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what is 'pole plant'?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I am a low intermediate skier, could cruise
on blue trails, and right now I am learning
carving myself. Most of articles I could
find on web emphasize the foot/leg movement,
and weight transition, etc. Any instruction
or demo video somewhere about how to swing
pole correctly (I guess 'pole plant is
about the same thing)? and how do I know
if I am carving or not?

post #2 of 13
Hi Tim,

I tried to PM you but you have it blocked.. In anycase I was just trying to let you know I moved your post here.

As far as Pole plants, they are not an indicator of carving. The best way to tell if you are carving is look at the tracks you leave in the snow. if they are nice clean marks like railroad tracks (or one single track if you are carving on one ski) then you are there. any brushing off of snow like someone sprayed snow or brushed the snow means you are skidding a little. if it looks like someone took a butter knife and spread the snow like frosting then you are really skidding..

That's about the best indicator..

Pole plants would depend on your goal. Pole plants help you initiate your turns and are used for timing. I'm sure more of the bears here will be happy to give you pointers.
post #3 of 13
It is now more of a pole touch rather than a pole plant. It was planted in the old days to help with the "down-up-down unweighting". Now with carving and extension/flexion, it is a touch.

The touch is used for balance. Where in the turn is it used? For balance.

Some times in a long GS turn, the touch is at the "apex" or fall line of the turn. For short radius, fast turns, the touch is at the same time you release your old edge and start to engage your new edge. Both types of turns are using the pole to initiate change and to aid in balance.

When are you carving? A true carve is when your ski tip and tail follow the same line.. on an edge. If you look back after traversing and see only two thin lines where your edges were, that is carving. The hard part is gettng it like that throughout the turn.

There have been other fine threads on how to carve. Maybe someone can post the thread, or you can use the search feature in Epic.

Good luck with your "touching" and carving.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ January 17, 2002 05:24 PM: Message edited 1 time, by KeeTov ]</font>
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys.

I guess I am a little frustrated as I have
no clear idea about what are the key factors
that lead to a carved turns or skidded turns. Sometimes I feel I just carve part of
a turn (seems like usually the first half).
So when initiate a new turn, should I
just concentrate on, and only, the new edges, and resisit the temptation to rotate
the lower leg at all?

post #5 of 13
The 3 dynamics of a carved turn are:


But it has been my experience, the most crucial move that allows all this to happen, is the cross over. Over simplified, this means that your center of mass crosses over the skis, giving the feeling of "falling" into the turn. If this does not happen, the skier will lean back into the hill, which will make carving a bit awkward. the result, is sometimes a skid.
IMHO, it is the pole plant which enables [at least psycholgically} the cross over.
post #6 of 13
instead of thinking about all kinds of stuff, just work on the inside ski, little toe down and steer through the turn and where you want to go and ride that down hill outside ski around the turn.
post #7 of 13
A teaching sequence is know as the "Fan". Start off going acreoss the hill, then after comfortable, increase the angle(closer to the fallline) until you start your run "straight down". Repeat the "Fan" in the other direction. Now combine them into a full regular turn!

Go advise so far. Suggest you work on getting the feel of what your skiis feel on edge. Do traverses. When your skiis are on edge, they will naturally turn you up hill!! Now do the "Fan" progression. As you get closer to the fall line, you will have to do what Lisamarie suggested, engage your ankles/knees/edges after a pole touch. The touch will help you commit to the initial "lean" into the turn. Then the edges take over and bring the skiis back under the body.

If you put the skiis on edge and only see two thin lines, that is called "railroad tracks". Great!

If you turn your skiis from travelling downhill into a turn that ends up turning you slightly uphill, that is called an uphill christie. Great!

Have fun. Keep us posted!
post #8 of 13
Also, think of the pole plant/touch as part of the "balancing act." Give your hands a purpose and keep them in front of you, don't let your hand get to far off to the side and/or back as that will push your shoulder back and upset your carving balance.
post #9 of 13
Sharon, our Okemo instructor, had this "mantra": TOUCH TOE ROLL!

If we were not completing our turns, she would draw out the word "roll"....rolllllll.......
post #10 of 13
It's really important that the body's movement into the turn that's supposed to accompany focusing on rolling the inside ski onto the little toe edge BE A DIAGONAL movement and not just a lateral movement sideways. You want to maintain contact between your shin and the cuff of your boot. I like to think of that roll as beginning from when I'm standing on the inside edge of that ski so that what I'm doing is rolling the ski onto the flat and then onto the outside edge.
post #11 of 13
Hi Tim, as a low intermediate you could save yourself a lot of trouble and avoid practicing bad habits if you took even just one lesson, at least you would know what to practice.

From your description of carving, or nearly so, the first part of the turn and then skidding around, I would guess that you allow your hips to rotate into the turn and thus lose the edge. Keep countered (the hip pulled back) enough to allow you to angulate for proper edge set throughout the turn, but an instructor would see this right away.

Or send a video our way if you have the means to upload it to the forum.

post #12 of 13
post #13 of 13
As always, Bob Barnes sums it up nicely. Great picture.
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