How to Ski Moguls

How to Ski Moguls
Ask any experienced alpine skier what they'd like to learn in their next ski school lesson and one request will inevitably come up: how to ski moguls. The bane of most skiers' day on the mountain--navigating successfully through moguls--requires well-shaped turns, speed control, and the ability to read the mountain. It's easier than you think.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Turn Shape

Things You’ll Need:
  • Contemporary alpine skis Ski run with small moguls
  • Contemporary alpine skis
  • Ski run with small moguls
 
Step 1
Use "C-shaped" turns that include a beginning, middle and end. It's not necessary to ski straight down the fall line of the run. Your turns can encompass several moguls, spread evenly across the mountain.
Step 2
Allow time for your skis to move with gravity during the beginning phase of the turn. Let your body and skis move in the direction of the new turn. Avoid the temptation of twisting your hips to bring the skis around. Take your time and let the mountain pull you into the turn.
Step 3
Control the shape of the turn during the middle part of the turn. Use open shapes for gentle terrain, and use tighter turn shapes for steeper terrain. If the terrain is steep, you'll also need to increase the rhythm or frequency of your turns.
Step 4
Finish shaping the turn during the final phase to control your speed. Ski uphill if the terrain is steep or you're gaining speed.

Speed Control

Step 1
Control your speed by skiing over the top of moguls with bent knees, ankles and hips. Keep your lower body flexible so that it can absorb the terrain.
Step 2
Ski uphill at the end of the turn to reduce your speed. Avoid losing all of your momentum before entering the next turn.
Step 3
Avoid picking up speed in between turns by maintaining C-shaped turns. If you start losing control, stop and begin again.

Reading the Mountain

Step 1
Look for the parts of the mogul run that have smaller, softer moguls that are spaced far enough apart to allow time to shape the turn. Most mogul runs will have "easier" and "more difficult" parts of the run. Look for moguls that are round, and avoid skiing over tall moguls with steep "troughs."
Step 2
Choose moguls that are small, soft and round if you are a beginning mogul skier. Ski over the tops of the moguls, skidding and turning the skis as you slide into the trough between two moguls.
Step 3
Turn your skis on the backside of the downhill mogul if you are an intermediate mogul skier. Use the backside to "bank" your turns like a race car on a race track. Banking your turns on softer snow will give you a little more time to make the turn.
Step 4
Leap off of the top of large or tall moguls, landing and skidding on the downhill side of the next mogul. This is a move for expert mogul skiers. After practicing all three types of turning in moguls, mix them up and alternate them, depending on the type of moguls.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Use well-shaped turns. Read the mountain and avoid large, steep moguls. Control your speed and stop if you pick up too much speed. Rent shorter skis that are easier to maneuver.
 
Use well-shaped turns.
 
Read the mountain and avoid large, steep moguls.
 
Control your speed and stop if you pick up too much speed.
 
Rent shorter skis that are easier to maneuver.
 
Never assume that you'll recover after going too fast. Stay within your ability level.
 
Never assume that you'll recover after going too fast.
 
Stay within your ability level.

Article Written By Allen Smith

Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.

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