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Need advise on mogul instruction

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ok so I'm 40 years veryold, caught the ski bug only a couple years ago, but I want to be as good a skiier as I can.  My total on-mountain experience is about 35 days so far, during which my carving has gotten decent but I still struggle keeping both edges engaged and my turns sometimes get too narrow, pick up too much speed, freak out.  I started to get the idea of floating over crud in Jan but I really suffer in varied terrain.

 

I want to ski moguls, and I think learning how will help my overall skill, but they scare the prunes-and-applesauce outta me.  I know I have company because there are a thousand threads with similar testimonials on this forum.  Sooooo I recently bought Dan Dipro's, Chris Fellow's, and one of Harald Harb's books and am reading them now.  Books aren't going to be enough for me though, I need hand-holding, sippy cup help down a nice easy bump run a few hundred times before my brain stops telling me I'm gonna DIE. I did take a group lesson in Jan but it really didn't do much for me.

 

So I have three choices in March:

 

1. Get some miles in.  Good old fashioned experience, don't rush it.

 

2. Private lesson.  I'm already looking at the instructors list.  Between breck/keystone, easy bump run?

 

3. "Bumper Buster" camp at copper: http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/ski_and_ride_school/youth_seasonal_programs/bump_buster_camps.  Seems like a deal for two days instruction but I really don't know anything about it.

 

So based on my level and experience, what would you recommend? 

post #2 of 16

Nothing beats first hand lessons then hours of practice yourself. It's important to get tips from the pros so you can have the safest ride down.

post #3 of 16

YMMV (Your moguls may vary)

 

Camps could be an inexpensive solution to the problem. That Copper camp smells like it could be a little over your head (looks geared to a younger crowd and more"development" than "intro"). We have plenty of Barking Bears (i.e. epicski members) in the Summit county area that can provide a little more info on that. It can be really helpful to watch others learn what you are trying to learn and to have a rest break while the other victims (er, students) get personal attention from the coach.

 

Privates are generally the way to go for people who have more money than time and can take advantage of the more concentrated level of instruction. A great private can easily save you 10-20 days of flailing around on your own. But you could just as easily need 10 minutes of what to do and 10 days of practice.

 

Getting some miles in is how many of the Bears learned to ski moguls. It may take you X times longer to get to the same skill level vs lessons but we'd rather be spending money on lift tickets than lessons right? I'm an instructor now, but I've been there and done just that.

 

I tell my most of my students with fear issues that fear is mostly common sense. Your brain is accurately recognizing danger and that you don't have the skills to minimize the danger to acceptable levels. The tricks are to develop the skills outside of the danger zone, then convince the brain that the skills will transfer. Instructors can help because we teach you the skills then demonstrate them in front of you as we go into the danger zone and we can help break the danger into manageable pieces. When you can see the instructor is just doing the same thing you have learned to do and that he has not died then your brain can easier believe that you can do it too. When you don't have a visual model of something you know that you can do it's only common sense to say "wait just a darned minute there buddy".

 

From your post, I'd guess that you need a little more work on the basics before you're really ready to learn the bumps. Here are two little tests. Can you make turns in a 10 foot wide corridor on a section of a groomer steeper than your mogul run and control your speed to stay at a constant speed down the pitch or speed up slowly or slow down slowly as you go down the pitch while staying in the corridor? Can you traverse a groomed trail tapping the tip of your downhill ski onto the snow at least once every 3 feet of traverse? If you couldn't my preferred "bump lesson" for you would be working on the basics outside of the bumps. If you insisted on a bump lesson in the bumps we would work on traversing across the bumps and learning how to absorb them, turning on the tops and tactics for finding the easiest path through the bumps. If this is you some instructors may insist you are not ready for the bumps, some may just take you into the bumps whether you are ready or not and some may let you choose what you want to do. If you can pass those two tests, then you are ready to start learning the movements and tactics to use in the bumps. Only you can decide which method is best because ...

 

your moguls may vary.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post

Can you make turns in a 10 foot wide corridor on a section of a groomer steeper than your mogul run and control your speed to stay at a constant speed down the pitch or speed up slowly or slow down slowly as you go down the pitch while staying in the corridor? Can you traverse a groomed trail tapping the tip of your downhill ski onto the snow at least once every 3 feet of traverse?


Rusty,  thanks for the reply. I can do steep groomers, my idea of a steep groomer being all the non-bump runs on Breck's peak 9.  I'm not sure about a 10-foot corridor, I'd probably flat-ski that & kick my tails out a lot if it were very steep.  What do you mean by, "tapping the tip of your downhil ski..." ??

 

post #5 of 16

do you have any video of you skiing anywhere?

