How to conquer moguls

Some tips from 2007 World Champion in Moguls, Kristi Richards

Kristi Richards, of Penticton, B.C., was the 2007 World Champion in Moguls, edging out Canadian teammate Jennifer Heil. From 2003 until last season, she has been a consistent top-five contender and has medalled six times at the World Cup level.

Bend your body

Body position is crucial to staying in control while skiing a bump field. One of the biggest mistakes Richards sees recreational skiers make is not compressing their bodies enough. The key is to bend at all the joints-ankle, knee, waist and spine-evenly. “This way you will be in a more balanced body position and can react to obstacles and snow conditions with greater ease,” Richards says. Your body should act like a shock absorber, bending and straightening to keep the skis on the snow and in control.

Splurge on boots

“Definitely spend the money to get the right boot for you, and make sure that you get a professional to fit them properly,” Richards says. “They don’t have to be the most expensive boot, but they have to be comfortable.” She uses Full Tilt’s Sally boots ($450) with a heat mouldable liner and a custom footbed. “I can ski on different skis, but without my own boots things get a little tricky.”

Be present

The bumps come quickly while skiing down a mogul field and being able to act and react in a split second is crucial. Being in the moment, focusing on now, not what comes next, is a key to success on the course. “My coach, Stephen Fearing, stresses this to help me battle fears and make quick decisions while I am skiing,” Richards says.