Dominant force on the circuit since the creation of the mogul discipline in 1981, Canada has had athletes on the podium at all Winter Olympic Games in which the team has participated. To this we can add the numerous medals won at World Cups and a dozen Crystal Globes, not to mention that the first Canadian to win an Olympic gold medal on Canadian soil was a mogul skier!
Competitors ski down a steep slope of 235 metres at breakneck speeds, negotiating turns and taking on moguls that rise before them like waves on the ocean, in addition to performing two jumps with twists and flips, and that is, all in less than 30 seconds. Skiers receive a score based on the quality of their turns (60%), speed (20%) and the quality of their jumps (20%). Learn more about moguls
Read on to learn all about the differences between single and dual moguls, the format of the competition, and how the events are judged. Don’t miss the terminology section too, so you can describe all the tricks like a pro.
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 (60%), the two aerial maneuvers (20%) and speed (20%). 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.
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.