 

whats limiting from skiing bumps is present in your skiing anywhere.

 

 

post #6 of 16

 

Can you do short radius turns on intermediate terrain?

If yes I'd get a lesson with a pro to move you into intermediate/beginner bumps.

post #7 of 16
How do you ski American, Brock? Can you make consistent turns in a corridor a couple ski lengths wide from the top to the bottom where if flattens out? I'm just talking about linked schmeared turns to maintain a comfortable speed, not "carving".

This season, if you purchase an adult intermediate lesson at Breck, you are guaranteed a group of four or fewer students at your level. If you like to ski Peak Nine, those lessons begin at the top of the platter lift across the Silverthorne slope from the bottom of the Beaver Run lift. There usually is at least one beginning bumps level 7 group and one more aggresive level 7 group. The beginning bumps group will warm up with a bit of skills development and then spend the day in and out of bumps. If you want to polish up your skills in preparation and you find American really challenging, ask for level 6 group. The ski school ticket window is off the plaza at Beaver Run.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brock108 View Post

What do you mean by, "tapping the tip of your downhil ski..." ??

 



Pick the downhill ski up off the snow while you are traversing, then just touch the tip of that ski to the snow, then pick it back up again - that's a tap.

post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post



Pick the downhill ski up off the snow while you are traversing, then just touch the tip of that ski to the snow, then pick it back up again - that's a tap.



A good preparation for The Rusty's tip tap drill is to sidestep uphill and downhill while traversing.

At Breck, be aware of uphill skiers coming toward you while traversing because there's almost always someone there.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 

I can't find any videos (never heard of this one before!) but I think I got it.  What's the drill for?  Balance?

post #11 of 16

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brock108 View Post

I can do steep groomers, my idea of a steep groomer being all the non-bump runs on Breck's peak 9.  I'm not sure about a 10-foot corridor, I'd probably flat-ski that & kick my tails out a lot if it were very steep.  


They're asking if you have the ability to link consistent, C-shaped turns down that steepish, narrow corridor. This is a vital skill for controlled skiing in the bumps. As Kneale said, they don't have to be carvers. Schmears are fine as long as they're round, consistent and linked with no traverses between turns (and no kicking the tails out).

 

Kicking the tails out doesn't always work in bumps. Sometimes there's just no room. If that's your only available skill you'll crash, scare yourself further and block development. If that's where you are as a skier then your fear is quite sensible. My advice would be to avoid bumps until you have more effective skills, otherwise you'll just reinforce ineffective ones.

 

+1 on the lesson advice.

 

Then get some mileage but confine yourself to the EASIEST bumps you can find, something on a green or very easy blue, well below your normal level. You need to have no fear of losing speed control so you can PLAY with the bumps while building skills and confidence. Ramp it up gradually, don't head for the FIS bump run or you actually WILL die - lol. Bump skiing is FUN, but not if you jump in too far over your head.

 

I'm 57yo and didn't start skiing until I was 30. But in good snow I'll ski double black bumps all day and finish with a sh!^ eating grin on my face. I'm no athlete either, I drive this keyboard for a living. If I can do it any healthy person can.

 

 


 

 

post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

How do you ski American, Brock? Can you make consistent turns in a corridor a couple ski lengths wide from the top to the bottom where if flattens out? I'm just talking about linked schmeared turns to maintain a comfortable speed, not "carving".
This season, if you purchase an adult intermediate lesson at Breck, you are guaranteed a group of four or fewer students at your level. If you like to ski Peak Nine, those lessons begin at the top of the platter lift across the Silverthorne slope from the bottom of the Beaver Run lift. There usually is at least one beginning bumps level 7 group and one more aggresive level 7 group. The beginning bumps group will warm up with a bit of skills development and then spend the day in and out of bumps. If you want to polish up your skills in preparation and you find American really challenging, ask for level 6 group. The ski school ticket window is off the plaza at Beaver Run.


Whoops I meant peak 10 when I said peak 9, I remember doing Doublejack & Centennial, matter of fact my profile pic has me on peak 8 rounders/high anxiety, so I can get down an "easy black".  Not sure about american.  I doubt I was linking schmeared turns though, and if it were a couple ski lengths wide I'd seek a different way down.  You know I did take a beginning bumps class at Breck but I didn't really get a whole lot out of it.  The instructor was a little long-winded, teaching an almost hippy-style "zen of turning." I get your and the other posters points though, I need to work on my short radius turns before heading to the bumps.



 


 

post #13 of 16

I took the BumpBusters at Copper when it was just 1 day.

 

HIGHLY recomend taking this.  At $308 for two days of excellent instruction and lift tickets, this is a tremendous value.

 

"Karpy" is a great skier / great instructor.

