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So how DO poles help timing

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Not to steal Pierre's thread. 39 and counting ain't bad, eh? This one is different anyway.

Pole/swing/plant have been described as 'timing devices' for a long time. What does this mean to you?

What do they help time?
How do they help it?

Not looking for *the answer* on this one, just YOUR answer.
post #2 of 26
Timing to me is not how I initate turns or where my skis are, it is more of a mental thing, for longer turns, kinda a few secs between touches, shorter turns a picked up touch pace. I usually only pay attention to the pole touches when i am trying to concentrate on one thing, usually a testing senario.
post #3 of 26
Roto- Personaly hate teaching poles or even thinking about them as I see many different styles and many work just fine. Key is they don't hinder what is going on at the FEET. I don't think of pole touch I only concentrate on pole swing. The swing triggers my edge release and this is were I think it becomes a timing aid as I ski. Swing release helps me move everything down the hill. I don't like to focus on the touch because this can be a blocking thing(usefull but not what I want most of the time) and if I am thinking touch for edge change then my edge change is late and I have held onto the turn to long!
post #4 of 26
Ever heard the saying "you can only turn your feet as fast as you can swing your poles"? If you haven't, as doubtful as it sounds . . . try it sometime.
post #5 of 26
Two exercises helped me.

1. Drawing an imaginary line straight down the fall line or towards a specific target, and start making wide turns past that line I plant/touch that line each time I cross it. I found that my goal of reaching short turns is more attainable. I suspect it just is more of a visual cue for exercise purposes as in normal free skiing I don't do this.

2. by doing the "drag the shoe boxes" or "pole boxes" exercise instead of arms swinging, and upper body bobbing around I can maintain my upper body stability. It also assists my CM movement down the hill. by not lifting the pole but keeping it in contact with the snow along side my skis or just in front of my body plane as the pole/contact moves forward I have to move my whole body/CM across my skis and down the slope. this "forces me to release my edges" and commit to the turn. Again exercise not normal free skiing but it engrains the movement pattern for my freesking.

Lastly not for exercise, I find that pole plants in bumps and trees are a very important timing tool for myself. If I aim a pole plant too far in front of myself I will turn past that point but it will also block me from making a turn until I pass that point. In trees for instance if I want to snake past a tree, I plant right where I don't want to turn but before that turn point. (right at the tree well) and turn around the pole touch and tree.

The same works in the bumps.

In Lyle's explaination, a solid pole plant is a blocking move, you don't want to block your path. be laser accurate with your plants in the trees and you won't run into the trees. . This by the way was a revelation for me this year.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
1. Any more detailed thoughts on why ex.#1 helps you?
post #7 of 26
as I mentioned I suspect it is more a visual cue than anything else. The final goal of the exercise/run was to make "reaching short turns"

I never really thought about why it helps. that was one of those that the instructor said... and I tried it and it worked. Now you got me thinking. By the way it was Scott Mathers I got to ski with while learning this. He is one amazing skier/instructor and a lot of fun to ski with.

I will dwell on this more and post another more detailed response some time later today or tomorrow.<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by dchan (edited July 31, 2001).]</FONT>
post #8 of 26
Dchan, what is it with you and reaching short turns?
post #9 of 26
They are real fun when done right (when skiing with Scott I think I made one good run trying it and the feel of the turn was something I've never felt before ) and something I can't do real well yet. Thus my obsession with getting it right...
post #10 of 26
This is going to sound weird, but rhythm makes it easier for me to learn to use poles. If someone gives me a rhythmical phrase of what I'm supposed to do, I'll turn it into "music". Must be all those years of teaching aerobics!

Be Braver in your body, or your luck will leave you. DH Lawrence
post #11 of 26
Keeps me from picking my nose too much while skiing easy runs! (JJ)

Seriously, I think of my pole swing as the connection between my upper torso and my legs. I'm rarley concerned with the touch unless I need to block my momentum at the end of three or four linked recoveries. By matching the arc of my pole swing to the arc of my turn, I feel that I can set up for each turn smoothly (about 60% of the time in the real world!).

Ask Robin how I feel about blocking momentum after throwing Heli's. If you do it just right, you can transfer all the kinetic energy in your head straight down to the snow... via the full length of a ski pole. It leaves a mark!!!
post #12 of 26
I use my poles for timing on groomers. In short radius turns, I reach downhill and put a fair amount of weight on the pole. This releases both skis and starts both ski tips toward the fall line. Then a strong engagement and the turn radius is very short. It's a lot of fun turning around my poles and is really good in the steeps.

