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Do you ski with wrists in/out of your pole straps?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
Just wondering how do most people ski with their poles? Personally I have never felt comfortable putting my wrists through the hand straps probably from very early learning falls and having those poles stick me or bean me in the head once or twice. I've never lost a pole off a lift or anything like that. I have on rare occasions had someone's ski placed over my basket when getting off a lift and having the pole pulled from my hand.
post #2 of 44
DEPENDS how/where i'm skiing. groomed blues? usually out-of-strap. not always. more difficult terrain, 'specially deeper powder, i'm in-strap. (just took one episode of looking for lost gear in deep snow to cure me .)

WHO STAYS IN-STRAP boarding the lift?
post #3 of 44
I'm strapped in all the time, even loading and unloading. When moving, if the strap lengths are set right, you barely need to grip the pole. You can push using your arms, without having to have a death grip on the pole or worry about your hand sliding off the grip. When I'm on the lift, the poles just hang from my wrists. When I load and unload, the pointy ends face forward.
post #4 of 44
I always use my straps. It makes for a real nice pole swing and is a great support for when you have to skate and pole up a cat track.
It is just second nature for me now.
Use em or don't, you choice.
I have some Pro-Patrol buddies that would never use straps because they always have to set their poles here or their while working. It is also a good thing to not wear your straps in the BC, it you get in a slide your best bet is to pitch your poles so they do not tangle you up if you get buried.
post #5 of 44
On my rare trips into the trees, always unstrapped. Not really a tree skier first, but one of the first things I was told by friends who are. Helps keep the arm connected to the shoulder [img]smile.gif[/img]

Normally, in-strap. Be sure that you reach up through the strap, and then grasp the pole with both sides of the strap coming down between your thumb base and the rest of the hand - in other words a platform for your palm.

Rather than reaching through the strap to grasp the pole, with the strap around your wrist loosely. If you do that, it's not a surprise that the poles pop out of your control on falls, since if your grip releases, they can slide right up your arm a ways. That's the "natural" way people first hold poles, kind of like putting a camera strap around your wrist, a "don't drop it" kind of usage. But it's wrong, and it doesn't do anything to help stabilize your pole grasp.

But if both sides of the strap are grasped in your hand, so that you are actually slightly pushing down on the strap, you've actually got a firmer control of the pole, yet you don't have to squeeze it for dear life.

I'm sure one of the better skiers (namely most everyone) around here could explain it better or post a link to a picture, but finally holding it the "right way" made a world of difference to me. Really helps with the balance on pole plants IMHO.

Whoops this wasn't Lisamarie - It's MarkXS. Somebody's been using my other computer instead of her laptop! Didn't notice the other login. (Man, I could cause some trouble now!)

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 11, 2002 09:35 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Lisamarie ]</font>
post #6 of 44
Never. I've torn my rotator cuff once on each side, due to using my straps. Once, another skier caught their tip in my strap; the other time the pole planted way deep in soft crud and stayed there.

post #7 of 44
Usually in, saves the hike up to pick up the pole. When I get to skiing faster in the trees will probably ski out of the straps.

Leki makes a pole that has release mechanism that is supposed to let go when pole gets stuck. Not sure how well it works though.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 11, 2002 09:59 AM: Message edited 1 time, by eug ]</font>
post #8 of 44
I'm with Irulan.

There are only two times I ever wear straps - one is my very occasional foray into racing gates, and the other is backcountry skiing on things that are steep and hard (where I want to make sure I have the poles in case of a fall).

Otherwise, I never wear them. Got out of the habit long ago and don't feel comfortable with the straps on.


Irulan - is your moniker related in any way to Frank Herbert?
post #9 of 44
I'm with Ryan. It depends on the terrain I'm skiing. On anything groomed or blue, no straps. On steeper stuff, bumps or powder I'm strapped in. I would hate to lose a pole on steep terrain in a wipe out and have to hike up hill to get it.

