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The SVMM Approach to Mogul Skiing  

post #1 of 183
Thread Starter 
It has come to my attention that many bump skiers around the U.S. think it is wrong to carve your turns in the moguls. If I understand this opinion correctly, it supports the argument that it is better to ride a flat ski and swivel your turns.
Now granted, I think we all need to accept the fact that there is more than one way to ski a mogul. However, up here in the PNW we use the Sun Valley Mogul Method (SVMM) to ski moguls and it focuses entirely on carving in the Bumps. Our leader is Joey Cordeau, 4-time world mogul champion, and his son Shane, who has been ranked as high as 12th on NorAm. Therefore, we know it works well to carve in the bumps and it totally saves on body abuse.
I would like to get some discussion going, as I cannot understand how anyone can ski steep, naturally formed moguls (as compared to less steep WC courses) without the control of a carved turn. It seems like you would just be a downhill missile, flying along at the mercy of gravity.
Carving very quick turns is possible in the moguls, and many skiers up here do it all day long. It is a great way to get out of the zipper line and ski the tops and sides. I think the rest of the skiing world may be unaware that this is possible, as most skiers do not realize how well it works unless they have been taught SVMM. To that end, I am editing a piece of video from The Cordeau Institute of Skiing that clearly illustrates skiers ripping off fast, carved turns in the moguls just last winter. Let me know if any of you are interested and I will post it when finished (hopefully in the next two weeks).

Meanwhile, your thoughts please?
post #2 of 183
Shipps,
I sugguest that you either repost in Ski Technique and Analysis, or, contact a moderator and ask them to move this out of General Ski Discussion.
Can you describe the SVMM more specifically? Mogul skiing is always a good subject. While some people use flat skis and skidding in moguls, my sense is that most try to use their edges and carving techniques. Maybe it's a skill progression from skidding to carving techniques. All I can say for sure is that I use both depending on the conditions.
post #3 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by med View Post
Shipps,
I sugguest that you either repost in Ski Technique and Analysis, or, contact a moderator and ask them to move this out of General Ski Discussion.
Can you describe the SVMM more specifically? Mogul skiing is always a good subject. While some people use flat skis and skidding in moguls, my sense is that most try to use their edges and carving techniques. Maybe it's a skill progression from skidding to carving techniques. All I can say for sure is that I use both depending on the conditions.
And pix and vids too.
post #4 of 183
Maybe a conversation with Dan DiPiro?
post #5 of 183
Would love to see some video of this too!
post #6 of 183
Thread Starter 

The Basic Elements of SVMM

Med,
Appreciate the guidance on EpicSki.com protocol. I am new to the site and can use all the help you send my way. Briefly, SVMM is a four part approach to mogul skiing. 1. Maintain Athletic stance over skis. 2. Learn through specific drills to place the ski on edge throughout turns. 3. Apply downward pressure on the front of the skis through the turn (more than most people think). Go into turn 60/40, on edges, and come out 50/50. 4. Use quick rocker motion, from front to back of boot cuff and back to front during the turn transition, in conjunction with rebound off loaded ski to intiate the next turn (includes hip projection as needed). We believe in using exactly the same carved short swing turn from the groomers, when in the bumps. We ski the sides, mostly over the tops (cross rut) and high in the ruts. One of our goals is to look for the flat stops or the white smooth areas in moguls and ski there. We also keep our arms wide apart, with elbows held high and palms facing each other (no turkey on a tray arm position for us). This technique works great on real mogul runs, including the steep ones. As soon as I can I will post a video example for everyone. You will be able to see that using this method you can create very quick carved turns in the moguls. I should have a short video put together in the next week or so. Thanks for responding.
post #7 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
However, up here in the PNW we use the Sun Valley Mogul Method (SVMM) to ski moguls and it focuses entirely on carving in the Bumps.
We do?

Quote:
Our leader is Joey Cordeau, 4-time world mogul champion, and his son Shane, who has been ranked as high as 12th on NorAm.
He is?
post #8 of 183
Thread Starter 

We Do? He Is?

