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Unless you are on rough/very steep terrain, why would you use pole plants? - Page 2

post #31 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
and how many times over how many years have I said this?

constantly moving poles... when you finish one you start the next.... everyone keeps telling me they are unnecessary... :
What we found was that even though we were all saying it, we were not all doing it as well as we could have been. What I have always told my students is to never parallel park your poles, always keep one moving. Yet here I was finding that I was briefly parking both poles. Leave nothing to chance. Meditate on the movement of the pole swing, and what you do to acomplish this, and how it relates to everything else you are doing and happening.

I agree Disski, we practice when we don't need to, so we can when we do need to. Just like practicing our range of motion in skiing, we exagertate and find our the extremes when we don't need to, so we can actually find and use them when we do. The movements we get out of the body are the movements we put into the body, including our pole use. Later, RicB.
post #32 of 72
Yeah...
I knew you got it anyway... was just trying to drum it through the skulls of some others (not working it seems)....

I wrote a few times about that lesson with a race dept guy.... when I changed my skiing quickly and he asked why I commented I had remembered I was supposed to keep the poles moving..... (Long turns)
he said "oh yeah I tend to forget about that" ... tried it and agreed it DOES work to keep the 2 halves of the body better synched... (He was trying to get more "drive" in outside and I was struggling to understand and somehow remembered i had forgotten my poles)

I can't speak for others... but from much experience I can vouch for just constant practice of small things making a difference to having the skill and movement down pat when it is needed... you then have no idea you are really even doing it eventually... it is so automatic you would not stop to think... Weems commented on this re my stance/angulation... HOW did I do it? I don't really have the ability to tell if I am... not naturally... it is just a trained movement pattern... if I do it enough it is there - although hard to find at start of season
post #33 of 72
All great points Disski. There is always something I can do better, or refine in some way. Leave nothing up to chance. I try to approach it like I do my tai chi chuan form work. Later, RicB.
post #34 of 72
Yep...

I have to admit I struggled with the idea of pole planting in long turns when my instructor first told me I needed to work on them....
"I'm just edge rolling"
"so practice the poles while you practice the rolling"
"it feels weird"
"because you are not used to doing it"
grrrrrr... I hate logical arguments.... It is now much easier to keep them going although I do still forget... i figure another 10 years or so and I will probably forget very rarely....
post #35 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir jman
Nothing says "tool" to me more than someone flicking their poles against the snow to initiate weak turns on groomers.
Weak turns at low speed on flat groomers is an entirely different story. If you're skiing that slow and making weak turns then you're not really carving/edging anyway. And the body is not undergoing the dynamic weight/balance shifts where pole plants would fit in and be beneficial (the only shifts would probably be foot to foot). If that's the case, I agree with you completely. I have seen people force pole plants in this scenario, and it looks ridiculous -- takes more work just to get the upper body moving. Good skiers would not be planting poles in this situation. To me it's equivalent to a traverse or short hop where you'd be on the flats of the skis most of the time, just getting from point A to point B. It's just common sense that you're not planting poles here.

I think most advanced skiers know when a pole plant is appropriate (in fact, one metric of skier level I have seen is "uses pole plants in turns when appropriate"). It's one of those obvious things to me at least. But if someone is just planting poles for the heck of it, or because they think it improves their skiing without really knowing, then I'd say it's putting the cart before the horse. To me, the metric is that you'd need to be skiing fast enough, or on terrain steep enough, where there are dynamic weight/balance shifts in turns.
post #36 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by skier219
Weak turns at low speed on flat groomers is an entirely different story. ....To me it's equivalent to a traverse or short hop where you'd be on the flats of the skis most of the time, just getting from point A to point B. ......To me, the metric is that you'd need to be skiing fast enough, or on terrain steep enough, where there are dynamic weight/balance shifts in turns.
funny but 2 examiners and a couple of trainers I know all insist that you should work the flats and not be on the flats of the skis....

It was exactly this situation that i was being harassed to learn to use my poles (by a race coach and trainer).... I don't usually edge roll steeps....

I was edge-rolling a run out and had stopped the pole work because it was "unco" feeling... he explained that it was because at slower speeds the timing becomes harder as you really have to be aware of the pole....
post #37 of 72
For bump skiing, short turn, steep terrain and most of the backcountry fun, poles are a blessing. A pole plant here will aid you adding rhythm, support and balance.

For high speed carving on groomers they act more as an anchor and for balance, giving you an extra point of contact with the snow. The pole plant as such is unnecessary.

Another thing I like about poles is that they force you to think about your arms. If the poles are all over the place, your arms and upper body is probably also in trouble.

