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Mogul Technique - Absorbtion

Imagine looking up at a mogul field on any average day. More than likely you would see a small percentage of skiers struggling to get down, most skiers managing - but without much style - and finally a small group making it 'look easy' and making us wish 'that we could be as good as that!'.

Usually this small group of good skiers stand out because they actually absorb the moguls, and if you want to join that 'make's it look easy group' then absorbing the bumps is one of the skills that you will need to learn.

Absorbing the bumps

When you absorb the bumps your upper body should remain upright in balance and your legs should flex up - usually to the height of the bump. Then, as you go down the backside of the bump, you should uncoil and push out your legs, creating a fiction that controls your speed.

As there is always so much to think about in the moguls - especially when you are trying to learn a new technique - it's easier if you start off by breaking down the turns and if you do this on flat piste.

Learn your ski technique from Warren Smith's Ski Academy
Exercise 1 Single Compression Turns
  1/ Find a comfortable piste and practice making a single compression turn.

It's almost opposite to the type of turn you normally make on piste as usually you extend your legs to initiate.

Here you actually flex and pull your feet up underneath you as you start the turn.

You then progressively pull them up until the halfway point of the turn when you start to extend them back out again.
Sometimes a great way to help feel this is by using some of the mountains natural terrain.

You can just simply ski towards the hump or lip on the slope and go through the same process.

As with the moguls try to keep your upper body travelling on the same level and let your legs flex up to absorb.
Eventually with practice you should be able to have a good enough range of movement to keep the upper body at the same level and soak up the whole height of the hump.
Exercise 2 Linked Compression Turns
  1/ Move on to linking your compression turns together on piste. Make sure that with this absorbing movement it is your heels tucking up behind you and not your backside just sitting back.

It essential you get this right at this stage as when you take it into a mogul field you'll need to be centrally balanced and ready for the next 30 turns - not just getting pushed back and accelerating out after one bump.
Once it starts to feel right and you are maintaining your balance with your hips over the ball of your feet, progressively increase the range of your absorbing movement.

Compression turns are a great skill development exercise and will give you firstly a better understanding of actually how to absorb and secondly allow you to build up skill and confidence before hitting the bumps.