When you think about groomed ski trails, the first thing that probably comes to mind are smooth flat snow avenues that reach as far as your eyes can see – but the reality is that they can be bumpier and curvier than we tend to imagine them.
There’s a special term used to describe all those bumps – moguls. And while they seem like loads of fun, they can be dangerous.
So, how does one ski on terrains with moguls? Well, it’s not as easy as some experienced skiers might make it seem like when you see them effortlessly glide through and over them. But with a bit of practice and caution, you can master them.
First things first, let’s explain what moguls are, and then we’ll get into the specifics on what you need to do when riding on terrains packed with moguls if you want to stay accident-free.
What Are Moguls?
Moguls are little bumps that can be found on many groomed tracks. While they might seem like the work of nature, they are almost always man-made. They can be created by the extra snow that is being piled in one spot by skiers who decide to make turns or stops around a specific spot, or on some groomed tracks, the moguls are constructed on purpose, as some skiers actually enjoy them – they offer that extra bit of adrenaline when skiing downhill.
How To Ski Moguls Like A Pro
Now, don’t go rushing into areas with moguls just yet. Experienced skiers know how to handle them and make it look like it’s easy-peasy, but inexperienced skiers should know that you need to have skills in order to know how to ski on top or around them. You’ll also need the correct gear such as a pair of all mountain skis. Here are all the facts:
Maintaining your balance while hitting moguls is crucial. If you don’t maintain your balance, you will fall right off at the first bump. In order to keep your balance, try doing the following:
- Keep Hands Ahead Of Body
When your arms are aligned with your body, there is much more weight concentrated in one area, and keeping them ahead can help distribute it more evenly, and also give you a slight directional push when making a turn.
- Keep Leg Muscles Half-relaxed
Skiing on top or around the moguls will require your legs to flex, as the bump will come somewhat abruptly at higher speeds. Don’t keep your legs stiff. Let loose and trust your body to help with amortization.
- Pole Position
Make sure your poles are also ahead of you, specifically, the basket. Your poles should reach the mogul or the side of the mogul before your feet, in order to further soften the sudden change of height and speed.
Turn On Top Of The Moguls
If you are inexperienced in handling moguls, then trying to avoid them can be a little difficult, so you might as well try and make a turn when you get on top of them. That way, you can slow down and also navigate the terrain ahead of you. Here’s what to do:
- Pick A Line
Picking a line means sticking to a route, and when you’re going on top of a mogul, you can use this moment to inspect and choose the line. Go for the one that has the most similar-looking moguls, which will provide the same downside and you won’t have to calculate how much to flex as it will come rather naturally after the first one.
- Go High
Get to the highest point of a mogul in order to better inspect the terrain, and also to slow down. Not a full stop but a good slowdown, something that will act as your space to catch your breath before diving in again.
- Do The Twist
As you reach the peak of a mogul, twist a bit to one side. This will prevent any falls if the next mogul is very near, which can be quite dangerous considering the downslope of the one you’re standing on and the upslope of the next one. Hit them head-on and at higher speed and you’re almost certainly going to end up off your skis.
- First The Next Mogul, Then The Route
Don’t look for the easiest or more daunting route when you’re on top. First look for the next mogul you want to get on top of, and then the route to it. A route that seems simple at first might actually get you into more trouble and in the middle of another mogul with a different height.
Go Around The Moguls
Once you’ve mastered the art of getting on top of the moguls, you might want to try the more adrenaline-packed way of skiing moguls – around them. For this, you’ll need to know the following:
- Stay On The Outside
When deciding to go around the mogul, your positioning needs to start way before you get to it. Stay on the outside when approaching the mogul. As you get near it try to use the sides of the elevating slope as a bank on a speed track (like the ones on the sports car races) in order to take the corner with much more speed and control.
- Cross The Channel
As you reach the channel between two moguls, make sure to be ready to turn on the side as soon as you enter. But don’t worry too much, approach it at the right speed and you’ll see that you have much more turning space than you imagine or see at first. Make the turn and get ready to move on to the next one.
- Head-Up, Plan The Route
As soon as you pass the first mogul you’ll have a better idea about which road to take, as you’ll have a better view of the whole mogul-infested terrain ahead of you. As soon as you pass the first one, make sure to take the right channel, one where you have the next 4-5 mogul moves all planned out.
Well there you have it, all the tips and things you can do in order to become a king at skiing moguls. Make sure you get a good feel for the terrain and the field depth for when you hit the moguls, and also \keep your body relaxed and bendy in order to take in all the changes in the terrain with ease. Practice, practice, practice, and moguls will become a piece of cake for you.