225 Intro to Bumps

225 Intro to bumps, steeper terrain

Assuming that the rider in question has some ability to shape a turn with the side-cut of the board, and assuming that the rider has the ability to utilize a little rebound at the end of each turn, the next thing to do is get comfortable letting go of the ground.

As we go through life, we get accustomed to the idea of maintaining secure footing, from which we can push pivot or anchor ourselves.  This habit can be a problem while riding in moguls, simply because the surface is so variable, and is hard to maintain contact with.  It is helpful, therefore, to begin seeking comfort in movement without a foundation, or, finding happiness on a moving trampoline.

Riders at the early stages of development are accustomed to having their head move at the same speed at their feet almost all of the time.  Generally, if these two move at different rates. the rider is not in control of his descent.  As the turns become more dynamic, and the need for shorter turns become more important, there needs to be a separation between the movements of the upper and lower ends of the body.  In the bumps, it is not so much the size of the turn that matters, but the  ability to isolate the mass of the upper body from the board so as not to interfere with its ability to shape a turn.

One way to prep for more dynamic bump riding is to bounce, leap and skip from one bump to the other, moving across the fall line.  Several things are involved here: first, momentum must be used to advantage to carry the board from the top of one bump to the other, and to avoid stubbing the tip of the board on the next bump.   Go too slow and you will stall out in a trough. Momentum is also helpful in that if you make a mistake, your momentum will carry you further forward, and present an opportunity to correct that mistake.  Second, when an airborne board impacts the next bump, it will most likely bend in a rather dramatic fashion.  As the board rebounds, it will either unbalance the rider, or the rider will utilize the rebound to move the board forward to the next bump.  Third, becoming airborne repeatedly, if successful, will instill the sensation of remaining upright without actually standing on ‘solid’ footing.  Finally, it is necessary to have some compliance in the leg department, to soften the contact with each bump.  Think of it like a passive suspension system, dulling the impact through a ‘softening’ of the knee, hip and ankle joints.