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Ideal temperature range to learn bumps in spring?

New Daddy

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I'm planning to learn how to ski mogul this spring. What do people think is the ideal temperature range to learn bumps in the spring? (Too warm and the snow will be too grabby and falls will be too wet. I'm looking for moderately softened snow that will slow you down a bit but not too much.)
 

ScottySkis

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I still learning, if sun is out I say when temperatures hit mid 40 s and above, not sure about time.
 

C-Rex

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Stop looking for the perfect conditions. It can always be better and it can always be worse. You'll die sitting on the sidelines if you only go when it's just right. Learn when it's hard and you'll look like a god when/if the right conditions come.
 

BenedictGomez

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Stop looking for the perfect conditions.

Yeah, I'm not sure I understand the question. Why would you wait for Spring to learn moguls? Is it because it's slower and easier given the snow is soft?
 

Morwax

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Stop looking for the perfect conditions. It can always be better and it can always be worse. You'll die sitting on the sidelines if you only go when it's just right. Learn when it's hard and you'll look like a god when/if the right conditions come.

Yup yuppp to this..
 

Cheese

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Any temperature because learning to ski moguls correctly is done well clear of a mogul trail.

Did you first try driving a car on the interstate or did you first try learning the required skills well clear in a parking lot?

If you can't make 1-2 turns per second on a groomer, don't even venture into the moguls. You're flat out not ready regardless of the temperature.
 

hammer

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I don't know but based on skiing last weekend and learning to maneuver in shallow glades I'd say sunny and above 40 degrees. Would help to do short turn drills on groomers as mentioned but there's nothing like going into the bumps and figuring out what works and what does not.

Only other issue is the miles...hard to make progress when all one can do is be a weekend skier.
 

deadheadskier

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Any temperature because learning to ski moguls correctly is done well clear of a mogul trail.

If you can't make 1-2 turns per second on a groomer, don't even venture into the moguls. You're flat out not ready regardless of the temperature.

Disagree

1. I think drills on the flats are kind of pointless, especially for a beginning bumper. You can't mimic the changes in body angulation that your body goes through in the bumps while on the flats nor will you get a feel for the extension and absorption of bumped terrain.

2. Regarding being able to make super fast turns on flats to be a proficient bump skier; I don't think the two go hand in hand. I'm not the quickest turner on the flats, but I have no problem running a zipper line at a high rate of speed. The bumps can actually help make you turn faster than you'd normally be able to on flat terrain.

There's also the whole goal in what kind of bump skier you want to be. I don't think everyone has to ski World Cup high speed zipper line style to ski bumps well. There are people who ski them very well and elegantly at a slower pace with rounder turns that do not require super quick feet. That's okay in my book too; especially with older skiers who don't want to put their bodies through the abuse that charging a zipper can bring.

To answer the OPs question; there's no "ideal" temperature. I'd say generally 45 degrees and warmer, but if it's a trail that receives minimal sun exposure, that still might not be enough to soften the bumps properly.
 

JimG.

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I don't think everyone has to ski World Cup high speed zipper line style to ski bumps well. There are people who ski them very well and elegantly at a slower pace with rounder turns that do not require super quick feet. That's okay in my book too; especially with older skiers who don't want to put their bodies through the abuse that charging a zipper can bring.

To answer the OPs question; there's no "ideal" temperature. I'd say generally 45 degrees and warmer, but if it's a trail that receives minimal sun exposure, that still might not be enough to soften the bumps properly.

+1...still love bumps but I have to put some carve into my turns or my 55 year old body would fall apart.

And I agree on the no ideal temp too. I'd rather ski mid-winter powder bumps than spring slush. And spring bumps sometimes demand that you charge at them with speed which does not exactly promote good form or learning.
 

riverc0il

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No ideal temperature range. There are certainly better conditions than others. If you need the bumps to be perfectly soft but not too soft, just right... you probably should just stick to the groomers because you'll never get enough experience to ski bumps if you only go on the one or two days per year when the bumps are epic. You'll do better to learn when conditions are a little less than perfect. If you learn with perfect conditions, you'll only be able to ski those conditions, not good.

On the flip side, you wouldn't want to ski bumps on a day like today (day after a rain storm with below freezing temps at night). Learning on frozen or excessively hard pack/scraped bumps will do you no favors. Though once you get the basics down, you certainly should ski challenging conditions when possible as long as said conditions aren't completely no fun. If you aren't at least somewhat enjoying it, you probably aren't going to learn much if you are hating life.

Just go out there and ski them.
 

deadheadskier

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I'm only 37 and I've consciously tuned down how much "zippering" I do. I still do it, but I might go 20 bumps, readjust to a different line and make some slower turns for a bit, then hammer away again. I also mix in a lot more time on the groomers than I used to; all to preserve my body as I still want to be skiing all terrain confidently and at a high level like you do Jim when I reach 55. If I kept up the pace of how I hammered bumps through my 20s, I'd likely be a broken down mess and not skiing bumps at all anymore in my 50s. Even for someone who is in fantastic shape (I'm definitely not right now) hammering a zipper line can wreak havoc on the body, especially the back.
 

