Originally Posted by dewdman42
I agree there are situations for both..and using firm pole plants all the time now is more of a learning experience than anything...as the race coach was doing to me.
However, I think people too heavily de-emphasize pole plants..there is quite a lot of use for firm pole plants...and yes...blocking pole plants...as described by LeMaster. Can they be overused? Certainly. But what I hear constantly is instructors saying that all you need to do is touch and time...and many skiers are learning how to gain no additional benefits from their pole plants. In fact I am a chronic toucher myself except when I'm in bumps, steeps, powder, etc.. But I find that if I plant my poles for fast fall line quick turns and lots of other situations that are not what I would consider rare....everything is better. The only time I touch is when I'm truly going too fast to realistically do a good firm pole plant. My opinion is that if you are going slow enough to execute a firm pole plant..then you should. If you're going faster...then touch.
Or your can just ride the rails like everyone else...
i'm pretty much against teaching all but higher level lessons with poles.
i DO employ and teach pole plants for steeps, esp. ultra-steeps, i also love teaching hop turns with poles, as we always used to say, and it still rings true today,
good 180o hop turns on steeeeep terrain with hard pole plants 'brings everything together'.
I also employ poles for alpine snowboard lessons, on a case-by-case basis. Poles are outstanding for teaching upper-level snowboard race tech, they give the athlete something to with her/his hands, to keep them quiet.
something about having the alpine snowboard pupil 'hold the handlebars' really cleans up the strength and smoothness of their arcs.
having both ski and 'board pupils hold a pole horizontally between their outstretched arms is kickass for both disciplines, as well.
whenever i've taught alpine boarding to high-level skiers, i've ha dthem use their own, familiar ski boots and poles. kinda brings it into their living room comfort zone.