Perfect Turns: Moguls

Perfect Turns

In order to ski bumps well, you have to be able to make good short turns. Since bumps come in a variety of shapes, your short turns have to have a variety of shapes, too. On an intermediate slope, discover how many differently shaped short turns you can make. Then study a bump field and find the rhythm of the shapes. When you can match the shape of the bumps with the shape of your turns, you'll transform bump bashing into ballet. -Michael Rogan, Heavenly, Calif.

When skiing bumps, look ahead, be prepared and anticipate what's coming toward your feet. If there's a big clump of snow, push your feet through and make the bump explode. But keep your skis on the snow. If you have contact, you have control: Push your skis down the bump at the same time you extend your legs, then suck up the new bump by pulling your knees toward your chest. Pole planting will keep your rhythm and help you commit from turn to turn down any bump slope. -Cally Smith, Whistler, B.C.

An easy way to negotiate bumps is to use the step turn. When approaching a bump that you don't want to go over, step around it and finish your turn. While traversing with the outside ski actively tracking across the slope, move the tail of your inside ski up the hill. As you approach the bump, start putting weight on the uphill ski. You should find that when you begin standing on it, the ski will want to move downhill toward the side of the trail. Go with the movement of the ski and allow your weight to move from the outside ski to the inside. By this time, you will have just passed the bump or will find yourself turning over the far shoulder of it. Finish your turn and continue across the trail in search of another bump. Step around them while still moving down the hill and continue on your way. -Andrew Kemmeur, Sugarloaf/USA, Maine

People get bounced around in moguls because they put their feet where they want their skis to go. Instead, think TGIF: Tips Go In First. Aim your ski tips where you want your feet to go. Putting your ski tips in the turn first requires active pressing and reaching with your skis. It will make you feel like you have more time to execute your turns. Leading the way with your ski tips will also make your turns rounder and smoother. At the top of a bump run, think TGIF! -Megan Harvey, Aspen, Colo.

Just like in the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, poised preparation and engaged abs prepare you for any terrain change. Pilates-based cross-training allows you to ski from your center. Start by organizing your body to stabilize your trunk and dissociate your lower extremities. Use your core-abs, lower back and glutes-to create a strong torso for control and balance. Then use your legs to powerfully support your body. Finally, keep your feet alive, sensing the undulations to maintain fore and aft balance. Conscious breathing, engaged abs, active limbs and quick feet are needed to battle any bump field. You are the tiger, ready to pounce, and the dragon with fiery, active abs ready to handle terrain changes. -Malcolm Ridenour, Northstar-at-Tahoe, Calif.