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Better Skiing Technique - Ski the Bumps Part 1
By Simon Dewhurst

Before you contemplate skiing the bumps it would be a good idea to read the Better Skiing Technique articles about long controlled turns and short swing turns. You will then have some idea of the amount of edging you will need to do. You will also have practiced enough short turns close to the fall line on smooth slopes to have developed some kind of rhythm, however slow, which can help you enormously.

For most people the bumps are to be avoided, or else treated with masochistic grit. But for the better skier they should be like a honey pot to a bear, so go and find some. If you approach bump skiing methodically, there is nothing to stop you skiing them well and with confidence within a week, and then only practicing for half an hour a day.

Most people want to know which part of the bump to ski over, and I tell them that while they are learning, they should always try to go over the top in order to maximize the unweighting potential that the bump offers absolutely free. If the bump is enormous, and you're not sure if someone is having a picnic the other side of it, then by all means take it on the side. As you become more of an expert you can start to ski in the valleys or wherever you like.

As you probably know, bumps are formed by people continually skiing in the same tracks which soon become troughs, and gradually building them up by pushing more and more snow from the troughs up to ridges.

Usually the crest of the bump, the ridge, is soft snow that has been pushed from the dip uphill from it. In the dip itself there is a lot of even softer and sometimes quite deep snow that has been scraped off the downside of the previous bump. The downsides of bumps can therefore be quite icy from people side slipping.

Simon Dewhurst has taught downhill skiing in North America, Scandinavia and the European Alps for 35 years. He currently runs a ski chalet agency in the French Alps. His book "Secrets of Better Skiing" can be found at http://www.ski-jungle.com If you have any comments about the above article, he will be happy to answer them.

 

Previously Featured Article:
Better Ski Technique - Practise a Long Controlled Turn - 1
Tootle off on a left traverse on a blue run, as though you are going to do a right turn first. Start off with your right hand half way down to touching your boot. Without moving your body from this position, lift your right arm up roughly horizontally and plant the pole in the snow... Read More