What Are Moguls?

As skiers travel down a run, snow is pushed off in different directions as the ski turns. When several skiers travel on a similar path, snow accumulates in large quantities in the same spot, eventually forming a bump. Over a few days and weeks, you’ll end up with a well-formed mogul run.

Mogul skiing is one of my favourite types of skiing; it’s fast, reactive and challenges all aspects of good ski technique. I can understand why most skiers dread finding themselves at the top of a mogul run, but they can be great fun when you get the hang of it, so I’m going to give you some simple tips and tricks to help you navigate your way down the next mogul run. Interested in one of our courses? We’d love to hear from you – Get in Touch


A ski mogul run taken from the top

How To Ski Moguls – My Best Tips

  • Stay In Suspension – imagine a car or bike with no suspension, not a smooth ride. You must keep your body in suspension to navigate bumps effectively. To do this, maintain some ankle, knee and hip flexion. This allows your body to absorb the bump and keep you balanced as you pass over it. Stand on a flat surface, jump in the air and land gently, focusing on being balanced. How you land is how you should think about standing in the bumps.


  • Narrow Stance – This is super important! If your feet are too wide or you have too much lead change (downhill foot too far back), you’ll find it difficult to stay balanced and turn. Imagine a small box with the goal of keeping your feet in the box whilst you ski. By keeping your feet closer together, you’ll be able to have quicker feet.


  • Pole Plant – Those things do have a function, after all! Your poles are like stabilisers on a bike when skiing moguls. Anytime you want to turn, try planting your pole on top of the bump. This stabilises your upper body and gives you greater access to quick lower-body movement. Think of it like the anchor on a ship; your pole anchors you to the snow and gives you something to turn against.



Other Ways To Ski Moguls

  • Use The Bobsleigh Track– Huh? Imagine the wall of a bobsleigh track; the bobsleigh turns as it climbs the wall and straightens when the wall disappears. The side of a bump is the same, and you can use it to help you turn. Instead of always trying to turn on top of a bump or ski around it, place your skis and feet onto the side of a bump and let the bump turn you. It’s a different approach but adds another tool to your box of tricks.


  • Tips Down – Ever find yourself being thrown from a bump as if it were a jump in the park? Not ideal. When you get on top of a bump and begin to move over it, think about getting the tip of the ski down first as if you were trying to press the gas pedal on your car. This makes sure the ski stays in contact with the snow when you pass over a bump and allows you to move smoothly from one to the next. Remember to maintain good shin contact with your boot!


  • Don’t Get Too Set On Line – This seems contrary to what people say, but focusing too much on your line, you’re no longer reactive and it takes only one lousy turn to completely throw you off. Instead, focus on a few key fundamentals like those mentioned above and go for It! You’ll be surprised at how your body moves and reacts when the mind is free and not concerned with holding a particular line. The best bump skiers I know are also incredibly good at recovery.

How To Ski Steep Moguls

  • When It Gets Steep, Don’t Get Too Set On Line – When a mogul run gets steep, don’t try to avoid the bumps. The top of a bump is the flattest part of the run; the spaces between are the steepest. Think of the mogul as a speed bump in the road. The more time you spend on them, the slower you’ll go. When you stand at the top, your goal is to try and reach the top of as many bumps as possible before you reach the bottom. The bumps are your friend in the steeps, not your enemy.


  • Tighten Your Boots, But Not To The Max – You need your boots just right when it comes to tightening the buckles around your leg. Too loose and you’ll be thrown forwards and backwards too easily, it will become tough to stay in the middle of the ski. Too tight, and your ankle won’t bend, and you’ll spend most of the run in the backseat. Ideally, your boot should be tight enough around the leg to be secure, but you can still flex the boot a little.

Skiing Moguls For The First Time

My advice is to start small and build from there. Don’t try to learn these new moves on the steepest bump run you can find. Moguls are challenging and require lots of practice, but even as a level 4 instructor , these are still some simple cues I think about when skiing a bump run. You can even use some of the natural terrain features found on the side of a ski run, for example. Natural ridge lines often form to the side of the piste, which replicate a small bump; use these for practice.

Check out the beginner area! It might seem daft, but many beginner areas have lots of terrain enhanced learning. Small rollers and bumps are a common feature and can be used to get you started and familiar with using the right moves before progressing to more challenging slopes.

We’re excited to deliver excellent mogul training on our advanced instructor courses. If you’re looking to improve your skiing but aren’t interested in becoming an instructor, check out our all-mountain program course