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so good in powder/steep groomers..total hack in moguls

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
i have been skiing for a long time and have found out the hardway usually in fixing my form... i am at a point where i am conquering powder backcountry and getting completely horizontal bombing steep groomed runs with no skidding just completely biting my edge in...so i wonder why i still suck so much at moguls. i think alot of it may have to do with agility and of course form. now i dont even enjoy skiing the bumps (rather go fast) but as someone who wants to be a well rounded skier it is important i work on them. i am strong physically fit and can ski with a power or finesse style. maybe there is a conceptual disconnection on how i am supposed to ski bumps...i know the line you are supposed to take is if someone dripped a paint can from above but i always find myself going around it or being to far behind. is there a sort of hop involved? wow this post went on alot longer than i intended.....anyway thanks for the free advice
post #2 of 23

Total hack advice

First I'd like to say that skiing around the bumps is not the 'wrong' way to do it. There are many tactics that can be employed when skiing bumps and I suppose they all have their upside and their downside, but I prefer to keep 'right' and 'wrong' out of it.

If your goal is to ski straight down the fall line then you want to ski the zipper line and there is plenty of useful info to be found on that here and elsewhere. First I'd say to take that feeling of being horizontal on the steeps and put it into your bump skiing. For zipper line skiing you want to be forward in your boots. No further back than perpendicular to the grade of the slope.

Search this forum for 'backward bicycle'. Good stuff there.

Check out BushMogulMaster's site for good info.

Check out Chuck Martin's site for more good info. Be sure to follow the terms and vocabulary link at the bottom of that page.

Good luck, have fun and no need to hop!


P.S. So you're feeling pretty good about your skiing on 'the flats' but want to gain enough skill in the bumps to negotiate them with a modicum of grace as you make your way to the next powder stash or cornice to drop? Ha That's where I started! Be careful, it's a slippery slope!
post #3 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpfreaq View Post
P.S. So you're feeling pretty good about your skiing on 'the flats' but want to gain enough skill in the bumps to negotiate them with a modicum of grace as you make your way to the next powder stash or cornice to drop? Ha That's where I started! Be careful, it's a slippery slope!
Well said. I am a good, not great bump skier. However, once you get some confidence in the bumps, it makes skiing smooth terrain seem lame, IMHO.

AM.
post #4 of 23
Bingers,

The answer in your post.

Quote:
i am at a point where i am conquering powder backcountry and getting completely horizontal bombing steep groomed runs with no skidding just completely biting my edge in.
Bump skiing requires well balanced skiing over your skis. Getting completely horizontal and completely biting your edge takes too much muscular activity to absorb and extend the legs that is required in bump skiing. You are working too much against the skis.

To ski bumps more effectively, you need to stay more over the ski so you can make quick direction changes, pivot and skidding (slipping) movements and absorption/extension movements to keep your skis in contact with the snow.

Work on low edge skiing where you are really balanced over the skis and can easily flatten them to make quick edge changes. From there you can add more shape to the turns by guiding both ski tips through the turn.

My best advice is to take a series of bump lessons from a qualified instructor.

RW
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingers View Post
i am at a point where i am conquering powder backcountry and getting completely horizontal bombing steep groomed runs with no skidding just completely biting my edge in...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post
Bingers,

Bump skiing requires well balanced skiing over your skis.
Agreed. I was thinking of horizontal as in... if you're skiing a pitch that is uncomfortably steep but you're staying fore balanced it feels like you're nearly horizontal to the plane of gravity.

It dawned on my last night that Bingers probably meant horizontal to the plane of the slope during high edge angle turns.
post #6 of 23
i know how to put my skis back on in powder after a
Does that count for technique?
post #7 of 23
echoing what other have said....

flatter edges angle and shorter turns are a start.

next some from of a retraction turn is a huge help as well.

lastly there is no right or wrong way to ski bumps when we are talking about line. Sometimes one line is a clear advantage than another.

video of you skiing short turns or mogul would be huge to help you though. trying to coach someone over the internet with out that is like fixing a car while you watch tv.
post #8 of 23
upper and lower body seperation .....
post #9 of 23
Don't do any of these things--
1--Get your weight back on your heels
2--Wrap your outside arm around toward the hill
3--Be too straight & tall

Do--
1--Pull both feet back behind you as you ski over the crest. Keep the tips of your skis engaged on the snow on the downslope of the bump. If the tip edges aren't working the snow, you have no control. You can smear/slip/steer with control as long as the tip edges are working the snow and you aren't just pushing your heels out.

