Perhaps even more so than powder, moguls can be one of the biggest, most intimidating challenges for more intermediate and advanced skiers.
Little bumps? Not too big of a deal.
But big bumps can instill fear in even the heartiest of skiers; they can be knee+ keep, uneven, inconsistent - or all of the above. And sometimes, your nerves take over and send you heading for a smoother run.
Bumps are fun (and a great workout!) once you get comfortable and master the techniques. Take our basic tips below, find a bump run (don't start off too big right away), and spend some time.
Most of all:
Take the ski run in intervals, with frequent breaks.
Speed control is ultra-important when skiing moguls, so it's always better to stop than get nervous and keep going, gaining speed.
Take a morning practicing the bumps, and post-lunch you'll be "bumping along" with confidence! As always, if you'd like extra-support or guidance, seek out a professional ski instructor.
How to Ski Moguls
1. Start with a low-angle (less steep) mogul run. From the top, choose the line you like best.
2. Know your goal: Focus on linking more and more turns, while maintaining a manageable (safe) and consistent speed.
3. Use the bumps for speed control. Plant your pole just before the top of a mogul, turn around it, and slide into the next mogul (thus slowing yourself down), before you repeat and turn again. Think: Pole plant, turn, slow down, and repeat. Keep it slow when you're learning (but not so slow that you lose gravity's advantage and work against yourself).
4. Do not turn on the top of moguls. This means you will turn into and come down the steepest, most inconsistent side of the mogul.
5. Keep your skis closer together and think of your knees as shock absorbers. Your knees should extend your legs when you are in a rut, and come into your body (bend) when the terrain raises. Your upper body should remain relatively still and consistent, while your legs do the work.
6. Stop if you need. If you find yourself going too fast or out of control, just stop and take a breather. Allow yourself to regroup, then start again. The most difficult, but also most important, thing for novice bump-skiers to learn is control in them bumps.
7. Practice. Mastering moguls takes time and practice, but with a consistent effort over the morning, you'll be more confident and ready to take on harder terrain. Again, if you, however, find yourself needing more help, please seek out qualified instruction.
Also, be sure to watch this instructional video from Ski Magazine for a quick, concise Bump Skiing Tutorial: