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Has your skiing improved this season?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
My carving off-piste has improved. Turns in heavy, cruddy, slushy snow used to take their toll in the afternoon. I've learnt that skidded turns, and too many of them, are my enemy in this stuff. I've made a new friend in long, fast carves.

Have you learnt anything new this year?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
1. Powder skis are essential in Utah & Wyoming
2. Skiers toe hurts at the time, and for a few days after, then it looks really bad for at least 2 months (remind me to update this one when it starts to look closer to normal)
3. Taking too much time hand filing race edges, then putting loads of wax on race skis can make them too hard to handle (and lead to 2 above)
4. If Nolo says I can do it, then I can do it.
5. Look bindings (or the Rossi equivalent) are THE BEST to get back into when you catch a ski under a tree branch.
6. When practising J turns, if a female skier comes over and asks "Are you dancing?", the correct response isn't "Are you asking?"
7. Particularly if her SO is a linebacker.
8. With attitude.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Finally managed to "perfect" short swings, shortly before we found a slope that required them. snowHead
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I can think of 4 more.
1. You can ski anything if you have just realised that you left you back pack at the top lift or if you're in desperate need of a toilet.
2. For white-outs on or off piste, stay loose and don't lean back, see item 1.
3. If your hot roast chicken is served to you cold, don't eat it. However, the consequences can improve your skiing, see item 1.
4. Virgin powder is sometimes virgin for a reason- gorge at the bottom of the Vallon de Sache! PS Item 1 does not apply!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yes, no end! Slush/crud no longer an "issue" - fast, positive carves, either long or short.

Big bumps and serious off piste yet to be ticked off, though!

Skied my first fleche (GS) last week, and what an experience. 52 starters and 2 of us hadn't even come close to doing anything like it.....ever! Thanks to David Last for the advice on tightening up the boots, and for advising to start turning between gates, not at them! Exhilarating snowHead
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Definitley improved all round after starting the season with a weeks instruction, which is the first instruction I've had since my first week in '98.
I finally got to ski some virgin pow on short 'n' fat skis. Wow! what a difference. (anyone want to buy a pair if slightly slope spoiled K2 AxisX in 167...)
Gotta do better with speed control and short turns on the steeper slopes though.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Oh I just remembered. Always use your pole straps when off piste as there's no way of holding on to them during a somersault face plant. Embarassed
Must have taken 20 minutes to find them again...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
markP wrote:

Always use your pole straps when off piste

- but not usually advisable in the trees unless you want to dislocate your upper limbs Cool

(and does that mean you don't use them on-piste?)
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Erm yes. When I'm being lazy. Is that bad?
I have them nice and tight if its a steep slope, but otherwise I don't bother.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
markP wrote:
Always use your pole straps when off piste...

And if you're in nice, light, deep powder, use powder traces on your skis!
(not just off piste - I saw a guy lose one of his Bandit skis on piste at Snowbird - there had been a lot of overnight snow, and he lost it in a bump run)
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Bet the piste basher found it! CLUNCK!
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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.
Alan Craggs, the advice from all sources I have looked at (here is just one ) is if you want to reduce the chances of sustaining the dreaded Skiers Thumb, then avoid skiing with your hands inside the ski pole straps.

Things I learnt this season:
1. How to snowboard
2. How to post
3. How to bend the ankles (at last!)
4. Don't leave your skis lying on the piste while you have lunch
5. Tom and Rosie can ski faster than I can
6. snowHeads is a superb website
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
We learnt that ski=ing independently and meeting snowHeads in restaurants were both fun activities...
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Jonpim, the strap is actually an essential component if the poles are being used, it's not just there to stop you losing a pole! On the other hand, most "holiday" skiers are not very effective at growing pole plants so it might be safer if they didn't bother with poles at all - but then what would they stick in the eyes of people climbing stairs behind them? Madeye-Smiley
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Alan Craggs wrote:
the strap is actually an essential component if the poles are being used, it's not just there to stop you losing a pole!
Is this really true? I am no expert on ski equipment, and I do understand the importance of a pole-planting.
Even so, a simple google search with "ski injury" gets site after site that urges us to to leave the straps if you want to prevent thumb injury:
Monash University
American College of Sports Medicine
Chiropracters
Steven D. Morton, D.O., Orthopedic Trauma Fellow, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada
Dr. Jeff Gundel, Orthopedic Surgeon
Hughston Sports Medicine Foundation
The Aspen Foundation For Sports Medicine
Center for Knee Shoulder & Hip

My favourite quote is from sportsknee.com:
sportsknee.com wrote:
The purpose of the strap is to hang the poles up on a hook.
If you cannot break the habit of using the straps when holding ski poles, cut them off, it will reduce your chance of injury.
.
This season I have skied without straps and not found any problems.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Jonpim, as I suggest above, it is probably only on very rare occasions that the "average" skier would make use of a pole plant with the firmness and solidity provided by a tightened strap. If the expert consensus is that straps contribute to thumb injuries (where do they get these statistics!?) then leaving them off is fine by me. I still reckon that more injuries are caused to other people by inconsiderate pole swingers though snowHead
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Surely if you have the strap correctly on your hand, then neither it nor your pole catches on your thumb - it will just slide up your arm?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
This years achievements:
1. Make carved turns on a red run - resulting in biggest grin ever!
2. The best way to get down a steep black is short dynamic turns down the fall line - even if your legs are knackered you just have to do it
3. Be much more gentler at initiating turns in powder - although there is something hilarious about falling over in the fluffy stuff

And most importantly - that this is the best sport ever - I thought I was addicted last year - now I know that I definitely am.
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Wear The Fox Hat, eh? can you draw us a picture?

mm - you're scaring me now Exclamation Wink
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Alan Craggs, I can draw pictures, but maybe not of that!

