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Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Freestyle skiing

BBC Sport moguls guide

Winter Olympics guide - Moguls

Alpine and nordic skiing disciplines are all about who can get from start to finish as quickly as possible.

But for freestyle skiers, life is far more complicated.

As well as being judged on their speed, moguls specialists are assessed on how well they negotiate a course studded with tricky bumps known as moguls.

And, as if that was not tough enough, there are also two spectacular jumps which must be completed along the way.


The moguls course is between 220m and 250m long and has a gradient of between 26 and 30 degrees.

The skier must keep as direct a path as possible, and complete a jump at two different points on the descent.

There is a qualifying heat, and the 16 skiers with the highest scores make it through to the final.

Scoring takes into account three key areas.

Technique makes up 50% of the marks.

Moguls tricks include the 'backscratcher', 'helicopter', 'iron cross' and 'daffy'

Judges assess how well the skier attacks the course, their body position and their control of the skis, which must remain in contact with the snow as much as possible.

Five judges assess the technique and the highest and lowest scores are discounted.

Aerials account for 25% of the total.

Two judges assess the quality of each jump, its height and how well it is landed. The score is multiplied by the level of difficulty for the jump in question.

Speed makes up the remaining 25% of the total.

Marks are calculated on how the skier compares to a 'pace time' determined before the competition begins.

Unlike aerials skiers, moguls specialists use ski poles, which help them with balance and control.

Helmets are compulsory, and competitors also wear knee pads. These are often a different colour to the rest of the ski suit to draw the judges' attention to the skier's technique.


If you want to become a moguls specialist, you obviously have to be an accomplished skier.

But if you think you are ready for the challenge, Snowsport GB has details of how to get involved in freestyle skiing.

And for more information on the ski world, visit the International Ski Federation's website.


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