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Ask The Experts: February 2003


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The Professor

I’m an intermediate looking to ski well in moguls, but I just can’t get it. What should I do?

Yukio Cummings

Vancouver, B.C.

There are stacks of books and miles of video on how to ski moguls. But much of it boils down to this: To ski bumps well, you must be able to make short, linked turns exactly when and where you want. This takes lots of practice on smooth runs-flat, moderate and steep. Your goals are to control your speed using these short, parallel turns and to keep your upper body stable (always facing directly downhill) with well-timed pole plants.

Pick a line and challenge yourself to ski directly on it. Look ahead; don’t focus on the snow close to you. Keep your hands moving, constantly swinging your pole downhill for the next pole plant.

Your first ventures into bumps will test your ability to make such precise small turns-as well as disrupt your balance. Suddenly a one-dimensional run turns into a 3-D problem. So start in small, soft bumps, not the big, hard ones.

Begin by skiing around the bumps, staying in the relative flat of the “troughs.” Later, you can explore tougher lines-off the sides of the moguls or even over the tops-and bigger bumps with radical shapes.

Mogul skiing is about rapid, accurate foot speed. Yet your feet can only be as fast as your hands and poles. If you are late with the pole, your turn will be late. Work on these things. If you still struggle, get help from a ski instructor. A lesson will be money well spent.
-The Professor

Have a question for The Professor? Write Stu Campbell at the professor

The Gear Geek
None of my local shops carry mogul skis. Why not?
Jim Halperin,
Bridgeport, Conn.

Manufacturers still make mogul skis, but mostly for competitors. A good shop will order them, but you won’t find many in stock. Why? True bump skis are specialized and have been left behind in the sidecut revolution. They’re straight, soft and metal-free-attributes that only work in the bumps. Most of us are better served by a narrower ski (no more than a 68-mm waist) in a short length (about nose-high). It’ll be plenty quick for bumps and won’t suck everywhere else.
-The Geek

Have a question for The Gear Geek? Write Joe Cutts at

The Trainer
I ski hard two or three days a week. Do I need to keep working out?
Lawrence McKaulkin
Redmond, Wash.

Don’t stop training; just target muscles that skiing doesn’t. Your goal: Avoid injury by keeping your muscles in balance. For example, skiing works your quads hard, so in the gym, you’ll want to work your hamstrings and glutes harder than your quads. A quick test can tell you how: Your hamstrings should be 70 percent as strong as your quads. So if you’re lifting 100 pounds for a quad extension, you should be lifting 70 pounds for a hamstring extension. Also, skiing works your heart only in short bursts, so fit in at least two lower-intensity cardio workouts each week.
-The TrainerHave a question for The Trainer? Write Kellee Katagi at kkatagi@