I do agree that with the current style of skiing, the pole plant on piste has become less important. All the other reasons for using poles are still as valid as ever.
post #38 of 72
When doing long or medium turns on groomers, I'm concentrating on balance and a nice strong edge-change. I've largely dispensed with pole plants in these situations.
In tricky terrain, short turns, or say crowded flat areas, I pole-touch.

When teaching, it seems that there's so many more fundamental things to fix in most students I get, before adding pole plants.
post #39 of 72
Poles make perfect balance sensors in flat light and whiteouts.
They work great in crowded situations as defensive weapons and warning signals, especially when you're skiing behind your 3 year old.
The most inspired dancer moves every fiber of her being - skis and poles are the magical extensions of her anatomy that give her dance its lyricism and power.
post #40 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by vera
Poles make perfect balance sensors in flat light and whiteouts.
They work great in crowded situations as defensive weapons and warning signals, especially when you're skiing behind your 3 year old.
The most inspired dancer moves every fiber of her being - skis and poles are the magical extensions of her anatomy that give her dance its lyricism and power.
While I agree there is no need to make it sound so gay.
post #41 of 72
Gay?
post #42 of 72
You know... gay.
post #43 of 72
Tell me more, fellas.
post #44 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir jman
What is the purpose of using pole plants on normal terrain and groomers? Is it really that hard to make consistent turns and establish a rhythm? If you are carving and and getting decent edge change, I would think that adding a pole plant would just detract from the fluid arcing. Yet I see it all the time...
Tell you what. Go ski 5 runs without your poles and tell me if you want to give them up....

L
post #45 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Tell you what. Go ski 5 runs without your poles and tell me if you want to give them up....

L
I'll tell you what, go take a few days and work on your reading comprehension, and then tell me where I said I wanted to give up my poles, and show me the multiple times in this thread where is explicitly said POLE PLANTS and NOT POLES ALL TOGETHER.
post #46 of 72
Sorry about that. I only read the first post. Watch yourself on video, I bet you pole touch more than you think....

L
post #47 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie
Sorry about that. I only read the first post. Watch yourself on video, I bet you pole touch more than you think....

L
Rule number one of posting in internet forums. Read the thread.

Just for kicks:

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting.php
post #48 of 72
fair enough, guys. if you don't use your poles (eg touch them to snow) then lose them. it's clear *you* don't need them.
post #49 of 72
Can we vote him off the island yet?
post #50 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by sir jman
Funny, i've never seen anyone pole plant in racing since the days of straight skis and rigid gates.
I just watched slalom footage of Janica Kostelic and Tanja Poutiainen. In each of there runs, I stopped counting pole plants at twenty.

They were both on shape skis in spring gates.
post #51 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiingman
Rule number one of posting in internet forums. Read the thread.

Just for kicks:

http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/posting.php
LOL, Teaching forum manners with a sense of humor!! LewBob
post #52 of 72

does it matter ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sir jman
What is the purpose of using pole plants on normal terrain and groomers? Is it really that hard to make consistent turns and establish a rhythm? If you are carving and and getting decent edge change, I would think that adding a pole plant would just detract from the fluid arcing. Yet I see it all the time...

It made sense back in the days of straight skis when more work went into average turning and the plant actually had some physical purpose, but now I just find it kind of rediculous.

I use pole plants for lots of reasons...
-I'm a traditionalist (just purchased my first new skis in 12 yrs.)
-helps me with timing, staying square with the fall line,mechanics.
-Guaranteed to help anyone catch thier balance at least once a day
-get sick of skiing groomers all day
- the fun stuff requires pole plants.(moguls ,glades, steeps,pow)
-no reason not to
-My new skis are M:EX's, NOT snowblades
-It feels more athletic/helps me ski harder!
post #53 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
Everything I see says that this is true. I know I'm in the minority here (since we've had this discussion several times in the last year). However the more I watch people on the hill, and the more I work on my own skiing, the more convinced I become that pole use for normal balance and turns by normal recreational skiers will disappear over the next 5 years. It'll be viewed the way old rear entry boots, pencil skis, and neon fartbags are today. Poles will be viewed primarily as tools for getting up, releasing bindings, navigating lift lines. And if you asked my kids, they'd tell you they are good for drawing in the snow while waiting for mom & dad.

The best skiers I see on the mountain just don't do it. Or when they do move their poles regularly, it is more arm movement rather than real pole planting, or even touching.

