Mogul fields can be awesome fun on a snowboard, but even if you're desperately trying to avoid them you are likely to find yourself on the wrong side of a mogul field eventually. Which is why it’s a good idea to learn how to tackle them and get across with some style and panache.
Navigating your way successfully across a mogul field requires soft, flexible knees, quick turns and the stamina.
Riding across a mogul field you will need to use your knees like shock absorbers to take the lumps and bumps. To do this your knees must be soft and ready to flex and bend as the ground under you undulates.
To practice try riding rollers, bumps or even just the crud at the side of the slopes and attempt to keep your head and torso at the same height by letting your knees bend and flex under you absorbing the terrain.
The space to turn in a mogul field is tight and you don’t have the time to take nice sweeping smooth turns. When riding moguls you need to have mastered the pivot turn to make sharp, fast turns. The pivot turn is where, rather than waiting for your board to come around when you initiate a turn, you force it round by spinning on your front leg and pushing it round with your back leg.
Practice the move first on a groomed slope and see if you can get those short sharp turns in pushing the rear of the board around rather than waiting for it the long rounded turns.
Mogul fields, especially long ones, can be very hard on the legs: all the flexing of your knees and pivoting can take its toll. You need strong fit legs to tackle a mogul field as well as a good general all round fitness. Try working some weights with your legs building up the strength in your quads and calves and you will find it an awful lot easier.
Once you’ve practised and practised those pivot turns and have worked on having soft, flexible knees it’s time to hit the mogul field and give it a go.
To start with, try simply traversing the mogul field from one side to the other, slowly working your way down the hillside, allowing your legs to flex and take in the bumps. This will give you a good feel for the amount of flex you need in your knees and is good practise at sucking your knees up over the bumps.
After that, work at the edge of the field, ideally a half mogul, half groomed run, and turn into the field. Do a few short fast pivot turns around a few moguls and then head back out to the groomed run. This way you can dip in and out and take a breather from the intensity of the mogul field.
Build up over time until you can make it all the way to the bottom without the need to escape onto the groomed run.
The more you practice the easier they will get and before you know it you’ll be crossing those mogul fields like a pro. Chill Factore is open 7 days a week and is full of expert snowboard instructors who can help you hone those skills and give you lots of tips and advice for improving.
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