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Riding Moguls

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Got any tips? I was searching another forum and thought their tips were lame, but at least they had some. We've got spine leapers and that's it. We can do better!
post #2 of 13
http://forums.epicski.com/showthread.php?t=40649

Plus throw in some tail slashes for good measure, sort of a halfway point between flatboarding and tip rolls/nose rolls. Get angry with that tail!

Just a general observation more than a tip: if someone can sit in a chair, they are more than flexible enough to absorb way more than they likely are right now in the bumps.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Oh rats on me. I searched for moguls, not for bumps. D'oh!
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 

My not so humble 2 cents for basic bump riding

Well, what drove me to start this thread was viewing another forum where someone asked how to ride in the bumps and 1/2 the riders agreed that snowboarding in the bumps was a hopeless exercise. The only semi-useful post was a link to an ehow page that gave me a good laugh. One thing is clear in my mind, the technique that the average intermediate rider uses to control speed (i.e. kicking their back foot out and skidding) absolutely does not work in the bumps.

I know that a lot of my own success in the bumps comes from my skiing background in being able to look at the terrain, see lines to ride, spot trouble points and plan alternative tactics to deal with trouble points. But this begs the question of what tactics to use for riding the bumps.

On skis, I talk about 3 basic types of lines for the bumps:
-in the ruts
-across the ruts
-hitting the tops

Whether you're skiing or riding, you can do speed control through turning, edge check or flat ski/board absorption. The key difference between skiing and riding in the bumps is the use of independent leg suspension when riding over a bump. Skiers flex both legs at the same time, riders do one leg at a time. One subtle difference is that skiers can compensate for the uneven snow surface by moving their feet closer together. Although riders have to adapt to having their feet on unlevel surfaces, they are better able to compensate for the potential lateral imbalance this causes because they are traveling laterally.

When you're in the ruts, you can get great speed control by turning on the outside edges of the ruts where the soft snow gets pushed. This works great until the skier made ruts get too deep and narrow for a board to ride smoothly through. For tighter bumps, you need to use more ankle movement to get higher edge angles and sharper turns. Boards generally have tighter turning radii than skis so they should be able to follow the ruts easier. The problem here is when the ruts include ski paths made by skidding edge sets. With the feet wider apart, it's hard to get a board to edge check in the same spot that skiers make.

Going across the ruts is where riders can use the flat board independent suspension thing. Here's where riders have a huge advantage over skiers because their feet are spread apart. Riders are much better able to maintain board to snow contact by stepping down hard on their front foot as they pass over the bump (skiers have to press their toes down with moves that are inherently slower and weaker than simply pushing the whole foot down). It's much easier to do this with a flat board than an edged board. A variation of this technique is to use the front and back faces of each bump to make 270 degree type turns. If you cross the rut going across the fall line, you will approach a bump from the side. Then you can start a turn while going up the face to the top of the bump, do a sharp turn at the top with very little length of edge contact and continue the turn down the back of the bump until the board is across the fall line again. If need be, riders can also edge check for speed control (i.e. kicking the board sharply out of line of the direction of travel, setting the edge momentarily and flexing both legs to absorb momentum) on the face of a bump after they have crossed a rut.

When the snow is soft or the operator is a maniac, a rider can flow down the fall line hopping from bump face to bump face and absorb each landing for speed control. The idea here is that you don't need to kill a lot of speed because you need the speed to be able to clear the ruts. If you can land the board flat on an uphill face of the bump, you can use your legs to absorb the landing and slow your down the fall line speed. But the harder the snow and the steeper the pitch, the more difficult it is to use this tactic.

There are lots of other tactics that can be used in the bumps (e.g. nose rolls and spine leapers), but these either involve subtle variations of the above approaches are a combination of them.

Regardless of which tactic you choose to use in the bumps, the one thing you need to be able to do that 99% of the intermediate back foot pushing riders do not do is BEND YOUR @#$%$# LEGS! For bumps of any decent size this means bending your legs so that the distance between your heels and your butt is 1/3 to 1/5 of the distance of when you are standing upright. If you don't bend your legs this much, you won't be able to absorb to control speed or stay in balance when you flex your ankles, your turns will be late and you will be toast. For the riders that I've worked with, this has been the biggest stumbling block for improving their bump riding.
post #5 of 13
^^^ Great stuff.

I was smiling when you mentioned riders kicking their back foot out and skidding, because the way most riders do this is so close but so far from a tail slash. One of those things where both God and the devil can be in the details.

The use of counter, and dynamic rotation and counterrotation, is also interesting because it can be very useful in this context even though frequently not desirable elsewhere.

