How to Ski Moguls: A Beginner’s Guide to Safely Navigating Those Dreaded Bumps

Learning how to ski moguls can be a painful experience, but the exhilaration that flows from dancing down the fall line of a trail, bopping between bumps, is inexpressible. While many skiers dread and avoid anything resembling a goose bump on the trail, the few people who know how to ski moguls are admired by onlookers. Any skier who is at least at the intermediate stage can learn how to ski moguls. If a blue square is manageable, then sliding down a mogul field can be the beginning of a new adventure.

These suggestions are meant for intermediate skiers, who are beginning to explore moguls. More experienced enthusiasts may find this step-by-step system slow and boring. If that is the case, there are other articles that can help refine technique. For the beginning mogul skier, this method can introduce him or her to moguls in a fun manner. Mogul skiing is not without risk. Skiers should always ski within their limits and stay in control.

Selecting the Day for Mogul Skiing

The difficulty of any ski trail is significantly impacted by the current weather and trail conditions. Even an easy slope can become challenging when an icy storm hits; likewise, thin cover can make steep trails more challenging. The most inviting conditions for learning how to ski moguls are on sunny days, often in the spring. When the temperature is warm, the snow becomes soft. This is when a mogul field is at its best and easiest to navigate. It also happens to be when mogul skiers are at their best, providing entertainment for the ride up the chairlift.

Sitting Atop a Mogul Field

Sitting perched atop a mogul field for the first time can be intimidating. Often, these trails are steep, and navigating the bumps seems treacherous. However, it need not be. The first thing to do at the top of a trail is to take a deep breath, relax and look out over the valley below. The scenery is beautiful at ski resorts, so why not enjoy it? There is no need to hurry downhill.

Preparing to Ski Down

Refocusing on the trail at hand, skiers should begin to look for a line. A line will weave through the moguls, flowing downhill. As one’s confidence, experience and skill at skiing moguls increases, so will one’s speed. Therefore, the line should not have any sharp angles. It should flow downhill, much as a stream of water would.

Skiers who are unsure of where to begin should begin by watching experts going down. They know what to look for in a line, and beginners would be wise to follow in their tracks. If there is someone nearby studying the trail, skate over and ask for advice. Mogul skiing is a small, tight-knit community of people who love the sport. Most experienced skiers will be glad to provide a novice with a few pointers; those who do not like helping others will still show off their expertise. Simply watch anyone who refuses to provide a suggestion. Wait until he or she falls, and then laugh. After all, heckling is also part of the culture.

Skiing Down a Mogul Field

When entering a mogul field for the first time, skiers should turn their skis perpendicular to the fall line. That is, the skis should be pointed across the trail, stopping downhill momentum. With skis pointed toward the edge of the trail, begin side-slipping down the selected line. Side-slip the entire line. While doing this, think about how to ski it. Are there any sharp turns, deep troughs or misplaced moguls? Where can a skier stop and ski out of the line? This information will help in future runs.

Upon subsequent runs, go down the same line, side-slipping to stay in control and comfortable. As confidence increases, begin turning your skis downhill for a single turn, and then side-slipping. Make another turn with your skis pointed downhill, and then side-slip more. As it becomes easier, increase the number of turns and decrease the side-slipping. This method will help beginning mogul skiers learn how to ski moguls, while staying in control and having fun. Slowly, turns will be linked together, in longer and longer chains. Eventually, there will be no need to side-slip.

Take Breaks

Even for experienced mogul skiers, skiing moguls is not easy. In addition to the technique required, it is physically demanding. Few skiers are fit enough to ski an entire mogul field. Do not be afraid to take breaks part way down. Fatigue is a major cause of skiing accidents, so take your time.

While stopped, relax and enjoy the view. Watch other skiers. Look out over the valley. Also, make sure to look uphill. That is how much you have already skied. If you have successfully navigated part of the hill, then the rest is manageable.

These steps are designed for a skier who is beginning to explore moguls. By going slowly and gradually learning how to ski moguls, intermediate skiers can be introduced to another part of the sport. In addition to these, there are specific techniques for mogul skiing that can help people master the sport.

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