When it comes to the must-have ski gears, poles are amongst the most important. They control your cruise while also keeping you sound and safe. It is crucial as well for maintaining balance and rhythm, especially during your turns. To make the most out of it, however, you need to learn the proper techniques, including pole plant skiing.
Whether on the mountain or off-piste skiing, pole plants will come in handy. It prevents the sudden acceleration of the body downhill. It also times your turns. This provides better control of your body. Nonetheless, take note that it while helps you balance, it is still your body that needs to do most of the work.
Want to know more about skiing pole plants? Read on and we’ll let you know how to do it right!
Find the Perfect Timing
If you want to learn the fundamentals of skiing pole plant, one of the most important is to know the right timing. You cannot just plant your ski poles on the ground any time that you feel like doing it. See it as a timing device that helps to keep your rhythm while stabilizing your upper body at the same time.
You need pole planting during parallel turns. If you are learning how to ski moguls, you will also learn the concept of pole planting. It is also necessary when it comes to powder skiing. Nonetheless, if you do it at the wrong time, this can only cause you to lose your stance and balance.
Assume the Proper Position
Setting up for pole plant skiing also requires you to assume the right position. Just like with how to turn on skis, the right position is crucial to make sure that you do not lose your balance. It also helps to draw power efficiently.
First, position your arms in the front. By keeping it steady, you will find it easier to maintain your balance. Imagine sitting in a chair with an armrest. Your hands should be forward like such a position.
You also need to avoid upper body rotation. The latter is a skiing position wherein your arms are down on your side that allows you to unintentionally draw power from the upper body in every turn. Instead, your turn should originate from the legs.
Keep Your Upper and Lower Body Separate
As you try to master the fundamentals of skiing pole plants, one more thing that you need to learn is the separation of your upper and lower body. Effective turns require the two parts to function independently of each other. During the duration of the turn, see to it that your upper body faces downhill. On the other hand, point your lower body in the direction where you want to head.
During pole plant skiing, it is the lower body that dictates the direction of the ski. To make separation possible, one of the best things to do is to bend your knees and hips. In turn, this separates the legs from the torso, allowing the two to move separately.
As you plant your pole on the ground, the lower body will shift as the upper body remains straight.
Using the Right-Sized Poles
Aside from following the crucial steps in the skiing pole plant, another important consideration is the size. You need to learn ski pole sizing to know which one works best for your needs. Otherwise, you won’t only end up being inefficient with your turn, but it can also compromise ski safety.
There is no rule of thumb when it comes to the right pole length. This is something that will differ from one individual to the other. Your height and ski style are some of the important considerations.
To find the right size, you need to stand straight with your ski boots on. Hold the pole and if your arm is at a 90-degree angle, this means that you are using a pole of the right size. If it is smaller than 90 degrees, your poles are too long. If it is larger than 90 degrees, it means that your poles are too short.
Pole Planting on a Steep Terrain
As you learn how to ski steeps, you should also know the basics of pole plant skiing. Under this condition, you need to practice a technique called blocking pole plants, which basically prevents you from accelerating downhill. Basically, it controls your upper body’s rotation.
The secret to doing this effectively is to plant the pole and edge your ski at the same time. However, take note that this is an advanced technique. If you are just getting started with skiing training, you need to learn the basics first before you practice this more complicated technique.
The Right Sequence
Let us have a summary of the actual steps that are involved.
- Keep your arms in front while your poles are trailing. One of the ski poles should be forward to the one that is inside of a turn. Keep the pole position about 45 degrees and do this just before you start a turn.
- Now, bring your forward arm inside. This keeps the pole slightly forward and ready for the plant. At this point, you will also need to flick your wrist while trying to reach as far as possible while keeping the arms steady.
- Before you start your edge to initiate a turn, this is when you plant the pole. After planting the pole, it is natural that your body’s weight shifts forward. The ski will also turn around the pole. By moving your arm forward, the tip of the pole will get off the snow slowly and you will return to your starting position.
- After planting the pole, you also need to work on keeping your rhythm. A good practice is to count mentally and plant pole after every five seconds. This duration, however, will vary from one situation to the other.
Mistakes to Avoid
Before we come to a close, let us discuss the things you need to avoid in the skiing pole plant. Avoid planting the pole outside of the turn. As we have discussed above, it is to be done exclusively when you are inside a turn.
Planting too early or too late is another crucial mistake you should not make. The direction of the movement of the poles is one of the best indicators that you have planted them at the wrong time. Be quick to act to correct it just before your turn.
It is also wrong to think that the main purpose of the pole is to support the body’s weight. That is not the reason why you are using the poles. Rather, the reason for having it a part of your skiing checklist is to help you maneuver and turn. It helps provide better control of your movement as you ski.
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As you learn how to ski, pole planting is one of the most important techniques that you need to master. It improves efficiency, balance, and control in every turn. When you do it right, it is crucial in rhythm and timing, as well as in propulsion in flats. However, it is not as simple as planting the poles and making a turn.
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- How to Pole Plant: Skiing Tips and Tricks, SnowSkool.com