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Is pole planting necessary?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Pole planting is something that I never got. I never really felt that it helped my turns and when iím practing something, I always leave it out cause itís one less thing to think about.

Is it something thatís key, am I missing something leaving it out? Should i be including it in all I do? Am just looking for thoughts in it
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colly10 wrote:
Should i be including it in all I do?
Pretty much, yes. Practice until it becomes second nature and you no longer need to focus on doing it. There will be some situations when a good pole plant makes an significant difference to your skiing.
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@rob@rar, Why is that? For me, it's all about making sure I've got the weight forwards but is there more than that to it?
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Strictly speaking no, but it definitely helps keep a good stance and your posture in the right place. Watch a WC Slalom race and see what they do...virtual pole plant at every gate. You don't have to actually 'plant' the pole to make it work. Of course when straightlining it down the hill, then you don't need it snowHead
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Alastair wrote:
@rob@rar, Why is that? For me, it's all about making sure I've got the weight forwards but is there more than that to it?
Makes a big difference with timing and flow. Helps stabilise the upper body. Can help you move forward along the length of your skis in a GS type turn, can help you move down the fall line in a slalom type turn. Makes a big difference when skiing very steep terrain, not least providing a 3rd point of contact at transition. Invaluable when skiing bumps.

A good pole plant is a thing of beauty Happy
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Bodeswell wrote:
Watch a WC Slalom race and see what they do...virtual pole plant at every gate. You don't have to actually 'plant' the pole to make it work.

It's changing Wink Watch Kristoffersen and most of young guys and you will hardly ever see pole plant. Hirscher is still on "old" technique and has more of real pole plants (plus few other things that are obviously changing), but I would say at least in competitive skiing, pole planting is past. And in GS there's virtually none for long time already. But then again, I guess most of people here are quite far away from being able to ski the way racers ski Smile
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@primoz, yeah but how many times did Kristoffersen get fired off the tails of the skis during his second run in Kitzbuehel? wink
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OP's post was for planting for holiday skiers not racers -@rob@rar, 's post #5 hits the nail on the head.

Most intermediate skiers now get away without pole planting on piste but once you get into more technical stuff: bumps; steeps; deep it's without doubt an essential skill which should be used
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For technical skiing in bumps, trees, steep & deep then pole planting is pretty essential. For GS turns on piste then pole planting not so relevant. It's all about flow and timing as @rob@rar covers nicely.
However, you do see quite a few people with massively over-exaggerated swinging pole plants which are not a good idea either. Neat precise plants are the way to go like this:-


http://youtube.com/v/XcMDGr6gQPQ
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In steeps, definitely. For skiing bumps, absolutely. For carving you don't normally need to plant but the poles still play a big role. For skiing deep pow pole planting is a big help, but maybe not so much when you have two snowboards strapped to your feet.
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Quote:

Hirscher is still on "old" technique and has more of real pole plants (plus few other things that are obviously changing), but I would say at least in competitive skiing, pole planting is past.

Who has the most slalom world cup wins this season? Oh it's Hirscher with his "old style" technique. Take a look at the second runs from yesterday, Hirscher while didn't end up winning, looking far more balanced and in control. HK was on the edge and looked like he would be thrown out the back on a few occasions.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@FastCarver74, normally Hirscher just nails it every time and makes it look easy. Much the same as Shiffrin does. If planting poles is what it takes then I'm all for it!
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colly10 wrote:
Pole planting is something that I never got. I never really felt that it helped my turns and when iím practing something, I always leave it out cause itís one less thing to think about.

Is it something thatís key, am I missing something leaving it out? Should i be including it in all I do? Am just looking for thoughts in it
must admit, I don't use poles for turning at all, in fact I probably should take 130cm poles, but I take 120cm poles as they get in the way otherwise. I only use them for double poling on the flat or helping me up after a fall.
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You know it makes sense.
Call me old fashioned but Kristofferson is doing a bit of pole planting here, just a touch, not always, but a touch now and again nonetheless...


http://youtube.com/v/LzCLJoWPgMg
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@under a new name, 1;22 in is why a pole plant is a good idea Very Happy
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@colly10, is pole planting necessary?

