This paper is a set of instructions for learning how to ride moguls on a snowboard. It will go through how to get into the proper stance, how to do a fail safe, and how to pick a line. Riding moguls is easy once you do it the right way. It takes a lot of commitment and talent, so I am going to save you time and teach you based on my experiences, while I had to learn by trial and error. Hopefully you won't go through the pain and suffering I experienced. Learning to ride moguls is not a question if you will get hurt, but when and how badly. Getting hurt just comes with the territory. I make riding moguls look easy because I have been riding them since 1995. This paper also talks about the riding moguls as an event and how to score it.
Lets start off with your stance. You should have a directional board with the feet at 30 and -20 or 30 and -30 like me. This is a duck stance if it doesn't feel right maybe moguls are not for you. The next position I like to call the A position because to be low enough your elbow should touch you knees. This is the starting position your body should look like a A if your hands are together. You may move out because your in constant motion but after seven moves you should be back to the A position. In the A position your ankles are pitched about 45 degrees your knees at 90 degrees and your waist at 90 degrees. I should be on a 158 board but in the moguls I choose to be on a 152 because it turns faster and shorter. Do what works best for you or what you have.
Letís start off with your stance. You should have a directional board with the feet at 30 and -20 or 30 and -30 like me. This is called a duck stance. If it doesn't feel right maybe moguls are not for you. The next position I like to call the A position because to be low enough your elbow should touch your knees. This is the starting position, and your body should look like an A if your hands are together. You may move out because you are in constant motion, but after seven moves you should be back in the A position. In the A position your ankles are pitched about 45 degrees, your knees are at 90 degrees, and your waist is at 90 degrees. You should probably be on a 158 board, but in the moguls I choose to be on a 152 because it turns faster and shorter. Do what works best for you or what you have.
Now letís talk about beginning to ride and counter rotation. At the start, the ideal way to make it down the moguls is to keep the nose of the board going straight down the line. By doing this the tail of the board will bounce back and forth from mogul to mogul. Think of each mogul as being a little mountain. You edge up to the top then have to kick the board down to the next one and then repeat the procedure until youíve run out of moguls. If your body is going the opposite direction, it is easier to kick the board around. I like to put my hand on the front side of the next mogul I am going to kick my board to. Once you get it, it is like riding a bull. You bounce down the hill as though you are doing a little dance. Start off on a short row of moguls (3-6), not very big one and just pick a line through them. The straighter you go, the better for the line. Now you have learned how to make it down the moguls. What happens when you get going too fast and you need to slow down?
This is the part where you need a fail safe to stay in control. The best fail safe I can teach you is a tailspin. To perform a tailspin, you go up the mogul to side spin on the tail of the boardís front side. This will take all the momentum out of the board. When done correctly it is like starting from a stop, but you stay in motion. A side spin redirects the speed from going down hill to send the speed of the board up hill. If your back foot is at -30' it feels like you are spinning on your toe. Practice on a hill before going into the mogul so you will have confidence in it when you need to use it. Get some speed, go up a hill, spin, and come back down. When you can do that, try it on a small bump. Remember control is the name of the game.
Enough about fail safes. Now let's get into tips on how to make it down a mogul faster. You may hear about riding the tops or bottoms of the mogul. On a snowboard you either ride the front or the back of the mogul. I do both, so to keep up with me you will have to know both.
If you have been snowboarding for some time, you already know how to ride the backs of the mogul. It is how you set an edge going down hill. Riding the backs is very basic yet not very efficient in the moguls. I only use the backside of the mogul on big moguls when it is too far to bounce back over to the next mogul. In my video you will see me do both front a few times then back I like to switch it up because doing so helps me stay in a straight line. Speaking of boarding the front of a mogul, what can I say other than it is the opposite of what you normally do on a flat down hill. It is like snowboarding up hill. You will have a tendency to ride on the back of your board when you first start. Donít do it. Keep your weight in the center of the board using counter rotation and a kick back to switch from mogul to mogul. At first boarding fronts or up hill seems difficult but it is very efficient. This is how I beat or keep up with skiers.
Wobbling the board is a technique you use when the moguls are small and close. Try it on a semi steep hill that is flat to begin. Straight run it and keep your board in the fall line. Now go from the toe to the heal side of the board back and forth. Do it faster and faster until you are switching edges about three toes to hill sides a second. If you can do this, you may be able to almost keep up with me for a while. Wobbling the board will rack up major points for you in a competition. If you execute wobbling correctly, this trick may save you a lot of pain. Be careful though because you will pick up a lot of speed doing this maneuver. My next DVD will show you how to do this on Level B, and there is still Level C.
Spinning is used so you don't catch an edge while snowboarding. The trick to spinning is always having your weight leaning up hill. I can spin each way but I am only going to demonstrate one way. This will help you gain control of your edges so when you are ready for level C you can do 360 or more. Try this on the bunny hill at first when you are comfortable you can spin on any hill.
To perform jumps I am regular foot. So if you are facing down hill, I jump to the right. You will find that it is much easier to jump across the hill than to jump straight down hill. Jumping is all about the landing. Jumping across the hill gives you more space to land. If you jump straight down hill, you will probably have to pull a double, which is a Level C move. You can see me pull a double on the video. When I pull two 360ís one right after another, letís save that for Level C. So jump across the hill. On your strong side to begin right for regular foot left for goofy foot. Just pull a grab and this will take your mind off the landing, and it will come naturally. Remember at first you will wreck, so wear protective gear.
Now letís discuss the five snow conditions: powder, soft pack, hard pack, icy, and slushy. Anyone can do powder. I hardly ever wreck on a powder day, and you can straight run the moguls. While powder is fun, if I donít wreck, I donít learn so it is a wasted day.
I push myself until I wreck. That is how I know I improve. Soft pack is my favorite. I make it look so easy. On these days I choose the moguls right down the lift line, and get every one in the bumps then blow by them. I love to show off on soft pack days. Everything just goes right.
Hard pack is my second favorite. I take it a little more carefully on these days, but most of the days are hard pack, so you just have to roll with it sometimes literally.
I try to avoid icy conditions, but if I am paying for a camera crew to be there I will show up. Most major injures come as a result of icy days. They are fast and painful.
Slushy days are at the end of the season. It is almost depressing because all the brown shows. Itís as though the snow is dying. Those are the conditions of the mountain.
Our company, www.MogulSnowboarding.com, would like to have a mogul event at a ski resort. We plan on 50 people or fewer to enter this event. We would charge $20.00 over the amount of a one-day lift ticket. All of the proceeds would go directly to the ski resort.
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