Hello Harry,

Do you know Shane? Are you a competitive Mogul Skier? Do you ever get to Sun Valley to ski?
post #9 of 183
How does this affect equipment choice? If your current sticks work well with your current technique, will they still work with SVMM?
post #10 of 183
Thread Starter 

Ski Equipment and SVMM

Morrison,
The answer is it depends. Since I don't know what you ski on I will tell you our philosophy. In the moguls, we ski on boards with a waist in the 60's, a tail under 90, and a tip around 105 at the widest. More of a conventional ski shape as compared to a lot of what's out there. The narrow waist helps us crank those carved turns more quickly. We also use soft flexing boots (relatively speaking). I use a pair of the low volume WC Lange 120's with both bolts removed from the spine and I could go even softer, although I do love the Lange's performance. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think I remember hearing that GS skis are going to a longer radius ski with a more conventional side cut this year on the World Cup. Maybe we are unknowingly part of an evolving trend for 08/09 and beyond.
post #11 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
Carving very quick turns is possible in the moguls, and many skiers up here do it all day long. It is a great way to get out of the zipper line and ski the tops and sides. I think the rest of the skiing world may be unaware that this is possible, as most skiers do not realize how well it works unless they have been taught SVMM.
I've seen racers rip the bumps using carving movements and I'm sure there are other coaches out there that teach bumps with a focus on carving rather than twisting a ski around. I can think of one system that has been teaching carved turns in bumps since shaped skis were introduced.
post #12 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
Hello Harry,

Do you know Shane? Are you a competitive Mogul Skier? Do you ever get to Sun Valley to ski?
No, No (Is there really still such a thing? How quaint.), and No. Well, I have been to Sun Valley, but I wasn't impressed enough to go back.

However I do live in the PNW. Guess I forgot my [tongue in cheek due to overly broad language] icon.

As far as the rest of the world being unaware of the idea of carving in moguls, I can only answer for my ski school - we are taught both to carve in moguls and to use rotary as appropriate. One of the drills at the PSIA III (correct me if I'm wrong) is carving medium radius turns in moguls.

And to your assertion that a failure to carve would cause a skier to be like an unguided missile, do you believe that a rotary (skidded) turn does not bleed speed?
post #13 of 183

Put your poles down and back slowly away from that mogul

Shipps,

O to hear from Dan DiPiro on this one. I especially loved his theory that traditional mogul instruction was bad because it was based on race technique, part of which was the emphasis on carving turns.

I assume that when you say "carving" that you are referring to a "skarve" or skidded carve versus what Bolter calls "arcing". We're not talking about railroad tracks through the bumps. I've done that once, regretted every second of it and had to change clothes afterward.

Quote:
If I understand this opinion correctly, it supports the argument that it is better to ride a flat ski and swivel your turns.

Please note that swivel implies totally flat skis and as such is an exaggeration. Aggressive use of edges for edge checking could easily be called "mini-carves". I have witnessed totally flat skis (i.e. not edging whatsoever) on a not so steep mogul run and would otherwise have not believed it to be possible. Based on my observation, I believe that this technique will work on any mogulled slope. However, this is way out of the mainstream technique.

Quote:
Therefore, we know it works well to carve in the bumps and it totally saves on body abuse.

I agree 100%.

Quote:
I cannot understand how anyone can ski steep, naturally formed moguls (as compared to less steep WC courses) without the control of a carved turn. It seems like you would just be a downhill missile, flying along at the mercy of gravity.

I've done this on Ruins of Pompei at Deer Valley. Of course, the 2 feet of fresh on top of the bumps made it a lot easier, but the principle is the same: only use extension/absorption as a brake. The faster you go, the less braking is needed. So yes, at the point you're flying along at the mercy of gravity, it's actually pretty easy. Obviously, landing on a pillow of snow provides a lot more braking than landing on a block of ice, but the principle is the same.

