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What does skiing without poles show?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Let me start by saying, I have been skiing for 35+ years and haven't had a lesson in 25+ years. So I probably have more bad habits than I could count.


Yesterday I took a couple of runs holding my poles horizontally, rather than actually using them.  I noticed I could carve much cleaner arcs without my tails washing or getting thrown into the back seat.


I don't have any video of my normal skiing, but is there anything i could look for to not lose this sensation when actually using my poles?

post #2 of 15



I'd guess you are dropping your hands behind you center of mass when using poles, or letting one pole drag behind as you touch the other.  Pretty common, just try to be very aware of where your hands are all the way through a turn.  One of the pro's can give you advice on where the best 'home base' position is for your hands and poles.  




post #3 of 15


Yesterday I took a couple of runs holding my poles horizontally, rather than actually using them.


Held horizontally in both hands out in front at about chest height?

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 


post #5 of 15

When you were turning did the poles face more down the hill or more toward the side of the hill?

post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 

Probably more down the hill

post #7 of 15

doing this drill has improved your body position.  I would say keep doing it to teach your body to be doing the correct thing during a turn...then add poles once it has become second nature. 


Also make sure you are correctly using the poles when you use them (hands in front, pole plants, etc.).  The saying goes, if the poles aren't helping you...then they are hurting you.

post #8 of 15

Good. Here's a few variations of that drill you could also try. Hold your poles over your head (engages your core), hold them behind your back, out to the side. Focus on keeping  your upper body (chest, shoulders, head) and hips facing inside the next turn while the head of your femurs rotate in the hip socket.You legs should turn under your quite upper body.   When you're skiing keep your poles moving, hands above hips, elbows ahead of the sternum (breast bone). As suggested above you're probably letting your hands drop down and back.

post #9 of 15

Another drill you can try is reaching out straight ahead with your inside arm, and touching either your outside hip or knee with your outside arm, while trying to keep your shoulders level.  Looks a little silly, but it really gets you angulated if you do it right.


Also, when you are using poles, make sure that you are actually swinging the pole out and touching it ahead of you.  The ideal spot (assuming you're going straight down the fall line) is directly downhill of your feet.  If you're swinging closer to the tip of your skis, or your pole ends up touching behind your feet, then your pole swing isn't helping you move directionally into the new turn.


You should be starting the pole swing as you're going through the transition from the old edges to the new ones, and normally you'd want to finish the swing/touch the snow in the first third of the new turn.


I've been working on this all season, especially in the bumps...

post #10 of 15

Inside hand over the front of the inside ski/outside hand on the outside hip to remember to angulate some is called the Schlopy drill after Eric, the US Olympian.  One of the important aspects of this drill is to keep the hands in place during initiation of the succeeding turn until the skis reach almost into the fall line, when you should change hands.  Best done without poles in the hands.



post #11 of 15

That's one of my favourite drills, keep poles lined up with the horizon, arms and shoulders lined up with poles, also keep poles 90 degrees to fall line (sternum pointing straight down the hill, and make turns back and forth as far as you can stretch them.   Your outside ski holds an edge better because you are using proper angulation and counter. When skiing concentrate on keeping your hands in front of you.  I'm not really a pole touch guy (I prefer to ski at speeds that make pole touches dangerous, so I never really got into it), but I do know that pole touches done with too much arm movement is counter productive as it can lead to unwanted upper body rotation driving the turn and interfere with proper counter (counter rotation). 

post #12 of 15

Here is some video from a few weeks ago that I posted in another thread of some no poles carving drills, with a few Schlopy's thrown in.  Not perfect, but you will get the general idea.




post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the tips.  Skied yesterday, concentrating on keeping my poles where they belong, and it made a noticeable difference....until my left arm creeps down.  Seems like no matter how I concentrate on it, I will eventually drop my left arm. 


I think I need one of these, locked in place.  arm.jpg

post #14 of 15

I know this is an old thread but the video in post #12 is an awesome drill and I thought some could benefit.



post #15 of 15

Keep your shoulders level, and upper body calm and facing down the hill.....both are good "rules of thumb" to work too and basically is what you get from the drill you described.

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