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Ski Poles, a valuable device, or unnecessary? - Page 2

post #31 of 166
Thread Starter 

Sorry to disappoint, I have no buddies with a cam, and would not be so egotistic as to request them to get video of me slamming and slarving the bumps at the expense of their vertical footage in any given day.  

 

While I don't make the fastest way down, I do find myself passing quite a few traditional pole planters.  After a few days that can be exaggeration, but after dozens of days that is a pattern.

 

It seems every ski area has one lone nut who styles the bumps sans poles at some time or another.  

 

You bet, top of the food chain form in double black terrain involves a pole plant.  Heavy duty carving is better with extra weight for counterbalance.  I'm not bragging, or talking about losing the poles in the most extreme examples, I'm just trying to open people's minds to another possibility, a possibility that curiously runs into quite a bit of resistance to the more traditional minded skiers I run across.

post #32 of 166

How would I get out of my bindings?! th_dunno-1[1].gif  I spend too much time tuning to even consider stomping on the heel piece.  Under dire circumstances (working NASTAR - no ski poles) I will bend down and try to get past my beer gut but that usually means not breathing or any circulation until I stand back up.

 

I have done lots of training without them.  If you ski a lot without them, you will get proficient at it.  If you ski a lot with your boots unbuckled, you'll get proficient at that too.  When you buckle back up, you will start skiing better, just like when you use your poles.

post #33 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttinski View Post

Thanks everybody, smile.gif

 

I was just wondering what percentage of folks here eschew poles as a matter of choice.

 

FWIW, the response here is about the same as everyone I meet on the local hill, ewww what a weirdo nonono2.gif

 

Sure poles are a fine device in proper usage, and help in lumpy lift line mazes, but the mental block to not using them reminds me of the vanguard of shaped skis, or the newschool shapes that inexplicably gives everybody the willies.

 

Yes, you cannot make aggressive fast powerful turns in steep bumps without a perfect pole plant every turn, but who skis those lines exclusively?  

 

I'm talking about losing the poles, and learning how liberating it really is.  Bumps are possible and fun, the mindset shifts somewhat maybe from power toward finesse.  Turn precision and feel drives the tips back into the fall line naturally, a pole plant almost defiles that sensitivity.

 

My dad always said, "don't knock it if you have not tried it".  

 

Everyone is free to run with the herd as that is the safest bet.  

 

If anyone does ditch their poles, and LIKES it, please let me know.  I think a little revolution is good every now and then, and losing the poles would really enhance our total experience on our ski resorts.




I don't see the same "mental block" you do. 

 

I have no mental block about skiing without poles.  In fact one day last year (while my thumb was healing up from what I believe was a fracture), I spent a day lapping the local (onaping ski hill) bump run without poles (I suck at bumps with or without poles).  If I forget to put my poles in the car, I'm not going back for them, and I'm not going to waste money renting some either. 

 

I see you have a mental block to learning how to ski with poles biggrin.gif

post #34 of 166

wow.jpg

post #35 of 166


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttinski View Post

Thanks everybody, smile.gif

 

I was just wondering what percentage of folks here eschew poles as a matter of choice.

 

FWIW, the response here is about the same as everyone I meet on the local hill, ewww what a weirdo nonono2.gif

 

Sure poles are a fine device in proper usage, and help in lumpy lift line mazes, but the mental block to not using them reminds me of the vanguard of shaped skis, or the newschool shapes that inexplicably gives everybody the willies.

 

Yes, you cannot make aggressive fast powerful turns in steep bumps without a perfect pole plant every turn, but who skis those lines exclusively?  

 

I'm talking about losing the poles, and learning how liberating it really is.  Bumps are possible and fun, the mindset shifts somewhat maybe from power toward finesse.  Turn precision and feel drives the tips back into the fall line naturally, a pole plant almost defiles that sensitivity.

 

My dad always said, "don't knock it if you have not tried it".  

 

Everyone is free to run with the herd as that is the safest bet.  

 

If anyone does ditch their poles, and LIKES it, please let me know.  I think a little revolution is good every now and then, and losing the poles would really enhance our total experience on our ski resorts.


I think skiing without poles is really beneficial to your skiing.  It can expose flaws in your skiing and get you feel things you never would have without them.  But I think in the long run poles make you a more efficient skier.

 

It is like skiing on one ski.  Skiing on one ski is very helpful learning tool as it will get you to feel things you would have never felt on two.  However, the reality is that two skis are much more efficient than one and when you go back to two footed skiing you will apply those different techniques you used to ski on one foot.