LM, great comment on the right way to use straps. Probably 80-90% of people who use their pole straps use them improperly. If used wrong the chance of hand and thumb injury are much greater in a mishap.
post #10 of 44
eug, Leki had a tent at the Stratton trade show and they had those releasable grips to show off. The rep told me that they reliably release with only twenty-five pounds of force. I may try them, beacuse I really do like to use straps - feels more secure, and it saves me from hiking uphill to retrieve them after a fall or accidental drop. I've tried it both ways and prefer the straps. My son, however, never ever uses the straps. Purely personal preference, except in SOME trees, where no straps or the Leki release system would be the order of the day to keep your arms on rather than ripped off.
post #11 of 44
When im in gates i always wear my straps (since i have a tendancy to let go of my slalom poles...). Usually when im free skiing i use my straps also, accept on the lift, i usually sit on my poles. If i am at a race and just inspecting the course or just skiing down the side i wont use my straps and may not even have poles with me... I always have my straps on when i ski "for real." If i fall with them on my wrist they usually come off if they should because the strap pulls apart. I think that if i didnt have my straps id be losing a lot of poles while skiing...
post #12 of 44
As I'm sitting here trying to type with a splint on my thumb, I now have to say NO STRAPS!! It's a lot easier to have to retrieve a dropped pole than to fall on it and bend your thumb and tear a ligament.

If you insist on using straps, word of caution: put your hand UP thru the strap and grab both the strap and pole grip together (hint, when you let go, the pole will dangle from your wrist) Don't put your hand down thru the strap and hold the grip because if you let go, the pole will still be dangling from between your forefinger and thumb causing a torn ligament if you fall while still holding the grip (as I did!).
post #13 of 44
Wow, I cannot believe how many of you don't use straps! :

Mine are always on, regardless of terrain.
post #14 of 44
MarkXS (LM)

You are correct about the proper way to wear poles. The other reason you reach up through the loop and grab both is if you let go of the pole it drops away from your hand and allows the pole to swing free. If you try letting go with the pole strap the first way you describe, the handle stays in your hand and the pole makes for a great lever to twist your wrist/arm/hand around.


Leki's trigger system works great. I have snagged a pole and had the pole "ripped" out of my grip and released from the strap. It's not comfortable but no damage to the arm.

There's actually 2 levels of release. one is a button snap that just allows the pole to pull out of your hand but keeps the pole attached to you. The second actually releases the pole completly. I have had both happen and it works pretty good. It's also a great help when teaching because I can click out of my poles real fast if I need to help someone.

Oh yeah. and I always click in. steep/groomers/trees etc..

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 11, 2002 10:42 AM: Message edited 1 time, by dchan ]</font>
post #15 of 44
When I was skiing in MN I had the straps on constantly. Now that we have moved to CO and have taught my 2 youngest to ski, when getting on the chair I take the straps off of the wrist, hold both poles in my inside hand, look over the outside shoulder and gently grab the vertical chair bar as I sit down on the chair. Did this to teach my kids proper chair loading technique. I'm older, mellower now anyway, so will probably continue to do this - good manners.

Now, when I hit a good powder day and want to ski the trees, I'll have to remember to take the straps off the wrists. We had 4" on Friday and I skied behind my 12 yr. old and his friend Saturday. There were some spots where I could sneak into the trees for a few turns, but I had my wrists through the straps. Will have to remember to take them out of the straps next time.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 11, 2002 11:20 AM: Message edited 1 time, by JimBobBubba ]</font>
post #16 of 44
I generally use pole straps... without pole straps I find that I lose my poles... habit dictates that i often let go of my poles on flats and stuff just messing around--- for example once i was borrowing my friend's Leki poles with the built in release thingamabob but it released while i was skiing (this was in a GS race mind you), and at the bottom in the finish i let go of the poles figuring they'd stay on my wrists... well umm they didnt. almost hit my coach. so, since he's about 32x my size, i have decided that it's in my best interest to use my pole straps.. hmm...
post #17 of 44
Got hooked years ago on the Leki clip system, now I can't stand pole straps. You get an even better/tighter interface with the poles than you do with straps, and its much faster to get in and out of. Always perfectly adjusted. And its got an even better track record for breaking away quickly in an accident than break-away straps do.
post #18 of 44
<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by powderhound:
I have on rare occasions had someone's ski placed over my basket when getting off a lift and having the pole pulled from my hand.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I've always been told to NEVER use your poles when getting on or off a lift. Keep them in your extended hand, and held in the middle of the poles. The situation is that you sometimes plant the poles too close to the persons skis next to you and you trip them. I've seen it where one person plants his/her pole between the skis of the another person getting on/off the lift (kerplop).

Are there any other thoughts of having your wrists in the pole straps when getting on or off a lift.
post #19 of 44
we teach our students to hold the poles in one hand. Do not use them when unloading. Also do not wedge or try to stop until well clear of the ramp!
post #20 of 44
Depends upon the situation. Bumps, Pow and steeps always. Carving it up I still have my straps on but rarely use the poles at all. Always in tight trees. Your hands shouldn't be out to your sides anyhow. You get your hands that far out to the side in tight trees or bumps and you're going to end up in the back seat. If you have them where you should, you're not going to hook branches.
post #21 of 44
My pet peeve is OTHER instructors riding the lifts with pole straps on their wrist. Almost as ugly an example as chewing/spitting.

