In the Bumps, Ski Like You Drive


(SKIING Magazine) Stance and vision are two of the most important technical components of mogul skiing. If you’re not balanced, and if you can’t see what’s coming, you’ll quickly find yourself getting bounced out of your line.

You should stand in the “stacked position,” with shoulders over hips over balls of feet-like a soccer goalie at the ready, but with your feet closer together (Fig. 2). Try to maintain shin pressure against the tongues of your boots. Your stance will shift slightly during different parts of the turn (Figs.1, 2, 3), but if you’re stacked at the beginning, your momentum will make you feel balanced during the entire run.

The other key is looking consistently ahead-three bumps downhill for the novice and six bumps ahead for the pro. It’s similar to how you drive a car; when you drive, you look at the road in front, not at the hood of the car. If you’re looking down the road, it’s easy to count the dashed lane lines in the middle of the highway. But if you look at the edge of the hood, it’s nearly impossible to count the dashes as they fly by. The same principle applies to mogul skiing.

If you look far ahead, choosing your line and preparing for the bumps will seem slower, more comfortable, and easier to manage. If you look at your feet, you will be nervous, jammed (see “wrong”), and rushed.

Travis Mayer won silver in the bumps at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and is a five-time member of the U.S. Ski Team. He lives in Steamboat, Colorado.