moguls2Well, nothing actually.  Other than changing shape over the years as skis have become shorter, they’re still alive and well and flourishing at most ski resorts, thank you very much. 

So why is it that the modern skiing establishment would lead you think that moguls don’t matter anymore?  And by this, I mean the notable lack of attention from magazines, movies, ski marketers, and designers.  Well, I think moguls do matter and not only are these guys missing the boat here, but it’s doing us all a disservice in the process. 


Moguls still matter because, without grooming, they happen to be on about every ski run with enough pitch and skiers to form them.  Given enough time, this creates moguls on most all expert runs.  At my home resort, even the tree runs start to get bumped out after a few days without fresh snow.

SKI Magazine’s 2014 Buyer’s Guide only mentions the word “bump” or “mogul” in less than half of their front-side ski reviews.  And I take issue with combining Quickness and Bumps as a single category.  While stiffness and high side-cut can create a lightning bolt on groomers, it can also make for a hooky buckin’ bronco in the bumps.  At best, true mogul performance is treated as an afterthought.


I’m not saying that a ski shouldn’t be designed for all-mountain conditions, just that moguls are a big part of those conditions and should, therefore, be an important consideration.  A common recurring thread on many ski community web forums is “What is a good all-mountian ski that does well in the moguls?” 

mogul fall

Even a SKI Magazine poll once said 35% of skiers want to improve their bump technique more than any other aspect of their skiing.  The lack of effective mogul skiing technique is undoubtedly the biggest barrier for skiers afraid to tackle expert terrain.  This fear of moving up to the next level and experiencing more of what the sport has to offer stymies commitment and represents a real barrier to the health and growth of the industry.   

moguls4Back in the ‘70s heyday of freestyle skiing it was totally about moguls.  One of the most important categories of any ski review was its mogul performance.   I remember going from the Olin MkIV, to the K2 255 soft, to the Head Yahoo, to The Ski in search of the perfect noodle.  And noodly they were too.  As a testament, even modern competition mogul skis aren’t too much different than these predecessors.  But like any pure specialty skis, they are great in their element, but somewhat lacking in solid all-mountain performance. 

So reality dictates skiing a mix of everything a mountain can throw at you.  The All-Mountain design or “one ski quiver” has been a great direction for our sport.  But love’em or hate’em, let’s admit that moguls are a big part of the mountain and we need a specifically designed modern technology all-mountain ski that is purposely bump friendly.  The venerable Dynastar Legend 8000 was a great example.  It was a tremendous success for years due to the fact that it moguls[1] (2)struck that magic combination of great carving ability, all-mountain effectiveness, and bump friendliness.  And this is an example of decade old technology.  What could they come up with today?  As a matter of fact, some of the new innovations like early rise tips and turned up tails may be quite beneficial in the bumps. 

So today we end up with some skis that by quirk of design just happen to be pretty decent in the bumps.  But since it won’t be overtly advertised, you’d better start Googling or scour the web forums to find out which ones they are.  How about (re)recognizing the importance of mogul skiing as a part of the daily mountain experience and actually designing and marketing a ski toward this end?  Call me crazy, but I just might go out and buy it! 

But who am I other than your mainstream, middle-aged, mostly inbounds, magazine article reading, media watching, always worried about how I look under the lift, consumer with some disposable income?

Okay, rant over, but I’m still a bit bepuzzled.  Exactly when and why did our ever ubiquitous moguls come to lose their mojo with “The Man”?  When did reality become irrelevant?