I've been trying to come up with a "running down a flight of stairs" drill that exemplifies the concept AND has enough safety procotol to not kill people. I'm not there yet, but maybe a story will suffice for now. When I was in college (i.e. reckless and impatient) and living on the fourth floor of a dorm with no elevators, I used to "fly" up and down the steps. I started taking two at a time, then running, then 3 a time, then running 3 and so on. What I discovered is that if you can set your foot speed to just slightly slower than your "rate of fall", you can easily make a controlled decent at a very high rate of speed. The hard part is making accurate foot steps (to step on a step instead of between them). Controlling speed (e.g. running out of steps at the bottom) works out to be pretty easy. The key point here is to avoid sudden and large speed changes. You can try out this principle a little bit by comparing walking down a flight of steps normally vs putting both feet on each step. Do it at the same speed and compare the volume of the sound made by your footsteps. Do not try running down steps without at least having decently wide steps and a good handrail. I am not recommending that anyone try running down steps.

Whether you're carving or "swivelling", this principle works great in the bumps. It's been my experience that the general public can more easily develop confidence in the moguls through carving their turns. But it's also been my experience that it is possible to "bash" down the steepest mogul runs. While bashing provides far more stress relief, in my "old" age I've grown appreciation of the comfort and safety of carving my turns through the bumps.
post #14 of 183
Joey Cordeau, wow! Thought I'd never hear that name again. a good friend of mine who taught me all I know about moguls used to rave about Joey Cordeau. Actually used to ski some with him and against him around Colorado in the late 70's. Small world.

I'm guessing that he's actually changed the way he now skis moguls from the way he used to. There's no doubt it's different from his old days on narrow waisted 195's and 200's slamming bumps in the falline using pivot moves and a two footed platform alot of pushing the tips and hammering the troughs.

So now he's carving them?
post #15 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I can think of one system that has been teaching carved turns in bumps since shaped skis were introduced.
post #16 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
I've seen racers rip the bumps using carving movements and I'm sure there are other coaches out there that teach bumps with a focus on carving rather than twisting a ski around. I can think of one system that has been teaching carved turns in bumps since shaped skis were introduced.
It's alright Max.

You can tell us what that system is.:
post #17 of 183
AANNNDDDD......their OFF!!!!!!!







:
post #18 of 183
I would like to see the video too. I used to carve big soft ungroomed (no winch cat) bumps on what would be considered by most to be steep slopes, and also smaller say 3 to 5 feet in height very icy bumps, but it always left me out of breath with legs burning at the bottom. I also would classify it as being hard on a body from a physical standpoint, but then again I suck at moguls. In the last couple of years, I've been experimenting with a non-carved, slow-speed approach in the bumps. This approach seems easier to me at the moment, but I still suck at moguls.
post #19 of 183
is any of the SVMM in this video?

http://www.weekendwarriorsguide.com/video.htm
post #20 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by shipps View Post
Med,
Appreciate the guidance on EpicSki.com protocol. I am new to the site and can use all the help you send my way. Briefly, SVMM is a four part approach to mogul skiing. 1. Maintain Athletic stance over skis. 2. Learn through specific drills to place the ski on edge throughout turns. 3. Apply downward pressure on the front of the skis through the turn (more than most people think). Go into turn 60/40, on edges, and come out 50/50. 4. Use quick rocker motion, from front to back of boot cuff and back to front during the turn transition, in conjunction with rebound off loaded ski to intiate the next turn (includes hip projection as needed). We believe in using exactly the same carved short swing turn from the groomers, when in the bumps. We ski the sides, mostly over the tops (cross rut) and high in the ruts. One of our goals is to look for the flat stops or the white smooth areas in moguls and ski there. We also keep our arms wide apart, with elbows held high and palms facing each other (no turkey on a tray arm position for us). This technique works great on real mogul runs, including the steep ones. As soon as I can I will post a video example for everyone. You will be able to see that using this method you can create very quick carved turns in the moguls. I should have a short video put together in the next week or so. Thanks for responding.
This is what bump skiing is. It's a more traditional method. This is how I ski the bumps, I think, although I do mix it up a little. I prefer a more neutral weighting front to back. If you get a chance, read the thread about forward pressure and turning into the hill - Bob Barnes. Also see his 'shadow man' animated guy in the bumps - a and e.

