or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Efficiency in Moguls

post #1 of 57
Thread Starter 
I'm not a common poster here, being a maggot and long being skeptical of lessons/instructions (had taken 4 lessons in my life before I skied with a friend who has 2 instructors at DV - he has a house there, i'd never skied outside of Alta/Bird in SLC before)...

But on those couple wknds getting instruction I discovered a couple a things.

1) Moguls can be skied more efficiently.
2) Moguls can be skied more continuously if less energy is expended per mogul, so to speak.
3) More interesting chutes/couloirs can be skied more fluidly if one is more efficient.

I had basically taught myself to zipperline, using a combination of a large number of crashes (and getting the wind knocked out of me at least once per run) in refrozen, rock hard, tight moguls on an early season day at Sierra-at-Tahoe and brute cross-country runner leg strength and lung capacity.

Yes, I could ski High Rustler top-to-bottom in bumps without stopping, staying mostly in the zipperline. But I definitely dragged by the bottom, and had a tendency to simply pick up enough speed to launch off the cattrack and clear the last section of moguls.

Some of the things I learned from the instructors skiing:
-Using edges in between the bumps as well as simply quad compressions on the front (top?) of each bump to control speed
-Keeping a quieter upper body through a tighter, stronger, and more balanced stance that was more centered on my skis
-Driving forward entering the trough instead of "backseat gunning" and relying on the next bump to bring my balance back to the center of my skis
-More carving of my turns within the bumps

After this, I discovered I could much more efficiently ski the moguls and it also translated into being able to mach with a quiet upper body through more variable cut up crud and/or over cliffs/cornices up to 10' without losing control and maintaining speed.

Without being too technical (I am a maggot after all ), do any of the instructors have ideas as to further improve this type of skiing?
post #2 of 57
I avoided bumps until last year when my wife and I took a lesson.

Now we pretty much only look for bump runs and trees.

We still like to cruise but bumps are next on our list to get better at.

I do most of the things you do except I try to skid alittle more then carve as carving hooks my skis and throws me off into the next turn.

What kind of skis are you on?
post #3 of 57
A good practice in bumps I like is the concept of skiing like a drip (of water), creating a flowing rounded turn on all aspects of the bumps, kinda following a path water would take (if it wasn't gushing straight through the troughs. Once some fluidity of motion has been obtained, I like to then open up my turns a bit and start making GS type, medium radius turns (this obviously will not be turning every bumps). This will start to get the legs really flexing smoothly, and you will need to make turns all over the bumps and sometimes one turn will take place on 2-3 bumps, another benefit to this is that you will be turning in fully extended and full retracted stance, as well as everywhere in between. With enough practice, you stop thinking about how each turn is different (extension wise, which leads to different skills being used), and start to think how each turn is similar. Then, bring yourself back to the fluidity model (a more random and playful line), often it will feel very smooth.

Basically, both of these ideas focus on the necesary movements involved in skiing bumps, and can very easily show the differences between effective and ineffective movements. When you bring these ideas back into your normal bump routine, you might find that you'll utilize more effective movements (especially since you've already stated about keeping a quiet upper body), have greater control, and use less energy. Basically what it does is effectively activate your lower body.

Bumps can be a great teaching tool since they are so unpredictable (often times), they force you to have a variety of tactics/techniques that you are comfortable with, and force you to be able to switch at will (and without thought) to use whatever tactic/technique is effective for the given time/place.
post #4 of 57
All I know is that after I ski bumps for a few runs, skiing anywhere else on the mountain feels easy and smooth.

I think they loosen me up to relax which makes me ski better.
post #5 of 57
Manus that was beautiful!!! Where the heck were you when I was taking lessons in New England?? .

I think that the image of fluidity is really helpful. When we were working with Weems on bump runs, I discovered that continuity of movement was the most efficient way to ski a bump run. A local epic instructor gave me the image of a diving board. I'll have to try that this season.
post #6 of 57
I've been working at lil' ole Nashoba Valley for about 10 years, and our bumps (when we have) are anything but organized, but not steep. But another good idea that seemed to work for a few people is to think about pedaling a bike backwards (but with both feet doing the same thing - try it with one foot and then the other). Its actually very similar (I got this from another Level III I ski with a lot and he got this explanation from a 12 year old). As you pulle the pedal up, you toes come up and are slightly in front of you (like skiing into the face of a mogul), at the top, you have a flexed/somewhat closed ankle as your foot passes under your center (like cresting a mogul), then your toes point down and fall slightly behind your center, opening up the ankle (skiing down the backside of a bump, driving the tips down and into the next mogul). I actually like the concept this tries to portray and the moves are very similar to skiing bumps, just without the turning.