Every day that I ski, I try to make a couple of runs without my poles. It helps me to get my posture correct with the right amount of angulation and counter. I am not relying on the poles for timing. One excersize that I have been shown, is skiing with my eye closed. By dragging the poles, I have a contact with reality. Why you ask? It helps with skiing in pea soup fog.

post #13 of 26
... Hey Spag! I guess we have a mutual friend, eh? David O!... LOL... in my locker row last year... So who's the bigger "tweak"?

I use pole plants for timing the release most of the time now, diggin' on quick retraction turns. And all quicker turns, in general, especially bumps. But I don't pole plant as much in the long turns anymore, even in terrain, just don't feel the need...

Visit me here &gt;&gt;&gt;SnoKarver
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
I've noticed several people use poles to time release.

What about using edge release to time pole swing? Releasing the pole to swing as edge release occurs?
post #15 of 26
Uhh, that would feel late to me, Roto. I tap the pole at the moment of release, start swinging it forward just before I "let go of da hill".

Visit me here &gt;&gt;&gt;SnoKarver
post #16 of 26
SnowKarver. Yeah. David O. is on my Sh** list right now. But I suppose that we do have a mutual friend. As do Robin and Player. David (or LuckyRyo as we call him) is the bigger "tweak". Dude can ski, eh? He and I have spent many miles. You must be at Breck then? He and I went thru Trainer's clinics and exams together. You'll notice that neither of us are trainers yet!!! Rock on.
post #17 of 26
Yupper, that be him... Like to free ski with him, he rips. Curious about people that Player knows, as I worked with a guy from AZ Snowbowl doing mountain maintenance work too, at Breck... Guy by the name of Mike, has a nice wolf hybrid for a doggie...

Visited the Terry Peak site today... amuses me. I think the last time I was there was about 1973!

David did not get assigned top rotation till mid season, which I thought was strange. Went to bat for him with the supervisors, he's a good teacher...

I'm off to my security gig at Breck in a few, right now... watching so the ELF folks leave the new mountain developments alone! 4-wheeling all over the mountain roads... at night!
Visit me here >>>SnoKarver

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited July 31, 2001).]</FONT>
post #18 of 26
Pole use gets pretty situational. It depends on the terrain,conditions or the turn. Sometime just to catch your balance or as sensors to know where you are in space.(I'm usually lost)
As a coach I spend a lot of time without them.(someday I have to learn to ski with my hands in my pockets like PJ or Jim S)
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 
Snowcarver, releasing the pole to swing at release would be an EARLIERR movement than tapping it at the moment of release THEN starting the swing.

Timing the start of swing with edge release is generally a much earlier move than most people use (including me) I still have to think about it when the going gets aggressive. It also brings more balance to the feet and away from the hands. Pole use becomes an effect of CM flow rather than a cause of CM movements.

Pierre, eh - Thanks. It is something brought to my attention quite a few years ago, but I didn't work with enough to understand it until the last two seasons
post #20 of 26
Hee hee Roto, I know we agree on this, it's just hard to write it down. Bob Barnes is better than I at this kind of prose...

So let's try this-away... Turns and pole plants should always be in continous fluid motion. Starting a series of turns, let's assume we've already got the turns going... You know, first turn starts, second one is better, by the third turn things have settled into a nice "groove"... Both hands and arms are positioned decently, like reaching forward (downhill) to hug someone you like around the waist, a favorite description of mine... finishing of a turn to the left, just before the momentary "flat zone" and ready to release into the new right hand turn (whew):

Right wrist (little finger side) is swinging forward (downhill), almost ready to plant...
Left turn ending as right foot tips to little toe edge, skis go flat AND the right pole taps the snow at the same moment....
Left wrist (little finger side) starts it's swing forward (downhill)...
When edges release, right wrist (index finger side) has tipped far enough (downhill) that the right pole tip is not in the snow anymore...

Continously increasing edge angles with both feet, zipping around the arc, here comes the end of the right turn. Right foot is on the little toe edge, left is on big toe edge, showing the bases of those skis to the outside of the turn... Wheeee G forces! (this is the part of the turn when I'm grinning like a loooony)...

Left wrist (little finger side) is now swinging forward (downhill), almost ready to plant...
Right turn ending as left foot tips to little toe edge, skis go flat AND the left pole taps the snow at the same moment....
Right wrist (little finger side) starts it's swing forward (downhill)...
When edges release, left wrist (index finger side) has tipped far enough (downhill) that the left pole tip is not in the snow anymore...

