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Moguls & pole usage

post #1 of 39
Sorry I couldn't open it, but I can imagine what it looks like. I've watched major comps before and skied with some of the best bump skiers, and watched the best.

Look, bump skiers do use poles to ski moguls, obviously. Good bump runs do resemble poles walking down the run. But, they are just touches in the snow, more of a rythym touch not jamed into the snow for balance, or to push oneself to the next turn.

This is going back to the other thread about pole length. I say it doesn't matter. If you like your hands low while skiing then shorten your poles. If you like your hands high, don't.

The one big stumbbling block for novice or beginner bump skiers is relying too much on pole use. Ya, it looks good when done right as wrist flicks for rythym, but but most jam the pole or use it as a crutch when balance is lost, usually causing the pole to go deep into the snow pulling the arm back, pulling the skier out of the fall line, and causing a bailout or fall.

I bet if you ask,that all good bump skiers, good zipperline, comp bumppers, they'd tell you that they could ski bumps well without poles.

Quick hands are ok but quick feet are a must!
post #2 of 39
Yes, the poles looked good, but you could have done it just as well without, as you have everything else working really well. Great blend of aggression and finesse. A pleasure to watch.

[ March 13, 2004, 02:12 PM: Message edited by: milesb ]
post #3 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by HundenMaster:

Any guess as to how this was shot?
My guess would be by another skier using a head or helment cam like this.
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 

Moguls & pole usage

Please take a look at this video

www.hundenmaster.com/video/RegTreeRider1stpitch.wmv

Bumps on an easy blue run - I like the pole usage in it - if you remove the body & arms - the poles are like legs walking down the slope. Its almost but not quite - one pole is touching the snow at all times.

Any guess as to how this was shot?

R.

[ March 13, 2004, 10:10 AM: Message edited by: HundenMaster ]
post #5 of 39
I got green with envy watching the snow spray up as the skier skied down the slope. This is a tough time of the year arond here to ski moguls. The freeze thaw machine has kicked into high gear here in western Pa.
They're supposed to have a bump contest tomorrow at 7 Springs. The bumbs are like granite with window pane ice troughs. I stumbled down them for an hour or so this morning. Nothing to be proud of that's for sure.
Glad to be still skiing this time of the year here. People in the neighborhood are starting to fertilize the lawns already. I guess that's part of what makes skiing so special, the season is short, and goes by so quickly.
Ice and frozen granular are character builders.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Lars - its definitely not a competition mogul video by some of the best mogul skiers - lol.

Agree about the soft touch - pole jammers usually end up in the back seat.

"I bet if you ask,that all good bump skiers, good zipperline, comp bumppers, they'd tell you that they could ski bumps well without poles. "

That might be true but I really think quick hands/poles and feet go hand in hand. You can't develop quick feet without quick hands - like a runner. I've watched the mogul skiers in Mt Hood training, and they will work on really quick turns on the flats - where the feet & hands are quick & in unison - so seems like its an important aspect for them.

On the question of pole length & the Workdcup mogul skiers - they need the shorter length because they get so compressed from absorption - I think for regular skiers you don't need it that short.

Milesb - "Aggression & Finesse" I like that term - I will have to use it in my mogul lesson - thanks.


cgeib - yes to the camera type but it wasn't a helmut cam - its hard to get that stable an image in the bumps.

R.
post #7 of 39
HundenMaster,

Where do you focus your pole touch in relation to the mogul (front, middle or back)? I have never gotten a clear answer on this.

Ed
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
PowDigger:

for me - it depends on where my feet are during the edge change. In general I prefer the over the bump line, so edge change is at the top of the bump or just pass it, so pole touch is on the down side (front?) of the mogul. If my feet end up in the trough then its the back side or top. Does this make sense to you?

And where the pole touch occurs is somewhere between straigth down the fall-line & the tips of your skis.

I guess the answer is all of the above - front, middle, back - depends on where your feet are in relation to the mogul when you change edge. The one thing you shouldn't do is pole touch when you're still sliding (skis sliding sideways down the hill) - most likely you will run over it & fall.

R.
post #9 of 39
roundturns,
I agree, this is the time of the year when I get very nostalgic for January. It's truly sad to see the season go by––people talking about digging gardens, getting their boats in the water, etc, etc.. Even up here in Mass., we must eventually say goodbye to the season. So you are correct; that's what makes the sport so precious––you gotta get out there every single time you are able, 'cause it's gonna be gone before you know it.
post #10 of 39
Much more important to have quick feet than hands but yes, both are the key. If your feet are quick the hands will follow. Alot of skiers think the pole is planted to ski around it. Not the case in moguls. Another good point you brought up was training or practicing on flat blue trails for moguls. Staying true to the fall line making as many quick linked turns as possible. I learned that from an ex pro bumper who is a good friend of mine, he used to be able to make five turns in a space that I could only make three, God he had quick feet. Hands too. He always could see the good lines and I would follow. Used to ski bumps till we couldn't walk to the car. I never got quite as good as him . Always felt good though if I put together 15 or 20 real good runs and bailed out the rest. First time I skied Colorado was with him. First bump run in Colorado? Outhouse at the Jane. Got a laugh out of him on that first run.