2--Keep your inside hand/arm/shoulder high and forward. Keep your outside hand/arm/shoulder way low and way back. Have your pole ready to plant before you skis reach the fall line (so you can plant & turn wherever looks good to you) and never bring our outside arm past the fall line.

3--Use lots of angulation...ankles/knees/hips way back toward the inside of the turn and shoulders & head way out as Ron White said. Reach way down the hill with your outside hand & pole while holding it back behind the fall line.

4--Absorb the bumps as Bushwacker said. When your feet reach the up slope of the bump, pull your knees way up to your chest, pull your feet behind you, and extend in balance on the downside of the bump as you make your turn.
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
thread has evolved wonderfully into the concept of bumps where i was especially lacking. like many of you has said balance is a key issue but i just get thrown off by moguls we shall if my extra core workouts help. when i said horizontal over groomers i meant really stretching out my edges and having my shoulder an inch from the ground (or two!) not falling back....essentally charging it well.
post #11 of 23

my .02

Some of the best and easiest advice I had gotten last year on skiing bumps was to keep your head up. Try looking a few bumps ahead of where you are skiing. Your brain has the ability to remember the line even though you aren't "thinking" about where you're going. As you are comfortable looking 2-3 bumps ahead, go to 4-5 and so on. The best bumpers are looking way down the fall line. By doing this, you've already seen the line you want to take and the turns you want to make. That way the next turn doesn't suprise you and throw you off your line. Good luck and I'm willing to bet once you get the hang of it you'll love bumps. They are fun as hell to ski and make the rest of the mt. more enjoyable as well.
post #12 of 23
Maybe you're realizing it, but charging hard/fast on a groomer doesn't mean much when skiing bumps. The challenge of skiing bumps is being able to control speed and direction with many short, slow turns -- which is almost the opposite of carving long, fast turns. Mogul skiing is almost like an art of controlled skid turns, pivots, and body motions. As a start, try your hardest to ski down a groomer going as slow as possible by making a zillion short, mogul sized skid turns. Start on a green/blue trail and advance to steeper and steeper slopes. Once you master that, then you're ready for the next step. It sounds silly, but it really can be a challenge to ski slowly and in control on the steeps.
post #13 of 23
Carving and powder are all about lateral balance. Moguls are all about fore-aft balance, pressure management and tactics. Moguls are also way easier than bottomless powder, but the skills are different.
You need to develop good flexion and extension to manage pressure in the bumps, and you need to find a line you can work with the skills that you have. Often the easiest line is right over the tops from one to another, skiing around the troughs. The rookie mistake is skiing around the bumps, which only keeps you in the ruts.

BK
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingers View Post
maybe there is a conceptual disconnection on how i am supposed to ski bumps...
I'm not an instructor but can ski moguls as easily as any other pitch.

IMO, the key to moguls is to keep your speed down to a point where you're always in control. That speed is different for everyone depending on ability and condition.

Get on a mogul run, face straight down the fall line, and try to make as many quick turns as you can regardless of where you are in relation to a mogul. Good mogul skiers don't "pick a line". Rather they just turn constantly and their body reacts to the uneven surface.

Another important thing is to stay out of the backseat. The moguls will naturally try to push ski tips up into the air. If you're in the backseat even slightly that will cause mediocre mogul skiers big problems. Your tips must stay on the snow all the time. If they are in the air at all, you're in the backseat.

