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Poles or no Poles? - Page 2

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Every part of you is connected and affects every other part. If you know what to do with the mass and location of that mass provided by the ski poles you have additional resources at your command, like a general with more well-trained troops; if you don't know how to use them, you have troops running amok. The longer you spend with your poles attatched the better you will be at using them.
Ghost, well said, my feelings exactly!
post #32 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Square
I have found that I don't use poles in long radius turns. I find them very helpful for timing and balance in short radius turns.

Also, having poles in your hands helps you keep them up and forward where they should be. Watch most people ski without poles, their hands are normally at their sides or down. This tends to pull them into the backseat. Poles help provide a focus for your hands to be in the correct position.

I was always taught to TRY to make myself use them in long turns - despite the fact that I prefered not to. It is hard to do the swing so slowly - but eventually it becomes easier.
This past season I finally discovered WHY I needed to try to learn that (not the brain knowing WHY - but the body understanding WHY)... The continual movement simply helps me to keep the rest of me ALSO moving continually - it helps me time those long turns that bit better so that my total timing is better coordinated.
post #33 of 46
BTW - I have to agree with pierre & Ydnar that most of the time the damn things can be a nuisance that inhibit learning to ski. I spent a fair amount of time learning to ski wandering around without them - it let me focus on actually SKIING. Adding the pole plant PROPERLY I found/find quite challenging. My slalom turns are still STREETS ahead without poles - I just struggle with the placement & timing in those size turns.
post #34 of 46
Pierre: I will say this though. Good use of poles does increase the balance and timing of a good skier. Efficient pole use is also one of the hardest things to learn in skiing.

I will buy that. The only time poles are a hindrance to skiing is when one lacks the skills to use them efficiently. I challenge ANYONE to show us differently.
post #35 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
I was always taught to TRY to make myself use them in long turns - despite the fact that I prefered not to. It is hard to do the swing so slowly - but eventually it becomes easier.
This past season I finally discovered WHY I needed to try to learn that (not the brain knowing WHY - but the body understanding WHY)... The continual movement simply helps me to keep the rest of me ALSO moving continually - it helps me time those long turns that bit better so that my total timing is better coordinated.
Just in case there's anyone learning how to ski the way I did (just do what the WC Downhillers do on TV), you might want to experiment with a "phantom" pole plant in your long turns instead; making contact with Mother Earth while moving at a high speed, even with the intervening ski pole, could easily injure your wrist.
post #36 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomB
Pierre: I will say this though. Good use of poles does increase the balance and timing of a good skier. Efficient pole use is also one of the hardest things to learn in skiing.

I will buy that. The only time poles are a hindrance to skiing is when one lacks the skills to use them efficiently. I challenge ANYONE to show us differently.
maybe

But I can be in the 1/2 pipe just fine without them can you?
post #37 of 46
To me poles are feelers, plain and simple. I poke around with them whenever it gets really rough and dicey to keep myself in reference to the ground around me, usually trying to jump turn down through trees and rocks or something. Once my speed is up to where I like to start carving, the poles come off the ground, tips behind me, handles out front. I never have gotten the hang of pole-plant carve, it hurts my wrists. I think I go too fast.
post #38 of 46
As an intermediate skier, I usually use my poles for a "sight line" when doing short turns. When I first started skiing, I had a problem with leaning back. So to get me out of that, an instructor had me balance my poles on my wrists in front of me and ski down that way. Not only did it increase my balance and get my weight centered, it also had me keep my upper body downhill instead of turning my shoulders with my turn. I think that poles can be great tools to use with a beginner if used as tools.
post #39 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctown
maybe

But I can be in the 1/2 pipe just fine without them can you?
The key words there are "just fine". I suppose that everyone can all ski just fine without them but even the very best free stylers use them in the pipe, big air, slope side, etc.

As for me, I don't ski in the half pipe, so poles or no poles I am certain I suck in the half pipe.
post #40 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost
Just in case there's anyone learning how to ski the way I did (just do what the WC Downhillers do on TV), you might want to experiment with a "phantom" pole plant in your long turns instead; making contact with Mother Earth while moving at a high speed, even with the intervening ski pole, could easily injure your wrist.

never had a problem.... & I am the supergumby... especially with the arms.....

