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Moguls - Page 3

post #61 of 84
Originally Posted by Pierre View Post


The moguls in the video are very typical moguls anywhere. They are not widely spaced apart. I can ski very tight ice ball moguls just like that video.  Changing lines in the video is very intentional as I was trying to show the versatility of skiing this approach.  I would not have had to switch lines at all on that slope.


I don't doubt you ability to ski ice ball moguls, that way or any other way you choose.  I'm just saying that I'm not looking for a way to ski through a moguled run without skiing the zipper line.  I'm looking for how to learn to ski the zipper line gracefully with speed control.

post #62 of 84


Originally Posted by Lars View Post


For me, the breakthrough tip was to "Stand Tall" I had everything else going for me, look several bumps ahead, keep hands in front, light wrist pole flick touches instead of blocking plants, keeping my ski tips pointing down the hill instead of sideways. This was all good but I would only be able to ski 10 or 12 bumps without bailing out. I couldn't control my speed and would end up backseat.


Why? Because i was skiing crouched down, knees bent. By starting the run crouched down, I didn't have the leg extension to be able to absorb the bump and extend, pushing my tips over the backside allowing me to maintain edge control and slow my speed by absorbsion. (think of a shock absorber that is worn out) (every bump you hit bottoms out) The result? Backseat runnaway truckin having to bailout or crash.


By standing tall, I was able to use my knees to absorb, flex and extend, and push my tips over the top of the bump, controlling speed with my tips and edges, making as many turns as my physical endurance allowed. One stupid little thing I was doing wrong all those many days. One great little tip by a very good mogul skier who I just happened to meet and ski with one day.




Could you elaborate on the how of the bolded parts please?


post #63 of 84

I think the magic bullet is different for each person.  A magic bullet for me is along Josh's line of just ski.  When I am aggressive, I ski them better.  If I am timid, I get my skis sideways.  It is strange, because I love to ski fast, but in the moguls I have a tendancy to be timid.  It is mental, not physical.  One way I have found to overcome the mental aspect is to straightline through a small field. It helps me to program my mind to have confidence in my ability to ski any line through the bumps.

post #64 of 84
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post





Could you elaborate on the how of the bolded parts please?



Ghost, the shock absorber effect(knees coming up towards the chest, then pushing them back down) is key to speed control because it allows you to keep the front edges of your skis in contact with the snow. You are actually flexing from your ankles pushing your tips down the front of the mogul, and extending your legs as you stand tall again. You'll be using the edges of your skis to actually scarve the mogul, and control speed as you do.


Bob Barnes actually has a moving diagram of this somewhere, which shows a stick figure and the movement he makes as he skis moguls. It may help you picture it in your mind. There are some good videos both full speed and slow motion on mogulskiers,net. The slow motion views actually show you that even the WC skiers (other than their jumps) have their skis in contact with the snow all the time, and are using their entire edges.


Tip, if you are constantly getting your tails caught or hung up in the troughs, it's not because your skis are too long or they are the wrong kind. It's because you aren't making a conscious effort to push your tips down the frontside and extending. This is also the biggest reason people think a good mogul ski will help them ski moguls better. That's not true. If you can master this one thing, you will be able to have fun in the moguls on any ski you happen to bring to the Resort that day.

post #65 of 84



Without reading all of the posts.  My advise to skiers in icy bumps is don't try to edge.  That only gets the skier out of position over the skis.  Work on staying balanced over the skis.



post #66 of 84
Thread Starter 

One other thing to remember. WC bumpers want to ski moguls fast. In most competitions, speed is one quarter of their score. While turn composition is one half and jumps are one quarter. So, speed is something they are searching for.


Most of us however are not looking to ski a mogul field as fast as we can. Most of us are looking to get through them without embarassment and/or injury but look like we belong there while we are doing it. We can still use the same methods they use by slightly more tip angle away from the fall line which will create more of a skid/scarve effect scrubbing speed. Caution though, as this is a fine line which you will also find your tails hanging up, especially in deep bumps or bumps with alot of snow in them. And that's going to cause you problems.

post #67 of 84
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Ron White View Post




Without reading all of the posts.  My advise to skiers in icy bumps is don't try to edge.  That only gets the skier out of position over the skis.  Work on staying balanced over the skis.



