean fast. It means active, athletic skiing. Control is the most important aspect of skiing moguls. If you aren't in control, then you're not skiing well. So be aggressive, go after that line, don't be afraid of a little speed, but always maintain control.

    What to Do in a Bind
    As with any sport, it's possible to find yourself in a bit of a bind. Some of the binds we get into in the bumps are quite interesting. It's important to know how to correct the issue, and—if possible—stay in your line and keep moving.
    One of the most common problems mogul skiers face is getting into the back seat or losing balance. In both of these situations, the key is to keep pushing forward. Your first instinct will be to bail, but this might not always be the best solution. Granted, if it's a really serious situation and you need to stop immediately, by all means fall, bail, do what you need to. But it doesn't feel good, and it doesn't look good. Our goal as mogul skiers is to press on as much as possible, as long as we can maintain or regain proper posture and control. So if you find yourself getting in the backseat over your tails, or losing your balance, really push your hips and drive your hands forward as much as you can. Just keep pushing, pushing, pushing and reaching forward, drive those tips, make the turns. Before you know it, you'll find that you're regaining balance and control, and you're still in the same line looking like a pro.

    If your speed gets so far out of control that you can no longer reduce it with the techniques discussed in section 11, then you need to try to take a couple of turns farther across the fall line around several bumps to bleed that excess speed. If you cannot do this safely and in control, then you need to do your best to create a safe controlled stop or fall to your side. Do not try to continue skiing if you cannot get your speed under control. Don't hurt yourself or someone else. Do what you need to do to stop. Once you've stopped, take a moment and consider the cause of the excess speed gain. See if you can put the earlier techniques to work to try to avoid finding yourself in a similar situation again. Whatever you do, don't lean back on your tails while turning. This will make it worse, and your skis will shoot out in front of you and you'll land hard on your backside. Not good.

    What about losing your line? Sometimes when we get out of control or see a nasty looking obstacle, we either intentionally bail out of our line or end up out of it by accident. If you can regain your control, then try to keep going in another line without stopping. As mentioned earlier... press forward. If the issue throws you around and you're not in solid control, stop and find a new line.
    There are, of course, plenty tough situations we experience in the umps. The general rule of thumb is this: if you are in control or can safely regain control... push everything forward. If you are out of control and cannot regain control, you need to stop and determine why you lost control and make an adjustment based on this finding.

    Forget Everything You Just Read (well... sorta)
    Now that you've consumed all of this information about how to ski bumps, you're going to want to work on everything at the same time. You're going to get to the top of a bump run and have so much going through your head that you will not be able to ski well. Too many skiers try to focus on too much at once, and overthink themselves to failure. As you work on these techniques, take it slow and work on one thing at a time. Don't think about everything else... just master what you're working on. As you do this, the techniques become second nature so that, as you work on the next technique, you no longer even have to think about the previous one; it's automatic.
    Don't fall into the trap of trying to work on and think about everything at once. One thing at a time until it's all second nature, and before you know it... you're rippin' lines you never thought you'd be able to ski!

    Don't Forget the Groomers!!!
    As fun as it is to spend all day in the bumps, if you really want to improve your mogul skiing, you need to split up your timely fairly evenly between bumps and groomers. Most of the techniques you'll apply in the bumps should be practiced on the groomers. So when you're out skiing, try to take several runs on the groomers drilling the techniques from earlier sections, and then go apply what you learned on the groomers into the bumps. That's the only way to really learn to ski bumps properly. Even the pros spend way more time on the groomers than you'd ever imagine.

  9. #39
    Welcome back Patrick. Damn...that's one hell of a post. I need to read it when I have time to digest it.

    Was that Encore with some fencing on it in that video?

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by cdskier View Post
    Was that Encore with some fencing on it in that video?
    Cliffs. We had a bump comp that year on skiers’ right.

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