Originally Posted by NECoach
Originally Posted by Blake Saunders
I am convinced that all aspects of skiing are mental. The mind controls movement, and confidence, and know how etc...
If you're trying to stay in a line, you need to control your speed. Try standing (still) on the highest point on a mogul, in the line, where you would go over it if you were skiing the line. If your boots are at the top then your tails and tips will be in the air. Notice how if you put both poles in the snow to hold yourself in place you can rotate without friction and without edges catching from left to right as long as you keep your tips and tails pretty much in the air (pivot and keep your feet together). For a begginer trying to stay in a line, you need to do all of your turning at this point where your boots are on top. Since speed control is the main concern here, get your skis really sideways at this point and slide down the backside of the bump sideways into the deepest part of the hole (the deepest part of the rut line). Then when your boots get to the highest point again, reverse direction. Spend most of your time on one set of edges or the other. Your skis should only point down the hill for a split second. This will maximize speed control and maximize your chance of making through the line for more than just a bump or two. As you improve, the pivot should become less extreme and your turns should have a little more time of skis going down the hill and less time with them strcitly accross the hill.
I don't mean to post this too much, but I think it's relevant... and I like going for a lot of youtube hits LOL
You can see a high-speed example of what I am talking about if you go to 4:14 in this video. Those turns are pretty strict form and stuff and you can see where my turn takes place and you can also see my skis go sideways after that point especially on the last couple bumps
You start the new turn when you hit the front of the next bump. By the top of the bump your skis are pointed directly down the fall line and then you finish the turn on the backside of the bump. This turn timing is a well kept secret within mogul coaching. If you wait to start the turn until you are on the top of the bump you will be too late.
WC mogulists are skiing at 35MPH and any delay leads to blowing out of the course.
Lest you overlook that little Jewel, I must point it out.
I hesitated to give advice in a mogul thread, since I suck at bump skiing, especially since you say you have been skiing a lot of bumps lately, and I seldom get the chance to ski bumps (blind leading the blind, teaching you grandmother how to suck eggs, etc.). However, as has been mentioned above, maybe if you are really not ready for the zipper line, you can relate to my recent experiences.
There are a lot of ways to ski bumps, and I've tried many of them. When you are good, you can do whatever you want, but there are easy roads to getting good and hard roads too.
Thirty years ago, when I was forced (yes forced to go through them because they were between where I was and where I wanted to be, or because the only steep runs had been bumped up) to ski moguls, I just skied through them the same way I skied everything else, either ignoring the bumps or attempting to miss the bumps and stay in the smoothest line. For a strong atheletic adrenaline junky with good reflexes, this works, but it has its downside. You end up bouncing off the bumps like a pin ball at great speed, until you have to brake (which can be quite challenging in big icy bumps at speed) or until you reach the bottom with your legs really feeling the burn. Even though it can give one quite a feeling of accomplishment, I decided that skiing moguls carving from the back seat on the tails of my SG skis is not the best approach.
Using Slalom skis did improve things - a bit.
Eventually I got the idea that maybe I was doing it all wrong, and took a look around at what other ways of skiing there were that might be more applicable to moguls. The first thing I thought was I had to slow down, so I tried that. It worked well enough for soft bumps, but skiing in between the bumps in steep ice moguls illustrated that my speed control still needed a little work. I have to mention that when they say ski slowly they mean slower than slowly; they mean start out learning to ski moguls at a pace similar to a brisk walk, certainly no more than a comfortable running pace.
Next came the idea that instead of carving I should be pivoting my skis. That was just too hard on my old knees.
Next came the idea of carving my turns, but not making a clean (as in arc-2-arc) railroad track like turns, carving the turns to kill speed with the front of the ski well weighted but scraping and smearing the turn. That helped - a bit.
The next advance came when I read something here on Epic, I think it was Nail, not sure what the school method was, but one of his main themes was to ski right over the tops of the moguls instead of in between them. Although there may have been a lot to argue about in regards to Nail and Co.'s "method" and their prostelitzing of it (and arguments abounded here on Epicski), I have to give them credit for enlightening me by introducing me to that way of skiing moguls. With that approach, speed control was easy-peasy: make a speed control turn on the way up the mogul, forget about trying to control speed on the way down, just get your tips down when you crest the bump, and make sure to get the tips well down into the hole between it and the next bump, and line up for the turn you're about to make going up the next bump.
I have since noticed, when skiing some tight icy moguls that were really spaced too close together to really follow my chosen path over every top with rhythm, I would sometimes slip into my old ways and spend some time on a different line -skiing between bumps for a while, but even when skiing in the rut line I was blending in some of what I leaned by skiing over the tops with that speed control turn on the way up; I would go partially up the next mogul absorbing speed. The way I was using the next bump to kill speed, by partially riding up it sideways in kind of a smeared turn, is something I probably would not have done without first spending some time skiing up every bump in a speed controlling turn instead of skiing around the bumps.
So there you have it, ski S L O W L Y, get your skis well on edge and do a not-locked-in turn that is carved in the sense that you are really digging in the edges, but not carved in the sense of a railroad track arced turn, make a speed-control turn as you go up the mogul, stuff your tips down the hole on the other side of the mogul. Practice that enough, and THEN you can forgetaboutit and ski moguls any way you like without getting knocked around.
These experts are probably right about the pole planting, I'm not really big on pole plants, and, come to think of it a lot of my skiing lately, including mogul skiing, was done without poles.
Disclaimer: I still suck at mogul skiing.