Ski Club 2.0 Home
Snow Reports
FAQFAQ

Mail for help.Help!!

Log in to snowHeads to make it MUCH better! Registration's totally free, of course, and makes snowHeads easier to use and to understand, gives better searching, filtering etc. as well as access to 'members only' forums, discounts and deals that U don't even know exist as a 'guest' user. (btw. 50,000+ snowHeads already know all this, making snowHeads the biggest, most active community of snow-heads in the UK, so you'll be in good company)..... When you register, you get our free weekly(-ish) snow report by email. It's rather good and not made up by tourist offices (or people that love the tourist office and want to marry it either)... We don't share your email address with anyone and we never send out any of those cheesy 'message from our partners' emails either. Anyway, snowHeads really is MUCH better when you're logged in - not least because you get to post your own messages complaining about things that annoy you like perhaps this banner which, incidentally, disappears when you log in :-)
Username:-
 Password:
Remember me:
durr, I forgot...
Or: Register
(to be a proper snow-head, all official-like!)

Skiing without poles

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I've been skiing for about 6 years and learned in the US - without poles! I'm quite happy without them - can't actually see the need for "pole planting" because I've never done it! I can parallel (well I think that's what I'm doing Laughing ) I'm skiing in Austria next year and would like to go to ski school - but it seems to me that everyone uses poles. I tried once but couldn't ski more than about 20 metres without falling over, my balance was all over the place.

My question is - do you think the instructors will insist on my learning to use poles - in which case I won't bother with ski school. I'll never be a really good skier but I enjoy myself and love skiing. I happily ski reds (well perhaps not always happily!) and have no intention of ever skiing blacks!
snow report     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Sue, with modern (shaped) skis you don't actually have to use poles. The only time you'll have to use them are on moguls or on very steep slopes. However, I believe you would find it worthwhile to learn how to use poles, because when used properly they are an invaluable aid to balance and turning. You could find that it will make a diference to your skiing, it's often the small points that can have an enormous impact.
snow report     
 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?
Aren't they also very useful on traverses?
ski holidays     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
David - I just can't face starting right back at the beginning again when I'm quite happy as I am. I'd ski on blades if I could rent some with quick release bindings.

Skanky - I have a husband who drags me along clinging to his ski-pole! And I can skate quite well ....
snow report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Sue S, the skating bit is probably the better of the two techniques. Wink
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Sue - have you tried blades? They're excellent for balance and carving turns, so would improve your overall skiing technique, and nobody would think you'd lost your poles! I'm sure many or most instructors would be happy to take you for lessons on blades.
snow conditions     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Laundryman - Yes I'd love to try them but I've read too much about spiral breaks, etc and I don't know if I could rent them with quick release bindings - if I can I'll give it a go.
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Sue S, I'm not sure release bindings (of the normal ski variety) would help because of the considerably different length of skis and skiboards.
I used to use my skiboards (Line Bullets) a fair bit, but really don't find that there is much you can do on them that you can't on a pair of twin-tips, since then they have been relegated to the cupboard.
As far as poles go, whilst I'm no expert, I would have thought you'd struggle with short turns without them, I find they just help get your body in the right position and get your rhythm going. Without being able to do short turns and get your body in the right place, you'll struggle on the steeper/bumpier/trickier slopes.
I used to ski without using my poles much but I've found lately that I use them much more and it really helps - I guess it's just something that works for me.
As far as poles and flats - you really don't need them, just skate ( a handy thing you learn from having skiboards)
snow report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Good things about poles:-


  • you can actually get back up again after falling in deep snow
  • you can pull your boarding snow companion Wink Wink along the flats
  • pole plants never need watering


bad things about poles:-


  • people carry them horizontally on stairs, removing eyeballs of those behind
  • Scottish people can't pronounce the word pole
snow conditions     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
One other use for poles is as a very good defense mechanism whilst waiting in line for the lifts Shocked
ski holidays     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
D G Orf wrote:
One other use for poles is as a very good defense mechanism whilst waiting in line for the lifts Shocked
That's obviously why they don't teach you with poles in the US - their lift queues are so civilised they're not needed. Austria, however, is a different story ! Twisted Evil
snow report     
 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.
Aren't poles also required for getting down moguls without doing any silly arm-waving?

I know you can look cool doing a limited amount of arm-waving on a snowboard, but it just looks silly on skis! Madeye-Smiley

Oh and they're also good for moving up the queue in those chairlifts that require you to ski slightly uphill to get on them. If you've ever tried getting on lift with a snowboard strapped to one leg, you'll realise ski-poles are a god-send! Cool
snow report     
 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
I have been described as looking like a demented seagull when going down a mogul slope on blades.