Answer: yes.

Supplementary: Why is pole planting necessary?

Because you will crash and burn on steeps, on bump runs and in poudre without them.

Or .... you can learn to love the immense white flatness of the intermediate plateau....
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It's weird, I'm pretty sure I pole plant, but it's completely an subconscious thing for me. If someone asked me how and when I do it, I'd have no idea.

It's a bit like asking a golfer if they breathe in on their backswing, guaranteed to throw them off while they try to figure out whether or not they do/should
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Bennisboy wrote:
It's weird, I'm pretty sure I pole plant, but it's completely an subconscious thing for me.


It's funny, I'm the opposite. Pole planting is about the only conscious part of my skiing action.
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Interesting thread.
The 'pole-plant' (to my mind) is important as it is part of the rhythm/sequence of a turn.
Reaching forward to plant the pole transfers one's weight forwards and down the hill which enables the subsequent edge and weight transition.

It is also a reference point in the turn which Instructors can use.
I had a lesson at the PSB and was advised to flatten my skis before pole-plant (amongst other things). Resulted in a significant, perceived, difference.

Moguls without poles would be very entertaining to watch...
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Depends what you are doing. Markymark29 can testify to me having to do hand swaps sking a big powder face in Stuben after I'd usefully snapped a pole like a Jerry getting off the chair.
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I will point out of course that on piste you can get the timing benefits of a pole plant by simply deploying jazz hands. In all honesty having poles is less camp if that sort of thing bothers you. Me I rejoice in my camp red tractor status.
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@Dave of the Marmottes, so what is the benefit of jazz hands off piste? Asking for a friend wink
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You simply don't recognise artistic genius when you see it. Honestly philistines!
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Iím really looking forward to the @Dave of the Marmottes and @Scarlet dance troupe starting up again at this yearís eosb
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When @Scarlet does her faceplant it's very reminiscent of that dying swan bit from Jaybe Torvil's Bolero. Excecpt with more blood and a chippier attitude.
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@Maireadoconnor, It'll be worth the wait, I'm sure Laughing

@Dave of the Marmottes, You may be disappointed though. I went out Saturday in the big, deep, soft stuff, and there were no incidents whatsoever. I have witnesses too. Maybe it's just your jazz-handed navigational prowess that results in faceplants?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Poleplanting is for old folk and novices. They need help with balance and timing.

Yoot and experts don't need it.
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@Scarlet, you forget that for max jazz hands effect you must be on blades!
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You know it makes sense.
@spyderjon, Laughing
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@Scarlet, You do realise that you've have just thrown down a fairly hefty gauntlet . Possibly with a vambrace or bessigew as well. We have places to take you and break you.

And as I point out again skiing past a big hole, pointing at it and shouting "hole!" is not a navigational failing more an auditory one. wink
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@Dave of the Marmottes, I was a deaf kid, I can't help not listening Laughing
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Whitegold wrote:
Poleplanting is for old folk and novices. They need help with balance and timing.

Yoot and experts don't need it.


Look and learn troll boy:-


http://youtube.com/v/CQlatm6yAzQ
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I was teaching a couple of newish skiers yesterday, neither of whom pole-planted. We spent a bit of time working on some core skills, and when they made some progress I then introduced the pole plant. Initially its is just another thing to focus on, and as usual the rest of their skiing got a bit scruffy. But after a bit of practice the pole plant started to come a bit more naturally on each turn; their timing began to improve; and their movements and (fore/aft) balance were significantly better. In short, the introduction of the pole plant made them better skiers, and not only because of the addition of the pole plant skill. This was over about 20 minutes of introduction, demo, practice and feedback. They'll need to keep practicing before the pole plant is a natural and subconscious movement, but it won't take forever for that to happen. When it becomes a fully acquired skill they will be better skiers in all situations, and will have an essential tool available to them in some situations where the absence of a pole plant makes life considerably more challenging than it needs to be.