And Scalce, you said "All I know is that after I ski bumps for a few runs, skiing anywhere else on the mountain feels easy and smoot", I found that somewhat comical since my brother says the same thing, now that he's actually more comfortable in bumps. Once he feels he is skiing them well, the rest of the mountain becomes much more tame and his body and equiptment just instinctively work together.

Something to keep in mind, is what you consider a good bump skier, someone who skis them fast and on the verge of out of control (zip-line) or someone that seems to be in full control and makes it look effortless? There are different ways to teach depending on what you perception of good bump skiing is.
post #7 of 57
I saw one guy at Cannon ski the front trails in nasty bumps and he still made it look fluid, slow, and easy. That's what I want.

I don't like zipperlining it but I like watching bump competitions.
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scalce
I saw one guy at Cannon ski the front trails in nasty bumps and he still made it look fluid, slow, and easy. That's what I want.

I don't like zipperlining it but I like watching bump competitions.
Hell, I'm still trying to figure out the fluid, slow and easy thang Without the bumps!
post #9 of 57
I noticed that the water analogy is pretty standard among instructors as I have heard it a few times.

The one thing I learned taking a lesson last year was to ski sideways in the bumps to get warmed up.

It helped me alot especially early in the day.
post #10 of 57
yeah, Scalce, it sounds like you are talking about traversing in the bumps, that is a basic step in the bump progressions I use, it help to point out how much your lower body has to move in bumps.

And I like the water analogy because not only does it mentally represent fluidity of motion, but it also emphasizes following the path of least resistance.
post #11 of 57
My ESA coach last year showed us 3 paths to use in bumps.

The idea was to turn in one of 3 places and they did not have to be the same place for each turn.

1. The troughs,
2. The tops of the bumps
3. Bridge between bumps

Since my home area does not grow bumps I can't comment on the relative merits of each. Had little opportunity to work on them after we returned from Utah, although while there, I had the most success finding the bridges and skiing them.
post #12 of 57
ever seen the in the side door and out the back idea for bumps? basically it breaks down the bump into 4 sections, front door, back door, and two side doors. ski into (up) the side door (side of the bump) make your initiate your turn either while going up the bump or on top, and continue your turn out the back down (so the fall line portion of your turn is matched with the fall line on the back of the bump. This works pretty well in bumps that are reasonably spaced and rythmic.

Personally, I do not believe in any one way to ski bumps, but to try to learn as many ways as possible so that I can switch at will without thought or hesitation.
post #13 of 57
The bumps on my home mountain and on the mountain I grew up on are on steep runs. The number one problem people have in them is keeping their speed in check. This is especially true for people that are on carving skis.

Probably the most common way skiers check their speed is to let their tails skid around at the end of the turn. I'll admit I use this technique a lot especially when I'm on my fatter skis. The main disadvantage of skidding your skis around is it causes you to overturn them compared to your upper body. This gets the skis out of position to start carving the next turn and you find yourself hopping or pushing your skis around to start the next turn.

The optimal way to control your speed is to use what I would call an inefficient carve. The idea is to let off your edges just enough through the turn to cause your ski to skid a little. The more you need to check your speed the more you let off your edges. The key is to keep your edge hold as constant as you can through out the turn. Someone using this technique looks like their skiing the moguls effortlessly since there isn't any exaggerated motion.

PS - Seldon - I wouldn't worry too much about hanging around here unless you find yourself eyeing a Bogner one-piece ski outfit.
post #14 of 57
This is refreshing. There is a lot of good stuff in this thread.
post #15 of 57
Seldon, You learned a lot of good things from your lessons. You asked us to help you further improve your technique. I'd suggest refining pole action to help synchronize the myriad other actions of the body on a bump run. I notice problems with fluidity when the pole action consists of stops and starts. This can be improved by focusing on continuous pendulum movement of both pole baskets. (This is true of all skiing). One basket moves forward while the other moves back, while the hands stay level and ahead, grasping not gripping the poles; the action of the baskets is controlled by opening and closing the wrist joints like a pendulum, tick-tock.

