Guides, Venture Out, Winter

Tips to Ski & Ride Moguls

How’s that one song go? We like big bumps and we cannot lie? Something like that! Here at Winter Park, one of our longest and most infamous mogul run is called Outhouse. Located near the top of Gondola, it let’s you access Mary Jane from a different angle. Outhouse will challenge you — and especially your quads. But you know what they say, great challenges reap great rewards.

Developing the necessary skills to ski moguls makes you a better skier, and you can translate those skills to exploring new terrain, like trees or steeps! Here are our tips to improve your mogul skiing or riding, so hopefully one day you’ll be able to slice and dice down one of our most fulfilling runs, Outhouse.

Look Ahead & Plan

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Before even starting a mogul run, plan out your first couple turns so you can get in a rhythm. Try to find a line that has consistency between each mogul in terms of their size and distance between them. While planning, also look out for signs of early season conditions, like rocks, stumps, or trees.

To start, it’s a good idea to take your time and go over a couple of moguls before changing directions. This way you can control your speed and get the feel of the moguls. Once you’re in the groove, you can start doing zipper lines: a technique where you go down the run with tight turns (like how they do it at the Olympics).

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NO! Not like that, like this:

Keep looking forward and remember to plan for the next moguls coming up so you can get your body in position.

Balance, Balance, Balance

You’ve probably heard the phrase “life is all about balance” plenty of times. When someone says that, they’re actually only talking about skiing moguls. Best ways to maintain balance is to keep tension in the core, put your hands out in front of you, and turn with your legs, not your upper body.

Trying to turn with your shoulders will throw you off balance faster than losing a toupee in a blizzard. Your upper body should be positioned over the middle of your skis or board, and stay relatively still.

Your knees should act as shock absorbers when going down a bump run. Try to keep your skis or board touching the surface of the snow at all times, while also trying to keep your head and body at the same level, instead of bobbing up and down with each mogul.

Around, over, or through?

We’ll give you a hint, you shouldn’t be going through moguls. Depending on the size of the mogul, and the speed you want to go, going around or over are both possible ways of going about it.

The easiest way is to go over the mogul, then when heading into the trough, let the bump help you turn into the next bump.

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Another way is to turn into the backside of the bump. This uses the natural shape of the mogul to help slow you down and regain control.

Going around the moguls is an alternative way and could be used when the space between moguls is large enough.

Plant, touch, and swipe!

For skiers, you want to plant your poles into the top of the bump, and while keeping the tips of your skis touching, swing your tails around.

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Skiing and riding within your ability level is important. You should work toward progression, not jumping right into difficult runs, like Outhouse. When booking a lesson here at Winter Park Resort, our instructors will develop a plan based on individual needs, and will adapt throughout the day depending on what the student is looking for. And remember:

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Watch the full video below, featuring two of our Ski & Ride school instructors, Jacob and Andrea:

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