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Good Skier Learn Bumps in One Day? - Page 2

post #31 of 42

You'll Almost Certainly Benefit from the Lesson

I'll echo what several other people have said.

When I was at a point in my skiing development similar to what you have described, I splurged on a private lesson with the intention of learning to ski bumps. After a few turns in a moderately sized mogul field, the instructor suggested we head out to the groomed. I was a little bummed at first, but I ended up learning and improving more in one day than I typically did in an entire season. It was truly a breakthrough day.

Did I learn how to ski bumps in that lesson? Absolutely not. But I drastically improved my skills such that I was later able to learn and teach myself.

None of us have seen you ski, but if you're at any point where you feel comfortable in some terrain and overwhelmed in other terrain, you'll almost certainly benefit from the lesson, wherever it may take you...
post #32 of 42
Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
My biggest problem with putting my groomed technique into any part of my bump technique (not that i even have one) is controlling my speed.
Some good info that might be of interest:





post #33 of 42
The last link is to backpedaling. It's advanced. But those concepts you can take to the mountain in the back of your head and identify them in bump skiers. That thread was really good stuff.
post #34 of 42
Roundturn and Rio have some very good advice. Here's my take---

Don't even try to pick a line. Be ready to turn before your skis reach the fall line from your last turn. Have your outside arm out and ready to turn on the next bump that looks good to you. Don't let your vision focus on the bump you're on...see it in your peripheral vision. Look a bump or two ahead.

These things kill anyone in bumps---
1) Getting back on your heels.
2) Leaning back toward the hill.
3) Rotation where your downhill arm wraps around you toward the hill.

What to do---
1) As you approach the crest of the bump below you, learn to time a very deep absorption--deep flex of the knees--to absorb the shock as you land on that crest.
2) As you're sliding off the crest pull both feet strongly back behind you. This keeps your ski tips in contact with the snow as you go down the face (back, whatever) of the bump. If your tips aren't on the snow, you have no control.
3) Extend your outside leg and carve across the face of the bump. Release the edges a bit to let the skis brush across the snow if you wish.
4) Have you outside arm ready for the next pole plant before your skis reach the fall line. Never let your outside arm go past the fall line.
5) Keep your outside arm very low and back.
6) Keep your inside arm very high and very forward with your body tilted downhill.
7) Keep your zipper facing down the hill.
8) Your outside leg is extended, feet close together, inside leg flexed as you approach the point you wish to turn, now deeply flex and turn, and start the process on the next bump.
post #35 of 42
Rio: Its a humbling experience for people that think they are good skiers to take them to a steep groomer and see how many short turns they can do before they get going too fast or sitting too far back or doing SG turns.

I happen to be one of those skiers who can link short turns on steep groomers with no problems. I can also handle blue bumps. Yet I have a ton of trouble in steep bumps.

Unfortunately my biggest problem is lack practice. Last winter we had some pathetic man-made bumps for about 1.5 months and much of that time they were rock hard and unpleasant. I simply don't get enough time in the bumps to really get to a level that matches my groomed skiing. I find that very frustrating because I consider myself half a skier due to my poor bump performance.
post #36 of 42
Originally Posted by pattongb View Post
I consider myself a 'almost' expert. I can ski steeps, trees (on intermediate vertical), pretty much anything but steep bumps.

Ive just never been able to figure out the technique nor how to pick the proper line.

Being a good skier already, would I be able to pick those things up with one lesson from an advanced instructor??

If not how many do you think I would need? Im trying to plan ahead for my vacation next year and am thinking about how many lesson I might need.
As with most questions the answer depends on the information You've given and what you really want to accomplish. How steep is steep? How big are these bumps. How do you want to ski them? (Fall line? Slow line? Fast? Cruise? Wander in the field? all of the above?) Best to tell me what you already know and are you working on some pre-conceived notions. Bumps are no different than the groomed! If your turns are suspect on the groomed then they will be more suspect on the uneven terrain. That's all bumps are, uneven terrain. If you were walking down a hill in the summer time and you encounter a rock, how would you get over it or around it? You already know how to walk let your make a tactical decision on how to get you around the obstical. Uneven terrain requires tactics(you already told me you have technique). Tactical adjustments in whatever technique you already have. Watch some kid in a wedge maneuver big bumps. They just take what they have and adjust it to the situation. It's not HOW to turn, it's when and where. You already know how to turn, adjust for the terrain. If you don't already understand the concept of using the SHAPE of the turn to control your speed, then the uneven terrain will get you. Why can't we do it all the time? Simple, we get our of balance. When your out of balance the only thing that your brain says is "Hey, Don't fall down" and now your in recovery mode.
If your concentrating on flexsion and extension and all that technical stuff and not letting your body react naturally to what it is experiencing you will get locked up in the technique and forget to ski it.
Good eneven terrain skiers make it look easy because it is. They let what they know take them from turn to turn and keeep skiing. If they get out of balance in one spot or another, they move on to the next turn and get it back.
Control the speed by the shape of the turn and you will find yourself enjoying the uneven terrain like a mountain biker loves a rollercoaster hill!