There are (at least) two ways of holding a strapped pole...

OK, let me try to describe.
Imagine the strap is hanging down beside the pole. You put your hand through the strap and grab the pole. Now pick the pole up off the ground. Release your grip on the pole. The pole will drop very slightly, but because of how you picked it up, the strap will now be hanging down between your thumb and first finger, keeping the pole near your hand. If your pole snags in the snow in this position, you're going to injure your thumb (obviously)

Now let's pick up the pole again. This time, (I'll describe it in a long way), put your hand through the strap, and let the pole hang down from your wrist. Now lower your hand down to the pole. The strap doesn't go over your hand, but remains under it. If the pole snags in this position, it drops away from your hand and will get pulled up your arm. Your thumbs remain safe.

If I had a ski pole here, I'd take some photos for you!


Last edited by Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do. on Tue 27-04-04 12:23; edited 1 time in total
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My skiing definately improved this season; a culmination of a one hour lesson with the best instructor ever & a week of skiing with 3 nutty blokes who made me realise I can ski fast & not fall over
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Fox, I was taught method two and always use it - the only time it will cause problems is when, as a begineer, you fall forward and push out yout poles to stop you falling. That hurt, but I didn;t do it again...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I was also shown method 2, and can testify through thorough research into falling in a variety of places at various speeds and directions that it works - never had the slightest twinge to either thumb.... Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Wear The Fox Hat, nbt, so if I've got this right you're saying that the strap is not tight around your hand and you are not passing any part of the strap between your thumb and the pole handle? This is certainly very different from the way I was taught to hold a pole ("take everthing in your hand" as they say in France) and (if the strap is so loose that it could actually slide up your arm) would seem to negate what I understood the purpose of the strap to be -ie to give you a firm "extension" of your arm/wrist/hand enabling solid pole plants. What is the purpose of the strap then?
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Alan Craggs, sorry to sound condescending, but... to stop you dropping the pole if you let go of it.
But, yes, it seems you have understood my description (or have you got a pole beside you, and just tried it out?). The strap is in the palm of your hand. As for the bit about sliding up your arm, no I don't normally have my strap that loose, but it was just to give you an idea of the difference between how the pole can move when holding it one way or the other.
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Alan, not wht I understand from FOx's description - my method ismore like yours sounds. The strap is between your plam and the pole handle, going acorss thr back of the hand just abiove the wrist
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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.
http://www.personal.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/poles2.htm

Some good examples - Fox's first method comes under Don't do this! and the second under a better way...

edited to fix tags


Last edited by And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports. on Tue 27-04-04 11:16; edited 1 time in total
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
"A better way" is the way I've always been shown to grip a pole.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
nbt, the section in your link dealing with the basket: "The bigger the basket, the more effective it is, but the more it gets in the way, especially catching in low vegetation" is a recurring problem - especially as one crests a ridge, and there, right accross the piste is a veritable array of vegetation that my baskets always seem to catch on.

Anyone else find this?
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I find that mounting the basket on the handlebars rather than pannier-style at the side of the wheel will increase ground clearance
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Elizabeth B, Embarassed

well guys I checked out Pete's Pole Page 2 earlier and have to agree with him - the strap is important and is not there to stop you dropping your poles! Also check out the importance of a solid pole plant in slalom, a blocking pole plant in the steeps etc., although I agree that for most skiing a light pole touch is all that may be required.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
nbt, I can see where you're going with that train of thought, but surely with the bigger, more centrally located baskets, you'll be more inclined to pick up even more vegetation especially as the slope bottoms out and becomes flatter?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I wish I hadn't mentioned poles now...
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Wear The Fox Hat, i think that your original explanation is complicated by "not" appearing instead of "now" (as in, the strap will NOW be hanging down between yoru thumb and first finger).

The second method does mean that the strap is between yoru hand and the pole when you are gripping the pole. The support is provided by the fact that the heel of your hand is pushing down on the strap.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Thanks, Tony Lane, have edited my mistake.
nbt, thanks for finding that page. Yes, the "better way" is what I was trying to describe.
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A better way it's THE only way I've been taught.
OTOH when off piste, if there is avalanche risk, the advice is not to wear the straps at all.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Oh BTW I now use Leki poles with fast relkease strap (I think the system is called
The Trigger) basically a pushbuton onthe top of the handle will release the strap (which will stay on your wrist/arm). It the tension is too high, the strap will be released anyway.
A drawback is if you are used to lean on your poles putting the top of the handles under your armpits to rest...the release it's 100% sure...
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I don't ski and so this discussion about strap position is a bit academic for me in a skiing context, but i do use walking poles in the mountains and have found that the "better way" is also less tiring. You can transfer your weight through the pole by pushing the heel of your hand down on the strap. With the "not so good way" you have to grip the pole firmly and transfer the weight through your grip. The better way also allows you to transfer your weight efficiently irrespective of the angle of the pole relative to your body (withouit having to contort your wrist as you would need to do with the not so good way).

I assume that these aspects also apply in a skiing context.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Yes, they do
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
The only drawback of using the "better way" is if when skiing on piste, you like to release your grip on the pole to swing it forward. That doesn't work!
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