 

Most skiers in our group were in the 30-60 age group. (Karpy is 53)

 

http://restaurantsolutions.ehost.com/bumpbustersmogulclinic/index.html

 

 

Other suggestions:  do you have a mogul ski?  that will help especially with zipperline and quickness.

 

Some things that just dont translate into non-mogul skiing:

 

Absorbtion and Extension:  you NEED way more range than in the rest of your skiing.

 

Square hands / shoulders:  lose this and it gets worse from there

 

 

A trip to Winter Park / Mary Jane has the advantage of good mogul lines of varying steepness

 

 

have fun!

 

 

post #14 of 16

The short answer is "Ayup, balance". If this drill is not easy, then bumps are a lot harder than they need to be.

 

The long answer is that the drill is more about stance and movement of the core as a means to achieve balance. Please remember this was offered up as a test to determine if a skill was present versus a means to acquire the skill.

post #15 of 16

Although kinda predicated on "swinging the tails around" this exercise from a post on TGR might be useful. It does allow you to focus on keeping hands out front and a quiet/stable upper body as the legs move underneath, and if nothing else it will get the heart rate up (and most folks sucking wind) pretty quickly, so it's good for conditioning! (You can also try doing it with ski poles, not for balance, but to work in a reach and tap out front preceding each jump/turn.)

 

 

I'm not an instructor, so take this with a grain of salt, but here are some of my suggestions for improving mogul technique:

Super quick turns are key to zipperlining moguls (or skiing tight trees) and balance, unweighting, and strong edging are key to turning quickly.

1. At home, place a shoebox or the like on the floor and jump side to side over the box. Imagine your body from the waist down is a pendulum, swinging side to side over the box while your upper body remains 'quiet' and is always directly over the box. Keep your hands out front for balance as if you are really skiing. Work up to 60-100 jumps a minute.

2. While jumping over the box side to side, pull your legs up over the box while keeping your upper body as still as possible. There will be a lot of up and down movement at your feet but your head (and upper body from the waist up) should have very little up and down movement. 

3. While jumping over the box side to side, don't land flat footed, land with your knees angulated as if you are setting your ski edge. This edge bite is crucial for setting a proper platform for quickly jumping back in the other direction. Imagine your tips are nailed to the floor and swing your tails side to side as you jump over the box. So as you set your edges, your feet are pointing in the direction of the turn, but always keep your upper body pointing down the fall line. 

When skiing moguls, I'm not actually carving turns but rather making quick jump turns. The tightest sidecut out there is still too big of an arc for carving turns in a mogul field. One must have strong edge sets and hop back and forth whether it's through the troughs or over the tops or whatever...

On the snow, imagine you're a boxer, focused, hands out front, on the balls of your feet, ready for action. And like a boxer, do not get back seat or you will be seriously FUCKED UP!

~~~~~~~~~~~

I believe line selection is of secondary importance to balance and the ability to turn quickly. But for starters, work on turning around a mogul (through the trough), and landing on the top (flatspot) of the next mogul to keep your speed in check. Kinda like jumping down a flight of stairs, one step at a time. 

Practice, practice, practice and have fun!!!

 

 

 
post #16 of 16

The "quick jump turn" should have its place in the toolbox, but it's not my go-to turn in the bumps or anyplace else. I agree that I tend to find retractions very useful in the bumps.

 

Regarding the tapping drill: if the tip wants to pop up, or if you have a hard time picking the tail up, your fore-aft balance is biased toward aft. Move over your feet by flexing your ankles to move your knees and hips forward, and you'll be able to pick up the tail.

 

To make positive, offensive (rather than defensive) turns either in the bumps or in a narrow corridor, you need to be balanced, and you need to release so that your tips can drop down the hill, rather than having to push your tails up the hill or out to the side.

 

When you are learning bumps, you want to manage your line, your balance and your edging so that you are not, in fact, going very fast. If you are balanced well and releasing down the hill, you will often feel as if you don't really have to turn that quickly, because your skis haven't gotten ahead of you and your turns don't require any extra movements. If you are pushing your tails around to put on the brakes for every turn, you will always feel as if the turns are coming fast and furious, often because you're actually behind your feet and because you have to put on the brakes from the previous turn before you start the next one.

 

Once you can ski 'em slow and easy, taking advantage of the shapes and gravity, and turning with as little effort as possible, you can apply the same fundamentals and increase the rate and intensity, still without doing any jumping. The zipper definitely has a lot of pivot and schmear, but hopping off an edge set is just too brutal for me!

 

And yes, I've skied MJ. Many times. Nothing like Outhouse on a cold April morning after it was the most wonderful corn yesterday afternoon.

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