Last week at Stevens - with knee deep fresh pretty heavy "powder" - while riding up Tye Mill lift I saw a skier come out of a tree chute to skiers left of Tye Rock. Dropped maybe 10-ish (won't swear to the exact amount) feet of air, landed it without missing a beat and flew directly into a couple of perfectly arced turns & then kicked his skis into what I can only describe as a pivoted braking turn on their tails. Few people here could ski the entry to that chute, let alone take the jump and make the landing clean. Guess what - no poles. The guy never broke a sweat - smiles & woot all the way. Likewise for his boarder buddy. FWIW - subjectively the skis looked somewhat smaller to me, but the graphics looked like Blowers.

My read is that there is a great deal of technique "inertia" in the ski world. And it limits people's sense of what can be done on modern equipment and how to use modern equipment most effectively (including outdated beliefs about the versatility of fatter skis).

As I said, I know we won't settle this here - but pay attention on the hill and see who is really in control, and can ski on and off piste, and isn't breathing hard at the end of their runs. And notice how much they use their poles - whether on groomers, in the trees, or in bumps... And how that ratio shifts over the next few years. And then, don't forget to laugh
Well you can tell it is not busy at work again when I take time to respond to these dumb posts. But here it is anyway for the benefit of those who are learning and might accidentally take this seriously.

Fact: Pole planting serves two primary purposes, to aid in rotational balance and lateral while intiating turns.

Now having said that, the longer the turn you make the less rotational effort you apply to the skis, and the less quickly you move overtop of you skis, hence your reliance on the pole plant is greatly reduced. Hence I am not surprised you saw some guy go straight off a jump and land into big swooping turns, and didnt need to pole plant. Why would he? Nor am I surprised that you don't see recreational skiers, who mostly do big sweepy turns plant either...again, they are not crucial. However do you think these people could make short turns? Or ski where short turns are often necessary like bumps or steeps?....not really.

No pole plant = One trick pony
post #54 of 72
And the earth is flat too...
post #55 of 72
I think this thread proves without a doubt that there are some real frickin' idiots posting in the technical forums.

More than three quarters of the posters in this thread absolutely miss the point. Nice job, fellas.
post #56 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty Guy
don't plant them.....touch them

if one is good try two. a couple of the best skiers that i know begin EVERY run with a double pole touch to get centered. want to chech your stance in bumps......double pole touch.
RIGHT ON!
post #57 of 72
This guy seems like a technically superb skier.
When he stops planting i will too.

http://www.skimag.com/skimag/instruc...153902,00.html
post #58 of 72
Proper form and the "swing" is ALL ABOUT skiing with your poles, not your legs.
post #59 of 72
So what if we consider why we have ski poles to begin with?

Skiing started as a form of transportation to which ski poles assisted in the locomotion. Somewhere wayback someone got enough thrill out of a downhill section of a route to hike up and do it again just for the fun of it. On the way up the poles remained a necessary tool, but on the way down they were pretty much along for the ride, simply needed to be carried along to be avaliable for the next trip up.

I suspect there was some benificial waving of around of the poles discovered as the skiers made inevitable balance recoveries. And then someone appointed themselves both expert and critic of exactly how and when and where in a turn the pole should be waved.

So here we are with poles that initially only assisted downhill skiers with balance that are being designed to be as light as possible with as low a swing weight as possible and effectivly become less and less functional in assisting balance. :

So where does this lead? Having coached for decades I have a lot of miles skiing without poles at all. I find that the better I get with my feet the less I need to be concerned what I do with my poles. Sure you can use them for timing and all kinds of stuff, but I'd ask what (other than for locomotion) can't you do in skiing without them? Do we only still have poles because our mind's eye image of the sport has been conditioned to expect to see them there and doing all the 'right' moves?

If you want to learn to use your poles as enhancer to, and not crutches for, your skiing, sneak off where no one will see you and ski without poles until you learn to ski better (with your feet) than you do now with poles, then bring them back into the mix and find out what real functions poles can offer.
post #60 of 72
Arcmeister,

If I read your post right, you are basically saying pole plants are not necessary and you can ski without them. I agree. You can ski without them, and I have seen some guys ski with incredible performance and precision without them...BUT all these guys were WC's and one was actually a WC Champion.....having said that....NONE of them would even consider racing or skiing at the high end without them. Sure with perfect transitions and perfect leg indepedance stablizing your upper body you can get away with it...but even the best in the world don't ski that well EVERY turn...especially when going for it in a WC race or ripping in the bumps.

Poles make skiing easier, not harder...that is why we use them.

Your idea has merrit, but only as a theoretical one...in practice poles make up for the realities of the real world.
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