Getting back to reality here on the subject. We always skied with the same poles whether on moguls or groomed or powder. It doesn't really make any difference. The key is, if you feel more comfortable skiing moguls with poles a few cm's shorter than normal, then do it.

Whether you ski the Zipperline or just ski them to survive, keep skiing them. If you try to avoid them all the time you're just cheating yourself out of a challenge, an uncrowded slope, and the chance to become a complete skier.
post #11 of 39
The hardest thing to master in bumps is slowing you're feet down enough to have some turn shape and get some speed control. That of course is not the object of mogul competitions.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Lars:
I bet if you ask,that all good bump skiers, good zipperline, comp bumppers, they'd tell you that they could ski bumps well without poles.
Sorry Lars, you'd lose that bet! :

When you ask comp moguls skiers what limits how fast they turn, they'll say they are limitted by how fast they can plant their poles. They cannot turn quicker than they can plant.

Watch this: http://www.jenniferheil.com/movies/heilTrial.mov

Pay extra attention to the end of her run, where she gets max turns per foot.

Pole planting stops upper body rotation enhancing upper/lower body seperation. She can pivot the skis quicker if the upper body does not move.
post #13 of 39
Well Big E, I've got to disagree with you about your statement that a skier or bump skier can only turn as fast as they can make pole plants.

I'd also argue that jennifer is using her poles to stop her upper body rotation.

I'll also bet you that one third or more of the people who post here could ski straight down the fall line without poles and have enough upper/lower body separation that they wouldn't have a problem keeping their chest faceing straight down the fall line.

Here's another bet, leave your poles in the locker room next time you ski. Ski without them all day and I bet you will become more aware of how much your feet, ankles and hips play a role in skiing.

Developing skiers depend too much on their poles to initiate the turn and maintain balance. It becomes more of a crutch instead of a tool.

This is the main point i'm trying to drive home.

The pole plant doesn't have any bearing on how fast a bump skier can turn. Its the speed of the bumper along with his foot quickness that determines where and how his pole is planted.
post #14 of 39
Thread Starter 
I will have to make a bet here too - only 25% or more of the people who posted in this thread can actually ski moguls.

"Developing skiers depend too much on their poles to initiate the turn and maintain balance. It becomes more of a crutch instead of a tool." - This true if they are taught a "pole plant" rather than a pole swing - so that's its a timing aid that complements the body moving in the direction of travel.
It might be just semantics - but I think about pole swing rather than pole plant - because a pole swing should lead you in the direction you want to go, a pole plant inhibits you from going in that direction.

Yes - one can ski moguls without using poles but how is that going to help you? To me its about complementary movements - they should all work together to help you move down the hill efficiently. Saying you can ski without poles does nobody any good.

R.
post #15 of 39
A pole swing takes time. The feet can move faster if they do not have to wait for a pole swing. You will see this in the fastest bumpers at the bottom of the run once they clear the aerial maneuvers. Many will lift the poles and barely move them in order to gain speed.

Poles in competition bumps are essential for aerial maneuvers. In order to spin in the air, you either have to counter rotate (wind up first, bad) or use a pole touch to stabilize the upper body prior to launching into a spin or any other aerial maneuver for that matter.

A comp bump skier can gain as much at 3/4 of a second out of the gate with poles.

These are the two reasons bumpers carry poles. You cannot win without them because of the judging rules.

Remember if you want to ski like the competition guys be prepared for stomping on the gas and having plenty of air under you're skis in the bumps. If this is not you're cup of tea then think about other ways of skiing bumps besides like them.
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by HundenMaster:
I will have to make a bet here too - only 25% or more of the people who posted in this thread can actually ski moguls.
Err ...well OK. I think that's a safe bet, and I'll pass ... I too feel pretty confident that more than two of us in this thread can ski moguls [img]tongue.gif[/img]


Quote:
Originally posted by HundenMaster:
cgeib - yes to the camera type but it wasn't a helmut cam - its hard to get that stable an image in the bumps.
Yeah, I couldn't figure how it was kept so stable.

Help me out! What's the trick???? Since I have one sitting here I need to setup!
post #17 of 39
I agree with your take on pole usage in bumps, Hundenmaster, and I liked the video demonstration. I do feel like my poles are walking down the hill in bumps and I often try to persuade others to feel it too.

