Monday, April 21, 2014

How-To Book Review for Mogul Skiing

You could ski the waterfall under the Gate House chairlift at Sugarbush, Vermont in only two or three turns – but I couldn't. After a nasty wipeout, navigating the two or three moguls became threatening enough that I'd simply started taking the easier way around. The daily lessons on our week-long, high school ski trips never seemed to address the bumps. Years later, in a private lesson, the instructor taught me to ski back and forth across the slope. “But I want to ski bumps fast, in one line like Jonny Moseley,” I remember thinking. Why is it so hard to learn how?

I spent years trying different techniques. Ski sloppy. Get on edge. Feet together. Feet apart. Gunbarrel at Heavenly. Devil's Crotch at Breckenridge. Outer Limits at Killington. Exterminator at Sugarbush. Derailer at Mary Jane. Beartrap at Mt. Snow. I practiced and practiced to master the bumps, but it wasn't getting much easier.

Then, while learning about shaped skis, mogul skis, powder skis and new, rocker-style skis, I happened upon a forum comment recommending a book called, “Everything the Instructors Never Told You About Mogul Skiing” by Dan DiPiro. Dan competed in freestyle for years and teaches at Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire. This book has transformed how I ski and changed my entire approach to skiing.

In the book, Dan explains matter-of-factly that most instructors simply do not know how to ski moguls well themselves, their focus is on carving, and, therefore, they cannot teach the right way to do it. Dan can, and does. Carving wide-radius GS turns simply requires a different technique than the rotary turns required for moguls. He addresses and dispels accepted mogul skiing dogma then provides step-by-step instructions on how to work towards skiing a zipper line straight down the fall line every time. I'm not quite there yet but now I have a plan that I can feel confident in when pointing my skis down the hill. I especially enjoyed his guidance on skiing bumps in the East. To paraphrase, if the conditions are terrible, don't ski it. And if there's a sheet of ice in front of a big, puffy bump, jump over the ice. Easier written than done but lots of fun when it works.

If you want to become a better, more confident skier in the bumps, then go get this book. If you're scared of the bumps and have convinced yourself you just don't like the bumps, that you're perfectly content sticking to the groomers, then you're lying to yourself. Go get this book and free yourself from the confines of the blue trails.

Click here to buy Everything the Instructors Never Told You About Mogul Skiing

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