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Ski Moguls Like Moseley

Ski Moguls Like Moseley

Olympic champ Jonny Moseley helps you (finally) conquer the bumps.
By Deborah Williams
posted: 03/26/2012
Jonny Moseley on Jonny Moseley's run

Last fall, Jonny Moseley strode into my office with a bone to pick. “Moguls don’t need to be as hard as everyone makes them,” he insisted. As the magazine’s instruction editor and a mediocre-at-best bump skier, I was all ears if a little skeptical. I constantly hear from readers who want to improve their mogul technique, but can any of us really hope to shred like Moseley? What’s more, can an Olympic champ who pinballs zipper lines in his sleep break it down in terms we mortals can understand?

Turns out the answers are yes and yes. I made Jonny put his money where his mouth is last week at his home mountain, Squaw Valley. He delivered. You’ll be able to read more of Jonny’s tips in the magazine next season. Until then, here are a few nuggets of wisdom and an on-slope demo from the legend himself.

The backside of a mogul is actually very steep. It could be 35, maybe even 38, degrees. When you come up over the top of a bump, you have to step onto its backside and onto your new downhill ski immediately. If you let yourself ride even to the toe of your boots before you start to turn, by the time your skis hit the snow, you will have fallen two or three feet into the trough below the bump. And if you fall two to three feet when it’s that steep, you’re going to pick up an exponential amount of speed with each bump. That’s what people do. They get air, they land hard, their feet shoot out from under them, then they hit the next bump, catch more air, land again and soon they’re gone. You’ll make three to five turns and blow up.

As you come across the top of a bump, you have to get your upper body out over the top of your uphill ski, which will quickly become your new downhill ski. Everyone does this when they’re skiing normally. When you’re doing a GS turn, you have a lot of time to do it. In bumps, this move needs to happen so much faster.

A major key is a pre-jump, which is supposedly an alpine racing technique but we all use it. It’s what you do when you jump a cliff or come over a knoll. Think of the crest of a mogul as a chain-link fence. You walk up to it, squat down, explode up as hard as you can, throw your hips through and up, and at the apex of the jump, you suck your feet up. That’s how you jump anything. Don’t let the mogul push your feet: Actively suck them up. Jump before you get to the crest of a mogul, pull your feet up and over, land softly and high on the backside then skid to dump speed.

Jonny took us to, where else, Jonny Moseley’s run to break this down. 


reviews of Ski Moguls Like Moseley
The way Johnny is teaching us to go through the moguls will increase quad strain and fatigue! To jump ever4y single mogul that way would tire one out very quickly. Better to have more rotational movement in the boots and absorption/extension in the legs both of which will decrease speed through the moguls. Further, watching his video shows that he does not jump off the top of the moguls but absorbs and turns at the tops. Better to get a real mogul expert like Dan DiPiro, Alexandre Bilodeau or Hannah Kearney.
Ouch. Hey, there is nothing in there that says you should jump off the top off the mogul. You need to read it again. You point out absorption and extension. The problem with normal skiers thinking about this is that they ride the frontside of the mogul and let their knees rise up as they come over the mogul which puts them way in the back seat and they lose contact on the other side. By thinking about pre-jumping I find that the skiers I help actively get themselves in a much better position to absorb. With regards to extension, if you tell someone to extend they will push their feet out in front of them every time and that my friend will cause "quad strain and fatigue".
I agree with Moseley. This video is for regular skiers, not instructors or pros. It was only a minute long. There is so much more to discuss. For example, when to use your uphill ski to kill speed in the bumps. Moseley did a great job by telling skiers to keep your skis in contact with the downside of the bump. That solves so many problems in the bumps. Why discuss strain? Moguls will never be easy on your muscles, unless you crawl down the hill.
Thanks so much for these practical tips to get skiers to that next level of comfort with moguls. Instead of jumping off the front side of the mogul, which kills my knees and quads, I did 2 things differently: 1) I lifted my heel to whip me off and around the bump while 2) thrusting my hips forward, salsa style. Don't know if that's quite what you meant, but I was finally having fun playing in moguls and not eating it down the run. The ski clinic last week helped too, thanks Jonny!
Hello All ... I'm a Newbie with comments in Ski Mag. I consider myself an expert skier who taught part time at Stratton and Okemo VT. And went through a course with PSIA and it's testing phase. I never renewed my button because though I love teaching and have done really well with skiers and where it shows in my clients, I cannot handle how bad the mountain pays you and how much abuse you get from the mountain in terms of working "all the time". Nonetheless... I have issues with moguls here in the northeast. When the moguls are soft and "wide", it's fun, but when the moguls are icy and tight .. that's where I have an issue. The issue: slowing down on bumps during icy conditions. From what I have gathered, you don't slow down. I know you're suppose to slow down on the down side of the mogul by skidding on "soft snow", but on icy stuff, no way. Just last week in Stratton, there was a training run that opened up for the public and it was off on the side and not so steep. I went through the moguls like nothing... straight down the fall line, though the fall line wasn't so much a fall as it was a gentle slope. It was off to the side to train juniors, BUT I LOVED IT! Tight moguls ... and you just go right through the sides and troughs and up with the crest "areas" etc. But how dow you "SLOW DOWN" on the steeps and icy conditions? Jonny Moseley: can you help me there? Or anyone else? Also to slow down and the maximum slow down is to of course have your skis perpendicular to the fall line, but in tight moguls, you can't turn your skis that much to slow down because it's too tight and my "old" skis (188cm and 193 Rossi 7S and 9S (Slolom (sp)) skis, but now on 173cm Volkle Platnum GS skis (10 years old). I even verified from this video what Jonny Moseley was saying, you skid earlier near the top of the down side and not get launched down deep into the trough. This comment might be for the editors/comments and article writers, but maybe some will see it and give me some tips... ;)
Also I just read Jonny's article recently (again) on the bumps that's why it inspired me to write. Dec-2012 SkiMag; Jan-2013 comment post. And on some previous SkiMag articles, there was one that was perfect instructional; everything that was written was how I would teach and point out. I still have that article somewhere and I forward them to my family as I've been helping them become better skiers... ;)
Also I work my GS Volkl P50 Platinum GS skis like they're slalom skis to use up the mountain. I prefer slalom because it's so much fun work to use up the mountain as much as you can, but also let the skis run when you want to.
Also I'm 5'8", 135 lbs ... my skis are too long? I know my weight class should as recommended be about 163cm or 168cm. Is that right for moguls?
I can see this is really going to help my mogul skiing. I have seen countless mogul skiing tips and video, but this one is like finding the missing link. Thanks for lesson Johnny!
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