The camera work is outstanding. Could it be a cablecam?

Poles are for tempo and the outside foot and pole should be in tempo. Swing the basket in sync with the foot's progress through the turn, so the pole is ready to touch at the same instant the feet are ready to release. The touch then signals the other pole to start moving. One or the other is swinging at all times. The unready pole is what requires the traverse to buy time to pull it out of its "resting place" in the back. (In skiing, you can relax but never rest.) I think we ski bumps best with poles: the touch provides the same steady assist as a finger's touch on a stationary object when you are imperfectly balanced on flat land.
post #18 of 39
No doubt. I'm sure I ski alot better in moguls using poles. Would I do better with shorter poles. No. Poles are an important part of mogul skiing but are not the basis of the turn initiation as stated above a ways back. The point I was trying to make is the quickness of the feet is more integral than the use of poles, whether it's a plant of a touch. Although the proper use or both make a better run.
post #19 of 39
Hundenmaster, I ski once or twice a year without poles because I feel it helps me keep in touch with basics and away from some bad habits I sometimes fall into. Moguls, no but it can help everyone.
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by Lars:
No doubt. I'm sure I ski alot better in moguls using poles. Would I do better with shorter poles. No. Poles are an important part of mogul skiing but are not the basis of the turn initiation as stated above a ways back. The point I was trying to make is the quickness of the feet is more integral than the use of poles, whether it's a plant of a touch. Although the proper use or both make a better run.
If you go through the Jennifer Heil video frame by frame at the end of the course, you see the poles are always planted before the feet move, even if the feet are just being placed from one bump to another.

I did not wish to mislead -- she is certainly not relying on pole plants to create body separation, but her pole plants do improve body separation, whether they are just touched or jammed. They quiet upper body rotation. That's just physics.

I do agree with you Lars, their proper use does make a better run.

I have seen lifting of poles done by few moguls skiers. When they do it, their arms are always held very wide apart. The physics shows this assists body separation, again by quieting upper body rotation. To me, that never looks all that well controlled

I'd only be guessing as to why they do it. Do they lack the hand/foot coordination to plant poles?

As has been suggested, if poles are only used to establish a rhythm, then the feet move in time to that rhythm. In short, the feet don't move faster than the poles.

I personaly do far better in bumps with shorter poles, because my hands stay in a more natural position; they are usually planted higher than when skiing the groomed.
post #21 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by cgeib:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by HundenMaster:
I will have to make a bet here too - only 25% or more of the people who posted in this thread can actually ski moguls.
Err ...well OK. I think that's a safe bet, and I'll pass ... I too feel pretty confident that more than two of us in this thread can ski moguls [img]tongue.gif[/img] </font>[/quote]I can't. Actually, I'm learning and improving. Here's my sorry-ass bump video from last month (no floating heli's or anything):

Greg's Lame Bump Run

I'm a pretty agressive pole planter and you can see that more in the end of the video. I think it really helps me stay in rhythm more than anything.

I would certainly listen to any constructive criticism on my bump skiing as well. I've only really started to learn them the past season or two. Now I'm drawn to them and bummed when there aren't any good moguls fields.
post #22 of 39
Greg,

Congratulations to you! You made it pretty much straight through the run at good speed and did not fall on your ass. You've also got great steering control of your skis coming from the lower body. There are a lot of people who would love to be able to ski moguls this well.

You must be in great physical shape too. That's because you're doing it all from the back seat. Check your position at 12-14 seconds to see how far the butt is behind the heels. Your ski tips get airborne all through the run. If you can drive the tips back onto the snow as soon as you pass the top of a bump, you'll gain more control through more snow contact. In order to do this you must keep your weight more centered. If you keep your weight more centered, you'll be able to let the skis turn you more and use less of your quads to turn you. Some of this is kind of catch 22, you need to get more control to get knocked into the back seat less, but you can't get more control when you're getting knocked into the back seat. It might help to think about getting the tails of the skis to be in the air more than the tips instead of vice versa.

You've got a good wide stance. But in moguls that can get you into trouble. Check out the turns at 3-4 and 5 seconds. You're forced to pick up the inside ski because of your wide stance. You do a great recovery with a strong outside ski, but the inside ski is hurting you more than helping. As the run progresses, you get your stance a little closer and see less of the stepping.

BTW - you can tell how nice these bumps are because of the way they line up going across the hill and up and down the fall line.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally posted by therusty:
Greg,

Congratulations to you! You made it pretty much straight through the run at good speed and did not fall on your ass. You've also got great steering control of your skis coming from the lower body. There are a lot of people who would love to be able to ski moguls this well.
Stop, you're making me blush. Really, though. Nice complement. This video was the first I've ever seen of me skiing at all, not to mention in moguls. It's rather humbling, yet very helpful all the same.

