Speed, turns and air … competitive mogul skiing has it all. All skiers have had to negotiate bumps, or moguls, at some point and knows how challenging they can be. The incredible skill, athleticism and courage of the world’s top mogul skiers makes it look easy, as they race straight down the fall line at lightning speeds. The top skiers are covering as many as four moguls per second!
Mogul courses are between 200 and 270 metres with an average grade of 26 degrees. The moguls themselves are set approximately 3.5 metres apart. The course includes two small jumps which are used as a take-off for aerial maneuvers. Athletes can perform upright or inverted tricks off these jumps in the course of a competition run.
Competitors rip down the mogul course and launch themselves off two jumps under scrutiny of a panel of seven judges. Marks are awarded for the technical quality of the skier’s turns (50%), the two aerial maneuvers (25%) and speed (25%). While speed is a factor, the fastest skier across the finish line does not necessarily win.
Usually competitions include a qualifying round with a single descent, where the top 12 or 16 athletes move on to a finals round. Only scores from the final run count for final results.
Head to head action …In dual moguls competitions, skiers race head-to head in knock out rounds. The added adrenaline of racing side-by-side means skiers often push themselves beyond their limits, resulting in either spectacular crashes or some of the most awesome bump skiing you will ever see. Results from the Dual Moguls competitions on the FIS World Cup tour are combined with single moguls results to determine the overall World Cup Mogul Champion and Crystal Globe winner at the end of each season.
A panel of seven judges award marks: four judges score the turns, two judges score the air (jumps), and one judge scores the speed. Each judge has five “votes” which can be allocated between the two skiers according to the course colour they have skied in (i.e. 5 Blue/0 Red; 4 Blue/1 Red; etc). Those votes are added up to total of 35 with a majority of18 being required to move on to the next round or win the event.
Competitions are either:
Iron cross: Ski tips cross as skier remains upright. Tips drop, but heels are kicked to either side.
Spread Eagle: Starting position for making snow angels: arms extended and legs split, usually 90 degrees or more to the side.
360: Upright aerial spin of 360 degrees often called a helicopter or chopper.
720: Double helicopter.
Off-axis : A true flip is one that turns around the horizontal (zero degree) axis. A true spin is one that turns around the vertical (90 degree) one. An off-axis spin or flip is one that deviates from these norms.
D Spin : A back flip with an off-axis twist, named after the ‘godfather’ of newschool, Canada’s Mike Douglas.
Back full : A back flip with a full twist, both true to the ‘normal’ axis
Lincoln Loop : A sideways flip
Corked: Describes any kind of spin or flip that is performed between the vertical and horizontal axes (either upright or inverted).
Grab : Any part of the ski or binding that is grabbed by the hand — there are Tail, Mute, Japan and Toxic grabs in addition to a whole mess of others, all which add flavor to the tricks.
Flat Spin : Another off-axis trick, where the skier looks like they are spinning like a horizontal wheel.