Originally Posted by therusty
If your skis are not perfectly suited for bumps, you can adapt by getting stronger to muscle them through the job or you can adapt your technique to make the job easier. Adaptations you can use include:
making rounder turns
using a heavier edge set
using more range of motion while doing absorption
(aka - slowing down)
angle your line across the fall line instead of taking the zipper line
using pivot turns on the tops of bumps while tips and tails are airborne
You may find that a different pair of skis solves this problem. You may also find out that solving this problem with these skis will help your skiing all over the mountain in all kinds of snow.
As others have pointed out, while the Crossfire is certainly not a purpose-built bump ski, it should be adequate in the bumps and will not, by itself, prevent you from skiing bumps well. How much do you weigh?
I generally agree with what therusty says above, with the exception of the heavier edge set. It may work OK for you, depending on how you apply it, but it could also cause the skis to hook up and take you across the hill, if that's the direction they're pointed when you do the strong edge set.
Pivot turns on the tops of the bumps can be a very useful tactic and it can slow things down so that you can think about what you're doing and feel more comfortable with your speed. It is something of a flat ski technique, however, although the edge set can be applied just before the pivot.
As Snowbowler says, hop turns can be effective, but I might suggest that they are way
too much work to be your go-to turn! They're certainly fun and useful on occasion, but there are many other methods that are easier on your body and easier to execute.
Several issues may be present. We haven't seen your skiing, so none may apply to you, but these are common among people who are having trouble with bumps.
1. Failure to move down the hill.
Bumps are intimidating to most of us. As a result, we tend to be a bit behind our feet, or we lean a little bit up the hill, or both. This makes it difficult to initiate turns easily and on time. Our turns always feel rushed or late. In addition, we have very limited control of edge angle when we're leaning up the hill. It gets worse as we go faster.
To solve this, it's necessary to move the Center of Mass (COM) forward and down the hill - in other words, the same advice we get for initiating a turn on a groomer. The bumps make it more challenging because of the constantly changing surface slopes and the intimidation factor. Still, it's necessary. It makes it much easier to tip your skis downhill to their new edges, easier to start each turn, easier to add pivot down the hill or bump face as necessary, easier to control edge angle to obtain more or less as needed.
2. Too much edge angle.
A highly edged ski wants to carve, not skid. If it's not skidding and it's pointed at all downhill (even downhill at some angle), it wants to go faster. If you're leaning up the hill, you may not be able to flatten the skis to allow a skid. See item 1 above.
The trick here is to have your COM in the right place so that you can flatten the skis as needed and allow
the skid. You do not
create the skid by pushing on your skis! Like many other things some of us try to do on skis, shoving on them to get a skid to slow down is just too much work. Stand on them (easier said than done in the bumps, I know) and allow your weight and gravity to create the skid or smear.
For a groomed snow drill, explore the flat end of the edging spectrum. Learn to sideslip. Learn to initiate a turn by flattening your skis enough to start a sideslip (in other words, the skis "release") and then adding just a little twist so the tips drop down the hill. Focus on steering the downhill ski (the one on the inside of your turn) first and most. The majority of people tend to steer the outside ski more when they're learning this. Do some garlands this way, where you drop the tips down the hill a little and then engage the uphill edges to steer back up the hill in the same direction you were going without completing the turn. You're just trying to get the easy, on-time initiation. Then take the turn all the way around. Make some very smeary, very short turns. You may not be able to do a true pivot slip, but you might come close. Apply this exercise to the corridor drill suggested by Snowbowler.
Then, take this into the bumps to execute the pivot turn therusty mentioned. As you approach the top of the bump, move up over your skis so you can flatten them, allow the release, and drop the tips down the hill. Let the skis smear down the side of the bump so they're skidding and not going straight down the hill. Or, depending on the shape of the bump and the coverage, you might want to tighten the turn so much (taking advantage of that convenient pivot spot) that you turn completely on the top of the bump and sideslip down the downhill face. That's not something you want to do on every bump, but it can be a useful tactic. You can also open up the turn if conditions permit and let your skis start to climb up the side of the next bump over, even as that bump helps direct your skis further into the turn (see the first item in therusty's list).
3. Turns not finished.
Sometimes we see the zipperline and it doesn't look like there's even room to turn the skis completely across the hill. Nonetheless, usually it's quite possible to finish the turns. Sometimes it's a matter of a strong final pivot in just the right place to the edge set that therusty mentioned, sometimes it's a matter of seeing a different line than the seductively attractive trough.
Often, there isn't time or space to finish the turn if we insist on being square to your skis. Turning the entire body is slower than turning just the skis. Practice (on the groom as well as in the bumps) those very short, smeary turns while keeping your chest pointed as straight down the hill as you can. Make sure you finish your short, smeary turns. How slow can you go in a narrow corridor on a steep groomer? Can you keep it slow while standing over your feet and allowing the smear rather than forcing the skid?
4. Not enough range of motion.
In other words, inadequate absorption and extension.
Traverse an easy or intermediate bump run slowly. Suck your feet up over each bump. Extend through each trough. Make sure you're over your feet at the top of each bump so you can drop the tips down as you go over the top.
Learn retraction/flex turns. Do them on groomed runs. Exaggerate. Try them in easy bumps. Keep the speed down. Keep on exaggerating.
There's more, of course, and it all takes time to own. I'm still not satisfied with my own bump skiing. Keep learning!