Moguls: Tactical Revival

Before terrain parks and halfpipes, everyone rode the moguls. But in this age ofimage-above-all snowboarding, the language of the bumps has been all but forgotten. Moguls have thetendency to bring out a rider’s skills, either plentiful or lacking, but the ability to ride them well is often amatter of tactics more than technique.

Riders typically make short (small), skidded turns in the moguls-the quick pivot allows them to slither smoothly through the tight troughs, or gullies, between bumps. But, whileriding in the troughs seems the natural line, it can leave you at the mercy of the moguls, and ultimately out ofcontrol. A better option, especially in deeply rutted moguls, is to ride across the troughs and turn on top ofthe bumps themselves. This allows you, not the bumps, to dictate the shape and size of your turns. Avoid thetroughs by choosing a line that positions you atop the moguls, where there is more room and time to make aturn. By practicing on the fringe of a mogul run, you can enter and exit the bumps at will-controlling theamount of your commitment.

Bump runs are not entirely uniform, so vary your tactics along the way to maintain fluidity and turn shape. If an oddly placed bump enters your path, use it as a jump to launch yourselfover the trough behind it, and land smoothly on top of the next bump, where you can execute a turn. Jumpingover the trough is also an effective way of moving across the slope to pursue a different line. By riding on thetops of the bumps, you give yourself a tactical advantage, making it easier to apply whatever turningtechnique you choose. -K.H.