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"Dragging" the inside pole

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I've known that I do this for quite some time, but thought I'd put up a post regarding my practice of dragging the inside pole to stay "in touch" with the inclination of the slope.  You can see this "habit" quite clearly in this latest TR.


I have tried to stop it, but it's one of those things that I've been doing forever.  I like knowing where the slope is in relation to my body through the biofeedback I get from dragging my pole.  However, I do notice that it causes me to drop my shoulder at times and can sometimes cause me to lean into the hill without a stronger break at the hips.


I'm guessing that I probably shouldn't be doing this, but I'm hoping to get some good constructive feedback here on the pros/cons and some possible methods to break the habit.

post #2 of 5

Hi Noodler.  While feeling the snow with the inside pole is not necessarily a bad thing,,, it provides a good reference point,,, but if you have some leaning in habits, as I see from your TR photos may be the case, taking away the crutch can help.  Easy fix here, just leave the poles at the bottom for awhile and ski without them.  


Don't know what to do with your empty hands?  Put them on your hips and use them to rotate your new inside hip forward during the transition.   Try to keep your torso and shoulders level.  When you collect your poles again, do some lateral balance drills.  Focus on outside foot balance.  This is not a terribly hard fix.  When you get your angulation sorted the problem will be gone.  



post #3 of 5

Noodler, nice skiing conditions and nice photos. Lets move on to constructive feedback. There is only one good way to get rid of that habbit and that is to get rid of your ski poles. You are cheating yourself by finding valid reasons why you drag that inside pole. Fact is that it shows flaws in your skiing. You need to work on your basic technique. I should know, Im an instructor and have been working on this with many students and foremost myself. I finally got rid of it after becomming an instructor and skiing with kids without ski poles for 10y.


When I look at the photos a couple of things strike me instantly. Db is pointing his ski pole forwards and you are in the back seat and banking. Db is very much focussing on initiating his turn and his pole plant gives away he is over reacting and rushing. It looks to me like he is up-unweighting to turn and he possible makes a lot more turns in the same terrain compared to you. Even without him asking for my opinions on his skiing I would advice him to bring his arms out more sideways and plant his pole more down hill. Not towards the tip of his skis. And not to lift his arm up so high, insted swing it arround in a circular movement. This would help him maintain a better down hill posture with his upper body. Upper body facing down hill. Its not really easy to tell from the photos but to me it looks like you are not up-unweighing to make your turn initiation. You are also not down-unweighting. You are simply just leaning and here your ski pole drag serves a purpose: it creates friction and helps you turn in that direction. It doesent need to be a whole lot but even a tiny bit pole friction out to the side will have an effect on your turning. I suspect this since you are also in the back seat. If you look at the photos of you and db standing you can see a difference. Db is more relaxed and he is leaning more forwards. You are much more stiff and standing back. Feel free to tell me Im totally wrong but this is exactly what I see in your skiing. Lean forwards. Relax. Work with your leggs, flexing at transition and extending into the turn. Angulate. Yes, angulate and balance over your outside ski. Spend a day on a groomer and try to do this. Ski without ski poles. Hold your ski poles horisontally in front and try keeping them levelled. I used to do the exact same way back in time. On an easy groomer the pole drag is just microscopic but when snow gets heavy it gets more active. When fear steps in it becomes huge.

post #4 of 5

Ski without poles AND touch your outside boot top with that hand all the way around each turn.  Hold the other hand straight out from your shoulder over your inside ski tip.  Yes, this is a big exaggeration, but once you break your present habits, you can fine tune new habits.  Next just touch your outside knee with that hand during each turn, inside hand still straight out over your inside ski tip.  Do each drill for at least a full run to really get the movement.  When you're doing the movement and get bored and thinking of something else, you've done it enough.  Do pole drags with both poles touching the snow, definitely the outside pole.  Do two-pole drags with your upper body rotating to move the inside pole forward and the outside pole back.  Keep the outside pole even with your feet, not forward of your feet.


When you get balanced over your outside ski you'll have the stability to feel the slope inclination and won't need the inside pole as a slope feeler.

post #5 of 5

in soft snow on skinnier skis inclination is not such a bad thing. In fact being 50 and a little sloppy helps when your skis arent that big and the snow is soft




get some pictures on a groomer and I bet its the same thing. In that case. softsnow guy had a great way of making your turns angulated and inclinated.

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