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Can you guys help me justify using poles? - Page 3

post #61 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gahan View Post

God some of you fellas are weird.  To the original poster, obviously you have a little experience with each branch of skiing, carving, bumps, park, powder, etc... So based on your experiences you should have the mental capacity to decide whats right for you for each type of skiing.  Personally I only have 6 seasons total under my belt, but I'm young (17), fit, and am a very aggressive skier, at least at my small easy coast mountain, but I can't seem to be able to make any kind of a turn on any kind of snow without poles, it freaks me out.

Not me.  I find that my poles are dragging beside me at least 50% of the time, and when I did use them, it just felt like I was using them just to go through motion, not actually helping me in any noticeable way.  So I tossed em and haven't missed them yet.  I like to pick the brains of people on here.  It can get really interesting sometimes, and as someone else said, talking about helmets is old.
post #62 of 75
I dragged my poles around for several years until I figured out they had more use than skating and 'accidentally' shin rapping the i'm-so-awesome-i'll-ski-past-you-as-close-as-possible-at-50mph types.

Now I don't know how I survived without using them properly, just my 2c.
post #63 of 75
I spend a lot of time skiing without poles and usually have a shovel, rake, other maintenance tool in my hands. Whenever it comes time to go just freeski vs work I always grab my poles. They help marginally but generally I think they give the upper body something to do. Personally people skiing without poles seem to have very static upper bodies making there skiing look very uninteresting. Other than that if you want to ski without poles go for it.

From a technique stand point I think poles can help get you in the right body position. Not having poles will make it more difficult so progressing your skiing might not be as easy.

As for learning how to ski bumps they will defiantly make you a better skier. Because after powder gets tracked out it turns to very soft bumps. Softer groomed runs by the end of the day can start developing bumps. Even skiing in the trees can end up be very similar to skiing in bumps. The reason learning to ski bumps makes you a better skier is we ski on an ever changing surface unlike an asphalt track. For the most part every run as it changes gets to be more and more like a bump run. So instead of going home or searching for a smooth run if you have bump skills you can keep skiing your favorite run.
post #64 of 75
I'm not going to read all of this but here's my answer to the subject line question.

No, do what you want dude.  Whatever.  Of the several skiers I saw at Vail this past weekend, there was a guy ripping around sans-things-in-his-hands.  So what?   
post #65 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CR0SS View Post

Personally people skiing without poles seem to have very static upper bodies making there skiing look very uninteresting. Other than that if you want to ski without poles go for it.

From a technique stand point I think poles can help get you in the right body position. Not having poles will make it more difficult so progressing your skiing might not be as easy.

As for learning how to ski bumps they will defiantly make you a better skier. Because after powder gets tracked out it turns to very soft bumps. Softer groomed runs by the end of the day can start developing bumps. Even skiing in the trees can end up be very similar to skiing in bumps. The reason learning to ski bumps makes you a better skier is we ski on an ever changing surface unlike an asphalt track. For the most part every run as it changes gets to be more and more like a bump run. So instead of going home or searching for a smooth run if you have bump skills you can keep skiing your favorite run.
I don't really care what it looks like.  It has nothing to do with how much fun I am having.  

That's true.  I will admit my posture is better with poles.

If my favorite run became a bump run, it would cease to be my favorite run.
post #66 of 75
Reasons to ski with poles...

1. Balance and timing while skiing.
2. Feel and being in touch with the snow.
3. locomotion, polling yourself around on the flats, geting on and off lifts, or while skining up to the top.
4. Help in deep snow. If you fall down in deep snow the poll X is key to geting back up.
5. Safety and emergency self arrest.
6. Clack them together on crowed runs to signal passing to the wedge turner in front of you.
7. great place to store a small roll of emergency duct tape.
8. the pole flask

