My mogul clinic experience
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Crush
February 23, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
Hi!
I took a two-day mogul clinic with 1998 Olympic mogul skier Shawn Smith here at The Canyons in Park City, and so will relate what I learned.

1) I'm a racer ... so I had to make a lot of changes. Shawn put me in a tall, upright position, with hands very neat in front of me (instead of out to the sides) and as Shawn said (for the guys) , "act like there are a bunch of women at the bottom of the run and you are trying to show off your great chest and abs". Or like "there is a string attached to the top of your head and someone is pulling you up by it". The point is stand tall and not break at the waist AT ALL or you back will get busted up. I think about balancing a book on top on the top of my head.

2) We practiced sliding into the "sweet-spot" of the bump almost like a hockey stop and then just as we kissed the sweet spot of the bump we tap our pole right across from our feet but ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BUMP on the downhill face ... this is what all pro-mogul skiers do like, J. Bloom or T. Dawson.

3) I learned to absorb bumps better in my new position ... by standing tall and not breaking at the waist I can take a direct line (Shawn said you should be able to ski a 5-foot wide line down the bumps) and not get bucked out of your line. It's real scary to stand so tall in rough terrain but you have to ... like posting in English horse riding you have to sit tall and not hunch over.

4) I learn to do a hip thrust if I got in the back seat. Shawn said visualize a $100 bill between your ass cheeks and you are squeezing to keep it there ... and your hips go forward when you do this and re-center your Center of Gravity so you can be set up to absorb your next bump ... hey it works!

5) Shawn worked with me on doing a real direct line where you just keep 'em pointed down the fall line and let 'em buck ... just ski over the tops, sides any way you want but keep in the fall line and absorb everything and only deflect your skis about 10 degrees out of the fall line. Like just make baby turns and wiggle your butt like Johnny Mosley. I had to let my knees come up all the way to my chest and then stomp down and drive my feet into the troughs but hey man it really works you can wail!

6) You have to keep a "tight package" ... no not your package below the waist guys LOL but keep your knees totally together like you are once again holding a $100 bill between your knees .. so both legs work like mountain bike shocks sucking up the bumps. By keeping tight you are soooo strong.

... I have been skiing in my new mogul position for some time now and man I feel so much more efficent in rough terrain! IT WORKS!!! I never get real sort, and can wail especially with the little baby turns and can make about 2-3 turns per second for short bursts.


COOL!

JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 24, 2004
Member since 01/14/2004
2,644 posts
Great description of the advice you got Crush. I can clearly picture Jonny M. and those other olympic bump skiers blasting down the hill doing their wiggle. Did Shawn teach you to do Jonny's dinner roll?! I'm afraid I'm guilty as heck of doing the break at the waist thing and always have been. But next time I'll try your advice. The recommended approach has got to be pretty tough on your thighs? Thanks.
Crush
February 24, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
JimK - Thanks for your reply. LOL no intensional air but i got bucked off my line lots of times ... I have 2 tell U that now in my second week I find the advice even more applicable ... today I skied cut up steeps and I put my feet together and kept a tight package while I absorbed the cut-up terrain ... I knew it would work and so it did ... only lowered my Center of Gravity when I got to variable snow. I feel waaay more confident and my advice is to dis all those instructors that tell you "... there is an easier way through the bumps you don't have to be a pro to do it ... look it is the same if you hit big bumps or little ones .... which I could show it but it is hard on a computer. There are 2 ways to ski them .... ride a little bit high on each bump, "smear" your turns like a knife spreading buttter' and suck up the bump by RELAXING you knees... don't freak if the bump looks big just let it happen and let your knees kick up to your chest. When everything is over, push down with your legs AS HARD HAS YOU CAN LIKE A LEG PRESS and *STOMP* the trough as shove your legs down HARD! Then set up for the next one!'

It was great seeing Shawn "do it" and be direct .. maybe everyone does not have the pure leg power to keep it rollin' in the bumps BUT ... don't listen to those instructors that tell you can't you like do it like the pros .... you can maybe not as steep as the pros but you are skiing the Mid-Altantic .. not Deer Valley so go 4 it and prove them wrong~!

JohnL
February 25, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
If you ask a pro mogul skier, a free/big mountain skier, a racer and a ski instructor how to ski bumps, they'll each give you slightly different responses and slightly different lines to ski. Neither one is right, they're just different styles.

Crush, with the new technique you were taught, where does the speed control come in? If you are only deflecting your skis 10-15 degrees, there is not much opportunity to skid to scrub speed. Even the pros have a finite speed limit.

I think the main reason he had you stand taller is that raises your center-of-gravity (cg), giving you more dynamic range to retract your legs to absorb a bump, keeping your cg at the same height whether or not you are in a trough or crest.

I think the main reason most of us tend to break at the waist is that our legs/hips get tired and we try to use other methods to absorb the terrain.

Crush
February 25, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
JohnL - The 10-15 degree deflection is *NOT* supposed to give you even a hint of speed control! It's the full-boogie way to take a direct line like mogul skiers do ad the very end of the run just before the finish .. Shawn believes you should have a palette of techniques to use . I use a pretty big toolbox of techniques. Like today I skied real tight bumps and used both smearing and sliding as well as (when it got real tight) the "just deflecting" type turns too because I was going fast. I can sustain it for only so long but it is enough to get me past the tight part and back to the wider spaced bumps. Had to trim some by skiing the tops but it works.

Standing tall works for me when I have to absorb BIG! I notice that I get bucked around a lot less and thus can keep my upper body quiet and keep going and stay up on the bump problems upcoming. In fact today I was wailing on the groomers when I came over a ridge and came upon a bunch of little bumps ... changed my stance from race to upright mogul and just absorbed ... worked like a charm!

So to extend you point, I use all sorts of positions for different situation ... no one right way to ski, and no single position/technique is right either ... the variety of skiing!!!

JohnL
February 25, 2004
Member since 01/6/2000
3,509 posts
>> In fact today I was wailing on the groomers when I came over a ridge and came upon a bunch of little bumps ... changed my stance from race to upright mogul and just absorbed ... worked like a charm!

I wonder if I instinctively do that myself. I know I do a "mental transition" when I hit washboard bumps on a run.

Lot's of times I'll just ride out a bunch of bumps without turning, especially at the bottom of a run (or when I get thrown in the back seat and am hanging on for dear life!) I wonder if the pro's do the "little turns" as style points more than anything else?

Crush
February 25, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
You've got it ... yes they do!
Crush
February 25, 2004
Member since 03/21/2004
994 posts
P.S. John .... like you ski super sonic but everyone looks at you like you are god or something .... the wiggle is PURE EGO STROKIN' ... hee hee so what we all like a little bogus attention! ;-)
comprex
February 26, 2004
Member since 04/11/2003
1,326 posts
That *mental transition* for me usually involves changing pole grip & position so the baskets are somewhere near my knees.

Maybe a crutch, I dunno, but it's one of the few weapons in my arsenal.

CRUSH: WHAT A WEEKEND Shaping UP! (Edited to say- watch out for a snowball with Chubbs and a Kicking Horse helmet sticker, hee).

[This message has been edited by comprex (edited 02-26-2004).]

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