And now for a geology joke: Whiteironpyrite.
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uktrailmonster wrote:
Whitegold wrote:
Poleplanting is for old folk and novices. They need help with balance and timing.

Yoot and experts don't need it.


Look and learn troll boy:-


http://youtube.com/v/CQlatm6yAzQ


As evidence for the importance of pole plants you posted a video that contains only the very lightest of pole touches (and not even on every turn if my eyes don't deceive me)? Am I missing something?
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
skeksis wrote:
... only the very lightest of pole touches ...
On many turns that's all you need, and in some kinds of turn it is the pole swing through the turn that is just as important as a pole touch (which might not even connect with the snow). Of course, in other kinds of turn you really need a solid pole plant which you rely on and often take a big hit with. Generally in those situations there is a lot going on which demands your attention, so having to focus on a pole plant to remember to do it is not wise. In those situations a pole plant which happens automatically is essential - the best way to acquire that skill is to practice in situations where a pole plant is not absolutely necessary but does improve your skiing.
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skeksis wrote:
uktrailmonster wrote:
Whitegold wrote:
Poleplanting is for old folk and novices. They need help with balance and timing.

Yoot and experts don't need it.


Look and learn troll boy:-


http://youtube.com/v/CQlatm6yAzQ


As evidence for the importance of pole plants you posted a video that contains only the very lightest of pole touches (and not even on every turn if my eyes don't deceive me)? Am I missing something?


The pole plant action is all there if you watch closely, the reason they don't actually stick their poles firmly into the ground is because of how fast they are going. Pole planting doesn't need to be over-exaggerated to be effective. A pole plant can be everything from the lightest touch in high speed GS turns to much more pronounced punches in bumps and steeps. But the arm action is there in almost all cases. It remains a fundamental part of solid ski technique. Dudes who think it is perhaps uncool to pole plant or even use poles at all are just making it harder for themselves. There are a few guys around who can make it work, but they are in a very small minority. The vast majority of non-pole-planters on the slopes are intermediate skiers at best.
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uktrailmonster wrote:
The vast majority of non-pole-planters on the slopes are intermediate skiers at best.
That's my observation as well, often accompanied by a fairly pronounced swinging of the shoulders to create the turn.
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rob@rar wrote:
uktrailmonster wrote:
The vast majority of non-pole-planters on the slopes are intermediate skiers at best.
That's my observation as well, often accompanied by a fairly pronounced swinging of the shoulders to create the turn.
is there a particular tip or video that can help intermediaries focus on improving their pole plant technique / placement while skiing?
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Sack the Juggler wrote:
rob@rar wrote:
uktrailmonster wrote:
The vast majority of non-pole-planters on the slopes are intermediate skiers at best.
That's my observation as well, often accompanied by a fairly pronounced swinging of the shoulders to create the turn.
is there a particular tip or video that can help intermediaries focus on improving their pole plant technique / placement while skiing?
First stage is to make sure you are doing a pole plant on every turn, even at the cost of ignoring everything else about your skiing and not worrying too much about the actual timing of the pole plant. Repeat until it begins to happen automatically, which you would normally do on fairly unchallenging terrain. When you are consistently making a pole plant on every turn you can then sweeten the timing. Like the video from Josh Foster above, I also say that the pole plant comes at the end of the turn and becomes the trigger for starting the next turn. One tip which often helps for new pole-planters is to say "tap, stand" where the 'tap' is the pole plant coming at the end of the turn, and the 'stand' is the extension on to the new outside ski at the start of the turn. The tap triggers the stand, which will normally mean a well timed pole plant.

Once you have a consistent pole plant which is well timed you can start to get a bit funky with timing, challenge and distraction drills using a pole plant. So double-tap, singles, doubles, early, late, Norwegians, etc. All useful stuff too improve timing and flow, as well as other things like rotary separation, fore/aft control, etc.
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Sack the Juggler wrote:
is there a particular tip or video that can help intermediaries focus on improving their pole plant technique / placement while skiing?


Watch the Josh Foster video a few posts above. He explains pole planting in simple but effective terms. He's also a great practical ski instructor with vast experience.
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