Putting On the Pressure


World Cup mogul champion Hannah Hardaway explains how to tear it up the bumps.(SKI Magazine by Hannah Haradaway) --I never went to a ski academy. In fact, not too long ago, skiing was just one of many sports I did. But every weekend, my father would drive my brother and me to Vermont, where we were members of the Killington Freestyle Ski Team. Nobody would show up after lunch, so I?d get private lessons. That?s how I learned to ski bumps.

My hips are low in this picture because I?m absorbing the mogul, but I?m not sitting back. I?m actually pulling my feet backward so my knees can flex over my boots. In moguls, it?s impossible to edge if you don?t keep your feet under you. Also, there is constant contact between my shins and the tongues of my boots?a critical part of skiing moguls well.

It is best to be "in the driver?s seat" in the moguls and maintain shin pressure. If my feet get ahead of me, I may be able to sneak in a few more turns, but I will most likely lose control and blow out of my line.

I also concentrate on hand position. See how my left hand is reaching down the hill for my next pole plant? This keeps my shoulders, torso and hips heading down the fall line. I try to plant my pole on the back (downhill) side of the mogul. I won?t let my pole linger, because if it stays too long, it will drag my shoulders out of position. My right hand is ready to drive forward?straight down the hill?to initiate the next turn.

Here I?m in a right turn, but my eyes are focused way ahead?on my next right turn, actually. My best mogul advice: Go where you?re looking, work on your hands, and maintain shin pressure. When you lose the pressure, it?s like letting go of your car?s steering wheel.