Mogul Management

Turning Points

It's tempting-and natural-to descend a mogul field as water would flow, letting your skis follow the low troughs between bumps. This rhythmical back-and-forth path is what master bumpers call the "zipper line"-an extremely fast and difficult route.

The best way to maintain control is to let your tips follow the troughs, but force your tails to swing even wider than the zipper line. Anytime your tails take a longer route than your tips, your skis skid. And whenever you skid, you slow down.

A solid pole plant is crucial. It marks the transition between one turn and the next, and it should happen just as you set an edge to stop the skid. It is also your cue to change edges and turn back the other way.

Demonstrated by Nelson Carmichael, Olympic medalist and World Mogul champion.

A : Nelson has skidded his tails to the right and has set his edge. We see a blast of snow just below his feet. We also see that his pole tip has made solid contact with the snow. Note how his hands are ready, always in front of him.

B : Nelson lengthens his legs to flatten his skis, so he can pivot them and steer the tips straight down the trough. At the same time his left hand reaches for the next pole plant.

C : Instead of trying to carve a round arc, Nelson keeps his skis flat a split second longer and gently thrusts his tails out to the left. Then he sets his edge and plants his pole, much as we saw in A.

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