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Pole straps

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
The following interesting insight was made in another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by safetyski View Post
Pole straps are important for timing and positioning. In the bumps especially, the pole strap allows you to swing the pole forward without overly angulating the wrist. This puts you forward over your skis allowing you to drive the tips over the top and down the bump (of course by then, you're already swinging the pole forward towards the next bump and the next and the next).
I think I hold my pole firmly and don't really use the strap as a means of reducing wrist angulation. Has anyone else played with this to see how it affects fore/aft positioning?
post #2 of 20
By far in my own opinion there is no better pole that reduces wrist angulation than the Goode sytem pole and glove. You can have a loose grip and just a flick of the wrist and the pole goes were you need it to be as fast as you want. http://www.goode.com/skipoleexperience.htm Dont take my word for it check it out!! No srtaps needed!
post #3 of 20
I'll admit, I hold my poles pretty lazily. I use either Leki triggers or Scott WC poles, and both have very snug straps that don't require a tight grip. i will admit that when I ski without pole straps, I don't use the same movements that I do with the straps on. More than likely it is some weird mental quirk though... Who knows. Most of my pole movement (what little there is) is generated from the wrist, but not holding the pole tightly probably means that the strap does a lot of work for me... I wish it would also pole plant for me - then I could be really lazy.
Later
Greg
post #4 of 20

o fer.....

O fer Pete's...

I think we all have plenty to work on before getting into the performance enhancing minutia of pole straps. All in, it is a circle of nylon webbing. High tech!:

That said the Goode poles/gloves DO look kinda cool.

Personally, except for in the course, never (very rarely) use my straps.
post #5 of 20

Um...

...I think we're all talking about more or less the same thing. Let me just make the following observations, which, I'm sure, will start a firestorm of discussion and protest:

- I've always thought...and when I was teaching (I'm PSIA L3), the idea was that the pole touch (not a plant) was made by swinging at the wrist only. If anythiing more than the wrist is involved, like the arm or shoulder, you're probably rotating and/or otherwise disturbing the balancing act that the upper body is supposed to be performing.

- We had a drill when I was teaching at Copper that I used to use with students: Take your pole straps off, hold your poles lightly between the thumb and forefinger, hands in front of you and pole tips up off the snow so they can move freely. Now make some turns, but don't attempt to make a pole touch...just notice how the poles swing...forward to initiate the turn, then back and through to complete the turn. Now put your pole straps back on, but keep them loose...they're only there to keep you from dropping your poles. Keep your wrists loose and make pole touches just like you did with your straps removed...I use Swix carbon fiber poles for SL, which have a little tab extending from the top of the grip that helps hold your hand in place with very little intervention required from the strap...
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55;849243-
I've always thought...and when I was teaching (I'm PSIA L3), the idea was that the pole touch (not a plant) was made by swinging at the wrist only. If anythiing more than the wrist is involved, like the arm or shoulder, you're probably rotating and/or otherwise disturbing the balancing act that the upper body is supposed to be performing.
Sometimes you want to disturb that balancing act. Like maybe you are making a big recentering move (double pole plant) or you are altering the direction of momentum across your skis or you are using a blocking pole plant.

As someone said, "there are no absolutes in skiing". If I have to use my arm and pole to change the balancing act, I will.
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by whipper View Post
By far in my own opinion there is no better pole that reduces wrist angulation than the Goode sytem pole and glove. You can have a loose grip and just a flick of the wrist and the pole goes were you need it to be as fast as you want. http://www.goode.com/skipoleexperience.htm Dont take my word for it check it out!! No srtaps needed!
That looks very cool but I really like my Hestra gloves...
post #8 of 20

Yep, that is a very good point...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigE View Post
Sometimes you want to disturb that balancing act. Like maybe you are making a big recentering move (double pole plant) or you are altering the direction of momentum across your skis or you are using a blocking pole plant.

As someone said, "there are no absolutes in skiing". If I have to use my arm and pole to change the balancing act, I will.
...so I guess what I do is try to go with the light pole plant I have described until all Hell breaks loose...which always happens to me sooner or later...and then I go with Big E's double pole plant...accompanied by a fencer's lunge, or whatever it takes, to get back in the ball game.

Okay, this is a tangent, but one I cannot resist. University of Colorado at Boulder had a fund raising dual SL at Eldora last weekend, and, after they had inter squad races, they graciously invited the local Masters racers to get up and Boogie with the Buffs. Which we did...sort of. The good part was the teams we had for this exercise were composed of one racer from the CU Men's Team, one from the Women's, and one Master, so we got to race against other wily veterans...at least until the end where it was a free for all with Masters vs. CU...you know how that one went.

Where was I going with that? Oh yeah, two things: in duals, the CU kids told us, lose the pole plant, so there's another data point. And #2, all of us chronologically challenged racers got to eat some serious Reality Sandwiches. Hey, I thought we were doing pretty well, until I saw one of my (male) buddies get smoked by Lucie Zikova, who has won, I think, every NCAA SL she's entered this year. Lucie also raced World Cup for Czech over Xmas, and was 4th in the US National SL last year. Imagine a World Cup race followed by auditions for the World Senior Shuffleboard Team, and you'll get the picture...hey, the CU Buffs have my Full Attention, and my cash donation to the team, as well...Go Buffs!
post #9 of 20
----I don't use the same movements that I do with the straps on. More than likely it is some weird mental quirk though... Who knows----HeluvaSkier

For a while I was skiing without pole straps when one of my Goode poles broke at the tab that held the strap. I discovered too that I started making some odd hand movements without the straps on. Maybe it's because you have to focus too much on holding it.