60/40 doesn't work for me, I tend to be too hard on the edge. I have noticed on Epic that many can't relate to carving in the bumps. It's one of the great sensations of our sport.

Dan DiPro's method is totally different, but it works and I use it for certain situations. It's better for speed. The more traditional method is a must for me on steep icy terrain where precision is needed. That is probably not the case for Dan at his level.

I hope you can get that video up. This could be a great discussion.
post #21 of 183
This birngs to mind my 2004 but newly bumped thread "people think they carve but they dont". Im still trying to apply the word carving to arched turns running along the ski edges in a rr-track manner without any skidding properties involved (original definition of carving) but not everyone shares that definition. SVMM is to my understanding based on a definition of carving where the skis skid but in a controlled and even manner. The reason I dont like this definition is that in that case Im never skidding. Insted of having the two words skidding and carving we now have carving and arching. IMHO there is no additional value to the new definitions. Someone here mentioned the word scarving and that word can be properly used to define a turn that is carved but drifted into skidding while maintaining a round turn shape.

Max mentioned annother skiing system where bumps have been carved since carving skis came out on the market but that system defines carving according to my dissliked definition of carving where skis are skidded. There is offcourse nothing wrong with the bump skiing only a matter of definitions. A good path to proper bump skiing is double relese drill - bullet proof short turns - bump skiing. It would be nice to see the video of this SVMM technique because Im positive it still looks like good traditional high level bump skiing; quick legg action, snow spraying, effective and harmonic use of bumps and fall line skiing.

However, if you want to see what carving in bumps looks like check out my carving in bumps 2005 videoclip in the ref thread. The reason its hard to carve in bumps is that if you carve (ski r=10m) you have a turn radius much much greater than regular bumps allow and that you cannot adjust your skis to the terrain quick enough to keep up with anykind of rhythm. In bumps you need to turn according to the bumps, when you carve (arch) you turn according to your skis turn radius +/- whatever you indirectly can do with your body parts to eather reduce (easier) turn radius or increase (harder) turn radius.
post #22 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post
I have noticed on Epic that many can't relate to carving in the bumps. It's one of the great sensations of our sport.
You are right, its one of the great sensations of our sport but its very very difficult and demanding so not everyone can do it. Note also that many cannot carve and therefore cannot carve in bumps eather. Read the speed controll in bumps thread and you will see that effective speed controll in bumps is limited to turning uphill and that is hardly a useful technique to rely on in bumps.
post #23 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiDork View Post
is any of the SVMM in this video?

http://www.weekendwarriorsguide.com/video.htm
Only one short one second clip of carving in that video. Great skiing thoug....
post #24 of 183
Shipps, what do you see as the technique being used in this video:

post #25 of 183
I kind of prefer this method,

http://www.lulu.com/items/volume_41/...view_Aug07.pdf



ps- a skid is a skid is a skid.... intended or not........
post #26 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
Shipps, what do you see as the technique being used in this video:

I see skidding..... and some pritty nice skiing.
post #27 of 183
he's carving and yes he is skidding too. The idea of carving in the bumps should not imply a fully carved turn.
post #28 of 183
I refer my honourable friends to the answer I gave two months ago:
http://forums.epicski.com/showpost.p...8&postcount=16
tdk6 is right. It doesn't really matter how many four-letter acronyms you throw together and call a "system"; when doing short zipperline turns in moguls it is not possible to carve, in the way that most people understand the term.
post #29 of 183
Thanks MB for the backup.

Here is what carving in the moguls look like:
http://ski.topeverything.com/default...nt&ID=435FD73A

Note, easy soft bumps.... head iSL RD 166....
post #30 of 183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog View Post
ps- a skid is a skid is a skid.... intended or not........
How do you separate the good skid from the bad skid?
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