By Ron Kubicki,
Director of Holiday Valley Snowsports School
(Continued from last week…) Go over to Morning Star and stop next to the beginning of the mogul field. You have moderate groomed slope next to some rather user friendly bumps. So simply make a turn in the groomed then turn into the bumps, turn back out, turn back in. Use the groomed turn to let you get realigned – “balanced athletic stance” – and prepare for where you enter the bumps. If you go over a bump, absorb with knees and ankles, keep your hands in front of you and your butt over your boots. Turn back out of bumps and turn back in. Do this with a rhythm and medium sized turns. Do this for several runs until you get the feeling of dealing variations of entering the moguls, are you entering on a bump, in a trough, over a side? Do this until you get a sense of reading the bumps.
Once you are comfortable after a couple of runs move to the top of the bumps again. Move into the edge until you sorta-kinda have one bump between you and the groomed. You are now in the bumps, but within one easy turn of getting yourself out in case you need an escape path, or just need to slide out and get a rhythm established again then slide back into the bumps. Stand up tall, hands in front and begin an easy side slip down the back of the bump you are standing on, once you are in a trough let your ski tips point down at an angle to the bump just down hill of you, slide up on the top of that bump and pivot your skis to point the other way and slide down the back of that bump. Stop! Take a breath and look at what you just did. Pick the next two you want to ski over. Get in balance and go. Do this a couple times then add another bump. Remember to stay close to the edge of the mogul field so you can slide out easily to get your self together. Do this until you can put half a run in before you stop, then keep doing this same run until you get to a comfort level. Remember to use ankle and knees to “flex and extend” through the bumps. Absorb as you go over the top, and extend your legs as you go over the back.
A quick little drill to practice the “flex and extend” is to traverse through the bumps. Just point your skis across the slope and bend and extend your knees and ankles trying to keep your head as level as possible as your feet move up and down underneath you, try to point your tips down as you go over the top of the bumps, this will assure that you are forward and balanced, with hands in front.
Do this and continue “picking lines” in the bumps and you will soon be the one that others watch from the lift. Skiing comfortably in the bumps is fun and exciting and opens up more of the mountain to you.
There are many more tips for improving and enhancing your skills in the bumps. Consider taking a private session with one of our certified “Pros” and get some specific feedback. No matter where you go to ski and run into bumps be sure to look for a certified instructor to ski with you.
Thank you for reading this article and remember to say “Hello” if we meet each other on the slope.
“Go with a Pro”
From printed and video educational material of Professional Snowsports Instructors of America/American Association of Snowboard instructors