I just touch the snow with pole.....pretty simple really...the timing of the swing is the trickiest part in those long turns & also feels the most important to get right (If I get it right it really helps my skiing)... when I am "rushing" the last part of the swing I have usually not got the rest of the turn happening together either.... so it seems I use the pole swing to help me time the other movements I need...
post #41 of 46
First let's start off correctly, the word is spelled Arse. Scottish for Ass.

Pole usage is just part of skiing (not in the pipe, because that is BAD).

Yes, propulsion. All skiers since the start of the sport in Scandinavia have used a paddle.

Modern skis, because of side cut and width may require less precision with the timing of the pole. In the old “dad” days if you didn't plant your “stick” you would probably die, if the run was worthy.

Once again technology is enabling the many to experience the way of the few.
post #42 of 46
Ctown, you are in good company. Double Olympic gold medalist Andrea Mead Lawrence prefers to ski without poles.

number2, right on about pole planting in the pipe, it's bad, puts holes on the half pipe wall.

150 years ago, a single pole was used to control speed and direction of descents. A revolutionary development occurred around that time in the hills around Morgedal, Norway. A technique that used the skis instead of the pole to control the descent was born! Lifts, grooming and shaped skis all continued to make poles less important.

If you prefer to ski without poles, I say go for it! Of course it's more challenging, but that's a plus. And it forces you to use the skis well.
post #43 of 46
If you want to ski the runs that require a hike or a traverse, you should bring some poles. Yes, propulsion. As skiers learned to rely less on the pole to control descent, they switched to using double poles. I think Zdarsky had a falling out with Biligeri over the issue of using one or two poles. Double poles were a lot better for propulsion. This is probably the most important use for poles, but most skiers find that they enhance the downhill skiing as well.
post #44 of 46
If used as tools! Momiji is onto something here. The poles can help time a turn (trigger), add discipline to the upper body by acting like the pole a tightrope walker uses, enhance the arm movement into a turn, block the upper body (an anchor to stop or start rotation) and provide an additional way to move across the snow. Each of these activities require a little practice but overall the movements are fairly limited and easy to master. For some maneuvers they are neccessary, for others they are optional. Enhancing what the lower body is doing is the key. If you are more comfortable without them great, you can still perform most ski movements without them.
As a figure skater you are probably more accustom to cross lateral balancing movements (a deer walking), when skiing most movements are bilateral balancing movements (a deer running). The arms aid balance in this mode and the poles further enhance that role.
post #45 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro
If used as tools! Momiji is onto something here. The poles can help time a turn (trigger), add discipline to the upper body by acting like the pole a tightrope walker uses, enhance the arm movement into a turn, block the upper body (an anchor to stop or start rotation) and provide an additional way to move across the snow. Each of these activities require a little practice but overall the movements are fairly limited and easy to master. For some maneuvers they are neccessary, for others they are optional. Enhancing what the lower body is doing is the key. If you are more comfortable without them great, you can still perform most ski movements without them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by justanotherskipro

As a figure skater you are probably more accustom to cross lateral balancing movements (a deer walking), when skiing most movements are bilateral balancing movements (a deer running). The arms aid balance in this mode and the poles further enhance that role.



As you said, poles are used as a timing device and a balancing device. However, which also means miss using a pole causes the skier to lose rhythm or balance or both. And by Murphy's Law, they usually show up at the most crucial time, and cost big. Why endure/harbor such hazardous potential? Yes, "Enhancing what the lower body is doing is the key," get rid of poles may force you to do that even better; without pole-plants to jerk back, the skiing is just simply flows, freely.


IS
post #46 of 46
I would think the fact that the vast majority of expert skiers use poles is a pretty good argument for their use. I've only been skiing for a little while, but I have trouble visualizing extreme skiers coming down the steep lines they ski without poles.

I like the comparison to a tightrope walkers pole. That is an apt description of how I use my poles. Balancing on a single thin edge while hurtling down a steep hill can be a challenge for me, and I find that the pole works very well as a moving counterbalance to keep my CM over my edge.
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