I know it sounds kinda of gay but I have been thinking a lot about this lately and people don’t stop asking me about my short poles. Now I know that my poles are exceptionally short but I do love them at this length. Maybe not the best for cat tracks but for shredding they work really well. I have a question for all of you out there, why is it that we have decided that long poles are a good thing? Did this mentality come from racing cause their poles are very long? I followed this trend until I tried shorter poles, then I never went back. Well here is my argument on short poles.
Skiing as a sport is not terribly complicated. If you are skiing poorly it is generally because you are in the back seat. A lot of the time it is because your arms are not forward and are somewhere down by your butt. When I am skiing bad the first thing I do is think about where my hands are and they are normally waving around wildly behind my ass. Focus on bringing my hands up and forward and in a couple of runs I feel like a champ again. I believe that with longer poles it is harder to keep your hands up as the poles are just waiting to impel you on an un-expected bump. They are essentially pushing you into the backseat making it harder to get forward. With short poles you can keep your hands up with little to no worry of that. The same thing happens when you are in the air. With short poles I can keep my hands up and not worry about my poles.
Next, what starts a turn everyone, that’s right a pole plant. The pole plant is what brings your forward and puts the timing into your skiing. When you reach down the hill it forces you forward and prepares you for the transfer of weight from downhill ski to uphill ski. When you have shorter poles you reach further down the hill bringing your weight even farther forward. Never underestimate the importance of pole planting.
Anyway just something to think about next time you go skiing, what are your hands doing, what is happening with your poles? Maybe even try some shorter poles you might be pleasantly surprised. Remember skiing is very simple and is meant to be almost effortless, keep your hands forward and remember the pole plant. I would love to hear your feedback on this one. Let me know how it goes.