Flash! Bumps Are Actually Good For You!

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
The Downhill Report, December 1996

Flash! Bumps Are Actually Good For You!

Not sure it's time to return to moguls? Remember, you used to hate broccoli, too.
By Michael Finkel

Jonny Moseley can empathize. Although he's a two-time World Cup overall freestyle champion at the relatively precocious age of 21, he knows what it's like to thrash around like you're being electrocuted when you're actually only trying to ski through moguls. He's been there himself.

"Moguls make you hurt," Moseley says. "Moguls beat your body and mince your knees and spin you into a human pinball. Sometimes they just plain suck. But nothing else lets you express your internal goofiness more fully. And nothing else gives you such a damn good workout." The native Californian, who grew up a weekend basher in San Francisco before getting serious and eventually graduating to the U.S. Ski Team, has devised a three-step program for the mogully impaired.

"First, learn to absorb the bumps. If you're all tense and stiff-legged, you'll do nothing but flail. Next time you're skiing, find a mellow bump field and straight-run the last five moguls. Don't turn; absorb the bumps with your knees--knees up, almost to your chest. Then, just on the other side of the crest, straighten your legs. Absorb, extend. Absorb, extend.

"Second, figure out where the easy ride is. Try making giant-slalom turns in a mogul field. You'll go slower and realize that a mogul is a natural fulcrum: You ride up, seesaw your weight, and glide down. Start a new turn just beyond the crest, not in the trough. Use the natural contours. Turning is actually easier in the bumps than on the flats.

"Third, go for it. Don't worry about falling. It's part of the sport. Everybody does it and does it often."

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