I was watching the world cup runs in the extras section of the Bode/Dahron dvd In search of Speed and noticed that in one slalom you see at the start that Bode wasn't wearing the pole straps. I don't know if that's normal or what for him. Safety issue? or he forgot?

As for the my Goode poles... ten years ago they felt light...now their swing weight seems heavy compared to others. Broke the shaft at the tip once, repaired by fact., then broke it above the basket last year. (ok we were playing SkiPolo beating a crushed can down the trail)
post #10 of 20
I use pole straps when I'm on open terrain. Its just easier to hang on to them with a more relaxed grip in between pole plants.

I take off the straps when I'm skiing in the trees, as a precaution against getting the pole basket caught by a tree or bush that could yank my shoulder.

Mostly I just focus on stance and balance, and what my skis are doing through the turns. In bumps the pole plant is more important. In higher speed carving turns on groomed terrain, the pole plant is not as big a factor in skiing performance. In an SL course, your poles are pretty much just used for cross-blocking the gates.

I agree that pole planting should basically be a wrist movement with little arm movement. You want a quiet upper body.
post #11 of 20
I disagree with the idea that the pole plant should be a flick of the wrist and not move the body. If that's the ideal, why do we have the poles at all? IMHO there should be movement associated with the pole plant (or touch if you will). A subtle movement to be sure, movement nonetheless.
post #12 of 20
Ooooo - how about movement of the elbow diagonally forward preceding the pole touch as part of the pole swing movement?

Shouldn't we also be making a distinction between a blocking pole plant and a swinging pole touch? There are times when a blocking pole plant is useful.
post #13 of 20
I prefer the term balancing pole plant vs. blocking pole plant. I feel that the balancing plant is a more descriptive term. I use the pole as a balancing point on steeps, bumps, powder.

A firm grip on the pole helps cause the outside shoulder to lower when the pole is extended down the hill for the plant, a good thing. The wrist can only bend so far upward, and the rest of the movement has to come from the shoulder tipping down hill. Straps are optional.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiRacer55 View Post
Imagine a World Cup race followed by auditions for the World Senior Shuffleboard Team, and you'll get the picture...hey, the CU Buffs have my Full Attention, and my cash donation to the team, as well...Go Buffs!
Was Seppi Steigler there? He's a freshman at CU this year and I'm pretty sure he's on the ski team. He's Resi's younger brother.

Oh...

And as to the pole strap question: Yes. Or no.

Or, whatever?

I wear my straps so rarely that I honestly don't know that my pole plant movement is any different strapped or strapless.

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Max_501 View Post
The following interesting insight was made in another thread:



I think I hold my pole firmly and don't really use the strap as a means of reducing wrist angulation. Has anyone else played with this to see how it affects fore/aft positioning?
Can we see video of this?
post #16 of 20
I don't need no schtinking pole straps.
post #17 of 20
I thought I was supposed to come across the front of my body with my hand. Wind up nice and big, then flash my hand out to touch the pole...

Right?

...

post #18 of 20
I am surprised at some of the comments above?

a pole strap, used properly, allows a relaxed grip and the ability to swing the pole forward, via a light grip with the thumb and fore finger, without involving any dropping of the elbow or shoulder. The range allowed by this light grip and flick surpasses the range of motion available in the wrist alone. Once the pole is planted, the proper routing of the pole strap, again allows a light grip as the force of the plant is distributed through the strap to the butt of the hand which requires very little grip on the pole, keeping the muscles of the arm and hand relaxed.

The pole strap also prevents injuries to the thumb and wrist that were prevelant in the "Scott" strapless grip era. My thumbs still hurt just thinking about those days.

So Max501, I would experiment with gripping your poles with the thumb and forefinger to allow a bit more swing of the tip forward and see what you think..... or just ask your coach and I am sure he will tell you what to think:

Another little tip for instructors doing slow speed demos requiring a pole touch... try placing your pinky finger behind the grip. This allows you to swing the pole tip forward and hold it there for and extended period without tweaking the wrist or dropping the elbow and is barely visible to the observer.
post #19 of 20
I came from Nordic skiing and racing, there is no question there use or not to use pole straps, there is just no way you can pole efficiently without straps.
I'm so used to feel of the pole with correctly adjusted strap that when I ski without strap for whatever reason it feels extremely inconvenient. My pole touches immediately become heavier as I grip them harder and it just feels wrong. So I do not understand how come most people do not wear straps or have them wrong way (which is the same as not wearing them, they are useless over the gloves).
Obviously many people go without - may be OK for them. However I do not remember seeing a single picture of WC racer on course with straps not on or in incorrect position. In our local race clubs ~80% of kids do not have pole straps in correct position and apparently do not see a benefit of straps. It changes somewhere around J3 - at this age or older most of them use pole straps.
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by StevensMan View Post
In our local race clubs ~80% of kids do not have pole straps in correct position and apparently do not see a benefit of straps. It changes somewhere around J3 - at this age or older most of them use pole straps.
That is probably because by the time they are J3's they have injured their thumbs enough times to realize the benefit of using the straps properly.
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