Originally Posted by Ghost
I suck at moguls, but have decided to learn.
Right now, what strikes me in my atempt to learn how to ski moguls is that I don't have time to bring my skis from across the hill in one direction to across the hill in the other direction before it's too late and the moguls is passed. I have understood for a while that speed control is essential and that mogul skiing is a SLOW activity. I at first tried to pivot skis, but that hurts my knee (old karate injury). Tipping excessively adds speed control and I am able to control speed. However I find myself unable to resist the temptation to immidiately turn down the zipper trough line, which gives me speed, and I find myself falling into the old carving habbit.
I remember Piere talking about "buldozer turns" somewhere. Perhaps this is a way to add speed control without having to turn the skis quite as far out of the fall line?
Lars - are you listening? This is a great example of why there is no "most important thing" for the bumps.
Ghost - congratulations on making the commitment to learn the bumps. My first question is "Are you crazy?" Although there are several "knee friendlier" techniques that can be used for mogul skiing, simply entering moguls is increasing the risk of aggravating an old injury. We need to explore this issue more to determine whether the objective is unrealistic, if there are mitigating actions we can take (e.g. wearing a neoprene or structural brace), or if technique selection is sufficient.
Mogul skiing does not have to be a slow activity. Although speed control is essential, the emphasis is on the word control. Although there are few sane ways to ski moguls at a fast speed, there are many different ways to ski moguls with either fast movements or slow movements. But be advised that even slow movements can stress your knees. No matter how you ski moguls, speed control is going to come from one or more of four possible sources: edge engagement, turn shape, extension/absorption or crashing. That last option may seem funny, but after personally watching a neophyte mogul skier (not my student) attempt to control speed by sitting back (and ending up splitting his boot in half and undoubtedly needing a new ACL), the importance of bailing early and correctly can not be overemphasized.There are 3 basic choices of line types in mogul skiing: skiing the tops, skiing the ruts or skiing across the ruts. When you start mixing and matching line choices with speed control choices you end up with thousands of options for how to ski moguls.
Two options you may want to experiment with are:
1) Mogul traverses
2) Top carves
Especially in irregularly shaped moguls, there usually is a relatively flat line that be found on an angle through the field. At the line weaves a little, stay on it with mini turns. When the line closes out into a rut, take the uphill exit. As you get more comfortable you can dip out of the line when you find easier bumps to take. If not, this approach will get you traversing back and forth through the bumps so at least you;re doing them.
The tops of the bumps generally have soft snow. If you can get your feet up near the top so that the tips and tails of the skis are in the air, then it's relatively easy to carve the portion of the ski that's underfoot around the top of a bump. If you approach the bump from one side, carve almost a 180 around the top and exit that bump going the opposite way, you'll be in agood shape to cross the rut and attack the next bump from the side and repeat.
Either one of these techniques can be done at very slow speeds and are relatively knee friendly. They both can be used as a stepping stone to more athletic mogul techniques.