Quote:
Originally Posted by guroo270 View Post

Also, I'm curious, it seems as though all of you aspire to be the best skier possible.  How many of you guys actually go out on the mountain to enjoy yourselves?  I'm picking up a mindset of people vigorously trying to get better.  Taking it all sooo seriously, that people that don't aspire to do it ALL are somehow less of a person or skier.  This is a recreational sport for 99.9% of people.  I swear most of you guys seem to think that each trip down the mountain, something needs to be learned, or you just aren't doing your part.  When do you guys just start enjoying the mountain.  



guroo... just FYI, Bushwhacker is the most full throttle and joyful skier I have ever met or been around. Don't judge people so much by their online persona. I have skied with dozens of bears and they are all a total blast to ski or ride with.
post #67 of 75
 Tromano came up with a few good one's no one else has mentioned, but clicking poles is way to subtle for beginners on crowded slopes to notice. I use that as a way of communicating with people I'm skiing with. It means "Enough talking, I'm going now." 

When it came time to use the duct tape, I couldn't get it off the pole very well. It was a sticky mess.

Speaking of pole as safety equipment, some one should be marketing the pole bong.

I don't believe skiers need poles to ski at a very high level. Snowboarders can rip trenches without poles and some can even ride bumps very smoothly flowing rhythmic, short, round turns.

That reminds me, someone said hands arms do not directly influence the skis on the snow, which is misleading. Good hand and arm position are very important. When skiing without poles, keep your hands where they are supposed to be, down the hill, elbows bent. If you ski with poles, keep your hands up and in front, never by your side with poles dragging. 

Admittedly it's rare to see a snowboarder handling bumps nicely, but when you do, one of the obvious differences you'll see is the arms are held steady, not flailing around like the arms of struggling bump riders. On skis too, strive for good hand position, and yes excellent bump skiing without poles happens, even if you have not seen it. If snowboarder can do it, why can't skier. Oh, yeah, I forgot, snowboarding is so much easier than skiing. Yeah, right.
post #68 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tromano View Post


Reasons to ski with poles...

1. Balance and timing while skiing.
2. Feel and being in touch with the snow.
3. locomotion, polling yourself around on the flats, geting on and off lifts, or while skining up to the top.
4. Help in deep snow. If you fall down in deep snow the poll X is key to geting back up.
5. Safety and emergency self arrest.

 

Those are all pretty good answers.  For those who don't know there is a great video tutorial on this site teaching the emergency arrest, which, yes, is impossible without a pole.  
now, does anyone know if there are any runs at Vail where I would need this?  Steep and Deep maybe?
post #69 of 75
I think younger people that started skiing after snowboarding hit and park/pipe riding have a somewhat different view on things. It's not right or wrong, just different. Many of them view their skis just like they are two skinny snowboards.

My son just spent the last 2 years begging for poles. I finally got him some for this season and gave them to him for the first time yesterday. After 2 runs he said he didn't want them and they just got in the way. I decided to ditch mine for yesterday too.

Personally though I think a sweet big twisty flippy air looks so much cooler with poles, in the bumps or park.
post #70 of 75
As for poles, I think improper technique attributes to people "Dragging them at the sides," my poles are almost always engaged, and to beat a dead horse, keeping the upper body in use more. If you don't want to use them, then don't, whatever floats your boat. 

As for bump skiing, I think you are using the "I do whats fun" thing too much, yes we all have fun, but you say that having fun and trying to get better don't really go together, which they really do. I have more fun after i have suffered and made it through something, than not challenging myself and just having lazy fun. For some, it may be smoking a blunt and just sliding down the hill and finding the occasional powder, but for most people I know, trying to get better, seeing accomplishment and failure make a day more fun. Basically what I'm saying is in my opinion, trying to get better at skiing is having fun, remaining stagnant in my abilities is boring. You do not have to agree with my because fun is a subjective topic and there are no universal objectives for it. Anyway, I hated bump skiing at first, but after getting better (not great) I cannot get enough and want to do it more, bump skiing and powder almost go hand in hand for me, bump skiing has given me technique that I use in the powder etc. 

