Originally Posted by cgeib
I also have a copy of Pianta Su here at my desk that makes for fine reading....
Check out this well-written article written by Edie Thys Morgan:
In it, she discusses being taught long ago about pole plants:
"Once upon a time, we all had to learn some basic skills before we even thought about carving a turn. We did so with the help of instructors, who relentlessly hammered into our muscle memory the humble pole plant. For my husband, that instructor was Sigi Ploberger, a diminuative Austrian ski instructor with a commanding voice, who followed her charges, reminding them to “Tak!…Tak!…Tak!…” with metronomic regularity after each turn. For me, and for other western skiers I suspect, the most formative instruction came from slopes like Squaw’s West Face, and Jackson’s Tower 3, where you either planted your pole on every turn, or ended up in a heap at the bottom of the run.
Either way the message was clear to all skiers: Your pole plant is your best friend. It is the key to timing the release from one turn and initiation of the next; it restores proper fore-aft balance before each turn; it positions you solidly over the downhill ski (your second best friend); it commits your body to the fall-line, helps you adjust instantly to terrain changes, provides a pivot point in tight spots, prevents rotation, etc, etc etc…Basically, whatever trouble you get into, the pole plant’s got your back."
Then she goes on to discuss the advent of shaped skis and the loss of the strong focus on poles, concluding with this:
"Yep, eventually the truth came out. Anyone can make pretty turns on a well groomed even pitch, but what are you going to do when you’re cresting a knoll onto a steep pitch, when you hit an ice patch and lose your balance, when your skis lose snow contact in a rough spot? These fancy new fun-loving friends will get you up to speed all right, but what happens when you have to get back in control…immediately? Who’s your buddy then?
That’s right. Your pole plant.
The coaches of “modern technique” who say the pole plant is passé need to watch the Wengen slalom. And those who say it is irrelevant in speed events need to take a closer look at the Hahnenkamm downhill. Real men—real big, fast men—plant their poles mach schnell when necessary. No single skill remedies as many weaknesses and crises, no matter what time of day you call. That’s why a simple pole plant drill says a lot about your skiing future."
Edited by LiquidFeet - 3/28/15 at 4:01am