I've found out Ron, that unless you are really, really good, nothing works good in icy bumps. Just getting through them any way you can is alright by me. I hear ya. I certainly don't seek out moguls when it's like that. Pierre maybe, but not me. I like his approach to moguls when it's icy.

post #68 of 84

Lars, I think you're misunderstanding the idea of trying to narrow down the scope down to a specific solution for a specific situation. The reason I think it's important is that so many people take a ski tip out of context. Specific advice for a specific situation is never appropriate outside of that original context. Here's some examples that come immediately to mind.

  • Keep the tips on the snow- this has led so many skiers to believe that they need to lever off the tips doing push to an edge set windshield wiper turns in the bumps. It's a valid speed control corrective move but not something we need or should strive to do all the time. Heck the shape of the bumps preclude being able to do this anyway. Another thing to consider is that if you are levered on the tips you lose some of the ability to absorb terrain variations (reduces your effective range of flexing and extending). Not exactly what you want to compromise while skiing in the bumps. Which led to the modification of the idea which you see in the advice to press the tips into the trough as you pass over the crown of the bump. That implies the tips are off the snow which is in direct conflict with the original idea of keeping the tips on the snow. Never-mind that it isn't possible to keep them there in the first place, these skiers think they're making movement errors because the tips came off the snow. They focus on having made errors and they stop focussing on making the next turn. Talk about confusing! And all because they read, or heard that the tips should stay on the snow. (They ignore the "as much as possible part of that advice")
  • Extend more-The original concept behind this advice is quite simple, you have more control when the skis are on the snow, so extending into the trough keeps the skis in contact with the snow. I can't tell you how many people you will see launching off the top of the bumps because in their interpretation extending only happens at the edge change. Forcing them to try to land on exactly the right edge as the top of the next bump comes at them very quickly. Five turns and they're blowing up because they keep launching off every bump. Worse yet is the skier who extends back up the hill and ends up levered back. Which results in them being edge locked on the tails of their fancy new ultra shaped skis. No release is possible and blammo they ski out of their line, or worse they blow out their ACL.  
  • Keep the head level like you're skiing in a tunnel- Many skiers mistake this for using a low squatting stance, when all that was intended was to stop them from popping up off the top of the bumps. They end up incapable of absorbing the terrain and their stance slowly migrates aft. Putting them exactly into the previously mentioned position that will blow out their ACL.
  •  A quiet upper body facing downhill and quiet hands- Statue like posture and a total lack of participation in balancing activities are the most common result of this tip. Not to mention the corrective rotary movement involved in turning the shoulders downhill because they forgot to keep them facing downhill through the end of the turn. The shift in focus away from the legs turning causes them to lock up and just like a statue they eventually just topple over.
  • Speak in absolutes- Hard fast rules that I can wrap my mind around that will produce great result all the time. That's what I want. Nevermind the fact that they don't exist in this or any other sport, I want concrete!  I just want cookie cutter turn production moves that work everywhere. IMO that is the most absurd mental attitude when we are talking about skiing extremely variable terrain like moguls. Variable appication of our fundamental skills is the key to better performance, not some arbitrary universal tip I read here at Epic.



Which bring me to the best adice I can give you and everyone else looking to improve their performance level. Be willing to adjust and modify your technique to match the terrain. Forget the idea of a one size fits all maneuver. Hanging onto habitual movements and misleading mental constraints are the most common causes of problems in a skier's performance. It really doesn't matter where you ski, stay open to the idea of versatility and expanding your ability to adjust and vary your technique. That comes as close to a universal truth as we can get, the rest is IMO just a foolish pursuit of something that doesn't exist. Maybe now you can understand and accept my unwillingness to participate in offering universal advice.


BTW I find it offensive to be accused of not sharing advice because I am not getting paid for it. I've helped more than a few Bears over the years and I'm not alone in having done so. Look at all the hundreds of pros who post ideas and advice here without any expectation of pay. Compare that to everyone else here who in their professional capacity do not give anything away to anyone yet demand something for nothing here at Epic.