The simple way I make sure I'm forward is by making sure I always have some forward pressure into my boots and that my outside knee is slightly behind the other knee.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingers View Post
when i said horizontal over groomers i meant really stretching out my edges and having my shoulder an inch from the ground (or two!) not falling back....essentally charging it well.
This really needs a picture!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219 View Post
The challenge of skiing bumps is being able to control speed and direction with many short, slow turns -- which is almost the opposite of carving long, fast turns. Mogul skiing is almost like an art of controlled skid turns, pivots, and body motions. As a start, try your hardest to ski down a groomer going as slow as possible by making a zillion short, mogul sized skid turns. Start on a green/blue trail and advance to steeper and steeper slopes. Once you master that, then you're ready for the next step. It sounds silly, but it really can be a challenge to ski slowly and in control on the steeps.
What he said. Learn the pivot slip. Make those zillion turns slowly, on flat skis. Try to make them so they're not even turns. Good pivot slips are more difficult than they seem.

Then take your pivot slip into some mellow bumps. Flatten your skis some more. Remember, the sides and downhill face of a bump have enough slope so that you will tend to dig in your edges - you will tend to have a high edge angle relative to the side or face of the bump. A highly edged ski goes forward, not sideways, and it does not slow down unless it's pointed uphill.

Load the tips of your skis a bit. Not too much - you don't want shin bang and you don't want to go over the handlebars. Just keep them on the snow. You'll find keeping the tips on the snow helps pull them around the turn, too.

You can ski the bumps on your tails, but it's a lot harder and requires more rotational effort.

It's possible to carve at least some bumps, but speeds are higher and absorption-extension must be very active. Few people learn to ski bumps in a carve. Still, the fundamentals are the same. Release as if you're carving, tip to the new edges (but not so much that you prevent the skid), and allow the bump to pull you around and back across the fall line.

Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview View Post
IMO, the key to moguls is to keep your speed down to a point where you're always in control. That speed is different for everyone depending on ability and condition.
Keep the speed in your comfort zone. It's hard to learn anything new when you're outside of it. There will be plenty of time to push the envelope later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by breckview View Post
Get on a mogul run, face straight down the fall line, and try to make as many quick turns as you can regardless of where you are in relation to a mogul. Good mogul skiers don't "pick a line". Rather they just turn constantly and their body reacts to the uneven surface.
Remember the pivot slip. Let your skis go nearly flat. See how slowly you can ski those bumps. If the fall line is too fast, find a flatter run, or chose a slower line that's not straight down.

Breckview is right, though. You don't have to "shop" for turns. Good bumpers do tend to ski consistent lines (and a run they've been using can get pretty harsh as a result), but they're perfectly capable of turning anywhere, changing it up. You, too, can initiate a turn almost anywhere, as long as you're in balance and moving downhill, rather than sitting back or leaning up the hill.

By the way, the zipper line tends to be a fast line on most bump runs, and if it's been chewed up, it can be pretty brutal. You'll get there in good time, but start out by turning elsewhere on the bumps - over the top, against the side, etc. Experiment. See how slow you can go.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bingers View Post
when i said horizontal over groomers i meant really stretching out my edges and having my shoulder an inch from the ground (or two!) not falling back....essentially charging it well.
Exactly the opposite of what you need to do in bumps. As Ron White said, you need to be over your skis with your head, shoulders, and outside arm downhill of the skis. Learn angulation and counter.



Picture Rocca in a similar position but skiing more slowly so his legs are less tilted toward the hill, and his shoulders are over his skis. That would be angulation for bumps. In addition, for bumps, he'd need to be facing downhill with his hips and shoulders all the time with his pole never around past the fall line. The outside pole needs to be much lower in bumps...not up to block a gate pole.

As said above, look two turns ahead. Pick the route that looks best to you. Don't try for a "line" until you're so good that you can ski that line and recover your balance any time you need to. Don't look at the turn you're on, except with your peripheral vision. Look at the next turn you'll want to make.
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhcooley View Post
Keep the speed in your comfort zone. It's hard to learn anything new when you're outside of it. There will be plenty of time to push the envelope later.
Absolutely, keep speed down. I've found that people trying to learn moguls "shop" for turns as you put it. They wait to turn in the next trough and during that delay, their speed gets up. Any time you're not turning, your speed will be increasing which makes the next turn more difficult. Even if you feel off balance, or the terrain isn't ideal, make the next turn anyway. Learn to turn anywhere and recover from being off balance. Eventually (lots of practice), the moguls won't knock you off balance and speed will come naturally.