If your wrist starts a turn, the rest of your body will come along. This tends to keep you turning down the hill and counteracts traversing.
post #16 of 57
I can't wait to skis bumps this year.

I got a pair of softer skis just for moguls and tree runs.
post #17 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manus
ever seen the in the side door and out the back idea for bumps? basically it breaks down the bump into 4 sections, front door, back door, and two side doors. ski into (up) the side door (side of the bump) make your initiate your turn either while going up the bump or on top, and continue your turn out the back down (so the fall line portion of your turn is matched with the fall line on the back of the bump. This works pretty well in bumps that are reasonably spaced and rythmic.
This is tricky if the bump turns out to be a rock as the down hill side is usually the uncovered one.... & you find out after you dive off the top.... :
post #18 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by seldon

1) Moguls can be skied more efficiently.
2) Moguls can be skied more continuously if less energy is expended per mogul, so to speak.
3) More interesting chutes/couloirs can be skied more fluidly if one is more efficient.
HERETIC! Back to maggot land with you! Next you'll be talking crazy talk like ski tuning. BLASPHEMY!!!

If your maggot friends catch you skiing on anything less then 95 under foot there's going to be trouble.

Kidding aside. I haven't read everything here but a big one I find helps is focusing on stretching the leg tall into the trough. By the sounds of what you're doing that is already going on but on the days when things are 'off' that one simple focus helps you get recentered and allows more of the bump absorption for that 'waterfall' feeling. Active legs are the key and they help keep you centred on the flip side not being centred makes it hard to keep active legs.

On steeps I also focus on stretching that leg into the turn (as the skis go away from the body heading into the falline again. On the days I'm stiff and a little off just focusing on that again makes things much smoother and opens up way more possibilities on the steeps.

If you ever make it to Banff......

I still haven't skied with a maggot other than the local ones.
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier_j
My ESA coach last year showed us 3 paths to use in bumps.

The idea was to turn in one of 3 places and they did not have to be the same place for each turn.

1. The troughs,
2. The tops of the bumps
3. Bridge between bumps

Since my home area does not grow bumps I can't comment on the relative merits of each. Had little opportunity to work on them after we returned from Utah, although while there, I had the most success finding the bridges and skiing them.
Good Thread. I'm reading alot of useful information coupled with familiar situations and sensations.

skier_j, my ski buddy must of had the same coach at ESA1 (VSP) because he told me the same thing. We've spent the last 2 seasons exploring this observation. I find I like to ski the bridges between bumps and I always seek safety and comfort there when things start to fall apart. I try to keep my CM flowing 'to the corners of the box' to stay centered/balanced. I always seem to blow up at nolo's point. I find my hand back and shoulder dropped unable to make a rythmic pole swing then I'm in the back seat and bailing out. I had in my mind that good bump skiing was zipper lining. I was never satisfied seeking the long, slow carve around a bump or two.

I've also been advised to pick your first few turns, or pick your line before you start but like to pick my downhill start from a traverse and decide in motion.

I realize that there are multiple ways to ski bumps but I strive to make it look effortless... with a very heavy emphasis on the strive part of the equation.:
post #20 of 57
I like launching off a bump, clearing the next few, landing on the backside of another bump, quickly lauching again, and repeating this all the way down the mogul field. Very smooth, very fun, but it requires a bit of skill in the air and the ability to look ahead and quickly determine where you want to land the next jump, then apply to amount of launch to make that happen.

That's how you Southern boys ski bumps, ain't it Frenchie?
post #21 of 57
For us average bump skiers, it really boils down to pressure control. Combine what L7 said about opening up our joints, ankles, knees, and hips, with the pressure control or constant edge engagement that Rio spoke of, along with Nolo's never double parking the poles, and you're skiing bumps. Doesn't matter where you ski in the bumps these things need t obe happening. Constant movement in the hips and lower joints is what makes everything else able to work. Many of us forget and leave out one of the critical joints which pretty much means we never get to an extended enough or long enough position to maintain effective pressure control. Hips seem to be my weak point, and one I have to remind myself of frequently.

Snowdog I do sometimes teach the Jolly (tips), Molly (tails), and Ollie (you guys know) progression to athletic skiers, mainly ski PE Kids, and have them Ollie from one bump to another in easy bumps. I have to admit that this takes me out of my own comfort zone somewhat because I do like to stay connected. I'll leave the flying over 2-3 bumps to the rest of you. Later, RicB.
post #22 of 57
The real key to speed control in bumps is patience. Three quarters of the time spent turning a bump should be spent in the top half of the turn. It takes patience to allow yourself to make the subtle movements that shape the top of the turn. Shaping a round turn in moguls is the key to speed control.