That is where a good instructor can help. He/she can spot where your balance problelms and speed control errors are in your technique and give you exercises, drills to improve your stance and balance on uneven terrain. Almost all world cup skiers spend a portion of their training day working on stance and balance drills. It is the racer who can hold the fastest line on the course(read, stance and balanced at speed) that wins that day.

C ya
post #37 of 42
Originally Posted by Wrangler View Post
If you don't already understand the concept of using the SHAPE of the turn to control your speed, then the uneven terrain will get you.
Simple as that. Yup.
post #38 of 42
If you recognize up front that you will ultimately need more than one or two lessons, you could get a great introduction in one day from the right instructor.

I taught a mogul program with a club for some years that was a total of six days over successive weekends. The first day (or two, depending on the group) we didn't go near bumps. (For the early season session, there often weren't any bumps to be found anyways.) The first goal was just to get ready for bumps by reinforcing key mechanics (narrow stance, consistent pole plant, vertical movement) with SR turns on smooth terrain with a moderate pitch. We worked in bump-specific tactics as the program progressed.

At the end of six days, the skiers who came in as strong intermediates or better on groomed terrain had reasonable skill and comfort in the bumps. Several people came back for repeat sessions, and the added practice over the same progression left them finishing stronger and more comfortable each time.
post #39 of 42
I think you should plan on making bump skiing a season-long project. The previous posters have given some very good advice you should refer back to on an on-going basis during the season.

I found for myself, that there were two skills that I worked on that helped me the most.

First, absorption: as you come down into the trough from the previous bump, you need to kill most of the developing momentum to control your speed, so you have to flex your hips, knees and ankles to absorb this momentum so that when you pivot your skiis to turn on the next bump, your speed is reduced to almost zero. Do this SLOWLY, on easy bumps until you get the feeling for absorption. You should develop enough control doing this to be able to come to a dead stop on any bump.

Second, upper and lower body separation: in order to control your speed, your skis have to be pivoting back and forth across the fall line with each bump and your upper body should be facing pretty much downhill with relatively little movement. This will allow to to put on more edge pressure after each pivot which will help you to absorb the momentum.

Again, do all this slowly, on easy terrain. This will reduce the intimidation factor of a bump run and reduce your risk of injury and allow you to train more safely for longer periods of time. This will also enable you to build up the quad muscles in your thighs, so your legs can go up and down like shock absorbers on a car.

As well, if you have them, use softer skis for this training. As your skills develop, you will probably come to love bump skiing with its extra demands and challenges. The payoff is that once you can do bumps well, you can do pretty much anything.
post #40 of 42
Plenty of advice so far and although I haven't read through each response there is one very critical bit of information missing from what I have read.

And that is skiing the bumps requires great physical strength and mobility. By this I mean a strong solid core and legs. If you don't possess these two attributes then you best get in shape before tackling the bumps because it'll be discouraging and disheartening.

Skiing bumps requires a high level of dynamic range of motion from standing tall to crouching down into a low squat position repeated continuously and rapidly all the while maintaing balance and control.
Next time you're at the gym perform jump squats. Similar to a regular squat but you're exploding up as quick as possible (feet leave the ground) and returning back down (knees are at 90°) to the starting squat position slowly. This is by far the best excersise for simulating bump skiing. What you're working on is the eccentric phase (down phase) to strengthing your quads and hamstrings.

Another very important aspect of skiing the bumps is looking as far forward as possible. I can not emphasize this enough. If you do this successfully you can adapt your speed and line while in motion. After all, skiing in the bumps is all about being able to adapt to terrain change rapidly.

Finally, skiing the bumps requires a certain mentality. You need to be aggressive, passive skiers will find it extremely difficult. By aggressive I mean confident in your abilities and, attacking the bumps with power and agility.
post #41 of 42
I was reading through this thread just because...

I noticed a few interesting comments from the OP (like the "almost expert" line at the beginning, which I found kind of humorous, but that's besides the point).

The one line that stood out from the OP in one of the subsequent replies was "but its also embarassing," in reference to bailing out of the moguls.

I would think that putting embarassment and self-consciousness aside would be the first step one needs to overcome in order to have the proper mindset to attack the bumps.

While I readily admit to succumbing to embarassment, I also am able to push that out of my mind if trying to learn something new. It's easy to ride the side of a mogul run, staying out of the way of the zipper rippers. It's also easy to find the out-of-the way mogul runs away from the lifts where you can practise your burgeoning steez without prying eyes. Plus I don't know how it is at your resorts, but in Cali there's always a few bump runs that have the rippers on them but also seem to suck beginners into their vortex. What this means is that while there's always guaranteed to be some "experts" ripping the bumps, there's going to be equal amounts of novices who saw the experts and said to themselves "I can do that." What this means is that you're always going to have somebody better than you on the run and always somebody less skilled.

You just got to get in your own zone and go for it. If somebody laughs at you, who cares. They're not worth the trouble.
post #42 of 42
In some sense, almost everyone learns to ski moguls in one day.
One day, it clicks and starts working.
(Of course, you first have to invest a lot of days of failing to learn to ski moguls.)
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