Skiers who are looking for more challenging terrain should consider taking on mogul runs. Some of the best alpine ski runs are moguls. Not only are they a blast, but they also provide practice for skiers who want to improve their overall skiing ability. Before attempting to go down any of these difficult runs, however, every athlete should understand what it takes to ski them. Safety is the priority on every ski mountain because nothing ruins a ski trip like an injury. Here are some ski tips and guidelines to follow when you’re learning how to ski moguls:
Look Before You Ski: Before skiing down a mogul run, stand at the top of the slope and look down at the bumps. Every mogul run is different; the size of the moguls, the depth of the troughs and the steepness of the slope are just a few variations. You need to analyze the run and decide how you want to approach it. It’s a good idea to have a line envisioned before you begin skiing. Picking your line means deciding where you want to start, where you want to make each turn, and where you want to stop beforehand. If you think the run will be easy to handle, then pick a line that is one or two moguls in width, which will require faster turning. If the run looks like it will be tough, then only ski for a few turns at a time. Knowing where you want to go will make skiing the run easier, safer and a lot more fun.
Turning: The image above shows one of the best ways to ski mogul runs. The keys to turning in mogul runs are absorption and power. When turning over and through moguls, you need to be able to lift your knees to absorb the shock of the bumps. Keeping your legs stiff will cause you to pop up in the air and can result in injury. A good technique for absorbing moguls is to focus on keeping your head at the same level as you go down the run. If you watch the best skiers, their head seems to float down mogul runs while their knees bounce back and forth through the bumps. Although you want to absorb the moguls when moving over the bumps, you also need to be able to push off the side of moguls when you are in the troughs between them. This power is not as important on small moguls, but when faced with large moguls it is essential. If you can’t push yourself around moguls, then you’ll end up skiing straight down the mountain, hitting each mogul, and losing control. Use the sides of moguls as walls that you can push off of as you make your way through the bumps.
Maintain Control: This should go without saying, but skiers can never be reminded enough. Stay in control. There is nothing more dangerous than an inexperienced skier taking on a run they are unprepared for. If you want to ski down more difficult runs, then take your time. Look before you make your turns and always know how and where to stop. Mogul runs require rapid turning, and as a result, rapid skiing. To keep your speed in check, try to pick trough lines that cross back and forth on the slope. Your lines will aim more directly down the mountain as you improve.
These ski tips can help you prepare to take on mogul runs, but make sure you take your time and use a coach or instructor when adjusting to the new terrain.
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