Repeat often, as needed. Warning: Can be habit forming to the point of giggling ecstacy..

Is that better? I feel like I'm in an exam...
You've got me miming ski moves on the carpet again... Crap, let's just shaddup and SKI!

Like that kid in the Mazda commercials... ssZZooom ssZZooom!

Visit me here >>>SnoKarver

<FONT size="1">

[This message has been edited by SnoKarver (edited August 03, 2001).]</FONT>
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
(.) (.)

Yikes!! Good idea there at the end.

Translating physical motions/feelings into written or spoken word is difficult, but it does help us understand stuff better. The simpler the better.

You definitely seem to have a good awareness of timing pole plants. Traditionally that has always gotten strong focus. Timing them differently with edge set/release etc. really makes a difference

It was different for me to key on timing pole swing. I had gotten suggestions over the years on it, but never any real solid example on how or why or what. Finally figuring out how to start pole swing earlier was one of those "lights on" experiences. It continues to be so as I work toward making it an instinctive part of my skiing.

Part of my reason for this thread is to understand people's pole use ideas better so I can work toward teaching pole use for transfer; teaching it as a common movement pattern from early on in skiing development so I don't teach things that need 'unteaching' later.

Thanks for the input
post #22 of 26
Sure thing, Roto. Would appreciate any comments/clarifications from you, re your poling issues. Your last posts made me realize we were focusing on a different part of the pole movements.

I wonder if my early emphasis on bump skiing got me used to constantly moving the poles? Very interesting.

You know, I think you and I would have a blast yakking about this stuff on the chair, in between runs. If we can stop from giggling about the last run, that is. Maybe Fernie, eh?

Orion is rising in the east, about an hour before sunrise. Good to see my winter friend making it's first (early) appearances.

Sniff, sniff, do I smell snow coming?

Visit me here &gt;&gt;&gt;SnoKarver
post #23 of 26
SnoKarver: I like your description EXCEPT for me, the actual pole touch would be just a bit AFTER the initiating edges release. It would be release edges then touch rather than release edges and touch. How long the "then" lasts would depend upon size of the intended turn radius=Bigger the turn, later the touch. If I release AND touch, all my turns are the same short radius.
post #24 of 26
Man do I wanna do some video analysis now... Kneale, I'm wondering if we are splitting hairs, I plant at the flat, but the initiation of the release move IS just before that..., because you have to start the tipping to the new set of corresponding edges BEFORE the skis go flat...

Devil's in the details... LOL! Hey Bob Barnes, you out there? Whatcha think? Where's a Yoda when you need one...

Visit me here &gt;&gt;&gt;SnoKarver
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

What would you like clarification on?

I'll grab some tidbits out of posts in this thread that relate to what I am thinking.

From Todo: I don't like to focus on the touch because this can be a blocking thing(usefull but not what I want most of the time) and if I am thinking touch for edge change then my edge change is late.

From Spag: I'm rarley concerned with the touch unless I need to block my momentum

From Me: Pole use becomes an effect of CM flow rather than a cause of CM movements

I think that last bit is the heart of what I am thinking. Using poles to affect turn shape and timing of other movements is certainly a valuable aspect of pole use. But...focusing on that often leads to gripped poles, stiff upper body and stilted flow as revealed by many recent posts.

The more I am able to switch it around, make pole movements a function of what my CM is doing the cleaner I ski, the lighter the touches become, the more turn arcs dictate speed, the faster I can ski with more control.
My goal is to continue to take this onto steeper and steeper terrain. I have had some success using a gliding pole swing/plant on very steep stuff and controlled speed through a round arc with no checking. That is my goal, to be able to add this to my everyday arsenal on all terrain in all conditions.

Changing pole use in this manner makes it more natural in long, high speed turns, as the swing of the pole takes on the energy of the arc itself.
post #26 of 26
Ja, got it. I think I will emphasize that my pole plant is a TOUCH and that's it, and I make the move but the pole tip hardly touches the ground, somtimes doesn't even quite touch.

I completely agree about the CM flow thing, and when I'm dialed in, I don't even need to use the pole plants... especially in the flats.

Can we just go skiing now! August is a tough month, but I'm planning to ski at St. Mary's Galcier on Thursday, when I (gulp, OMG) turn 45 years young.

Visit me here &gt;&gt;&gt;SnoKarver
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