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Bumps, have I been given bad advice?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I just took a look at the Summer MA Video thread. Have I been given BAD advice? I was told not to ski the troughs. To me it looks like this person is skiing the troughs. It's great skiing, looks smooth and well timed, but in the troughs a lot.

I can do that, (well, on bumps like those) but I was told to stay out of the troughs. I have been trying to turn on the top edges of the bumps. Is this why I have been having problems in the bumps?
post #2 of 17
I took a lesson last year which was only my second lesson ever.

The instructor told us to turn on the tops of the bumps because it is easier to pivot the skis since the tips and tails are in the air. If you are new to skiing bumps then they say to stay out of the troughs for better speed control. I have also read this in a few books.

If you stay in the troughs your skis are forced into the turn so speed control only comes from rounding out the turn or picking a slower line.

Personally I don't think there is any bad way to ski bumps except on your but.

I also think that skiing over the tops is hard for people new to bumps because of the sudden speed increase and then decrease.

I am just getting better at bumps on blacks and doubles so it is not like I am an expert in the subject. I personally do both depending on the size of the bumps and the conditions. In soft bumps I go over them alot more then in icey bumps in which I use my line to slow down.

If skiing in the troughs feels better for you then do it.
post #3 of 17

Through the troughs

Should you ski the troughs? I say yes...

It's really all about perspective. When you ski the bumps, your objective should be to ski through the bumps with efficient movements. Instead of thinking turn in the troughs or turning over the top of a bump, think instead of making a series of smooth turns with efficient movements.

I like to teach my students to use the "top side" of a bump to set themselves up for the turn, then turning around the bump until you reach the top of the next bump. This allows you to shape the turn to match the terrain.

Will you sometimes turn over the top of a bump? Of course. But if you use this approach, I think you'll have success.

Mike
post #4 of 17
I never really found all the "turn on top" "plant pole on top" etc etc stuff worked well for me....

The best advice I found was "turn & keep turning - deal with what is under you"

Having said that I have noticed that I do like to do some of the turns on top & sides if I can manage that.... troughs too - but I like to be able to see an "exit" route out of the "course" they lay
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was told, no skiing the troughs at all...ski on top of the bumps, turn on the tops, plant on the tops... I remember getting yelled at by an instructor for turning in the troughs...I never took another bump lesson again. I generally stay out of the bumps... I was made to feel so bad about my technique (turning in the troughs) that I developed a strong aversion to bumps...turning on top made my knees hurt, I had less control and I just felt bad....
post #6 of 17
Reminds me of a post I read over at the PMTS forum. A skier had written in that they had just paid a lot of money for a private lesson and came away very disappointed. They felt that they had been stuck with a bad instructor. Another person replied that maybe it wasn't the instructors' fault at all, maybe they were just bad students. Harald's reply to that was that nobody is going to pay upwards of three hundred dollars for a lesson that isn't interested in learning something. I believe his quote was "There is no such thing as a bad student, only bad instructors that have failed them."
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachskiljp
I just took a look at the Summer MA Video thread. Have I been given BAD advice? I was told not to ski the troughs. To me it looks like this person is skiing the troughs. It's great skiing, looks smooth and well timed, but in the troughs a lot.

I can do that, (well, on bumps like those) but I was told to stay out of the troughs. I have been trying to turn on the top edges of the bumps. Is this why I have been having problems in the bumps?
On bumps like those, it is good skiing in the troughs (that person is really skiing in bwtween the bumps), but what happens when the troughs get deeper and narrower? At some point they become limiting to the skidding that we do to maintain our speed. If we are used to skiing all the terrain in the bumps we have more options available to us when we need them. Maybe you were told to ski everywhere but the troughs to help you develope versatility in the bumps. If that was so, they should have explained that to you though.

Try side slipping down an entire bump run sometime exploring how the different areas on the bump allow you to slip or how different areas hang up your skis. Make sure you change directions several times and allow some foreard and backward movement. Understanding how to use all the terrain in the bumps is key to skiing them well. Later, RicB.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by teachskiljp
..... Is this why I have been having problems in the bumps?
Without more information it's actually hard to tell if you have been given bad advice or not.