Quote:
See how slow you can go.
Yes.
post #18 of 23
Breckview, can you recommend a run or two at Breck that would be good for an intermediate to try to learn the bumps? Tx!
post #19 of 23
Quote:
What he said. Learn the pivot slip. Make those zillion turns slowly, on flat skis. Try to make them so they're not even turns. Good pivot slips are more difficult than they seem.

Then take your pivot slip into some mellow bumps. Flatten your skis some more. Remember, the sides and downhill face of a bump have enough slope so that you will tend to dig in your edges - you will tend to have a high edge angle relative to the side or face of the bump. A highly edged ski goes forward, not sideways, and it does not slow down unless it's pointed uphill.

Load the tips of your skis a bit. Not too much - you don't want shin bang and you don't want to go over the handlebars. Just keep them on the snow. You'll find keeping the tips on the snow helps pull them around the turn, too.

You can ski the bumps on your tails, but it's a lot harder and requires more rotational effort.

It's possible to carve at least some bumps, but speeds are higher and absorption-extension must be very active. Few people learn to ski bumps in a carve. Still, the fundamentals are the same. Release as if you're carving, tip to the new edges (but not so much that you prevent the skid), and allow the bump to pull you around and back across the fall line.
+1
This is true on a snowboard too. I must be the queen of snowboard pivot slips by now.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarCube View Post
Breckview, can you recommend a run or two at Breck that would be good for an intermediate to try to learn the bumps? Tx!
I think Duke's (peak 8) is probably the best. It's not steep, the snow is usually very soft, and the moguls are usually well formed. And it's easy to lap on the Rocky Mountain chair.

Other easy bump runs are:
The Hollywood bumps on Crescendo (peak 8)
The C bumps on American under the C chair (peak 9).
Peerless usually has easy bumps (peak 9).

When you're ready for something a little steeper, ski under the lift on Crystal (peak 10) and then turn onto Grits which is a little steeper. Grits usually has very well formed bumps which are a little bigger but still a good place to practice.
post #21 of 23
Here are the "breakthrough" ideas that I found most helpful:

#1 - keep more of your weight on your uphill ski. IMHO, this the MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep in mind. If you don't believe me, try to hit a mogul at high speed with 100% of your weight on your downhill ski and see what happens.....

#2 skid, don't carve. The idea is that when you hit a mogul, it forces your skis into the air, making them weightless (maybe even a bit airborne). Once they are weightless, turn them. Once they hit the snow again, skid them (don't carve) down the mogul into the trough. If you are used to carving, this will feel like incredibly bad technique, but it works for moguls.

#3 - stuff those skis into the troughs. Don't be afraid of troughs. You should be skidding down the mogul, into the trough, and as you do that, you should be extending your legs with the goal of stuffing your skis into the bottom of the trough, with nearly full extension

#4 - learn to absorb moguls--this just takes practice

My 2 cents.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrzinwin View Post
Here are the "breakthrough" ideas that I found most helpful:

#1 - keep more of your weight on your uphill ski. IMHO, this the MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep in mind. If you don't believe me, try to hit a mogul at high speed with 100% of your weight on your downhill ski and see what happens.....
I'm sorry but that sounds like really bad advice. By doing so you're leaning into the hill allowing your skis to accelerate putting you in the backseat.

Quote:
#2 skid, don't carve. The idea is that when you hit a mogul, it forces your skis into the air, making them weightless (maybe even a bit airborne).
If your tips are in the air, you're in the backseat.

Quote:
skid them (don't carve) down the mogul into the trough.
Skidding down the backside of a mogul is a very defensive technique. Nothing really wrong with it I guess, except you'll get your skis too much across the fall line and get quite a jolt when your skis hit the trough. Rather than skidding down the backside, you're better off making another quick turn.
post #23 of 23
Bingers you don't say what your age is or your physical fitness. You also don't convey your idea of what mogul skiing should look like. There are many ways to ski moguls and the tactics can vary widely.

Is your idea to fly through the bumps like a pro or to ski through them like you are skiing between clouds?
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