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Dragging Pole Tips

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
the pole plant thread got me thinking about something i do; namely, occassionally dragging a pole tip along the surface of the snow, as if trying to maintain contact and thus a feel for the snow/terrain.

or at least i tell myself this. intuitively, i suspect it's a habit i ought to drop; yet i've been told, "it's not a technique sin, don't worry too much about it." and i don't, aside from being sure that the tip drag isn't pulling my hand back. (thinking being, if my hands are in the right place, it's not so big a deal if the tip of the pole's on the snow.)(but maybe my hands cannot possibly be in the right place if a pole tip is on the snow?)

as the movement is unconscious i think that while it's "natural," it's also a defensive movement (invariably in steep terrain) i would do well to make a point of erasing.

thoughts on dragged pole tips?
post #2 of 24
You could have far worse ski habits. The only real drawback is that you should be moving the pole baskets toward their next application during turns. That is, the outside pole of the turn should be swinging toward the next plant with the turn. So just dragging the inside pole tip is fully acceptable, and can serve as a bit of reminder of your body's relationship to the slope.
post #3 of 24
I can tell you that Mike Rogan said it was OK. So don't worry.
post #4 of 24

OMYGOD - Curb feelers - the HORROR

Ryan,

Just kidding about the post title. It's usually not a big deal.

If it's the inside pole dragging at the end of the turn, you might want to check to if your shoulders are leaning into the hill. In this case, getting your shoulders more aligned with the slope pitch would help to improve performance.
post #5 of 24
Not to hijack this thread, but the last couple times that I was out the conditions were all powder and broken. I was skiing steeper terrain and more broken snow. I felt my poles were too short all of a sudden. So much that I thought about cutting them. They feel fine on groomed terrain but short when the terrain is more uneven or slightly bumpy. Is it cause I am closer to the snow, is it cause the pitch of the hill is steeper. This became really apparent when all of a sudden my poles were being pushed up and my arms with them. Any ideas. Oh, I also tend to drag my poles when not consciously touching them.
post #6 of 24
Mike(?),

In addition to doing the shoulder check thing, try getting some poles that you can adjust an inch or two and experiment a little.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Mike(?),

In addition to doing the shoulder check thing, try getting some poles that you can adjust an inch or two and experiment a little.
Therusty, its Mark, but thanks. I actually thought about adjustables but then remembered one of my fellow skiers at ESA who had adjustables that kept collapsing. Even the coach could not kepp the dang things extended. But if I find some inexpensive ones I may try them.
Mark
post #8 of 24
Mark,

I though I remembered you leaving your name on a post somewhere. Sorry about that. Goode poles have an allen wrench adjustment that works fairly well.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryan
occassionally dragging a pole tip along the surface of the snow, as if trying to maintain contact and thus a feel for the snow/terrain.

thoughts on dragged pole tips?
I do it all the time, on purpose. I don't weight them but I drag the inside pole and it gives me the same result you get. It also lets me know how far inward I have leaned, and how much further I can go. I only do it in long turns.

I also teach it.
post #10 of 24
I know PSIA examiners will tell you not to do it. It is a technice that will put you out of balance, your body will be looking for that 3rd point of contact and when it is not there you mind will think you are off balance. I always thougt of it as a symptom of poor hand position. But I watched a ski viedo with Phil McNickle and Bodie Miller and though they did not coment on it Bodie was draging his pole in alot of the shots of him skiing. There where several other things that where not tecnically correct in his skiing but I think we already knew that.
post #11 of 24
Funny, we worked on pole drags in our weekly Monday training. The guest clinician was Katy Fry, who took time out of her busy schedule to work with all of us ordinary pros here in Snowmass. Man what a thrill to work for and with such talent. Anyway let me share with you some of what was covered...
...As an exercise to develop upper body discipline they are really, really, helpful. Here's why.

In a effort to ski fluidly a lot of skiers lose their core discipline. Which leads to all sorts of extra movements like dropping the hands, failure to keep enough core tension happening (an aid to balancing while encountering pertubations), and excessive tipping of the shoulders in the first half of the turn.

So I guess I would say if it is an exercise do it. If it is because you drop that hand, or inclinate/angulate too much maybe it is something to correct.

