Are you looking to spice up your skiing? Learning how to ski moguls can be challenging and fun.
Skiing moguls demands a careful monitoring of how your body responds to quick turns and non-linear environments.
Preparing yourself to tackle mogul courses can require lots of practice, but if you keep some basics in mind, you can be whipping through a mogul course in no time at all.
What is Mogul Skiing?
You first need to understand what mogul skiing is – and, more importantly, what moguls are. Mogul skiing is a type of freestyle skiing and most often takes the form of a timed competition.
Skiers must maneuver over moguls – or handcrafted hills of varying sizes, sometimes formed by the displacement of snow during a sharp turn – as quickly and skillfully as they can in order to outpace their opponents. Alternatively, you can ski moguls casually.
Moguls are often stylized to suit their particular courses. The hills can either be impressively large, or tight, controlled bumps that require precision to ski across.
Regardless of their size, however, there are six elements of the mogul which always remains the same.
The mogul’s flat top is the soft snow that makes up the bulk of its being; this is the snow that you’d think would be easiest to ski through, but it’s not necessarily the snow that a mogul skier wants to spend the most time in.
The mogul’s spine, alternatively, is its pointed ridge; the dropping point that will take a skier to the next hill. There are two secondary fall lines as part of a mogul’s design.
These fall lines run down to the trough of the mogul on either of its sides, and they are often uniquely sloped to suit the ability level of the skiers running the course or participating in a particular competition.
Finally, there are the troughs or the valleys which exist between the many moguls.
Skiers who feel the need for speed will want to linger in the troughs, though sticking with the low ground requires dexterity and quick thinking over the course of a run.
Skills to Perfect for Mogul Skiing
There are several skills involved in talented mogul skiing.
If you are just getting started, consider the following before you take to the slopes.
Poles – Yes or No?
Most mogul skiers make use of ski poles in order to ensure additional stability over the course of a run.
For competitive skiers, these poles are a must; for the casual hobbyist, however, they are not always necessary.
It is up to you whether or not you want to use poles over the course of a mogul run, but take the advice of the people around you and consider just how serious about mogul skiing you want to be.
Find Your Center
When learning how to ski on moguls – or how to ski, generally – you want to do your best to keep yourself well balanced.
Begin with your stance. When skiing moguls, you want to keep your stance narrowed, meaning that your skis should be reasonably close together.
Do not over-bend your knees, no matter how tempting it may be – you will not have more control if you’re closer to the ground, despite common belief; you’re far more likely to tip over.
Once you have settled into a comfortable stance, take note of your body. Monitor how sharply you move through your turns, and do your best to relax.
Keep your hands away from your hips; relax them instead, usually out in front of you to lend to your stability, as does minimal arm movement.
Don’t go flailing down a hill! Remember that you are in control of your body and that how you move determines how well your run goes.
It often helps to keep your gaze locked forward; much like when driving, your body will go where your eyes go.
Turns and Speed
The turns on a mogul course can be intimidating, as can the speed that you pick up.
You can manage both the sharpness of your turns and your pace moving through a course with a controlled shifting of your body.
Lean in the direction you want to go, and do so with care; you don’t need to kick up big piles of snow when you turn – this just adds to the complexity of the course!
Do your best not to over-adjust, as well, and once you’ve completed a turn, take care to re-find your center of balance.
Extending practice will ensure that you develop a better understanding of how your body operates while on skis.
Before long, you will be able to take to the mogul courses like a champ.
Choose Your Line
Decide at the top of the course whether or not you want the top of the moguls or the troughs; this determination of your line will keep you on track all the way through the mogul course.
You can turn at the top of the mogul hills, if you like, for an easier ride overall. The soft snow of the flat top is a great place for beginners to learn how to find their feet.
If you’re well-practiced, or if you feel the need for speed, ski around the moguls and stick to the troughs; your time will be better, but you’ll have to use the whole of your body to carefully control your turns.
Here’s a video going into more detail on mogul skiing.
Mogul skiing is as fun as you make it; though, again, it can take lots of practice in order for you to become acquainted with this unique variation of skiing.
Take to the slopes and try your hand – or, rather, your skis – at a mogul course, and see where the hills lead you.
Do you have any tips for mogul skiing?