We as riders probably also have to thank both park/pipe riding, and skateboarding, for the fact that it seems intuitive to us that absorption can help control speed in bumps; as we've seen it's not so intuitive for people without those backgrounds.
post #6 of 13
I tend to ride the bumps a lot, probably more then most boarders. And here are a few things I’ve noticed. (I make no claim of accuracy)

1) Looking. In my experience it is absolutely crucial that one looks 2 or three bumps ahead of where they are. I often consciously plan my route before starting down a bump run. Planning exactly which bumps i will go around and in which direction.

2) Bending knees. As others have said. Knees need to be bent. A lot.

3) Aggressiveness. I think more then in other kinds of riding. Aggressiveness helps a lot in bumps. It's easier to be knocked back so that all of your weight is on your back foot in bumps. Remaining aggressive, will help shift your weight forward, and hopefully keep the weight on the front foot.
post #7 of 13
Straight line....No seriously though start out doing very large "s" type turns through the bumps. This should in theory help with the shortening and lengthening ques needed to abosorb the bumps. I also find breaking the run down into quarters is helpful. Less at first is more. Build up success one mogul at a time...then straight run!!!
post #8 of 13

help w/ bumps

Rusty,

I could have done a few runs w/ you on the 24th when i was at your slope for a USASA BDX race. We could have had a full on bump session. Next time I guess. Try this for a run and tell me if it doesn't improve your bump riding:

- flat spins (several in a row, and eventually both direction of rotation) through nasty or baby bumps

Good times and fun and makes you a champion mogul person or something like that.

- shoulder alignment is also key (front shoulder faces down hill, rear shoulder uphill) the degree to which this happens obviously is dependent on your stance angles and flexibility, but it's like a mogul skier keeping their chest pointed down the fall line.

JB
post #9 of 13
I shot some great footage of two of my buddies riding bumps this past weekend. Unfortunately, I left the memory card in VT. As soon as I get back there, I'll post the footage.

It was quite a trip riding with these guys, not only because they LOVE to ride bumps, but also because they ride them better than 90% of snowboarders - straight zipper line, top to bottom.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibster View Post
Rusty,

I could have done a few runs w/ you on the 24th when i was at your slope for a USASA BDX race. We could have had a full on bump session. Next time I guess. Try this for a run and tell me if it doesn't improve your bump riding:

- flat spins (several in a row, and eventually both direction of rotation) through nasty or baby bumps

Good times and fun and makes you a champion mogul person or something like that.

- shoulder alignment is also key (front shoulder faces down hill, rear shoulder uphill) the degree to which this happens obviously is dependent on your stance angles and flexibility, but it's like a mogul skier keeping their chest pointed down the fall line.

JB
Jibster,

You might have been able to take a few runs in the bumps, but I was so busy I didn't even find out the BDX was supposed to be on Saturday instead of Sunday until the end of the day when I heard all of the complaints about the event being cancelled. Sorry about that chief. And sorry I missed not even being able to say hello.

With my not fully healed broken collarbone and the monster size of our bumps, I hope you won't mind if I take a pass at doing flat spins. I'm going to need to witness a demonstration before I believe it's possible. Video?

With my ski background, I'm obviously a proponent of the shoulder alignment approach. But I'm also intrigued by the flat board techniques demonstrated in the AASI videos. I've caught myself doing that a few times and it works pretty cool too.
post #11 of 13

bump video

I might be able to pull up some old training video that has some flat spins in the bumps. How do you link that up to a forum post?

JB
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibster View Post
I might be able to pull up some old training video that has some flat spins in the bumps. How do you link that up to a forum post?

JB
You could put it on YouTube and then insert the link to the YouTube video in a post; there may be more-straightforward ways out there, dunno.

It's a great drill, thanks for posting it originally and it would be cool to see the video.
post #13 of 13
I don't know why no one has discussed dynamic turns (over / under, I think it is called). Just like skiing in the bumps, you should absorb the bump by flexing your knees up, and extend the legs down the back/side of the mogul. Keeping the board on the mogul at all times will slow you down and keep yourself in control. Your shoulders should stay parallel to the surface of the snow (possibly a bit more over to the front foot). When riding big moguls I tend to turn every 2 or 3 bumps.

Don't get me wrong, I still have lots to learn, but taking the PSIA mogul clinics have developed my riding in the bumps as well.

Also, a skiing buddy gave me a tip once that I have tried to use in certain conditions. On the backside of the mogul us a skidded turn right into a carve turn so that the board comes up onto the frontside of the mogul, rather than driving into the rut.
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