Quick turn intitiations result in quick turns, quick feet and ever faster speeds. Mogul skiers who have trouble controlling speed inevitably spend one forth of their turn time pivoting quickly near the top of a bump and have three quarters of the time trying to manage a long skid to the next bump.


When you slow down the mind and feet, the bump skiing will slow down.

The same things can be said for skiing solid ungroomed ice. I guess that is why I like ice and coral so much.
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowDog
That's how you Southern boys ski bumps, ain't it Frenchie?
Them days are gone. I just don't have the body or the balls to do that on telemark skis anymore.
post #24 of 57
A common error I see in many bump skiers is that they stay flexed and end up with no legs left to absorb the next bump. I say ' stand tall in the bumps! ' . Nolo is right on with her advice about the hands and I would add that : keep driving the hands forward and push the handles down like levers ( easier to demonstrate then to explain). Once you drop a hand back in the moguls, you are toast.
post #25 of 57
Ollies, cool! I didn't know what to call them. Used that move alpining in the '80s, just getting into freeheel ollies last 2yrs. In the easier bumps, only gap one trough at a time, linked 3 ollies a couple of times.

Another thing I think about when back pedalling my bike is to bring the knees up diagonally towards my left shoulder when turning left, then right, alternate with rhythm.

I really like the back pedalling a bike idea (with pedals aligned, not opposed like on real bike, of course) because of how it co-ordinates the extension/flexon w moving from heels to toes.

I think in the side door, out the back gets to Pierre's point about not rushing to get out of the fall-line too fast. Take the back door out, turn into the side door on next bump. Thanks, I'm going to try that one.

To keep my hands front and level, I make a triangle with my hands and my head and try to keep distances between these 3 points more or less the same (without getting too rigid). I think this works because I always know where my head is. It also keeps my whole upper body moving together down the hill.
post #26 of 57
I think the hardest thing for many people (aside from being able to flex and extend) in bumps is getting enough upper/lower body separation and/while being able to keep the shoulders and hands squared off to the hill. Another little progression/idea I like to use is the side slip (focusing on hands downhill of the downhill ski) to pivot-slips in a tall position (with the same hands focus) to pivot-slips in a flexed position (with same hands focus - much higher level maneuver, a lot of instructors could not do this even some training for level 3) to checked pivot-slips with a breaking pole plant. Then to bring the checked pivot-slips with pole plant into the bumps (mild bumps with slow speed), this really got people to separate their upper and lower body as well as feel the need to be able to flex/absorb the terrain, and be able to turn from both a flexed (on top of bump) and/or extended/tall stance (turning more on side of bump/trough). Sometimes just activating peoples lower body will make a huge difference in their general approach and comfort in bumps and can make huge strides in getting peoples hands in front of them in the bumps.
post #27 of 57
In Lito's Breakthrough on Skis he says that a great way to get people more relaxed in bumps is to have them pivot slip through them.

I am going to try it once some snow is on the ground.
post #28 of 57
the hard thing though is making sure your pivot slips do not have any (or as little as possible) forward and backwards movement, try to do them in a channel/lane that is just a touch bigger than the skis are long.
post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by snowdancer
A common error I see in many bump skiers is that they stay flexed and end up with no legs left to absorb the next bump. I say ' stand tall in the bumps! ' . Nolo is right on with her advice about the hands and I would add that : keep driving the hands forward and push the handles down like levers ( easier to demonstrate then to explain). Once you drop a hand back in the moguls, you are toast.
My new hobby is video. I had a great deal of fun filming/editing last year, however, I'll add I'm still really a beginner at it.

I noticed something last year while editing film that expands nolo's comments as well as snowdancers.

Great bump skiers never allow their hand to get lower than their elbow. Another way to think about it is that their arm remains flexed and their elbow never falls behind their spine.

This simple idea has helped my bump skiing a great deal.
post #30 of 57
Rusty, you have probably seen these, but if not take a look. http://www.vailbcschools.com/BUMPS2.htm
http://www.vailbcschools.com/BUMPS3.htm
http://www.vailbcschools.com/TADCLBUMPS.htm
I love the way he leaps off into the bumps in the third segment. Can't wait for Winter!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching