Outdoors

A six pack of tips for tackling moguls

Here are six tips for taking the mystery out of skiing moguls, courtesy of Pat Deneen, a ski coach and the father of 21-year-old Patrick Deneen, the reigning moguls world champion and a favorite to win gold at the 2010 Winter Olympics:

START ON THE FLATS -- Not even the world champ goes straight from the car to the moguls. "Warm up on the flats," Patrick said.

GO "TWO AND OUT" -- Once you are warm and have picked your line through the bumps, don't feel like you should go top to bottom on your first run. In fact, try going just two moguls and stopping. This is less intimidating and a good way to start building confidence and rhythm. Go two and out a couple times, then three and out, then four and so on," Pat said.

MAKE YOUR FIRST RUN ON THE SIDE -- Almost everybody skis down the middle, which means the moguls are deeper, and they'll keep getting deeper until the next snow. But on the sides of the runs, the less-traveled bumps are almost always smaller and easier to navigate.

DON'T DIP -- When you watch Patrick in the Olympics, you'll notice his knees moving up and down like a jackhammer. It might look like he's dipping, lowering his upper body, on every mogul, but a closer looks shows that is not the case. "You are not actively absorbing the moguls," Patrick said. What's actually happening is his knees are coming up to absorb the bump.

LOOK DOWNHILL -- Bad mogul skiers look down at the mogul they're skiing, Pat said. Good mogul skiers are always looking three or four moguls down the hill, he added, so they are always ready for what's next.

SKI WITH STYLE -- Patrick built his reputation by skiing bumps faster than anybody in the world, but twice on every run, he also hucks himself off a kicker for some aerial acrobatics. Usually, this involves twisting and/or flipping. "Don't be afraid to throw in a twister," he said. On second thought, maybe we better leave that one to the pros.

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