Weems makes a point that sometimes it is a tactical choice that gives you additional feedback while you ski. I use it in flat or low light situations. The difference is he conciously adds it to his skiing, instead of unconciously allowing it to happen.
post #12 of 24
I've been using pole dragging exercises for two decades in one form or another. There are many benefits from using this exercise.----Wigs
post #13 of 24
I try not to drag anything; it slows you down. However if you are on the edge of traction in a high speed turn with your elbows pretty close to the snow, I wouldn't direct too much concentration to it. If your at a speed where pole plants are possible, then it's a different story, not a worry but worth working on a few points for style.
post #14 of 24
I suppose it's all right to drag them as long as it doesn't become a crutch. I found myself dragging my pole on my weaker side so much that I was reliant on it to maintain balance, and I was doing it so much that it was pulling my shoulder back and keeping me in the back seat from time to time especially in bumps and tough terrain. The best tip I've found was to keep your knuckles partially facing upwards which in turn causes your poles to flare out slightly to your sides. The best explanation of this I have found is on Harald Harb's online ski lesson http://www.harbskisystems.com/olkm4.htm It worked for me.
post #15 of 24
I don't intentionally drag them, but I do drag them a fair amount. I think my brain subconsciously uses them as antanne (curb feelers) to know where the snow is. I also intentionally drag my knuckles when carving on my snowboard for the same reason. On skis, what I notice, is that if the pole seems to be dragging too forcefully, it means that I'm banked too much (a bad tendency I have), and it reminds me to angulate more. At that point, I consciously drag my outside pole and lift the inside pole, which angulates me a lot better.
post #16 of 24
I leave three tracks wherever I go. Two from my skis and one from my inside pole. I don't even notice so I'm thinking its not a big deal, but I guess it might mean I have too much arm in my plants. Is that a possibillity?
post #17 of 24
Ryan, there are clearly many interpretations of this action here. This post, like many of your posts seems to closely relate to my own experiences.

What I have found in regards to dragging poles (besides having used dragging as an exercise) is that in steep terrain this was (and still is to a lesser extent) a "defensive techique" in reaction to higher speeds with more fall line skiing. What I have learned is that I am noticabley better off with hands up in front and poles off the snow. This is a much more agressive postion to me and one that get's me skiing in a taller stance, more from my feet, and with my skiers better positioned under me (or me better positioned forward over my skies if you prefer). I can't recall seeing any great all mountain skiers (and I've had many good opportunities for this) agressively skiing a line with their poles dragging.
post #18 of 24
I get hammered for dragging my inside pole all the time here in Ohiya. My answer is "I drags me poe cuz I gots me level III pin and nobody can takes it away".

When I get very dynamic is short turns I can get very short at turn transition. The poles are just too dang long then.
post #19 of 24
I drag poles when crankin out the big carve at speed and it's a blast. I drag my poles a little in powder. I don't drag them in de bumps.

Skis are like ice skates. You don't use poles with skates.

Poles, don't need no stinkin poles.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post

Skis are like ice skates. You don't use poles with skates.

 

Ah, but then you don't ski ze BUMPs with skates, now do you? And what are you gonna use to whack 'boarders blocking the lift line?

 

Watching a lot of video of good skiers carving on groomers lately - instructional vids, WC'ers freeskiing, etc. Dawned on me at some point that most (if not all) of them were dragging that inside pole most (if not all) of the time.

 

Must be something to it.

 

 

post #21 of 24

I drag my inside pole only when I am skiing lazy or out of control. 

 

Not saying it's wrong or anything. you can be balanced with it, or without it. Just not my style. I'll use it when I need to though, and it's probably dragging more than not. which either means I'm lazy or out of control. 

post #22 of 24

Whiskers work for the cat.

post #23 of 24

My father drags his poles, I saw him do it the other day.  He's also an old school tail skidder, I saw him do THAT the other day, too.  But he introduced me to the sport 35 years ago, so I give him a lot of leeway.  I'm talking the kind of leeway where if we were all trying to survive the zombie apocalypse and we all watched my Pop get bit by a Zed, I'd level my double barrel shotty at you and say "C'mon, it's my Pop; maybe we'll find a cure.  Let's just chain him up or something."

 

It's all about perspective.  Dragging your poles isn't really all that bad, is it?

post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairToMiddlin View Post

My father drags his poles, I saw him do it the other day.  He's also an old school tail skidder, ...

 

I give him a lot of leeway.  I'm talking the kind of leeway where if we were all trying to survive the zombie apocalypse and we all watched my Pop get bit by a Zed, I'd level my double barrel shotty at you and say "C'mon, it's my Pop; maybe we'll find a cure.  Let's just chain him up or something."

 

It's all about perspective.  Dragging your poles isn't really all that bad, is it?

Nice perspective! eek.gif

So....how's the bunker comin'??smile.gif

 

I tend to drag the inside pole also, whether chased by zombie's or not. I like feeling where the hill is.

As for tail pushing - now that's zombie skiing.

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