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Bumps Simplified

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I avoid bumps.  One of the reasons I've never learned to ski them is that it seems like I'll never be able to do the right thing in time.  In other words, just too complicated.  However, yesterday I viewed Weems on Youtube discussing how instead of carving a platform you use the existing platforms in bumps.  That somehow made perfect sense to me!  I can't say I'm looking forward to finding myself in bumps, but when I do, I have a simple plan.  Look ahead for the next platform.

Do you agree with this simple plan?  Other simple suggestions?
post #2 of 17
 I agree with it, but the issue with bumps is it alot more complicated than just one tip can explain.

Its a very good start though.

other 'bullet points' in order of importance IMO

beginner level

1.keep shoulders and hips square to the hill, never turn with your upper body
2.hands - should always be visible
3.TGIF - tips go in first

its entirely possible to ski bumps with those skills and tactics above the next is slightly more advance stuff.

then 

4.midgets and giants - your as small as you can be on top of the bump, and as tall you can be at the bottom of the bumps. This is an exaggerated active movement. 
5. Slowing your movement down slows you down, speeding them up speeds you up. Basically if your creep your movements you will creep down the hill. Most people try to rush things and they end up out of control because of it.

expert level..... no need to go there yet your a couple years away
post #3 of 17

Here is an issue that limits my bump skiing.  I don't think I've seen it explicitly discussed before...
It's a timing problem.  I learned to ski with an up move for turns.  While I can do a cross-under turn, it is not my automatic, unconscious move.  So in bumps I have to do TWO things for each turn instead of one:  1) absorb, getting small, 2) get tall for the up move, and then actually turn.  This double movement puts a limit on how fast I can react.

This year I am going to experiment with getting rid of the up move in the bumps.

Edit - well, I guess you have to go up at some point so you can absorb again.  On further reflection, I guess I am not entirely clear how the timing ought to work, except that mine is not optimal.

post #4 of 17
The real secret is control. Obvious, yes, but how does someone who is just learning the bumps stay in control?

Make only 1 turn, and end the turn by stopping.

Sounds crazy, and will drive you crazy after a while. So when you get confident with 1 turn, then make 2 and stop. Then 3. etc. And you have to practice a lot.

The best thing I can suggest is find some gently pitched terrain, preferably a groomed intermediate run where they leave some bumps on one side. Otherwise, find the shortest bump run (or section of bumps) on your hill to practice on.

And, then, experiment. If part of the run is groomed, you have a place to go if you lose control or want an easy place to stop after that first turn. Otherwise (no groomed), go as slow as you can, even if it means traversing on every turn. That's where stopping after 1 turn comes in. You do this to prevent going to fast and having everything happen at once.

And, most of all, pay attention to yourself.

Once you can observe what you are doing, you can make very subtle changes and see what happens without everything happening too fast.

Where are your hands during the turn? See how changing your hand position affects your balance. Where is the pressure on your feet? Does it change while you are turning? What happens if you press down on (or pick up) your toes during the turn? What happens if you push your knees more into the direction of the turn? What is your weight distribution between legs? Remember, no answer is correct, you just want to observe what is happening. These are just a few of a lot of things you can try.

Don't try to do all of this at once, just focus on one area at a time, say take 5 runs just paying attention to your hands once you can comfortably stay in control during each turn, one turn at a time.

Try these same exercises on groomed terrain, also.

And, most of all, be patient with yourself. Depending on how frequently you ski and how athletic you are, it may take 5 seasons or more before you feel you can truly have some fun in the bumps.

My best wishes for success,
A White Raven
post #5 of 17
I like Bushes list. I need to work on 4 and 5.

MDF, my ahah moment in bumps am just from standing on top or shoulder of a bump. You can basicly pivot wherever you want when the tip and tail are in the air. No need to unweight. Then pivot a bit to start your turn  while pushing the tips down the face of the next mogul. 
Edited by tromano - 11/24/09 at 9:20am
post #6 of 17

Hands in sight, slow it down, hard to beat those two pieces of advice from above.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post

beginner level

1.keep shoulders and hips square to the hill, never turn with your upper body
2.hands - should always be visible
3.TGIF - tips go in first
 

Please tell me more about TGIF.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post

I like Bushes list. I need to work on 4 and 5.

