Moguls bring out the blemishes in the ski technique of all intermediate and advanced skiers. If you find yourself "bucked around" and unable to control your speed in moguls, take heart, you are not alone. Learning how to control your speed in bumps will make mogul skiing safe and fun for skiers of all ages and abilities.
As Dr. Kim Hewson explained in his recent Watch Newspaper’s “Ski Tips” column: Good skiers control their speed through round, symmetrical C or S shaped turns as they move down the fall line. Controlling our speed through round turn shape unifies almost all forms of contemporary skiing.
My primary tip for mogul skiing is: Slow down by rounding out your turns and choose a forgiving and user-friendly line! Skip bumps and focus on skiing the roundest line you can find. Picking an easier line (and gentler terrain) is an awesome way to set yourself up for success. A great place to practice bump skiing is the split grooming between a groomed and a bumped run. Refer to Figure 1 and check out the split grooming that we recently had on Woozley's Way. Also, check out the Blue Line in Figure 3, which shows that skiers can choose less challenging options.
"Don't let moguls push you into the backseat; maintain your strong, athletic stance."
Good skiers absorb moguls and control the pressure under their feet (Figure 2). Absorb by retracting your legs as you go up over mogul tops and extending your legs into the troughs. Look how the skier in Figure 2 works to keep her skis consistently pressured on the snow. As the five-time female American Mogul Champion Donna Weinbecht states, "Imagine a giant magnet sucking your skis onto the snow, as you ski bumps."
In moguls, use a narrower stance to keep your skis tracking together and be willing to skid. Strive to keep both of your skis entirely on the snow as you move from one pair of corresponding edges to the other. In bumps, true parallel turns are rewarded, while stepping, wedging and sequential moves are punished. If you find yourself picking up your inside ski when you ski bumps, realize this is a blemish in your bump skiing: call the Telluride Ski School and book a lesson – you will be glad you did!
To conclude, picking an easier line is how skiers of different abilities can control their speed in moguls with round S shaped turns. Please refer to Figure 3 to see different bump-line options. The Blue Line requires no absorption, and is the easiest. The open- shaped Black Line on skier’s right offers acceleration and mega absorption. The choice is yours!
Pancho Winter is a 20-year veteran of the Telluride Ski and Snowboard School, and one of Telluride's top ski instructors. Pancho is fully certified in alpine and telemark, and coached for five years for the Telluride Freestyle Team. He is also an enthusiastic snowboarder. To book a lesson with Pancho, please contact Andrew Rieger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 970/728-7402.