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Moguls

Started by Simon T in Ski Technique - 34 Replies

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Simon T posted Jan-2007

Can anyone offer me some good advice on mastering moguls?

I've skied all my life and get down anything else pretty easily but I have had little experience on the bumps and find myself losing control quickly.

Any tips would be appreciated!

Cheers,

S

Powderhound
reply to 'Moguls'
posted Jan-2007

Hi Simon,

There's some video and good advice from Warren Smith on How to Ski Moguls here on j2ski.

I'm no expert in the bumps but the initial challenge for me was to really loosen up the edge grip (compared to piste skiing) and let the skis skid / drift a bit more to kill the speed. I'm still pants though...

Powderhound

Simon T
reply to 'Moguls'
posted Jan-2007

Many thanks. I think that's my problem ie skiing moguls like I ski on normal piste. I think my skis are to far apart and I try to edge rather than skid off the back of the bumps. I'll see how I get on with more skidding...

S

Snowcheeks
reply to 'Moguls'
posted Jan-2007

Simon T wrote:Many thanks. I think that's my problem ie skiing moguls like I ski on normal piste. I think my skis are to far apart and I try to edge rather than skid off the back of the bumps. I'll see how I get on with more skidding...

S

This is a good question. I never know whether to ski round the things or over them. Should you turn on the tops of them or in the gaps between? I've just come back from a week in Alpe d'Huez where, because it had not snowed properly since early December, a lot of pistes were closed and what ones were open were well used by too many people, not all of them very good I have to say, and this is what churns the slopes up into mogul fields quicker than anything. Our son solved the problem by just skiing straight down over them! A technique not for the faint hearted, but 7 year olds have no fear.
Faceplanter extraordinaire

Pavelski
reply to 'Moguls'
posted Jan-2007

I read a saying in another site about this topic and am passing along to you all.

" I thought I was an expert skier, but the moguls prove I am not"

This saying is so on the mark, because in moguls you can not cheat. If you have any flaws in;weight transfer, edge sets, pressure control,body rotation, fear, etc... it will show.

If you have no idea what those terms mean, start learning the correct efficient skiing technique.

You must practice all basic techniques, and master them BEFORE attempting any mogul runs.

Reading some of the comments above, indicates some confusion.

Typically moguls are formed with; hard ice type surface in the downward slope section, the valley ( between two moguls) is typically ice also and the upper sections are soft due to skiers "skidding" down moguls. The tops are all soft!

The following are skills you must master BEFORE you try to ski even small moguls;

1. Soft quick edges sets.
Typically intermediate skiers have a "hard" edge set in which they lay all their weight and pressure on one ski! This is called among ski instructors as the "do or die" technique. Poor, ineffective and potentially dangerous.
You should ski "as if skiing on eggs" ready to change weight or pressure from one ski to another ski in a milli-second.

2. Weigth/Pressure control.
In mogul field you are very much like in the ocean with waves. The angle of attack varies based on the form of mogul. You must adjust your weight/pressure on skis IN RELATION to mogul. You must have a dynamic posture. Learn to feel skis turn on easy runs. Experiment weight change on
easy run , by putting pressure on skis before a turn, after a turn and during a turn. You will learn to "feel" ski biting, slipping and skidding.

3. Skidding
There is a debate ( which has lasted for 30 years) on this topic. A frenchman by the name Joubert wrote a classic book on "modern ski technique" in which he discusses a technique for skidding. This was written in the 1960"s. With modern skis, you should not skid ( dérapage)!!!
All effective skiers have learnd that when you skid, you have lost control of ski. Like in a car that is on ice, you do not jam brakes since you will "drift" with no control. Rather you learn to be "soft" with pedal and allow car to follow trajectory and driver "with gentle brake pedal" and soft steering gets car back on road!
I can not stress how important it is NOT to skid ever,,,,even more in moguls. I know some ski instructors and even some ski instruction sites promote this skidding. I do not!

I realize the many responses I will get and let me tell all of you that I do "skid" but it is when; I am studying a race course, when I am filming skier, when I am in very steep chute that also is narrow. Never but never do I "skid" in moguls or open ski runs.

