The Mogul Manual

Mogul Manual 1105

In moguls, you have time for only the most straightforward movement patterns. Any extraneous motion can throw you off, so keep things as simple as possible. You may find it helpful to imagine dividing your body into two parts: lower and upper. Your feet, ankles, knees and thighs will handle the majority of the work, so we'll focus first on what happens below. Click the slideshows for the photos and detailed descriptions.

The SideslipMogul skiing is seldom about carving turns, because the bumps are too close together. Instead, you'll be making sharper, skidded turns. Skidding helps you control speed and allows you to make the tight direction changes you need to adjust your line. You must be able to release your edges and then regain them at will.

Combine the slideslip and the hockey stop drills, making linked, pivoted turns with lots of skid. Stop suddenly just to add spice.

Hop Turns

Hop turns teach you to lengthen and shorten your body as you ski bumps. As you pass over a mogul, the joints in your body must flex to absorb it. As you come down the back of a mogul you must extend—reaching with your feet to keep your skis in contact with the snow. Meanwhile, you must also pivot your feet.

The Zipper Line

When you first start skiing in small bumps, use a route that takes you over the mogul tops. Anywhere you can get a gentle lift from a bump is a good spot to plant your pole and pivot your skis. As bumps get bigger, though, you must think ahead and plan a line that's flexible. Know where you want to go, but be ready to react and change. One basic approach to a mogul field is to follow the troughs—as if riding a stream flowing between them. This route zigzags back and forth and is called the zipper line.


Often the zipper line is too fast to be comfortable. You need to find a way to kill speed without abandoning your basic route and game plan. A line that's too fast is one place you don't want to be. (Other places not to be: too high up the sides of moguls; sideways in a place that's too narrow; attached to skis that are ramming tips-first into a mogul face.)Fortunately, there are ways to use the trough to slow down, by drifting turns and by using mogul faces on the inside and the outside of the trough. These tactics all rely on your ability to release your edges and engage them again at will.

November 2005