Most people that come for a "bump" lesson lack the one essential skill to skiing bumps: A good short radius turn. Without it it is impossible to teach someone to ski bumps in the fall line. It is however possible to teach someone to negotiate a mogul field by skiing medium and long radius turns by staying on the tops. This tactic gives the skier more time to setup and prepare than skiing in the fall line and also allows them to really get the feeling of the necessary active flexing and extending to maintain ski/snow contact. So I would say that you prob got good advice for your skill level.

A good mogul skier will ski the tops sides and troughs depending on terrain and snow conditions. They will also employ other technigues such as line changes and bridging. Skiing the tops is actually very elegant and a lot of fun. After all what could be more fun that blasting the top of a powder bump or exploding the top of one in the spring time.

In many respects competitive bump skiing where skiers basically stick their skis in the trough and go for a ride is not what I would want to apsire to.
post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
So I would say that you prob got good advice for your skill level.
You don't know my skill level, so it's impossible for you to make this comment.

I was skiing the bumps in the troughs and on the sides before the lesson. This person told me that I was doing it all wrong, I had to be on the tops. He told me if I couldn't ski the tops to stay out of the bumps. He was quite belittling.

I'm in the NE, we rarely have soft powdery bumps, they are usually hard concrete.
post #10 of 17
If you came away with a sour taste in your mouth then you got a bad ski lesson. Anyone who thinks there is only one way to ski the bumps or one way to ski anything is wrong.

The best bump skiers can ski many different lines in the bumps, that way they are not limited by the size and shape of the bumps.

So if you are happy skiing the troughs keep doing it. But to get significantly better you will probably want to find a different instructor and try taking a lesson again. I would recommend asking for a cert 3 instructor. You are a lot less likely to get a bad one that way.

Also keep in mind when trying something new it's usually one step backwards then two steps forwards. Don't expect a magical transformation right away.
post #11 of 17
Hi Laurie,

I'd say if you were told "you have to ski the tops ONLY" that you got bad advice. Ski the tops, troughs, front, back, sides, bridges ....whatever! Since you are able to ski those moguls in the vid that way, maybe just start progressing towards wider and rounder turns ....just start to gradually venture from or stretch what you're comfortable with a bit, instead of something totally foreign.

Also, remember that vid was just a portion of one run, and not necessarily the only turn that skier makes or is capable of!

Chris
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgeib
Hi Laurie,

I'd say if you were told "you have to ski the tops ONLY" that you got bad advice. Ski the tops, troughs, front, back, sides, bridges ....whatever! Since you are able to ski those moguls in the vid that way, maybe just start progressing towards wider and rounder turns ....just start to gradually venture from or stretch what you're comfortable with a bit, instead of something totally foreign.

Also, remember that vid was just a portion of one run, and not necessarily the only turn that skier makes or is capable of!

Chris
That was in the late 70's early 80's(I was in college taking lessons for PE credits). I have only tried bumps a couple times since then...afraid that I was "doing it all wrong" and afraid to make mistakes. Being a bigger person I did not want to draw any unnecessary negative attention to myself. I knew that the way he told me to do it made my knee hurt (and that was before I injured it). I trusted that he was right so I just stayed out of them because I didn't want the pain.

I've got to try them this year...I got to get the courage up again!
post #13 of 17
I'll take you in the bumps. How about Outer Limits at Killington?:
post #14 of 17
I would also try softer skis that are easier to skid in the bumps then your 6 Stars if you want to have more fun while getting better.
post #15 of 17
First.. a little 'disclaimer'. Different people will tell you different ways of skiing the bumps. On this board there are a few different 'styles' or techniques, which are different from each other. Bottom line - different techniques work for different people.