Blanton

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I'm planning to learn how to ski mogul this spring. What do people think is the ideal temperature range to learn bumps in the spring? (Too warm and the snow will be too grabby and falls will be too wet. I'm looking for moderately softened snow that will slow you down a bit but not too much.)

When the snow is firm but edge- able.
 

Cheese

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DH

1. Everyone eventually needs to learn quick turns. There's no way they'll ever be a decent bumper making large radius turns. Where's the hardest place to learn quick turns? I'll bet it's almost a tie between moguls and trees so why would anyone use either as a training ground?

2. I know what you mean about skiing moguls vs zipper lining moguls but I wonder where this other style came from. Are there also good racers that ski every over gate? Are there good park guys that only hit the rails and never hit the jumps? To me this "other style" of bump skiing seems like a PSIA cop out because some high percentage of their instructors can't teach zip line.

You're a zip liner. Have you tried slowing it down and skiing outside of the zip line? If you haven't, it won't take you but a few runs to figure it out. Do you think the elegant bump skiers can do what you do with a few runs practice?

I'm a bump skier and enjoy the spring bumps. I've even said that spring bumps are easier because the snow is slower. That's an advanced skier looking at them though and I know the less advanced might say, "spring bumps are enormous" or "spring bumps have grass, dirt and rocks in the troughs." Teaching has opened my eyes in that sometimes I have a different view of what's hard than others.

Beginners will continually try and fail while learning how to ski groomers. Sometimes what works still isn't correct and later will be a bad habit to break. Bumps are no different really. Just because one got through 3 bumps in a row in the back seat doesn't mean it's something that should be repeated until it's 4 or 5 in the back seat. Eventually they've got to get their weight forward and slide the tails quickly instead of slowly lifting a tip from the back seat.
 
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deadheadskier

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Cheese,

I just think we come from different trains of thoughts. There's a difference between quick turns and short turns. I wasn't suggesting trying to make GS turns in the bumps at all. I see little benefit in working on quick turns on the flats if you are not already able to ski the bumps slowly in good form and in control.

Outside of a couple years of after school programs at 8 & 9, I've only had two ski lessons since; 1 in the bumps and 1 for steeps and trees. Both those lessons came during middle school. Those two lessons are all I know, but have served me well and are what I draw from when others ask for advice while skiing with me. Maybe my lack of professional teaching experience invalidates my advice in some people's eyes, but I do know I've helped a lot of people get better at bumps/trees etc., if they solicit advice while skiing with me. If they don't ask, I don't offer any advice.

The bump lesson came from a guy who could absolutely rip the zipper; the top freestyle guy at Okemo in the 80s. I was already okay at bumps at the time, but I told the guy I wanted to be able to rip a line like Steve Desovich. He didn't take me on the flats to do drills; we stayed right in the bumps and he had me ski as slowly as possible; WAY slower than I was already skiing the bumps. I was only "allowed" to make two turns and then stop; only when I was able to make two well rounded perfect balanced turns with my weight forward would he "allow" me to make three; then four, then five, six, seven and so on and so on. From there he told me that once you can ski the entire trail in a controlled fashion, just dial the speed up a little until you can do the same at that speed, then go a little faster and a little faster. The quickness comes after establishing sound fundamentals. I've tried drills on flats, but the fundamentals and weight positioning is so vastly different on flats compare to bumps that I honestly don't feel it's worth while compared to trying to get good at skiing bumps slow first.

The steeps/trees lesson came from the top guy for it out at Breckenridge the following winter. That guy I told I wanted to ski like Scott Schmidt and do jump turns down steep ass chutes. Same situation with him. He brought be to a short really steep wide open pitch. Instead of trying to do jump turns, he had me make fully rounded turns with my skis on the snow; the point being to stay in control and feel my body's weight while on the snow before applying it while turning my skis in the air. I take those same principals when offering advice on skiing trees. Slow everything down, link two or three perfect in control turns and stop; then make four, five and so on until you're always in control and can ski faster and faster.
 

JimG.

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I don't see why rounded more carved turns can't be quick. I'm not suggesting anyone try to ski bumps using GS turns or try turning every other bump...that does not work.

All I'm saying is that at the age of 55 I can no longer spend the day ripping zipper lines using nothing but absorption and extension and touch to control my speed. My body can't take that anymore. I have to get my legs out to my sides a bit and get a little carve in there too to keep my speed in check, but this by no means precludes making quick turns. If anything, I might need a little more rotary action making my turns even a bit quicker than if I relied on touch alone.
 

Blanton

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slide the tails quickly instead of slowly lifting a tip from the back seat.

Carve the ski. The tails should follow the tips in a nice arc. If you are able to skid or slide your tails that means your hips are too far back.
 

jack97

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Stop looking for the perfect conditions. It can always be better and it can always be worse. You'll die sitting on the sidelines if you only go when it's just right. Learn when it's hard and you'll look like a god when/if the right conditions come.

word....... Just do it.
 
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