or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Correct ski pole strap use

post #1 of 99
Thread Starter 
Ive been playing back my accident in my head trying to figure out what I could have done to prevent my injuries. With regard to my fractured thumb, I think it has to do with my pole strapping system. How do you use your straps and why?
post #2 of 99
As I learned in Austria years ago, you put your hand UP through the loop and bring it down over the strap and grasp the pole. The reason for this is if you are falling and you can't let go of the pole, you are more likely to hurt your wrist if you are just putting your hand directly through the loop onto the pole. If you do it correctly, the pole drops AWAY from your hand as you let go of it, and when your hand hits the snow, your hand can somewhat bury itself in the snow, cushioning the fall. I'd go so far as to say that you could dislocate a shoulder if you straight-armed your fall and you still were grasping the pole as the pole will prevent your hand from going into the snow.
post #3 of 99
Thread Starter 
I see most people using the strap in the fashion you described but I see a problem with that. If in a fall you are thrust forward such that the pole gets jammed into the snow (such as during a pole plant), you're now trapped thumb will be pushed upward and back, bearing your full weight and get dislocated.
post #4 of 99
The theory is that the pole is let go, drops away from your hand or your hand can get away from the pole in some fashion as you fall. In the type of movement you describe with the strap used the other way, you'd dislocate your wrist as your pole would be trapped between your thumb and your index finger. A lot of people never use the pole straps because of all these issues.
post #5 of 99
Thread Starter 
I usually use my straps the "wrong" way, hand through top of loop and then grab the pole, strap stays above my hand, makes it very easy to grab the pole if it gets loose while skiing. However the day I broke my thumb I was using my Leki GS poles with the trigger and the optional strap that basically locks the strap in the correct orientation to your hand and pole. I have fallen many times with my "wrong way" pole strap and never had a thumb injury. It was with the trigger strap using the correct orinetation that I got hurt.
post #6 of 99
Leave them flapping, or better yet, remove them entirely.

I used straps religiously as Sibhusky described, but then last year, I started tree skiing frequently, and after nearly getting my arm pulled off when my basket caught on a branch, I started skiing without them in the trees.

This year, planning to get into back country skiing (wearing straps when there is avy potential is a big no-no) I stopped using them entirely, and discovered that I didn't need them at all.
post #7 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
Leave them flapping, or better yet, remove them entirely.

I used straps religiously as Sibhusky described, but then last year, I started tree skiing frequently, and after nearly getting my arm pulled off when my basket caught on a branch, I started skiing without them in the trees...
Me too. 'religiously" ha-ha. It was really a sign of gaperdom if someone didn't have their poles on properly. I quit using them after wrenching my shoulder. I do have to hike occasionally to get a pole that has been left behind.
post #8 of 99
There is no perfect answer is there? There are times when your wrists can use that support like when you have to really jam hard plants on ice and steeps.

I see at as a simple matter of conditioning and haven't had a ski injury to my thumbs in over thirty years, probably because I don't extend my hands (fingers),in a fall .... it is a natural reaction to open your hands (like in judo); skiing, I keep the hands closed.

Oddly enough, there were more hand/thumb injuries when in the late 70's they came out with strapless "race like" grips because they found people extended the fingers even more.

When I was fighting one of my instructors once, a wiley old guy who was known for sudden bursts of speed, I figured I get him "Okanawan" style with a grab to his gi, so I left my hands open. His first move was to take out my left thumb and his second shot was to my right thumb. Now sporting two severely "jammed" thumbs and in great pain .... I asked him what the f' he was doing? His answer was simple; "I'm teaching you not to fight like that."

In the trees, back country and such, do as the natives do but on the trails .... if you want to hike after each fall go at it.