Edited by justanotherskipro - 2/18/2009 at 05:06 pm

Edited by justanotherskipro - 2/18/2009 at 05:31 pm
post #69 of 84
Thread Starter 

That's a good post that basically spills over into every aspect of ski instruction, no matter if it's mogul skiing or carving etc. I don't think i'm misunderstanding anything here or trying to create a miracle solution to anyone's skiing inefficiencies. Just repeating a few ideas that helped me years ago in my persuit of skiing moguls.


The real objection here and all of the arguments are from a few level 3 certs that object to anyone of lesser credentials trying to help out a few people who have like interests. That's the real problem here. And one of the main reasons all the years we've been unsuccessful maintaining a peaceful enviornment in these instruction forums.


Dispute my facts and opinions if you want. I have no problem with that. But don't dispute my right to or my ability to answer a question or give an opinion of  subject matter here or anywhere else. My original question was jumped on and objected to right away. Even thoughsome pros felt it was worth discussion and answered with good tips, it was deemed unworthy by a few who have continuely tried to undermine the whole outcome.


Have I been defensive? Darn right I have. I've probably spewed too much but you guys have solidified my opinion of many ski Instructors. Your egos are much bigger than your brains and you're legends in your own minds.

post #70 of 84

It's like someone said - bump fields are all different. 


One of the issues for me is - many times the average ski making the bump is shorter than mine.  So it's like you're not in tune with the frequency.


The softish bumps out west are great.  Ice bumps are just stupid.  I skied a bunch of them - kind of like skiing on cueballs - last week at Ragged.  Got down it, but not the surface I like to ski.  It was more like (on successive runs) - let me see if this trail sucks, OK yep that did , well maybe it's better over here.  Umm nope, one more maybe on this side of the hill - nah that sucked too.  But I skied em all the way, just one of those things.


But anyway, my philosophy is to be able to do it that makes me a better skier.  But I don't have a desire to only ski ice bumps.  Softer snow is so much more inviting ;)


The easiest bumps IMO are in spring.  We had those last week too.  That's New England for ya and one reason I do think our skiers are better for it.  We have truly variable conditions one week to another or even one day to the next.


But this doesn't address the guy who wants to ski zipper constantly....

post #71 of 84

Wow what a great thread.


I agree with Lars and justanotherskipro...


The best advise I got for skiing the zipper was standing up at the top of the mogul, which helps your tips fall down on the backside of the mogul - once that happens, you can slow yourself down by turning on the backside.  Of course it is real easy when the moguls are all positioned nicely.  I think a big part of mogul skiing is finding your line.  If you cant pick your line, or are too focused on the mogul you are going to hit, you will not be a great mogul skier IMO.


I used to just absorb the mogul, extend and then absorb the next mogul doing the zipper line, but depending on the steepness and length of the mogul field, I would pick up more and more speed(eventually leading to a bailout, or my ski popping off from the sheer impact of hitting another mogul despite cranking my DIN setting up higher and higher- I realized I was doing something wront).  Using the other method(which isnt easy to learn at first since you wont feel comfortable "standing" up at the top of the mogul) with some practice I have lately been able to zipper down all single black and almost every double black I have skied out west. 


Again, picking your line and figuring out your next couple of turns, NOT leaning back, going over and absorbing the top third of the mogul and then extending(keeping your skis on the mogul so you dont catch air), turning on the backside to slow yourself down, and confidence will greatly improve your mogul skiing.  Watching someone that does it the way you want to do it will help you out and of course a lesson (which I took) will help you out.  I hope the time I spent to write this will help someone out.  I love skiing moguls despite two unrelated knee surgeries and I hope to ski them into my 60's

post #72 of 84

Aren't fireworks Fun???


Anyway, so are bumps. They're also a discipline, and icy ones in particular are a reality check. Are you on your skis or not? Can you stay over feet or not (whatever "over" means in wildly varying terrain and snow conditions)?


Sometimes I ski bumps well - well enough so that people who know what they're talking about say so, and people who don't actually come up to ask how it was done.


More often, I ski like a post. I rarely ski as well as I want to, and when I do well, I want to do better. Never satisfied. At only 50-60 days per season, I'm not as consistant as I'd like, either.


