[I have to go to work sometimes you know]
My mogul skiing compared to a current world cupper...
This would be better explained by someone who is actually a current world cupper. They would have a better understanding of these differences because they have had the coaches and are doing it. I don't know what they do as well as they know it. The last time I heard anything directly to me from a mogul coach it was about 1994 at which time I didn't hear a great deal. Still, I think I can give a basic comparison based on what I've been told they do as well as what I see.
If you watch this video http://vimeo.com/17548757 in the shot that starts at 1:54, you will see that the guy's skis are not flat. This is a good view of what is more the current world cup approach. His heels are often higher than his toes with the ski pointed down. I always keep my skis flat. I assume we're all familiar with the 'pedaling a bicycle backwards' analogy... When I absorb, my skis point up the mogul and then back down it so that if I was in your living room demonstrating my absorption motion standing on one foot and you were sitting in front of me so that we were facing each other, you would be able to see the bottom of my foot in the first half of my absorption movement. From what I understand, the current world cuppers don't do the front half of absorption like that. You wouldn't see the bottom of their foot if they were to demonstrate in the same way. I don't think that you'd see it at all. They still bring their feet up, but it's not in front of them as much with toes pointed at the sky like me. They bring them straight up. They therefore rely on the front of the ski to take some of the impact of the mogul (they jam their tips). This is part of how they achieve their look of "snap" (the quick return to normal stance after absorption). I don't do this. I don't believe that I even bend the ski much at all. It feels smoother to me the way I do it.
Furthermore (and this is a major difference) they are forward. You can also see this in that same shot. I am not forward. I am centered. I don't have any pressure against the front of my boots and I also don't have any pressure against the backs of them. I have told some mogul skiers this and they look at me weird like they think I'm crazy. Everything I do in mogul skiing is like everything I do in non-mogul skiing; I do it because it feels right and it feels smooth and effective. If I had to rationalize this though... I like to be centered because of what we hear in non-mogul skiing about how we should be perpendicular to the hill. The angle that is perpendicular to the hill in a mogul field changes with each individual mogul and each part of the mogul, so a neutral stance to me, is the most adaptable position. This is part of how I try to achieve my light touch which is different than a lot of skiers. Partially due to this neutral stance, my shoulders are more back and out of the way than a lot of people. Another part of my light touch lies in the fact that I try to keep my skis on the snow regardless of most mogul sizes or speeds. The way I achieve this is in the timing and depth of my absorption. My timing is different than other people's, but I can't really elaborate much on how it's different because I don't know the details because I don't think about it. Again, I am just doing what feels right. I have also gotten the impression from what some people have said, that I may even do most of my turning on a slightly different part of the mogul than at least some current world cuppers, but I am not 100% on this and again I can't elaborate because I don't know the details. The third more major part of how I achieve my light touch I feel is something that I'd like to keep a secret. I'll tell any friends that I ski with if they want to know.
I have skied on different ski lengths and they all work, but I prefer a shorter ski for my body size than what most people (including world cuppers) would say is right. The reason for this is because I ski huge moguls and I like to keep ski to snow contact, so I basically have to reach my legs down into a deep hole. A shorter ski fits in these holes better than a longer one which would form more of a bridge across the hole. The current world cuppers are on machine made moguls (this is a large difference in itself). I have seen these guys on natural moguls and they're fantastic, but they often don't look quite the same as when they're on a course. My "style" is more consistent with what you'd see if you looked up old competitions of Chuck Martin's competitive time period. The competitors then were still on natural, huge moguls. Many differences that I listed above would still apply though.
One more difference is that most if not all of these world cup guys think about having their weight on their downhill ski. I have never understood that point of view and I have never thought about that. I might be two-skied... I guess I am... in trying to have a light touch, I try not to push down on any ski.
I can ski in different ways both in the moguls and out of them. I think that my commentary videos show this. Everything I am doing is for the reason that it works best for me. I think that my styles are best for me on the type of terrain that I ski.
If you asked Kingsbury or Bilodeau they may say that I am not doing something right. I am sure that they have reasons that they believe in the current world cup technique. The question that is relevant to this thread is whether 'different' is necessarily 'wrong'. Do I need to do something different to be consistent with these guy's technique? I am not planning on changing my mogul skiing anytime soon. There are reasons I like my way, just like there are reasons they like their way. This is true for me both in and out of the moguls.
This is the truth about these differences as best as I can understand them, I am just trying to answer the question.
Edited by Ronin - 6/7/14 at 5:13pm