 

post #36 of 166

I really don't see the point of this thread.  Buttinski admits he's only a moderately skilled skier (nothing wrong with that) who eschews a useful and helpful component of higher-level skiing (functional pole touches).  He suggests that those skiers who use poles are somehow closed minded for doing so.  Choosing to ski as efficiently as possible does not strike me as being closed minded.  As L&AirC mentions, one can also ski with boots unbuckled.  I'm sure some skiers out there believe buckling boots is unnecessary and that those who choose to buckle their boots are closed minded and not allowing themselves to be free.  Whatever.


Edited by mike_m - 4/16/12 at 8:52am
post #37 of 166

Poles are a crutch for weak minded skiers.

 

I ski with poles 98% of the time because they make it easier and more efficient.  IMO poles either help you or hopelessly screw you up.  I would like to see more beginners skiing without poles and I hate it when I hear some of the newer instructors talking about working on a students pole plants at lower levels.  IMO lower level skiers have bigger issues to work on than pole plants and that lesson leads almost nowhere.

 

The idea that you can't ski steeps, bumps, or other harder terrain without poles is false.  One of the best clinics I ever took was a Tele clinic.  It was me and one other guy with the trainer and we were all strong tele skiers hitting the good stuff on a powder day.  After a Tower 3 run (famous double black chute at JH) the trainer thought we were over-using our poles, so he took them away and we skied the chute again.  Yes it was harder, but we were forced to balance better and move more accurately.  It was so fun and so cool to do that we did two more without poles and then went back to using poles.  The runs without the poles really made a difference in our skiing when we went back with the poles.

 

Another time that stands out...  I had an early Tram private lesson with two women on a powder morning.  We got on the Box at 8:30 and went to the top and waited for the mountain to open.  When it did at about 9:30 it turned out that one of the women had grabbed a pair of children's poles that were not even close to the right length.  I gave her mine and adjusted the length for her.  On me the children's poles came up to about mid thigh.  We went skiing.  We were on a serious search and destroy mission for powder and did a lot of double black terrain including...  Alta 1, Expert Chutes, Tower 3, Paintbrush, Hoops Gap, Cheyenne Woods, and then a Hoback to the bottom to get the right poles and eat some lunch.  I skied hard terrain all morning just holding those things in my hands and swinging them a little, but never planting them because they were way too short to touch the snow.  Sometimes I held them both in one hand and sometimes I held them horizontally like a tray, but mostly I just held them relatively normally and they were wildly ineffective.  It was really fun and cool and I got a lot of respect from my students for doing it and making it look good.  It was also funny to see the looks from my co-workers and other people.

 

Poles are useful, but not necessary.

post #38 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by tetonpwdrjunkie View Post

Poles are a crutch for weak minded skiers.

 

Poles are useful, but not necessary.


The first seems just a wee bit harsh, but the second is true.....as it is with almost everything in our lives, such as cell phones, laptops, cars, high-speed lifts, etc, etc, etc....

 

This weak-minded skier figures if they're useful, why not use 'em?

 

The OP's agenda seems to have veered from an idle curiosity to advocacy...of pole-less skiing.  

He can ski without them all he wants, but to paraphrase Charlton Heston, they'll take my poles only when they pry them from my cold, dead hands!!!

 

 

post #39 of 166

 

 

Quote:
You bet, top of the food chain form in double black terrain involves a pole plant. 

Then why do without, unless you're training, in which case, by all means lose one pole or both poles and take some bump runs. You'll be a stronger skier for it. But don't mistake the drill for skiing. 

post #40 of 166

A skier without poles is as much in my way as a snowboarder--at least get out of my way when I pole past you.

A cross country skier friend taught me how to pole--binding way forward at the waist and using the abs. I can pole on a gentle uphill as fast as most people skate (if I'm trying hard and they're not). I need to save the old legs for going downhill. For longer climbs extending extendable poles helps a lot.  Look how long nordic poles are.

As far as boot buckles go I skied with my son on one of those WRD days early this season and couldn't come close to keeping up.  It wasn't until we got back to the car that he noticed his boots weren't buckled.

post #41 of 166
Thread Starter 

This is not meant to come across in any adversarial fashion.

 

A weak mind is one that cannot think without a crutch to help it along. 

 

The idea that poles are a given part of a skier's form, and that somehow a skier is less sans poles is a mental crutch.  Pole plants may be necessary for some aspects of skiing, but for 100% of the time?  I don't advocate ditching poles full time, I just ask if anyone is questioning them and trying turns without poles?  