MDF, my ahah moment in bumps am just from standing on top or shoulder of a bump. You can basicly pivot wherever you want when the tip and tail are in the air. No need to unweight. Then pivot a bit to start your turn  while pushing the tips down the face of the next mogul. 

to add to that standing on top you can be small and work it one turn at time.

practice being small on top then let yourself unwind into the next bump as you extend.
post #9 of 17
I like BPAs' list and most of the other tips as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Here is an issue that limits my bump skiing.  I don't think I've seen it explicitly discussed before...
It's a timing problem.  I learned to ski with an up move for turns.  While I can do a cross-under turn, it is not my automatic, unconscious move.  So in bumps I have to do TWO things for each turn instead of one:  1) absorb, getting small, 2) get tall for the up move, and then actually turn.  This double movement puts a limit on how fast I can react.

This year I am going to experiment with getting rid of the up move in the bumps.

Edit - well, I guess you have to go up at some point so you can absorb again.  On further reflection, I guess I am not entirely clear how the timing ought to work, except that mine is not optimal.


IMO the bumps is an easy place to learn to turn on a retraction as opposed to extension (up move).  Try redirecting your skis as your getting smaller.  It's just like a "cross under" turn only easier.  You can practice one bump at a time starting small as suggested above.  You are part right about needing to "go up at some point so you can absorb again".  Think about pushing your feet down instead of moving your head up.  Ideally your head and shoulders should stay pretty level and most of your movements, absorptive and other, will happen below your waist.  Your not really trying to do two thing at the same time as much as trying to do one thing that achieves both outcomes.  

Another tip is to move your hips forward as you move down the backside so that you stay on top of and move with your skis.  If you get a little behind you have a recovery "opportunity" on each turn as your skis move up the face of the next bump and you get small again.  When this is happening your feet are slowing down relative to your body and you will naturally "catch up" if you allow it.  As you get more comfortable you will use this as part of your skill set and not so much for recovery.

I like to ski around the sides of the bumps (shoulders) in the fall line.  When I use this tactic I don't need to absorb as much as going for the tops and my line tends to follow the "bridges" between the "shoulders" rather than being stuck in the ruts.

There is more than one way to ski bumps and playing with several sets of tactics will make you more versatile.  One thing I like to do is to establish a rhythm and try to ski in that rhythm and turn shape regardless of where the bumps fall.  Sometimes I turn on extension, sometimes on retraction, and sometimes during tactical air.  The point is to avoid shopping turns and being forced to turn where everyone else did or only where you feel comfortable.

Start slow and maintain balance and control.  If you are scared you can't learn effectively.  If you are injured you might not ski at all.  Have some fun with it!  
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

Here is an issue that limits my bump skiing.  I don't think I've seen it explicitly discussed before...
It's a timing problem.  I learned to ski with an up move for turns.  While I can do a cross-under turn, it is not my automatic, unconscious move.  So in bumps I have to do TWO things for each turn instead of one:  1) absorb, getting small, 2) get tall for the up move, and then actually turn.  This double movement puts a limit on how fast I can react.

This year I am going to experiment with getting rid of the up move in the bumps.

Edit - well, I guess you have to go up at some point so you can absorb again.  On further reflection, I guess I am not entirely clear how the timing ought to work, except that mine is not optimal.


Im sorry OP but I jumped on this one first. I did not read any of the other replies so if I repeat others postings simply ignore mine. Anyway, mdf, I have the perfect fix for you. Insted of extending with that up-extention on the crest of a bump extend slightly before. Just before the bump starts to lift you up. This way you will be able to flex over the bump and extend on the other side. In order to do this, find some easy bumps and ski them the opposite way of how others did. This is important for all of you trying to figure out how to ski like a pro. If you cannot keep up with your feet in the zipper line try skiing diagonal to it. Thats why you need small bumps first.
post #11 of 17
If your trying to figure out timing in the bumps I would recommend starting with traverses (assuming your on a nice quiet run). Pretend there is a ceiling just above your head and you have to keep it at the same level all the way across. To do this you will need to be small (joints flexed) as you go over the bumps and tall (joints extended) between them.