4. Few skiers care about their edges. If there is one type of skiing that requires sharp edges it is in moguls. 90% of male skiers that want to learn to ski moguls have to go to ski shop and get edges sharpened at 3 degrees side and 1 degree base. I will never teach any skier who has poor tuned ski!

Notice that I have yet not talked about how to ski the moguls yet. All I have addressed are the prerequisites for this type of skiing.

Typically, ( assuming a skier is fit and skis are tuned) I will spend two days on "easy" run practicing;
-weigth transfer
-Pressure control
-rapid SL turns on at 2m interval

I will never teach some skier to go to moguls unless these three techniques are mastered at all speeds!

Nothing is free in skiing and there are no short cuts. If you wish to learn to ski moguls, it can be done in one week but you must master basis first!

Once you do ski a moguls run, you can ski anything.
I mean ski,,,,,not slide, not roll, not walk, not traverse a mogul run.

It is called the moment of truth. You can not hide your poor techniques!
You have mastered or not the basic skiing techniques!

Hope this will motivate you to take 1 hour per ski day to practice just one skiing technique. One hour per day!


Ben76
reply to 'Moguls'
posted Jan-2007

pavelski wrote:I can not stress how important it is NOT to skid ever,,,,even more in moguls. I know some ski instructors and even some ski instruction sites promote this skidding. I do not!



what do you do, carve through the mogul fields then??? either that or engage you edges immediately after pivotting your skis?

would be an interesting sight!

Pavelski
reply to 'Moguls'
posted Jan-2007

There is not one technique for skiing moguls. I will try to offer several options, but first what I tried to convey in the first string is NOT to attempt moguls if you have not mastered the basics! You will just "pick up" poor skiing habits which will haunt you for years!

Assuming you can; set edges, control pressure to skis,adjust weight distribution here are some skiing options in moguls;

1. If new snow or loose snow on moguls DO NOT ski into the valleys but set edges at top of moguls and land at flank of next mogul. Allow ski to ride up to loose snow!

2. Take fall line direct (straight down) and set edges ( very lightly) at flanks of each mogul as monsieur Jean-Luc Brassard would do, flexing legs at each edge set.

3. Ski the trail edges where moguls are smaller and less ice. Allow ski to carve into the flank of the mogul and set edges very hard at end of turn turn which will be near top of lower mogul.

4. If very hard and icy conditions, turn and pivot at TOP of each mogul and allow skis to turn down upper mogul ( with very soft edges), then at lower mogul set edges harder as you come up lower mogul. Ending with hard edge set just before you pivot at top. Repeat process!

5. My very favorite technique is in Spring when moguls get bigger but softer. Most skiers still use the "herd" technique which is follow tracks of other skiers into valleys. As result valleys get narrower,moguls get steeper flanks. The secret is that the tops are very soft with wet snow. Great landing zone. Small yes, but just enough space to land, set edge and rotate ski in one flowing motion. Now you can appreciate all that "practice" on easy slopes.

Where it is steeper this technique is easier, but the mental factor ( yes again that voice in your head gets louder). This is when you have to "prove" to yourself that you want it!

Do not even look at valleys! Focus on the soft tops and flow from top to top of moguls. As you land you will slow down due to soft loose snow, dot not set very hard edge, just direct ski to next top! You will notice that ski "burst" through the soft snow creating a "volcano" effect as you pass from one top to next top!

Hope this helps!

Ben76
reply to 'Moguls'
posted Jan-2007

Snowcheeks wrote:[This is a good question. I never know whether to ski round the things or over them. Should you turn on the tops of them or in the gaps between?


turn on the top (sort of), ideally you should turn on the uphill side of the mogul (plant pole on downhill side) and slide down the down hill side of the mogul steering your skis to the next mogul.

one of the hardest parts of mogul skiing is choosing an appropriate fall line and moguls to turn on, when I get clients to follow my tracks directly (about 1 turn behind me) they find that they can suddenly ski moguls much better than they thought!
Edited 1 time. Last update at 05-Jan-2007

Topic last updated on 18-January-2016 at 19:08

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