With that said, I believe you did get bad coaching. I say that because the more traditional way of skiing the bumps is in fact skiing the throughs (kind of). For the coach to tell you that skiing the troughs was wrong, when it was something that worked for you and to top it off.. that's the more traditional technique... it just doesn't feel right. I think it would have been better if the instructor said; "yes.. that is the zipper line technique, but I am going to be teaching you a different technique" or something like that. By the way.. I had a similar experience when I took my first bump class. The instructor taught us how to ski them over the top.. but I kept looking at the other folks skiing them fast down the zipper line and I kept telling him 'I want to learn that style' and he would tell me that was the wrong way to do it. After that class.. I decided to look for bump only instructors and that worked better for me.

To better describe it, you aren't really just skiing the troughs. Actually, you are skiing the throughs and the 'sides' of each mogul.. but certainly not the tops. Basically, you drive your tips into the mogul (not the middle of it, but to the side of the middle), absorb (knees up), roll over the mogul, and extend into and across the next through to the next mogul (and repeat).. all while turning with the knees (not the hips). I would say that the best technique is not a skidding technique (where skidding is used for speed control) since that can put you in a bad body position for your next turn, but one where the absorption and extension is what is giving you the speed control. However, skidding is a good way to control speed when you are learning absorption, or on big steep bumps where absorption/extension will not be enough. For me personally, I still skid on every single turn (unless it's a real flat mogul run) since my absorption kinda sucks and I am still a little scared of going too fast. But I know a lot of people that never skid unless it's real steep or real big bumps.. they also ski them super fast (boy.. do I want to ski like them).

That is the technique used by world cup skiers. It's what some people call 'zipper line' skiing. It's difficult for some and it takes a lot of time and dedication to learn, and that's why you'll see people ski the bumps other ways sometimes. However, if it's something you are able to do.. more power to you.. go ahead and do it.

I think often some instructors will not teach this technique, since it's a real specific technique mostly used by competitive bump skiers (although I do see a ton of people on the mountain skiing them this way) and some instructors might not know that technique that well. Usually the people you see skiing them that way are dedicated 'bump skiers'.. folks that pretty much only ski bumps, and instructors are usually more of 'all mountain skiers' and they apply a more general technique to ski the bumps.. with wider turns which would require you to go over the tops. It takes a long time to master.. and it often has you skiing (in general) differently than the all mountain type technique (for example, you turn with knee angle and not hip angle.. and you put pressure on the tips of the skis instead of just rolling the skis on edge).

To get a good idea of what that looks like.. check out these videos (and some of the material on the site). They are from a mogul camp website (I've attended a few of those camps). Two videos are 'Travis Mayer' (won silver on the last winter Olympics), and one if Mikko from Finland (another top world cup skier).

http://www.mogullogic.com/lessons.html

also, for some mogul skiing 'porn', check this out (videos from the world cup)

http://www.skidebosses.com/

Almost forgot.. another thought or comment. If your skis have a lot of sidecut, it'll be harder to do the zipper line. Mogul skis have very little shape to them (the 'rounder' technique is well suited for skis with a lot of sidecut). Also, as someone mentioned.. you don't want a super stiff ski either.
post #16 of 17
All of us skid in the bumps, all of us need to maintain pressure control in the bumps, and very few, if any of us can actually carve in the bumps. Keeping the skis in constant contact with the snow and always turning as much as possible is the key to skiing bumps. Where you turn on the bump can and should vary if you want to use the least amount of energy. Absorption can be used for speed control to some degree, but it shouldn't replace a well edged skidding ski in contact with the snow as our main speed control.

World Cup bumpers all skid their turns. Compared to the rest of us, their turns aren't as round and they definetly are going for speed. Their speed coupled with their lack of turn shape doesn't lend it self very well for the bump skiing masses as a model. That's not to say that people shouldn't ski that way.

Pressure control, skidding/steering (rotary skills), and edging skills, in that order. Can it really be any other way? And then there is tactics. Later, RicB.
post #17 of 17
RicB. Thanks for clarifying it (I didn't do a great job of describing what I was trying to say). I was trying to sort of describe the 'benchmark' (for lack of a better word)... but as you so well put it, few people are really there. Actually, if you look at the videos I posted, those guys are skidding some. It's real obvious on the shots of the women skiing (since they are going a little slower it's easier to see).

You made a real good point that contact with the snow at all times being critical, and I like how you list the three things in order (your last line).
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