Once you have these basic movements figured out timing in an actual run is fairly straight forward...
Pick a bump... pole plant on it...  and turn. Think of being "small" when you plant your pole.

Just one tactic of many but a good place to start.
post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngsman View Post

... it seems like I'll never be able to do the right thing in time...




Quote:
Originally Posted by mdf View Post

It's a timing problem.  I learned to ski with an up move for turns...

This year I am going to experiment with getting rid of the up move in the bumps.

 


Mdf is on to something.  A lot of skiers (and by a lot of skiers I mean me) develop habits the work fine on groomers but cause problems in bumps or any variable conditions.  One common habit is extending, edging and turning with the exactly same timing in every turn.  An ingrained habit like that can prevent you from responding spontaneously to variable conditions.  You need to be able to break those habits, and use edging. pressure management and turning skills independently.  For example, as you approach the top of a mogul, you need to flex to absorb to avoid getting launched, but if you try to turn there your habit will cause you to extend to start your turn.  That won't work, you need to break the habit.  Once you break the habit, all those other good tips from people here will be easy and almost intuitive.  
One thing you can try on the groomers is to ski fully extended all the time ( I started to write high but that's a different thread) then low all the time, then by extending when you should flex and vice versa.  The goal here is not to make good turns but to break the extension habit.  Ultimately, you want to learn to flex and extend based on the need for pressure management, not simply as an habitual way of initiating a turn.
Hope this helps.

BK
post #13 of 17
Two words: Pivot slips.

Learn the accuracy and subtlety necessary for pivot slips. Apply same in bumps.

Many people people are trying so frantically to slow down that they attempt to use way too much edge. They end up getting forward movement down or across the hill, rather than friction, because the highly edged ski wants to carve.

Beyond that, BWPA provides good stuff.
post #14 of 17
A couple of things to absolutely avoid, especially in bumps--

--Upper body rotation.  Never, ever twist your body toward the hill.  You need to twist your body opposite to the way you twist your skis...called "counter"...and generally face downhill.  You always want your inside hand/arm/shoulder high and forward and your outside hand/arm/shoulder low and back.  As an exaggeration, try turning your body enough, and tipping it downhill enough...called "angulation"...so your inside hand ends up above your ski tips.  This is a bit too far, but not a lot.


--Sitting back on your heels.  Get your weight back, and you're doomed.  You've been told to get your hips forward.  I find it easier to pull my feet back, strongly back together, when I'm light on the skis in the turn transition.  Also pull your inside foot strongly back all the time.  Your head must be the first thing down the hill.

--About pole plants...be ready to plant before your skis reach the fall line, and never bring your outside planting hand forward of the fall line.  You want to be able to make a stabilizing, balancing pole plant at any instant that you see a good place to turn.

Follow the advice above to make one turn at a time and come to a stop.  Balance as I've described as you slide around and down one bump.  Stop, then do the next.  When the time feels right and the bumps look right, do two.  Then do more.  Some of us call the downhill side of a bump the face, others call it the back.  Whatever, you want to feel secure sliding down & around on that side of the bump and in control of your speed and balance.
post #15 of 17
Learn to use Pivot Slips, tricks like giants and midgets, keeping hands forward, etc., out of the bumps and then try them out in the bumps.
post #16 of 17
So now for something completely different...
Let's start by finding out where everything breaks down!
So far I read you think bump technique is pretty complex and you don't think you have time to execute the turns you want to make? Is that right? What else happens when you ski bumps? What type of bumps are we talking about? How fast do you ski through the bumps? Without more information all anyone here can do is offer generic advice. Which might be great advice but it may not be all that relevent to your specific problems.
post #17 of 17
Yup JASP.

Need more info to help you.
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