For many, skiing bumps can be a love/hate relationship. However you feel about them, sooner or later you will come across some, and it is better to be prepared. Here are some simple tips to help improve your bumps skiing:
Take it easy to start with
Make sure you practice first on some easy smaller bumps to warm up; Even when you do get to the harder bumps, break the run into smaller sections. For example, just try to ski 10 bumps at a time. Before you know it you will be at the bottom!
Pick a line
Before you have even started skiing, it is so important to choose the line you are going to ski and commit to it. Pick a point down the hill and aim for it with conviction – do not hold back!
High line – In the moguls ski up onto the top or high on the shoulder of the bump so that the tip and tail are free and it is easy to rotate the ski. Rotate the ski and skid down the back of the bump to control the speed.
Direct line – Keep the skis in the rut line. Skier is much more restricted in how much and where they can turn and skid the ski. Speed down the slope is generally faster than in a high line.
Traverse lines – To further reduce the speed, a more offset line can be taken. See diagram below
Pole-planting is critical to skiing bumps as it will help with the rhythm of your turns, provide stability for your upper body and help you to stay balanced over your skis.
Plant your pole over the top of the bump onto the backside. This allows for better flow down the bumps and the upper body is less likely to be pushed back.
Take a deep breath and relax…
Bumps can often be intimidating, so it is important to try and keep a level head. Take a deep breath at the top of the bumps and try and just focus on one action point for the run. The more relaxed and confident you are, the more likely it is that your legs will respond and your upper body will stay strong, leading to a great fun ride down the hill!
Tips this month come from Jon West’s colleague Harry Steel – a BASI 4 and Swiss Federal Qualified Instructor working with Altitude Ski & Snowboard School in Verbier. www.altitude-verbier.com
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