Yes, going uphill in a lift queue is an absolute pain if there is no railing to grab.
latest report     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Sue S, Elan for one makes a teaching ski that is 120cm long with a releasable binding, the NRT.
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Alan Craggs wrote:

[*]Scottish people can't pronounce the word pole


and Pudding!
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
The correct word to use is 'stick'. Pole is an American word for stick.

And Scots can pronounce 'stick'.
ski holidays     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
To get back Little Angel to Sue S's question, I'm interested to hear that
Quote:
I tried once but couldn't ski more than about 20 metres without falling over, my balance was all over the place.


The conventional theory has it that introducing a bit more mass at the hand end of your arms actually assists balance, much like a tight rope walker's pole.

When not using poles, where are your hands and arms and what are they doing? When using poles, what did you do differently?
snow report     
 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 have enjoyed instruction without sticks (nearly said poles Toofy Grin ) several times and found it very liberating particularly at that very frustrating intermediate level I found (unconsciously) that I was relying far too heavily on pole plants that made me twist my upper body all over the place and without the sticks I almost instantly became much more aware of what my upper body was up to - I ski with sticks all the time outside these lessons but would really recommend everyone to have some coaching with a good instructor and leave the sticks in the locker, different things work for different people of course but I have spoken to many people over the years that have seen some pretty significant and swift improvemnts in their skiing technique
latest report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
I tried skiing with Czechs once, didn't help at all...............
latest report     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I thought sticks were what you picked up from under tree branches. NehNeh
ski holidays     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Alright then, Les Batons.
snow report     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Too flowery David@traxvax, Just cannot picture myself skiing down the fall line, flicking the piste with my les batons.
latest report     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
It does sort raise the image of using two baguette-like loaves.

How about Die Langenhandengrippenfurubenstanden?
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
skanky, surely that's without baskets?
latest report     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
David@traxvax, no that's grocerienallesuberdenstrasse.
snow report     
 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
We're really off track, but funny! SeriouslySue S, as a ski teacher, if someone came without ski sticks, batons, stücken or bastonch...i (not sure about spelling) I wouldn't insist that they ski with them. However I do think it's a help to be able to do both. Short radius turns, while perfectly possible without sticks, are greatly helped by a good pole plant, as are moguls. It's for the timing. I suggest you take a small light pair (kiddies sticks or something like that), don't do anything with them, but just practise ski-ing normally holding your sticks. Later you can get a pair the right size and then start using them.
Nowadays it's not necessary to learn stick planting until you're a competent parallel skier anyway, and then when you get really good and start fun carving you leave them behind anyway! Cool
ski holidays     
 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.
Quote:

When not using poles, where are your hands and arms and what are they doing? When using poles, what did you do differently?


When not using poles (or sticks) I have my arms held slightly in front of my body (I've just been doing this in the office and am getting some very funny looks Very Happy ) and then just hold them out more to balance when I'm going faster. When I had poles I was just holding them like I thought everyone else did - but I was obviously doing something completely different to all the skiers who were managing to stay upright because that wasn't what I was doing! They were helpful in getting me up again though...
snow report     
 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
Hmm, sorry Sue S, a few more questions:-

would you say you held your arms more like a sitting bunny rabbit or more like a hugger of large trees? (wish I had snowball's drawing skills Wink )

apart from holding the poles, did you do anything with them?

at what angle(s) are you holding them?

when you fall over, are you going in a straight line or trying to turn?

If turning, what, if anything, have you done with the poles?

Is the falling due to a pole getting in your way?

that's enough for now Little Angel
snow conditions     
 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Mr Craggs, I'll have you know I am a jock and I can say "poles". See.....POLES....... there...... said it again!
Now if I were a taff I'd say "PO-WELLS"
Same goes for Nadenoodlee's "Pudding".......see WE jocks can say it!

Now if you're looking for a word that no-one other than jocks can say properly it's got to be "Curly wurly" Wink
snow report     
 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Poles come into their own on steeper terrain where a more solid pole plant initiates and assists the turn. You point your pole where you wish to start the turn and the pole plant is more solid then the the normal pole plant on easier terrain where it is used mainly as a balance sensor. The steeper the slope and the angle of descent then the stronger the pull of gravity and the greater the need to control th gravity's effect on your skiing. A solid pole plant stabilises the upper body so that it always faces the fall-line at all times.

IMO all skiers should learn use of pole planting at an early stage if they wish to progress. After all it is just another skill, but useful to know. If you are happy skiing blues and greens then you can dispense with the poles and I do agree that it is also a learning technique used by some ski schools.