Cheers
post #71 of 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post

Every part of you and your equipment has mass.  Every movement of any part of you or your equipment affects every other part.  You are in control of more mass with poles attached, and you can do more in the way of reaction forces affecting balance when you have poles.

I've gone without poles often enough.  I can ski just about anything that is considered a viable ski run without poles, but I prefer to ski with poles.

Think of it as a lizards tail.  It has a balancing effect.

This a big reason I choose to stick with my older, heavier poles (note the cleaver pun).  I'm not sure I would like skiing with those ultra lightweight poles out there these days.
post #72 of 75
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spookfish View Post

As for poles, I think improper technique attributes to people "Dragging them at the sides," my poles are almost always engaged, and to beat a dead horse, keeping the upper body in use more. If you don't want to use them, then don't, whatever floats your boat. 

As for bump skiing, I think you are using the "I do whats fun" thing too much, yes we all have fun, but you say that having fun and trying to get better don't really go together, which they really do. I have more fun after i have suffered and made it through something, than not challenging myself and just having lazy fun. For some, it may be smoking a blunt and just sliding down the hill and finding the occasional powder, but for most people I know, trying to get better, seeing accomplishment and failure make a day more fun. Basically what I'm saying is in my opinion, trying to get better at skiing is having fun, remaining stagnant in my abilities is boring. You do not have to agree with my because fun is a subjective topic and there are no universal objectives for it. Anyway, I hated bump skiing at first, but after getting better (not great) I cannot get enough and want to do it more, bump skiing and powder almost go hand in hand for me, bump skiing has given me technique that I use in the powder etc. 

Cheers
 
The poles dragging half of the time at my sides is attributed to less demanding terrain where i'm just kind of coasting or traversing, that sort of thing.  When I have my poles, and taking the skiing seriously, I don't drag them along, they are where they should be. 

Don't get me wrong, I always challenge myself going down exciting, shoots, jumping off stuff into powder, trees, that sort of thing, and yes, I'll admit that I do try and get better at what I do because it makes everything smoother, but when I talk about trying to get better, I don't film myself to look at angles or anything like that.  I always try to get better, but I don't focus on training, ya know? 
post #73 of 75
Thread Starter 
So, I took my poles with me to Vail for my bachelor party to try and decide what I really liked better.  My concesus is that I still like the free feeling of not using poles, BUT they do help:  keep me out of the back seat, keep me stable at high speeds (35+ish), manuevering through trees in powder, knocking snow off my boots (although, if I replace my terrible LEKI aluminums with those bamboo/carbon fiber ones I want I doubt I would slam them against my boots) and pushing/pulling all my snowboarder friends.  I also found that more as a "style" kinda thing, when I don't use them, I wash out my tails a little more, when I do I tend to do more carving.
post #74 of 75
This is my 46th season and I've always used poles.  I couldn't even imagine skiing without them until the last two seasons.  Because of work related stress I had tendinitis in my right elbow last year.  I spent most of the season trying to not plant my pole or to plant it extremely lightly to keep the stress off of my elbow.  I found that I was not planting, or barely planting my pole pretty much all of the time by the end of the season.

My elbow healed last summer, but I was compensating so much with my left arm at work that I got tendinitis in IT!  Now I'm working on staying away from planting my poles with both hands, but I still carry them and do the light plants when I'm skiing bumps.  It works quite well and I still ski pretty much the same.

I don't think we need poles to ski well in any conditions.  However, I'm not getting rid of mine because they're so useful in so many situations for getting around on the flat or going uphill, self arrest, getting up after falling in deep snow, and in the lift line.
post #75 of 75
I cannot imagine skiing without poles, but that is merely a product of having used them for the 35 years of my skiing life. They help me with timing, as in planting a pole in between turns, on the down beat. They also seem to keep me from moving my upper body too much, how I have no idea, and it doesn't matter. Other people have mentioned the other advantages of having them around as a utility device -- testing snow, getting up, traversing. Flask. Pole bong.
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