JASP is right. Every tip given on the Internet or on a printed page is subject to an interpretation that will cause the tip to go bad.


Still, some of us are stupid enough to try.


1. Don't try to learn how to ski bumps on Drunken Frenchman. Or anything like Drunken Frenchman. You'll get frustrated, and you'll learn how to be defensive. Find something soft, low angle, with smaller bumps and a little space in between. But not too much space. You don't want to spend your time sliding sideways through the wide scraped off parts to hit the next pile of snow. Those aren't "real" bumps anyway.


2. Keep your skis on the ground as much as possible while learning. Air will come later. Given the terrain, sometimes the tips will be off the ground, and that's OK. Maybe (but not always) that's a handy chance to pivot - either to change direction of travel or control speed, or both. Keep some weight on your feet. No pressure on the snow = no speed control.


3. Be flexible. Absorb. Extend. Use absorption and extension to accomplish number 2.


4. Keep up with your feet. Yeah, you'll be a little behind them sometimes as they climb up a back side. Be sure to catch up to them over the top, by any of several methods, or you'll really get behind them as they scoot down the other side of the bump. You don't have to lever forward (and you don't want to), just get centered again.


5. Explore the flat end of the edging spectrum. Learn accurate edge control in varying terrain, and learn to allow your skis to slip in a controlled fashion. Use gravity and your body weight for this, not muscular pushing. Contrary to popular belief, high edge angles do not slow you down. They tend to take you in whatever direction the edges are pointing without much speed control, unless the edges are taking you uphill.


6. There's nothing wrong with judicious application of pivoting. It can allow you to quickly change direction or throw in a quick speed check.


Hmmm. Lessee, you got yer balance, yer pressure control, yer edging, and even that there rotary. Sounds like a $%!* instructor!


OK, a couple more tips:


7. Break the rules. Sometimes it works, often it doesn't. Do it anyway. Make actual changes. Exaggerate. That's the way to learn something. Chances are, you're not really doing what you think you're doing, anyway. You're out there to play, so play already!


8. When it turns to corn in the spring, Drunken Frenchman is a hoot!



My presence here suggests that a village somewhere is missing its idiot.

post #73 of 84


therusty has asked me if I know how to do the "Slow Dog Noodle" For those of you who don't know what that is, it's the "old school" way of skiing moguls, backseat and painfully slow. Obviously, he feels i'm old school.


Actually, the reason I asked was related to jetting forward, although the original slow dog was about jetting the feet out to the side. Jetting forward, it's one way to control speed when there is a large gap between bumps. By jetting the feet ahead, you make contact with the downhill bump earlier (to reduce the amount of time accelerating into it), in an extended position (to give you more leg flex room for absorption) and at angle more perpendicular to the bump face (for better stopping levergage).


I don't know what a franconia super duper is. Please explain.

post #74 of 84


Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

 What would be helpful, I think is a concentration on speed control techniques that do not involve skiing a slow line, nor getting the skis too far sideways.


Maybe NOT absorbing, or rather absorbing while reducing speed after jumping down into the trough?


Maybe I'm confused, but if we're talking zipper line, then the only speed control mechanisms left are edging (getting the skis sideways) and extension/absorption. That said, the center of the rut is faster than the sides (where the snow has been pushed). If you round your turns more to ride the outside edge of the rut, you'll get speed control from taking a longer path and edging in softer snow. Part of what makes a zipper line tough to ski is that as the line develops the rut gets faster. You can either adjust by doing more absorption or getting the skis more sideways. If you don't adjust and try making the same moves as the original bumpers did, you'll end being late for a turn.


