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Pole Plant Timing Exercise With Straight Skis

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I feel that my pole plants are not always timed correctly. I'm thinking about getting a pair of old-school skis to practice pole plants. Does anyone one think this may be counter-productive?

post #2 of 10

Not counter-productive, but no real benefit IMO. 

post #3 of 10

You would be better off practicing on the skis you normaly ski on . If you are unsure about how you should time you pole plants or touch ,perhaps you should do a search or ask in  Ask a Pro .

post #4 of 10

5ki8um, you can get a pair of modern 191cm FIS GS skis for that old-school skiing  sensation. Seriously, the pole plant should indicate that you are going to turn. It should be timed at the precise moment when you shift your weight from your old outside ski to your new outside ski. And it should be a quick movement of the arm. Arm should not be dragging whole upper body and hips into rotation. Tap more in the fall line and not straight forwards. When you make shorter turns you can plant more to the side. If you have long poles you can swing them arround so that you dont need to raise the whole arm. Stick to your current skis or similair.

post #5 of 10

I just ran into an issue like this one with a student at Cubefest.  Her poles were about 3" too long.  She couldn't time the pole touch properly.  I switched with her for a few runs (almost planting in my face once because it was so early due to the length). Her skiing changed and the timing of her pole plant improved instantly.


Get in your gear, on your skis on the living room floor (disclaimer- if it's carpet) and grab your pole by the handle while standing in a somewhat athletic (your normal skiing) stance.  Some say the forearm should be parallel to the floor,  some say wrist slightly below the elbow.  Anything other than that and you need an adjustment in your pole length.


Switching back to old skis is probably not the answer, but brings up an interesting point. Being VERY general here the pole touch (unless you are using it to block) it is usually timed to your commitment to the edge of the new steering (outside) ski.  If you just made the switch from old school to new school skis,  this in itself could be an issue in the timing of the pole plant.  With today's gear we are able to get to the new edge sooner which in turn causes you to have to plant sooner.  This may be upsetting your timing.

post #6 of 10

Good suggestion UL.  I once had to ski with a borrowed pair of poles that were a mere 2" too long, and it really messed me up. 

post #7 of 10

One exercise that I learned while at ESA was to begin practicing pole planting, is to start with your poles in hand outstretch your arms so they are pointing in an East -West direction. and head down the slope making turns, slowly start to bring your arms in. It really helped with pole planting.  It really demonstrates that when you plant your pole you are signalling it is time for a turn. 

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. Pole size could certainly be an issue. I'm usually okay in steep terrain with planting and linking turns. But my timing goes astray when slope evens out. Probably because I'm changing my turn radius.

post #9 of 10

Likely it's because on the steep you need the pole plant , on easier terrain you can get away without it so your not paying attention to it's timing so much .

post #10 of 10

Hi 5ki8um!


An exercise that I like to use to help with pole touch is to find a line that goes down the hill.  At our area, the lifties have to walk down the hill to switch positions, so their footprints down the hill work perfectly for this. 


As I ski back and forth accross the fall line, I do a pole touch on their footprint which causes my center of mass to start down the hill, then, I change edges and turn.  You can start out doing this fairly slowly, and then pick up your pace with each run. 

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