By Chip Dwyer
In my constant search for ways to ski bumps with control I have found a concept that has helped me ski down the fall line while not picking up too much speed. This concept is the opposite of what racers do they ski an old rutted slalom race course. Ski racers are looking for the line that gets them thru the rut while keeping their speed and balance. To do this, they carve and chose their line that works with the rut to accelerate them. I first saw this many years ago when I saw Scott Smith win a “ski bum” race at Killington on a nice spring day after 160 racers had already skied the course. Scott being a long legged racer (and ex US ski team member) used the rut and absorbed the end of the rut with great skill. His skis traveled a longer distance around the gates than many of the early racers but he was pumping the rut for speed and I was astonished when the announcer said he just had the fastest time of the day. This is not supposed to happen at 2:00 in the afternoon after everyone else had run the course.
My mogul rut line is similar in some ways. I call it “taking the long way around” which means I am trying to be on the outside edge of the turn (rut). But in another way this is opposite of the race rut turn, in that I am trying to smear or skid as much as possible while taking this route. Not creating a lot of edge is counter intuitive but very helpful. Also having a little more pressure on the front half of the ski helps and when the snow is loose I try to get my skis into the loose snow on the outside of the rut. Combine these things and you have slowed thru the turn instead of jetting thru the turn. This is an athletic move needing your legs to flex and extend much differently than your classic – – – move up to start your turn and sink to finish your turn.
This technique falls into my philosophy of learn the art of skidding as well as the art of carving to be the best skier you can be.
Below is something I found while looking on the internet about mogul skiing, enjoy.
By Warren Smith
Moguls are mounds of snow that have been formed as a result of hundreds of skiers riding over the same slope. Skiing them is probably the aspect of the sport that fazes most skiers out – whether they are intermediates venturing into the moguls for the first time, or experienced skiers tackling steeper or icier moguls.
To ski them well, you need to develop a variety of skills. First of all, you need to be able to skid and pivot your skis: this will help you negotiate a line through a mogul field with control.
• Skiing moguls, video two: rhythm
• Skiing moguls, video three: speed control
You will find that most mogul fields have bumps of different sizes. When choosing a line, look for consistency in the pattern of the bumps. The easiest place to turn your skis at first is on the crest of a mogul. Once your have pivoted your skis, skid down the back face of the mogul checking your speed as you go, and then turn into the next bump.
As you improve, you also need to develop your ability to “absorb” the moguls, rather than collapsing your body as you ski over them. To do this, you need to maintain a strong core in your upper body. You also need a fast and effective pole-plant, and to ski with a closer stance than you would on piste.
Finding a line
Many skiers get frustrated tackling moguls and lose their rhythm because they find it hard to keep a line through the mogul field.
One reason is that they don’t have the skill to move in different ways from one mogul to another when the bumps are irregularly placed. Another is not using certain key tactics.
Because moguls do not always occur in a regular pattern, you need to be able to skid and manoeuvre in different ways to keep your descent flowing. Practise this on an easy piste by making different types of descent – downwards, across, even skidding backwards.
Later, add a higher level of athleticism into your skidding. Finally, take these skills onto a mogul field. You’ll find that you will be able to ski irregular moguls more easily – and with a flowing technique, without stop-starting.