On the topic of "non-absorbing", I'm developing an analogy of running down stairs. Safety note: this concept has not reached the "drill" stage for obvious safety reasons. How can we get down a flight of steps faster? We can either move our feet quicker hitting every step or we can start skipping steps. As the speed gets faster, hitting every step sets an upper limit on speed because you just can't move your feet any faster. For the same foot speed, taking 2, 3 or 4 steps at a time gives you greater vertical speed. Eventually, vertical speed is closer to falling than to walking down the steps. At that point you can feel a "flow" where steps feel more like a continuous breaking force than a discrete one. Struggling zipper line skiers feel the discrete crash of smashing into a bump face to control speed the same way that walking down steps is kind of like stopping on each step. Smooth zipper line skiers feel the continuous drag of their skis throughout all parts of their turn. It's precicesly because their speed stays more constant and is closer to "falling" speed that they have less impact force to deal with. Alas, the penalty for failure is severe. We need to make sure the fundamentals are solid before we attempt this level.

post #75 of 84
Originally Posted by Lars View Post


There aren't many good bump runs and sections of bump runs around here where we ski because of the approach of those who ski them. As well as the snowboarders that slide through them as well.


If you find bump runs where there are good lines, you'll find they've been made by good bumpers using zipperline techniques, or mogul runs saved for competitions.


 Our bumps get skied by people who slide through them, who ski GS turns through them, who slip slid snowboards through them. who have no real technique. that's why they're always so gnarly and so hard to ski.


It's much easier to ski bumps in good bumps. Big, round, evenly spaced, evenly formed, soft bumps. than gnarly, icy, oddly spaced, oddly shaped piles of ice and snow that get labeled as moguls.




Quite an interesting thread.  


The main points I tend to focus on when I try to teach bumps to people are:


1 - Look 2-3 bumps ahead


2 - drive the toes down the backside of each bump with an extension movement.  Also begin tipping onto the new edges at this time, DO NOT wait until the top of the next bump to engage the edges and hockey stop there.


3 - Plant the poles a little bit to the side so that the pole handle will not push back on the skier as hard.  I also prefer for the pole plant to be beyond the top of the bump for a variety of reasons including its less likely to jam up the skier and push their arm back, but also because it helps them to move onto their new edges a lot sooner.


4 - When choosing your line and picking where to focus your vision, focus on the troughs, not the bumps.  Focusing on the fleshy downhill side of the bump where you will engage your edges per step#2 above and both control your speed as well as begin to turn.  Focus on the path you will take, not the bumps you will avoid.  But 2-3 bumps ahead, not immediately in front of you.


5 - As Lars said, stand tall in the troughs.  Instead of thinking about finding the bumps that you will make sure to flex over, look for troughs you will make sure to stand tall in.


6 - maintain upper body facing down the fallline.  



Now how to get a barely intermediate to learn those things?  Well if they can only make 3-4 linked turns on a groomer, I'm not sure they are really ready for bumps to be honest.  The advice SSH gave early on was probably some of the best advice for skiers like that.  Frankly I wish those skiers would limit themselves to only blue bump runs, if that.  Because like you I feel they have ruined bump skiing in america by destroying the lines.  But if you want to teach someone at that level, that is about all you can expect from them.  They need to have their short radius turns dialed to second nature before asking them to think about the things we are talking about.  I feel that skiers should not ski bumps unless they can initiate their edges at the tops of the turns and carve a top to bottom turn.  If they can only carve the bottom half of the turn, then in the bumps they will be doomed to jam, cram, bounce and brake their way for a very rough zipper line trip...or else they can take the long routes that SSH and others have mentioned which is ruining bump skiing for the rest of us.


Regarding the lack of answers from Pros on this thread, I will only say...and I will probably be skewered for saying this, but the simple truth is that there are very very few ski instructors and race coaches (other than actual mogul competitors), that really know how to ski the bumps well.  If you spend any amount of time in instructor clinics you will see that they spend 20x as much time on the groomers perfecting carving skills then they do in the bumps, which is exactly as it should be.  The art of bump skiing seems to be kind of a voodoo science amongst ski instructors.  Very few can do it well and even less can actually describe how they do it well.  New skis have enabled them to navigate through the bumps.  Short swing tail swishers can even get them down a pretty tight mogul run, albeit un-smoothly.  Or they will take the longer paths that have been mentioned, all of which is essentially bump-survival skiing.  


This is an area in which all of the major ski teaching systems are deficient, relative to other aspects of skiing where they have spent a lot more time figuring out.  