VA ..... slalom cones on a pair of old poles wouldn't snag on the brush as easily a conventional baskets. You can rough the shaft with coarse grit paper and use a marine epoxy and they stay on pretty well
post #9 of 99
I don't use the straps at all either. I've never had a problem with this approach.
post #10 of 99
Straps on except when I'm in the woods or terrain park.
post #11 of 99
No straps. I just avoid falling and I never lose them.
post #12 of 99
straps don't cause thumb injuries
post #13 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
As I learned in Austria years ago, you put your hand UP through the loop and bring it down over the strap and grasp the pole.
I think this dates back to cross country skiing. You do not get extra support from the strap unless it is very tight around your wrist, and this technique can result in a dislocated shoulder if you ever catch your pole on something (like a tree). I have found that the best way is to just put your fingers (but not thumb) through the strap and grasp the pole with the strap between your palm and the grip. This allows you to let go of the pole put still have it hang on you hand (to adjust your goggles etc.), but it will easily pull off if it catches on something.
post #14 of 99
I just don't use the straps. So far, so good.
post #15 of 99
Straps?!? We don't need no stinkin' straps!

I haven't used them in years except to hang the poles on my skiis when going inside.
post #16 of 99
using straps is very important to good skiing technique! i'm serious.
post #17 of 99
I've gone strapless for 15 years.

After two badly sprained thumbs in one week I quit using
pole straps.

Haven't missed the straps yet.
post #18 of 99
Buy a pair of Leki trigger poles. I like straps and don't like to take them off in the woods. They work pretty good.
post #19 of 99
I never use straps. If I drop a pole I'll climb back up and get it. The only reason I even keep em on my poles is so I can hang em up in my locker.
post #20 of 99
I have the Goode poles with quick release straps. If a pole gets caught the strap will pull free long before I feel a tug on my arm. Saturday, at Kirkwood there were a ton on newbies on the lift. As we got on the Chair 11 triple the girl on my right got pushed forward, rather than sitting. I reached to guide her so she didn't bang her head on the chair. A moment later I saw that my strap had disengaged from the pole. Its a pretty good system that lets the strap reinforce a proper pole plant, but releases with any upward pull from the pole.

BTW, if you want to see pics of the gaper flailing, check my presidents day trip report.
post #21 of 99

Goode Poles

I also have the Goode poles with the quick release system. They worked great except once the adjustment screw on the top wasn't all the way in. During an extremely hard pole plant I accidently dragged the screw across my chin and unleashed a gusher of blood. After that I pulled the straps off and pulled the screws out.
post #22 of 99
Nice TR...the pics of the people falling down unloading, totally reminded me of Fernie this weekend. It was family day in Alberta, probably the busiest weekend of the year here. But the good part about it is the off piste stuff is hardly tracked. I guess most of the hard cores avoid this weekend. I've seen things get trashed way faster mid week with only 25% of the crowd that were here this weekend. The groomers were littered with people, but you head off for the goods and there was almost nobody there.
post #23 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post
As I learned in Austria years ago, you put your hand UP through the loop and bring it down over the strap and grasp the pole.
this is how I do it, never had a problem with my pole getting caught and injuring myself. I did however have my pole get stuck and it yanked my glove off one time.
post #24 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by volklskier1 View Post
straps don't cause thumb injuries
... people cause thumb injuries.
post #25 of 99
I thought it was guns.
post #26 of 99
I don't know what the solution is other than to not use the straps. I've been skiing 36 seasons and never had a thumb injury from using the pole strap the old fashioned way. Of course, I don't believe in falling, either. Falling gets you hurt.
post #27 of 99
Thread Starter 
Hmm....its a dilemma for me, I like the straps but not enough to break a thumb. This is the first time after many falls that I suffered such an injury but I do not want to repeat it.

This is the strap I had one when I broke my thumb:


Another view:
post #28 of 99
Thread Starter 
This is the way I understand is the "correct" way to hold a strap:


And this is the way I usually use my strap:
post #29 of 99
Scott strapless poles .
post #30 of 99
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJguy View Post
Hmm....its a dilemma for me, I like the straps but not enough to break a thumb. This is the first time after many falls that I suffered such an injury but I do not want to repeat it.

This is the strap I had one when I broke my thumb:


Another view:
What the heck kind of strap is that? It looks like some kind of sling to attach you permanently to your poles! Is that a snap that is supposed to UNsnap as needed?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion