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The Pole Plant

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This is simple enough. I want to know how to use my poles. I know how to hold them, and they're great when skating on the flats, but when actually skiing I really don't know how to start using them effectively. I've been told in a few lessons to start trying pole plants (...and turn around the pole!), but damned if I knew what I had to do. I've tried making movements out in front, then pulling them back as I turn. It just feels wrong. I was just reading the thread about skiing without poles, and had a bit of what might be a realization though. I get the impression that I'm supposed to touch that pole to the snow, and keep it there while turning around it... is this right? That way, it is my motion around and past the tip of the pole that brings it back to where it belongs.

So, how do I do this? Knowing how to use the poles would be nice.
post #2 of 4
Pole "planting" or "touching" typically depends upon the nature of the related turning, Grolby.

For defensive turns made from a preparatory edge set for the turn, the pole normally goes into the snow downhill from your boot toe at the bottom of the down motion that lets you make the edge set. It helps stabilize your upper body so that when you move into the turn and release the edges, the skis can turn toward downhill. Since you want your hands ahead of your torso, the hand holding the planted pole moves toward the turn direction and past the point at which the tip contacts the snow.

For more offensive turns, the tip touches the snow more in time with the skis reaching the point of aiming down the fall line and the pole serves as an "emergency" prop if needed because your torso is well inside the skis at that point.
post #3 of 4
Yikes. This is a hard one to do on line. There is nothing that can disrupt the rhythm more than learning a pole plant. Nevertheless it should be done.

Simple: touch the left pole to the snow as you start a left turn, and right with right. Don't lean on it, plant it, turn around it, etc. Just touch it and keep your hands moving forward.

More complex:
1. Purpose: I believe, although there are several functions of the pole, that the primary use is to stabilize the torso during the edge change--when you move your body across the skis towards the downhill side.

2. How
--A good pole plant is first dependent on good hand/arm positioning and movement. Hands held about waist high, arms lifted at shoulder joints, hands forward in front of torso with elbows bent slightly, hands away from body, and pole points behind boots. It's also all right to drag the tip of the inside pole but don't weight it or let it bring your hand back toward the tails of the skis.
--During the finish of the turn let the outside/downhill pole swing freely forward using your wrist, some elbow and a fairly loose grip. The other pole/hand should not move back in coordination but must stay in the original position.
--During the rising outward to the edge change, the pole point touches the snow, but the pole planting hand MUST keep moving forward. Don't weight the pole, and don't leave it in the snow as you turn past it.
--Keep moving that new inside (pole planting) hand forward as you enter the fall line.
--Prepare the next one.

3. Water your pole plant regulary, or it will die!

Don't get crazy with this. It takes a lot of time to get the move. So do it for awhile and then let it go. Be patient and relaxed with it. After awhile, the feeling of rubbing your head, while patting your tummy, and falling off a cliff will go away.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
I had a bit of confusion, but then saw the most recent post... Thanks very much, your post will probably be helpful in the future. I don't really get all of it, but more will probably "click" as I go. [img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 27, 2002 06:39 PM: Message edited 1 time, by Grolby ]</font>
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