Ask An Expert is the new feature that answers your snow sport questions with responses from experts. Send in your questions, and we’ll find the experts to answer them. The feature will appear as frequently as we have your questions.

We start the series this week with this question from reader, Terry Kureth:

While skiing with a friend not long ago, we were talking about the recommended techniques for skiing moguls. My friend said he had heard that it is advantageous to loosen the top buckle of one’s boots in order to more easily assume a deeper knee bend needed to be a better mogul skier. Any thoughts?

For an expert opinion, we turned to Seth Masia, founder of the instructional approach, offered at the Aspen/Snowmass Ski School.

I’ve occasionally recommended loosening the top buckle but only when it’s clear that the boot is too stiff to begin with. No one can ski efficiently unless there’s some way to articulate the ankle — knee flex without ankle flex just results in back-seat skiing, not a recipe for safe skiing anywhere and certainly not in moguls. By the way, a boot that’s even half a size too big is likely to be too stiff.

In teaching seniors to ski in bumps, I emphasize hand discipline and speed control. The hands MUST be forward and the pole plant ready early. This enables keeping the shovel of the skis in the snow, and turning — hence speed control. When the shovels come off the snow, the only way to turn is to swivel, and that puts a torque on knees and hips — not a good technique for those of us above a certain age.

Have a question about technique, gear, destinations, travel, or any other aspect of winter sports? Send it to [email protected], and we’ll do our best to find an expert to respond.


  1. Jeffrey Dunning says:

    What are good exercises to help skiers get up after a fall? Getting up with both ski boots attached to skis is a lot harder than when I was young.

  2. Rich Spritz says:

    Age-related sarcopenia and consequent loss of strength is a real concern for older skiers, especially women. Rather than struggling to get up, burning energy better spent skiing, some older skiers adopt the method we teach first-time skiers. Namely, take off the uphill ski, stand up, and then put that ski back on.

  3. Marc Gershel says:

    This was a really helpful Q & A for me. I have actually not taken needed lessons for fear of wasting a lot of expensive time trying to get up after falling when trying to learn something new.

  4. Terry Kureth says:

    It’s downhill all the way, and a chairlift (or poma or rope-tow or T bar) back to the top.

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