How To Ski The Bumps

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Isn’t it funny how easy pro skiers make moguls look? It’s like they aren’t even trying! Well, take comfort in knowing that at one point in time, moguls were challenging for them, too! So are you going to be the skier who becomes just like them, or will you simply avoid moguls?

We hope you answer with the former! If you’re serious about trying something new this ski season, then it’s simply something you need to know how to conquer. While you’ll undoubtedly take some falls, trust us when we say that it’s only going to boost your skills and end in fun!

What are moguls?

It doesn’t really help to know how to ski moguls if you don’t even know what they are! Simply put, they’re bumps and lumps located on certain groomed slopes. Sometimes they’re made on purpose by the resort but usually they come about by skiers carving down the mountainside.

Snow thrown out of the way by the skis will end up forming a large mound, which we call a “mogul”. Typically, each has a slightly flat top. The space between the moguls is called “the trough”.

How to Keep Your Balance

As with everything while skiing, keeping your balance is crucial. However, it will be a bit more challenging doing so on moguls. Here are a few tips to help you out:

  • Keep your hands out in front of you: This is natural for many of us in everyday situations, but not so much on skis. This helps distribute bodyweight evenly and will help keep you facing downhill to give you enough speed to go onto the next mogul instead of getting stuck! Keep your eyes ahead and focus.
  • Be flexible: The more flexible you are, the easier it’s going to be to move your body in order to keep your balance.
  • Watch out for your poles: Make sure your poles arrive on the mogul before your skis! Plan your moves ahead of time.
How To Ski Bumps / Moguls - Advanced Ski Lesson #6.4

Start Off Slow

This is probably logical no matter what you’re trying to accomplish on skis. Make sure you travel through the moguls in a way that you follow the fall line. This will typically mean you use a combo of turns, which is why it’s important to plan ahead.

How to Find an Easy Line

Pick Your Line: When you’re at the top of the run, make sure you’re envisioning a pathway down from how you can get down the most effectively without running into oddly spaced moguls. Or simply focus on an object in the distance, and make sure you stay on a straight line down. This will test your turning abilities but it will also make you into a better skier.

Get into a Rhythm: Try not to think so much – you’ll be surprised at what your subconscious can do. If you’re having trouble with that, you can try counting to a number of your choosing and turn every time you reach that number. Then start over and do it again. This will help keep your bodyweight balanced and to create that elegant, fluid motion that pro skiers are known for.

Aim High: You’ll want to head right up to the highest part of the bump and pole plant. This will further help you keep your rhythm and properly distribute weight. Once you’ve used this method to slow yourself down a bit, you’ll be able to ski right down the other side.

On Top or In Between?

We just went over the proper method to travel over moguls, but once you’ve mastered this technique, you may want to opt for the faster route. This involves turning on the outside of the trough, where you navigate around the moguls. To do this, follow the next tips:

  1. Stay outside: This is kind of obvious, but as you get nearer to the mogul, turn on the outside of the trough. Aim your turn on the uphill slope of the next mogul, using it as a little bank.
  2. Cross the trough: Once you do this, you’ll crest the next turn on the opposite side.
  3. Keep a level head: There are times you may feel like you’re getting tossed around in the bumps. Keep your body loose and your head level at all times. Instead of keeping your legs stiff and moving against the moguls, use them as a kind of suspension system, if you will. Still keep your body centered, but not so much that you’re pushing yourself to be lopsided.


Now that you know how to ski moguls, are you ready to try it out? While this may sound a bit confusing, trust us – one you get out there you’ll know exactly what we were talking about. The first few times will probably result in some crashes, but overall you’re sure to catch on quickly after you get the hang of it. We hope these ski tips were of use to you! Thanks for staying tuned and remember to have fun. We’ll see you again shortly!

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Shayanne Weeks

Shayanne is a freelance writer and marketer based in LA, California. Describing herself as a nomad, she has lived in Boise, Idaho and Seattle, Washington as well as Guadalajara, Mexico. As an extremely active person, she loves to snowboard, skateboard, and ski. She enjoys sharing her love for active sports with others through her “how to” sports guides and sports equipment reviews. Shyanne is addicted to the adrenaline rush she experiences during her outdoor pursuits, from ziplining in Mexico to snowboarding in Idaho.

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