Unstumped By The Bumps, Five Steps To Breaking The Mogul Barrier

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You will never be a complete skier until you can "do" bumps. Moguls show up everywhere, and to fully experience a mountain, you have to venture off groomed runs onto challenging terrain.

Some people want to ski nothing but bumps. That's because mogul skiing, when done well, provides an addictive, rhythmic sensation-a synchronicity with the mountain. And bumps offer endless opportunities to express yourself: You can explore lines, adjust speed, get air, do tricks and land them cleanly.

But where to start? Moguls threaten our balance, confuse our route and disrupt the timing we enjoy on smooth runs. Don't be misled by mogul skiers who seem to be ripping out of control. Having a ball in bumps is not about being reckless. It's about precision. And you don't have to reinvent the technique you already have.

If you look closely, you'll notice that bump specialists are always on the downhill ski. As they plant a pole, they pivot and shift their weight to the new downhill ski. Their feet and legs are tight and close together so they can fit between the moguls. They are incredibly balanced and disciplined, but their technique is not unlike yours.

Start by practicing short turns-with speed control-on groomed terrain (see the Turning Point on page 32). Then study a mogul field. At first it may look like a hopeless maze, but really it is a map. On the map are "lines," and these lines all relate to one another. The key is learning to read the map. Here's how...