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Alpine

Tips and technique for mogul skiing

Mogul fields can be found at almost every ski area. They are specially prepared slopes of low, semi-regular snow mounds with clearly defined, rounded troughs surrounding them. You’ll see experts refining their technique, freestyle skiers and boarders launching off the tops, and beginners slowly working their way through this unique challenge. Mogul skiing has been a Winter Olympics sport since 1994, with an individual freestyle element judged on speed, technique, and aerial moves; there is also a head-to-race.


Mogul skis

There are very specialized skis for moguls, which are essential for competition. But any skis can be worn for mogul skiing. Generally, a shorter ski with a straighter sidecut is an advantage, because extremely short, tight turns are required, especially at speed.

Beginning skiers generally avoid moguls because they demand a significant level of both technique and conditioning. But they’re also fun, so don’t hold back! Start at the edge of a mogul field when you’re learning, and ski the tops as much as possible, where less snow contact makes turning your skis easier.


Technique

  1. Your center of gravity should be further back than normal when you’re in a trough, then it moves forward as you go over the top. It will take practice to develop a feeling of stability.
  2. Think of your legs as a single, fast moving piston, or spring, and try to keep them constantly in contact with feet together.
  3. Turning and handling the different heights may feel counterintuitive to traditional Alpine skiers. Turns are initiated by retracting the knees toward the chest, rather than extending them. After going over the top, the legs are extended down into the trough. Your legs are compressing and extending to maintain uninterrupted contact with the snow, essentially keeping your head at a near-constant level.
  4. Pole use is a must. Keep your body upright and let your poles take a lot of the load.

Mogul skiing is most definitely not limited to competitive events. The small hills are ideal for freeride skiers to practice, or even invent, tricks and alternative ski techniques. Moguls are often part of a fun-park area on the slope.


Helpful tips for beginners

Eyeball the terrain. Have a realistic sense of how your conditioning will hold up, and whether there are any particularly high or deep areas waiting for you. If you really enjoy moguls, specific off-season jumping and squatting drills are a great idea.

Keep in mind the leg movements and rhythm are different than on a groomed trail. Get in the rhythm before you build up speed. Too slow or too fast creates problems. Let your legs do the work and your eyes do the planning. Keep the upper body relaxed and fairly upright.

 

At Fischer our mission is to inspire all levels of skiers to fall in love with their sport and go beyond their current personal limits. We hope mogul skiing will be your new love!