Personally I enjoy skiing without poles but only on the less steeper pistes.
snow report     
 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Pole plants need a south facing shady window. Use John Innes no 6 compost, and don't put outside until after the last frost...........
snow conditions     
 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I can't believe I'm taking this (semi) seriously but here goes:
Quote:

would you say you held your arms more like a sitting bunny rabbit or more like a hugger of large trees?

Definitely a tree hugger - but low down, unless I'm terrified when it's more of an aeroplane impression!
Quote:

apart from holding the poles, did you do anything with them?

Used them to get up when I fell over - I don't know what to do with them but tried holding them in front - didn't work!
Quote:

when you fall over, are you going in a straight line or trying to turn?

If turning, what, if anything, have you done with the poles?

Is the falling due to a pole getting in your way?

I was going in a straight line and I just couldn't seem to keep my balance.

Anyway - I've made an executive decision! No poles for me, I'll never be a brilliant skiier so I'll just carry on in my ignorance - hopefully the instructor will indulge me....
latest report     
 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?
But what will you put your gloves on when you stop to take a photograph or blow your nose Puzzled Laughing Laughing
latest report     
 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Good point Alan. On the plus side 2 less items to drop while on the chairlifts! Little Angel
ski holidays     
 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
hibernia, You made some interesting points, but also had an interesting mix of new and old ideas about pole planting. Nowadays we don't use the pole for initiating the turn (as you mentioned), but we do use it to stabilise the upper body (also as you mentioned).
In the old days we used to downsink, pole plant, up-unweight, rotate our feet (and lots of other bits), downsink again and set the edges. I don't know how any of us ever managed to ski Shocked The more modern approach is to use a minimal wrist movemement to make a touch (not a real plant) as you are extending, which then stabilises the upper body during the crossover part of the turn.
Certainly we all prefer not to ski without poles in difficult terrain, but this is just a habit actually. I admit to suffering from this habit as well! Wink
snow report     
 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
I also don't ski with poles as I find them distracting. Only last week I tried to ski with poles (although a bit too long for me) on a dry slope and was skiing like a complete novice concentrating on the position of my hands and poles rather than what my legs where doing. After 3 runs I caught my skis with the poles and did an impression of superman going head first down the slope quite embrassing as I am supposed to be an expert skier (well that's what the ability charts say). My coach says I should start using poles but I find it more of a problematic than skiing without them (i'll probably have to learn the technique).

I am thinking of getting some second hand child poles to begin with as I am worried about catching the skis while going downhill.
Does anyone think getting very small poles is a good idea for a shorty and what are the possible disavantages of doing this?
ski holidays     
 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
What about holding your poles in both hands?
Hold the grip in one hand, the tip in the other.

It seems to me (from a common sense PoV) that if you can't do that then you need to slow down and work on your balance until you can Smile

Some instructors have strange ideas about balancing your pole on the back of your hands and making you ski like that - I actually like that exercise. The only problem is that if you go too quick the pole blows off your hand.

David
ski holidays     
 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
davidb, would you mind answering the questions I posed to Sue S above? and out of interest, which ability chart are you referring to?

I don't see how small poles will help - unless your arms are very long Shocked you will have to make some very unhelpful body movements in order to plant / touch them Confused
latest report     
 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Alan & lbt,
The Snow & Rock chart that they have on there web site.

I've been skiing in an instructor training group to improve my technique although I don't want to become an instructor.
The problem that I didn't explain well in the previous post is that I've got limited movement in my right wrist so the pole is held almost perpendicular to the slope as I can't project the poles backwards. Resulting in the pole touching the ski in front of me (as my body is projected forward) causing me to hold my hands almost parallel to my shoulder and when I flex and sag forward the pole almost catches the ski, which is the reason I don't ski with poles and I feel more relaxed when skiing without having to constantly concentrate about my hand position. This is what caused me to fall as I caught the ski in front of me with pole when compressing.

That's why I was wondering if smaller poles would help as they couldn't touch the skis when held perpendicular to the slope at a more natural arm position.

I can ski holding the poles in both hands and do so with a number of exercises including passing them behind my back as I ski down the fall line. The problem occurs only when trying to ski normally with poles as when the skis are in both hands the problem doesn't exist.

Thanks for the help
David
ski holidays     
 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
davidb wrote:
I've got limited movement in my right wrist

That makes all the difference Smile

Were it I, I wouldn't try and explain in words here - I'd find a good instructor to advise you whilst examining your range of movement and with a variety of poles to hand.

YMMV

David
latest report     



Terms and conditions  Privacy Policy