Show a snowboarder some footage of a mogul being formed by skiers' sharp turns, and you might just have an angry snowboarder on your hands. That snowboarder, especially if he's someone with an intense hatred for moguls, will most likely grab the nearest skier, hurl that skier through a window, and then eat his own hat while crying into his now steamed up goggles. Moguls, you see, can be an absolutely nightmare for snowboarders. And, while we're on the subject, they're not always a barrel of laughs for skiers either. Either way, they're very much a part of mountain life. With that in mind, what exactly are the best skis for tackling moguls?
In terms of what to look for in a mogul ski, you're probably going to want a pair of skis slightly shorter than your standard go-to plank. This, consequently, will deliver a reduced turning radius and make controlled turns between moguls a far less stressful experience. Something else that's worth considering is the ski's width. A ski with a skinnier profile will help you, the skier, to maintain directness in claustrophobic mogul lines. It will also make turning with knee angle rather than hip angle, which incidentally is a vital component of the mogul skiing technique, much more simple. You also want something with a bit of flex.
Remember, that skis designed for moguls tend to be built with advanced and expert skiers at the forefront of the manufacturers' thought process. If you're new to skiing, still working on the basics, or are generally just a bit pants at skiing...you might want to hold off on this particular purchase. If, however, you ski like one half/both halves of the Dufour-Lapointe sisters (Justine and Chloé won gold and silver medals in Sochi's 2014 Mogul event) then it might just be time for you to invest in some gear that's fit for purpose.
Hart - F17 World Cup Mogul Ski/Fusion Ski
Hart claim to produce the world's best mogul skis. Now, we'll admit, that confidence-filled statement might sound like the type of guff you'd hear from the guy in your local pub who's always telling you he was once considered the "Lionel Messi of lower league football." However, when you look at the skis themselves and discover the successful skiers who've used them in top-level competitions you start to see why Hart feel so strongly about their product.
Patrick Deneen, who helped to design the Hart F17 World Cup ski, was wearing these when he scooped the gold medal at the FIS Freestyle World Championship at Inawashiro, Japan in March 2009. This ski, albeit the Fusion model, was worn by gold medalist Alex Bilodeau when he won gold in the Men's Moguls event at Sochi 2014. It was also the ski used by fellow Canadians the Dufour-Lapointe sisters when they bagged gold and silver medals in the Women's Moguls at the same Olympics.
In terms of features, this excellent ski has an ash and beech wood core with multiple layers of carefully interwoven fibreglass mesh thrown in the mix to ensure maximum strength and flexibility in the most trying of circumstances. The ingenious sidewalls on this ski direct the skier's energy onto the edge, allowing for the fast edge to edge movement that's so vital when skiing moguls. The stone-ground graphite base gives them a racing ski quality that optimises pace when you've got a need for speed. The F17 Fusion is slightly narrower in the tip and tail.
Fat-ypus BNasty Mogul Ski
If you can't be nice, B-Nasty. That might sound like horrible advice but if you really want to fly through the moguls like a speeding bullet and look like a total dude in the process, it's advice worth taking. The B-Nasty, from Fat-ypus, was designed for American World Cup mogul skier David Babic. It's a real beauty to look at, and packs some wicked features.
The early rise on the 60mm tip, for example, means it can bust through whatever crud comes its way. The flex on the B-Nasty is evenly spread, and makes hitting those mogul faces at full-speed a walk in the park. This ski's versatile nature and playful feel has grabbed the attention of a wide range of skiers the world over, especially those skiers who want a plank that can mix it up like a cocktail mixer in a hurricane. Politeness? Forget about it. With the help of Fat-ypus, it's time to get nasty.
Fischer - Progressor F18
The Progressor F18 from Fischer is a slalom-style ski, that's designed to make the snappiest of snappy turns on whatever terrain you happen to be skiing on (including moguls). The ski's Air Tec core is meant to be 25% lighter than it's ever been, thus increasing that all-important playfulness factor.
The lightweight construction of the Progressor F18 makes them a seriously easy ski to manoeuvre. When you combine an easiness in the pivot, with excellent stability on the edge, lower sidewalls, and Fischer's Dual Radius system you've got yourself the type of ally you want when the mogul fields come into view.
Rossignol - Experience 80 Xelium
Just like with the Bono-led stadium rock band U2, the edge has an important part to play in the process of skiing moguls. Enter stage left: the Rossignol Experience 80 Xelium. This Rossignol ski is quick as a flash through the moguls, offers excellent agility, and is easy to get on an edge. Not only that but if you're so inclined, the Experience 80 Xelium can also handle all that choppy off-piste stuff.
Featuring revolutionary Air Tip technology, a versatile blend of camber and rocker, and a centrally-focused sidewall construction; this magnificent ski from Rossignol serves up all-mountain performance across whatever terrain and snow condition you happen to be skiing across. The Auto Turn Rocker design, with its good edge grip, is powerful enough to prevent unwanted slippage without sacrificing the all-important manoeuvrability you'll be needing when the moguls make an appearance.
Dynastar - Twister
The Dynastar Twister is built with just one thing in mind; complete and utter annihilation of the mogul fields. It's a bred-for-purpose, competition-level, freestyle ski for those skiers who dedicate their lives to stomping moguls like you used to stomp fizzy drinks cans during Blue Peter's big aluminium can recycling appeal (...remember that?).
The Twister combines an orthodox camber with a high-performance sandwich wood core construction. This offers pin-perfect balance, ferocious levels of power, and a stable edge grip that will help you to choreograph stunning turn combos through the most uneven of terrains.