Get Schooled: String 'em Up - Ski Mag

Get Schooled: String 'em Up

Get Schooled 1204

When they hit the bumps in a hunched- over, racing position, they absorb the first bump OK, then each one after that puts them farther and farther back on their heels until they blow up.

Their problem, like a lot of ex-racers, is that they don't make the adjustment out of racer mode and into bumper mode. Racers don't need much absorption—they grind their edges in to stay in control. But in bumps, you release the edge as fast as you engage it. To do that, you have to stand up tall and move your feet closer together to allow for quicker edge transfers. The upright position is the only way you can absorb enough to maintain control in moguls.

Before you try this tip on snow, put a chair about a foot behind your heels and slowly sink down onto it. Now spring out of the chair and land straight upright. That's the range of motion you're after.

As you take that thought into the bumps, imagine you're a puppet being pulled upright by a string connected to the top of your head. As you absorb each mogul and move toward the sitting position, the string pulls you back into the upright position. By constantly returning to that upright position, you will make your hips move fluidly, and your hands come up in front of you. You'll be forced over the front of your skis as you extend down into every trough.

Shannon Bahrke

Age: 23Height: 5 feet 4 inches Weight: 120 pounds Home Area: Squaw Valley, CA Accomplishments: 2002 Olympic Silver Medalist, 2003 World Cup Mogul Champion, four-time National Mogul Champion. Worst Learning Experience: "I had a competition earlier this year in Inawashiro, Japan. It was a foggy day— snowing, wet, cold. There was a course-hold on all day; we finally ran at three o'clock. I was cold and stiff, and as I came into the bottom air I realized I was going too slow. I had planned a back flip, but wasn't sure I had enough speed. I thought 'I should just stay upright,' but I went for the flip. I didn't make it— my tips caught, and I punched myself in the face, breaking my jaw. I didn't trust my gut and I ended up with a jaw wired shut for two months.