Whether you’re new to skiing or a practiced skier, tackling moguls can be tricky and there’s always room for improvement.
Just like marmite, most people have a love or hate relationship with moguls. Either way you’re likely to come across them at some point, so these tips to help you improve your mogul skiing from the skiing experts at Neilson Holidays will have you flying through the bumps in no time.
Moguls are essentially mounds of snow that build up throughout the day because skiers and snowboarders making their turns push the snow into mounds all across the slope. These mounds make the piste particularly bumpy to ski or board on and they can vary in size. Some are the size of a football, some are the size of a car and it depends on how steep the piste is. Generally, the steeper the slope, the bigger the mogul.
However, there are also pistes designed to be essentially fields of moguls, for skiers who love the challenge of skiing moguls or snowboarders can have a go too. These moguls can often be particularly large, but are also quite even in comparison to moguls that have just formed from frequent skiing. The term mogul is coined from the Austrian German word Mugel which can be defined as a mound or hillock, so both types of bumps fall under the term mogul.
Skiing too fast is the biggest downfall in mogul skiing. Controlling your speed will allow you time to control your turns around the moguls or bumps. If you do build up too much speed after the first couple of moguls, you risk spinning out of control and taking a fall.
There’s more than one way to ski a mogul field, but choosing a line to follow before you set off will undoubtably make things easier. When you’re picking this line, regularity in the size and the pattern of the moguls is key. Choosing an inconsistent path will mean switching up your rhythm and will give you more to think about and react to.
Then, probably the most recognised method for skiing moguls is to try to avoid swerving around the moguls. It’s good practice to ski over the mogul before making your turn at the peak, doing this will help to keep the tips of your skis out of the snow and you should find turning a lot easier. As you complete each turn, ski down a little on the other side of the mogul and turn your ski at the top of the next mogul. Throughout, you’ll need to absorb the bumps with your knees and ankles whilst allowing your legs to flex with the ups and downs of the terrain.
While choosing a good line is important, you’re never going to find a path through a mogul field that features entirely evenly spaced bumps of a similar size. Instead pick the best possible line and be ready to face variations to mogul size. Learning to adapt and having the ability to tackle bumps of all shapes and sizes will improve your skiing. When mogul skiing, look ahead for a distant object or location within the mogul field and fix a line straight down from you to that very point — then ski that path with conviction and confidence.
You can considerably improve your mogul skiing by finding a good rhythm which in turn will improve your confidence and fluidity. If you’re finding this challenging, count to a number and on that chosen number, make your turn, then repeat. This will keep you consistently maneuvering down the slopes in a steady rhythm that supports your stability and balance.
Knowing whether to turn on the top of the bump or in between the bumps can be difficult, but having a rhythm to turn to will help. And neither turning point is wrong if it fits with the fluidity of your line, but remember turning in between the moguls will allow for a faster run, but can be hard work. Turning on top will allow for a much rounder turn as less of your ski will be in contact with the snow, making the turn much easier.
Pole planting is so important when it comes to skiing moguls. The poles will play a key part in helping you maintain rhythm and balance. If you’re not sure how to pole plant correctly and how it can benefit your skiing read our hints tips on how to use ski poles.
To start with, you could find that you are being shaken around a little in the bumps. Don’t worry, if you’ve implemented the above mogul skiing points, it may mean you just need to relax and avoid being so rigid. Challenge yourself to glide over some bumps whilst keeping your head at the same level throughout the run, allowing your ankles, knees and hips to flex. This should give you more control and allow you to actively move with the uneven terrain rather than being pushed around by it. The more you try moguls the more your body with relax, get into a rhythm and improve your skiing.
For more skiing hints and tips read our skiing tips section.
Keep your eyes peeled for Mogul Events at your local indoor slope so you can Give it a Go...