 

One good friend, who is one of the most graceful skiers I have had the privilege to turn behind, who skied since age three likes his poles to put his feet in the right place.  Fine, but if your feet are already there, why is the plant needed?  

 

Thanks everyone for the discussion as my intent is to open minds beyond what we normally see.

 

When the Caribe natives watched Columbus' three ships dancing their way across the ocean, it was a never before seen phenomena.  They disagreed what those funny waves were.  It took a witch Doctor to smack their foreheads and empower them to actually see that those funny waves were individual boats of a size they never imagined.

 

  

post #42 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttinski View Post

If anyone does ditch their poles, and LIKES it, please let me know.  I think a little revolution is good every now and then, and losing the poles would really enhance our total experience on our ski resorts.

I'm wondering if you are assuming you're the first person to think skiing without poles is a "revolution" in skiing technique or tactics. Maybe we should start a "revolution" in skiing by ditching skis altogether and merely going down the hill riding the flattish planes of our boots' soles.

Sweet Maggot troll though. May the GSA guide you eternally!

(PS: feel free to "eschew" my comment)
post #43 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttinski View Post

This is not meant to come across in any adversarial fashion.

 

A weak mind is one that cannot think without a crutch to help it along. 

 

The idea that poles are a given part of a skier's form, and that somehow a skier is less sans poles is a mental crutch.  Pole plants may be necessary for some aspects of skiing, but for 100% of the time?  I don't advocate ditching poles full time, I just ask if anyone is questioning them and trying turns without poles?  

 

One good friend, who is one of the most graceful skiers I have had the privilege to turn behind, who skied since age three likes his poles to put his feet in the right place.  Fine, but if your feet are already there, why is the plant needed?  

 

Thanks everyone for the discussion as my intent is to open minds beyond what we normally see.

 

When the Caribe natives watched Columbus' three ships dancing their way across the ocean, it was a never before seen phenomena.  They disagreed what those funny waves were.  It took a witch Doctor to smack their foreheads and empower them to actually see that those funny waves were individual boats of a size they never imagined.

 

  


Do me a favour, go over to Newschoolers, and see what they say about skiing without poles.

 

post #44 of 166

Huh.. No one else has ever thought to ask that question.

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/61133/debate-poles-vs-no-poles#post_794898

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/42614/does-everyone-use-poles

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/45579/pole-plant-not-used-anymore

 

Good thing you posted this here and not at TGR.  You'd be JONG'ed before you could hit 'enter' in response.

 

 

flatlandr - Actually, at NS, they'd probably agree that using poles is too old-school.  But they wear their pants around their ankles too.

post #45 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldMember View Post


flatlandr - Actually, at NS, they'd probably agree that using poles is too old-school.  But they wear their pants around their ankles too.

I think half of NS is dedicated to poles vs. no poles threads (The other half is tall tee threads). General consensus is that no poles looks dumb and hurts your skiing (and of course, because it's NS, it's 'gay'). I've gone without poles a couple times. Good for messing around, not good for actually skiing. The part that I find funny about guys who ski with no poles is how stupid they look trying to waddle around on the flats.
 

 

post #46 of 166

This thread is full of win!

post #47 of 166

A lot of things have been pointed out in this thread.

There is good info here that I plan to hold on to.

This thread is a giant basket of knowledge that everyone should tap in to.

Plenty of sharp and poignant insights here.

Why didn't the OP add a poll?

Skiing without poles seems pointless to me.

 

For me, the pole plants set the rhythm of my turns.  Everything revolves around the pole plant.  The previous turn ends with a pole plant initiating the next turn. 

post #48 of 166
Quote:
Skiing without poles seems pointless to me.

As good and applicable a pun as there could be to sum up the nonsense of this thread, Crgildart!

wink.gif

For what it's worth, I advocate skiing with only one ski. I've done it, and found that I can do it, so I conclude that skiing with two skis is unnecessary and the sign of a closed and unimaginative mind. That second ski is a crutch.

Furthermore, as many people here already know, I am also not an advocate of telemark gear, because it, too, is unnecessary, old-school, and unimaginative. If you really want to show that you're special and a more highly-evolved antiestablishmentarian free-thinker, the only equipment to ski on is my latest invention, the Kramelet(TM) binding system. (That's French for "telemark" spelled backwards, for those who have not figured it out yet.) It holds down only your heels, letting your toes and your mind run free and uninhibited by the restriction of toe pieces. It's the latest thing, really. I don't need no stinkin' toe pieces, so you're closed-minded if you use them.

