You would never see Joe Louis drop his hands in the 10th round, and there’s no reason you should drop your gloves in the bumps either. Boxers are more likely to get pummeled when they lower their paws, and skiers who drop their hands can get in all sorts of trouble—they sit back, lose control of their skis, and open themselves up to injury.
To avoid getting knocked down, always remember to move your hips, torso, and arms up and forward. First, plant your pole farther down the hill than you normally would (Fig. 1). Each time you plant, imagine punching your fist like a boxer (Fig. 2). At full arm extension (which should coincide with the beginning of the next turn), flick your wrist to plant the pole tip in the back side of the bump (Fig. 3). This extended pole plant will move you forward and down the hill, and it will also help you stand up between turns for better bump absorption. Box your way down the hill, and you’ll still be standing when they ring the bell.
Travis Cabral is the 2003 World Cup Mogul Champion, a six-time World Cup winner, and the 1999 U.S. National Mogul Champion. He skis out of Sierra at Tahoe.
Click the slideshow below to view all the figures.