Poles sometimes are necessary for stopping in the correct spot for loading if there's a ramp down to the line-up line for the chair and no room to wedge. But they can be used even if the strap is disconnected. A free hand on the seat of the chair gives a much more stable unloading than trying to find a place to push with the poles.
post #22 of 44
I always use my pole straps, in all terrain and conditions, except when on the chair of course.

I do worry about snagging a basket on a tree branch (mostly because of listening to you guys), but I have never done so in all my years of skiing. Knock on wood!
post #23 of 44
I'm always in except when I ride with strangers on the lift. I want to be as courteous as possible and not freak people out if they notice I'm still strapped in while loading.

I got a pair of Swix Cobra II poles last season. Their handle has the tab system. It's a little yellow plastic tab that rests on the top of that crux between the thumb and fore-finger. That tab holds the weight of the pole and allows the skier to practically never have to grip the pole while getting a nice controlled swing.

This season Swix upped the ante by coming up with the wishbone strap. It gives the same performance of the tab system and adds a wishbone shaped plastic strap that will allow the hand to slide out if there's an unexpected gremlin that grabs your pole's basket.

I love those poles. They're the lightest pole I've ever felt. Can you say equipment geek? I get such a razzing from my buddies because of my fru-fru gear.
post #24 of 44
Timely topic. I was skiing in the trees yesterday and hooked the basket(powder type) on a small fir tree. I use lifelink poles with a release grip and it worked. Most of the time I use straps. Ever left your pole in the starting gate of a race course?

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 13, 2002 08:35 AM: Message edited 1 time, by Lucky ]</font>
post #25 of 44
I just had a pole strap related incident that was a first of its kind in about 30 yrs of skiing:

I'm at the "wait-here" line of a lift by myself, straps are off, and I give a nice firm push to move up to the loading position.

What I didn't realize was that I was standing on only about one inch of snow above a rotting wooden deck. I move forward exactly as I expected, but both of my poles stuck firmly in the soft wood at about a 60 degree angle, sort of like the cartoon characters who jump and leave their shoes behind.

After laughing and mock warnings "not to break our lift" the lifties finally give me back my poles. ...maybe straps would have helped ...

Tom / PM
post #26 of 44
I'm surprised by this topic.
I always wear the strap.
That was lesson one at the ski school, some 30 years ago. Class all lined up, instructor
explaining us how to.
I was reminded of this, this past month, when my kids' instructor did the same thing.
In all these years of skiing I've never had an accident related to the straps.
Usually the strap gives way, or the basket, or I find miself gripping only the handle, while the rest of the pole has come off... [img]smile.gif[/img]
But I had never sustained a wrist injury, nor an arm one, for that matter, because I was having my poles straps on.
That said, on Valentine's day this year, my wife had give me a nice pair of Leki "trigger" poles, Alu/carbon.
Exceptional. Weightless, meseems nothing is atteched to the handle, nothing is swinging underneath my hand...the straps comes off so easily that my son (7,5 years old) was able to detach it, simply by pulling it.
There was only one occasion where I used to unstrap the thing (apart when on a chairlift).
In BC, when traversing a slope prone to generate an avalanche, then was straps off, backpack loose, etc etc.
post #27 of 44
I almost never ski with the straps on or if I do put the strap around my 4 fingers only. My first poles were the plastic kind with the handles pre-molded, which I liked, even if they're "dangerous." These poles I have were part of a gift package, so I didn't have a choice. Some instructors have made a point of insisting I put them on correctly. If I ever buy poles myself, I'd probably check out if there are other types made besides the straps.

post #28 of 44
Always ski with straps (worn properly - ie, gripping strap as well as pole, as I was taught as a kid); always carry poles on chairs and tows.
post #29 of 44
What Scotski sez.

However if I have reason to worry about snagging (ie: certain types of traverses, buried undergrowth or avy terrain) I'll pull my thumb out of the strap. That way I still sorta have a grip on the strap if I inadvertantly lose my grip on the pole but if I snag the basket, the strap slides off.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 12, 2002 08:56 PM: Message edited 1 time, by mary ]</font>
post #30 of 44
Never had poles with straps, since I've bought equipment. I'm the guy with the old fashioned breakaway grips, and I love 'em.
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