---

Seriously, Buttinski, it seems to me that your real question, whether you know it or not, was actually, "does anyone care if I ski without poles?" And the answer is clearly, "no, no one cares." Are poles useful? Obviously--they are tools that, like any tool, when skillfully and appropriately used can do wonderful things. Are they necessary? Obviously not, as many phenomenal skiers without the use of both arms can attest--as well as every good skier who has skied runs without poles in virtually every possible condition for one reason or another, including intentionally as a training drill, and accidentally as in Lindsey Vonn's recent World Cup run where the pole was ripped from her hand (she did not win). Do poles require skill? Yes. Can they get in the way or cause technical problems? Yes. Can you hurt yourself with them? Can it be fun to ski without them? Yes! Should you ski without them? Sure, if you want to, go right ahead.

Buttinski, I think I speak for many here when I thank you for your attempt to "open our minds," as you put it (post #41). As others have noted, pole use and the benefits of practicing without poles have both been discussed many times and at length here at EpicSki and elsewhere. I'm sure you've noticed that children in most ski schools almost invariably start without poles, and that adult beginners often spend a fair amount of time without them as well in many beginner lessons. Skiing--including bumps--without poles is a well-recognized and respected drill for skiers of all levels, and often an expected task for instructors in certification exams. You should certainly try it sometime!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #49 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post


Furthermore, as many people here already know, I am also not an advocate of telemark gear, because it, too, is unnecessary, old-school, and unimaginative. If you really want to show that you're special and a more highly-evolved antiestablishmentarian free-thinker, the only equipment to ski on is my latest invention, the Kramelet(TM) binding system. (That's French for "telemark" spelled backwards, for those who have not figured it out yet.) It holds down only your heels, letting your toes and your mind run free and uninhibited by the restriction of toe pieces. It's the latest thing, really. I don't need no stinkin' toe pieces, so you're closed-minded if you use them.
---
Bob Barnes


Pfft, I was rockin' those SWITCH several years ago.

 

post #50 of 166

Are Buttinski and Tai Chi Skier one and the same?

post #51 of 166
Quote:
Pfft, I was rockin' those SWITCH several years ago.

Are you suggesting that two wrongs make a right (and left), crgildart?

wink.gif
post #52 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by whippersnapper View Post

Poles often prevent falling...

 

Good way to sprain a thumb. Ski poles should not be used to prevent a fall.

 

post #53 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_m View Post

Are Buttinski and Tai Chi Skier one and the same?

I'm inclined to see Buttinski = Vitamin Ski, style/content-wise. Not really like Tommy K's content/style.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Quote:
Pfft, I was rockin' those SWITCH several years ago.
Are you suggesting that two wrongs make a right (and left), crgildart?
wink.gif

How about 3 rights makes a left? eek.gif

(if we like our right angles!)
post #54 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by telerod15 View Post

 

Good way to sprain a thumb. Ski poles should not be used to prevent a fall.

 


True dat, nor should they be used for an extra nudge to get you inclined enough to make the next gate!

 

post #55 of 166

Poles are also a useful device to block punks trying to slide past you in the lift corrals.duel.gif

post #56 of 166
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolo View Post

 

 

Then why do without, unless you're training, in which case, by all means lose one pole or both poles and take some bump runs. You'll be a stronger skier for it. But don't mistake the drill for skiing. 


Andrea Mead Lawrence used poles to win the Olympics, but later in life preferred to ski without poles, citing the sensation of freedom that Buttinski mentions.

 

Was Ms. Lawrence mistaken in believing she was skiing?

 

A lot of talk about efficiency in this thread. Is the goal of skiing to maximize efficiency or enjoyment? 

 

Striving for efficient ski technique is great for training, but don't mistake it for skiing.

 

post #57 of 166

Great for riding the chairlift with little kids too. You can put poles around them and they'll act as a secondary safety bar.

post #58 of 166

I was referring to mere mortals, Telerod. 

post #59 of 166

I once dropped a pole from the lift so I had to ski down the bumps under the lift with one pole to retrieve the other one. I didn't manage well. An Egan was hosting a clinic, a big deal at our little hill and his event went up the lift as I floundered below. Perhaps inspired my effort, perhaps thinking it was a drill I was doing, he had the whole group ski that run without poles and they all did it better than I, passed me gaping. The Egan skied it very well. He used his hands as though he had poles, which might be a helpful hint for anyone trying. 

post #60 of 166

Man is distinguished from lesser creatures by his ability to use tools, courtesy of opposable thumbs. Therefore people who ski without poles are lesser apes, not humans.

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