Quote:
Originally posted by therusty:
You must be in great physical shape too.
Ha. That's a joke...

Quote:
Originally posted by therusty:
That's because you're doing it all from the back seat. Check your position at 12-14 seconds to see how far the butt is behind the heels. Your ski tips get airborne all through the run. If you can drive the tips back onto the snow as soon as you pass the top of a bump, you'll gain more control through more snow contact.
Yeah, I look pretty erratic, don't I? I feel most of the time too, but it's fun none the less. I'm trying to keep more of a forward stance, but it's tough. I'm really concentrating on staying forward on the groomers which I hope will help. I love the advice about trying to "drive the tips back onto the snow as soon as you pass the top of a bump". I'll keep that in mind. That's why I love skiing bumps...it's as much mental as it is physical. Just wish I started younger. It's tough for a 30 year old to put you body through this (been skiing 10 years).

Quote:
Originally posted by therusty:
In order to do this you must keep your weight more centered. If you keep your weight more centered, you'll be able to let the skis turn you more and use less of your quads to turn you. Some of this is kind of catch 22, you need to get more control to get knocked into the back seat less, but you can't get more control when you're getting knocked into the back seat. It might help to think about getting the tails of the skis to be in the air more than the tips instead of vice versa.
Catch-22 for sure. I love the challenge though.

Quote:
Originally posted by therusty:
You've got a good wide stance. But in moguls that can get you into trouble. Check out the turns at 3-4 and 5 seconds. You're forced to pick up the inside ski because of your wide stance. You do a great recovery with a strong outside ski, but the inside ski is hurting you more than helping. As the run progresses, you get your stance a little closer and see less of the stepping.
That bobble was more to do with avoiding a nasty ice patch more than anything. And I mean ICE, glare ice. It was mid-run and kind threw off your timing there each time. But yeah, one thing I did notice from watching the video is how wide my stance is. I’ll try to work on that as well as a more forward position.

Quote:
Originally posted by therusty:
BTW - you can tell how nice these bumps are because of the way they line up going across the hill and up and down the fall line.
Oh My God. These were the best bumps I've ever skied. Loon Mountain in New Hampshire has a groomer operator that can "make" the mogul fields. Loon set up some nice fields on some of their blue intermediate runs. That video was from the last week in February which was the best snow conditions Loon probably saw this year. A bluebird week, slopeside. HERE are a bunch more pix if you're interested. Check out THIS run. An absolute masterpiece. That groomer operator deserves a raise!

Thanks therusty for the excellent and very helpful critique! [img]graemlins/thumbsup.gif[/img]
post #24 of 39
This is a great thread. I fall into the percentage that doesn't yet ski moguls well, but I am making a concerted effort (though this crappy season in New England is running me out of ski days).

I wondered if there are any dry land exercises geared towards exercising skills or strength in skiing bumps?

Bb
post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
CGEIB - mount it at the end of 8' curved rod - that seem to dampen the vibration. The guy that filmed us used to have treerider.com - but it seems to be down now.

BearBerry - stronger is always better - but for me, after a while everything slows down - correct practice helps the most.

Heading up to Whistler to practice some more this weekend.

Love spring skiing.
post #26 of 39
Bearberry, Jumping rope two feet jumps at a time pivoting somewhat as you jump. Count how many you can do in a row without missing or becomming overly tired then build from that. It also helps your hand position somewhat. Other good training for bumps is squats with or without weights.
post #27 of 39
Thanks for the tip, Lars. I spent 4 full days in the bumps this week, but the snow is disappearing fast. The rope sounds like just the trick for the summer. - Bb
post #28 of 39
Check www.psia.org and search for Clendenin. Ok, I did it for you, Pole Use In The Bumps

John Clendenin the ex world freestyler of the year has a great article in The Professional Skier on pole use in the bumps. It's in the archives.

Bob
post #29 of 39
I skied with the freestyle coach at Hunter this week. He tells me he does a drill with his kids that has them ski with ONE pole that doesn't have a basket. He says it's a great drill for keeping the pole plant light. Alternate hands during the run.
post #30 of 39
It's hard to ski moguls well with the feet apart at all. I would venture to say that alot of the steeps skiers you see today with the racing style turn would suck in the bumps. Greg...you need to work on quicker turns on gentle terrain exagerrating the hockey stop on each turn....make as many turns as possible in the shortest distance....with the shoulders square to the fall line and the butt cheeks tight and knees tight together. Core strength is critical to good bump skiing. Be sure to press the tips down the backside and if you can throw in an extra turn for speed control...do it.
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