Every once in a while you will come across a ski teacher who can rip the bumps, but not often.  But beyond what they can actually do in the bumps, very few of them, eve the ones that somehow learned on their own how to rip the bumps, actually know how to talk about it or teach it very productively.  That is my observation.  So shoot me.


Edited by borntoski683 - 2/18/2009 at 08:56 pm

Edited by borntoski683 - 2/18/2009 at 09:10 pm
post #76 of 84
Thread Starter 


Now that's a two thumbs up post therusty!


You know what the "slow dog noodle" is but you don't know what a "Franconia Sooper Duper" is?


Is John Clendenin still around here? Ask him? It goes back to about 1972 when the mogul craze was then called "Hot Doggin"


I was 22 at the time and was just starting to get back into skiing after the Nam. Bumps were everywhere then cause grooming machines were scarce.

post #77 of 84

The stick figure looks like he is absorbing the bumps completely, and he control your speed you do need to apply pressure on the face of the bump, without getting launched.


Remain extended PARTWAY up the shoulder of the bump, then flex to absorb the force that would've launched you.


Pull the feet back at this time to so the body moves ahead of the feet, this will allow you to press the tips down the backside of the bump.


Aim the path of your skis to the next shoulder on the other side of your body, and extend.  The feet will get ahead of you briefly, allowing you to pressure the face/shoulder of the next bump. 




The key in all of this is the timing of the extension and absorption.  No pressure on the face of the new bump -> no speed control.





post #78 of 84
Originally Posted by BigE View Post



The key in all of this is the timing of the extension and absorption.  No pressure on the face of the new bump -> no speed control.








one of the biggest ah ha moments for me was to absorb as much as possiable so I can could keep contact with the snow. I think telling people to pressure the front of the bump isnt sound advice. Yes you keep pressure but you do it be actively retracting while your skis are still on the snow.


Also to much pressure and launching from bumps to bump can be a speed control technique. Doubling bumps can open up a rounder line.

post #79 of 84

Keeping the skis on the snow by flexing and extending also allows us to even out the pressure through more of the turn. Thus facilitating the ability to work the ski through all phases of the turn instead of trying to do all the speed and line control at the very end of the turns. Exactly how we do this depends on the terrain. Sharp bumps might require us to make rounder turns, using the sides of the surrounding bumps and avoiding the trough as much as possible. Either that or we need to increase our range of motion to keep the skis on the snow as we follow the trough, which would also include evening out the pressure so we don't get bounced off line. The second tactic is a much higher impact line though and as such requires a lot more strength and active balancing. Timid skiers, or those without the highly developed skills to accomplish this should  probably avoid trying such an aggressive line.

post #80 of 84

These are all excellent tips for learning to feel your way in the bumps.  Feeling you way through the bumps is exactly how I do it when skiing them agressively.  I'm looking three to four turns ahead while just turning as fast as I can and subconsciously feeling what is happening directly under me.  It's kind of like driving a car while watching the horizon.  Subconsciously, you know what is around your car but you aren't actaully looking at the moment.  I'm not sure if that makes sense.  Does anybody else relate to this that can better communicate the concept?

post #81 of 84

Yes, BWPA, really.  Free-fall is not speed-control.


Using A&E and applying no pressure on the face of the bump, is equivalent to free-fall.  Pressure on the face is created LOW on the face, not the entire time you are on the face.  Flexion used for absoprtion in the bumps is still release.

post #82 of 84
Thread Starter 

I agree JASP.


Sounds confusing and difficult but once you master this, controlling your speed becomes a non issue.


that said, there still are some other factors that come into play that make a successful mogul skier.



post #83 of 84
Originally Posted by crgildart View Post


It's kind of like driving a car while watching the horizon.  Subconsciously, you know what is around your car but you aren't actaully looking at the moment.


r r r r r r r r r r r r r Thump! Thump-Bump r r r r r r r r r r r r r r

... Uh Oh ... is that a Beanie Cap on my windshield?...



post #84 of 84
Originally Posted by michaelA View Post



r r r r r r r r r r r r r Thump! Thump-Bump r r r r r r r r r r r r r r

... Uh Oh ... is that a Beanie Cap on my windshield?...




Damn snowboarders

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