What skiers inspire me? I thought I would make a series on who my favorite skiers are and what aspects of their skiing inspire me. Last season doing the WC analysis I was also asked to analyze the WC mogul skiing. I have been thinking about it, but I never consistently watch modern WC mogul skiing. When I was a kid I used to love watching the mogul skiing on TV and actually it is still the type of skiing I prefer watching to this day, but, in my opinion, modern WC mogul skiing has become so specialized that I feel it has developed into a sport of no relevance to what I look for in actual real world mogul skiing.
(Before the keyboard warriors arrive I want to also state that I highly respect the WC mogul skiers that are competing right now. Mikael Kingsbury and the rest of the top 10 are extremely talented athletes and no doubt amazing skiers. “The way they ski WC mogul courses”, they are the best at it, BUT…)
I have skied many WC courses, and also freeline mogul fields and I know first hand that there is a huge difference between variations and timing of movements. The perfectly 3.5 meter spaced moguls in a WC course warrants learning a specific set of movements to be repeated consistently without fail for the duration of the 22 second course. Deviations of the timing of these movements will result in less points, less speed and mistakes. Obviously the faster you can repeat these movements the better. It would be as if a slalom course was set on a perfectly straight falling run with no rollers and consistent spacing and offset, no delays, no hairpins, no variations of terrain features. It would be very boring to watch, it would also require less skills from the slalom skiers and time differences would be much smaller. Once you get the timing of the movements down it would be autopilot. I feel this has happened to WC mogul skiing, they have taken the “freestyle” out of freeestyle, which brings me to the point of this whole blog post. Who was the mogul GOAT then?
Well, I feel we have to take a look back at when freeline moguls still were in competition. Jean Luc Brassard comes to my mind when thinking of who I feel was the GOAT. I am always torn between him and Edgar Grospiron who I will also make an analysis video about on a later date. Brassard’s time in the WC was spread over a period where he started his career racing non manicured mogul courses and by the end of his career FIS had brought in the regulations of specific man made mogul runs for competition. He won gold in Lillehammer in 1994 where the introduction of man made moguls had just begun. So he was in a place where you could see both his skill sets, and he was amazing at both. Although, his freerun mogul field skiing is what stood out to me as his most amazing skiing.
I still ski WC style lines, and also freerun mogul fields and the difference is vast. WC lines, once the timing of the movements are learnt, can be repeated and much easier to ski fast and consistent. Freerun mogul fields require many variations in timing, like double turns, air turns, rounder turns, straighter turns, cross line, zipper line, lane change. All of these movements have to be learnt and then applied at practically the same speed as what modern WC mogul skiers are doing. You can see in Brassard’s skiing how these adaptations happen at insane speeds. Little timing variations, double turns, trough skips and face hops all in a split second. The way he reads the terrain and adapts at high speeds is astonishing. I love it!
I personally feel Jean is still the epitome of freestyle mogul skiing. His speed, turn variations, range of movements and his terrain adaptations are top notch. Have a look at the video below where I state many of his great qualities.
To me this was and still is mogul skiing, and created some of the most exciting skiing to watch. I wish and hope FIS will bring back mogul field competition to the FIS events.
What does everyone think about WC mogul skiing pre vs post man made lines? The man made lines have definitely opened up the realm for more extreme tricks but have taken away from the actual skills in mogul skiing.
If you are interested in learning these techniques have a look at the camps schedule on this site and keep up to date on ski related topics on my Youtube: Reilly McGlashan and Instagram @reilly_mcglashan