By: randosteve|Posted on: June 4, 2009|Posted in: Gear | 15 comments

Okay, there’s side-stepping, side-slipping, rappelling, down-climbing, etc. For style geeks (Am I one?), all of these things take a little bit away from a rad descent where the skier makes smooth and fluid turns all the way down a line and through the crux. Sometimes these things can’t be avoided when you come upon a large cliff or icy section…but somethings, like the double pole plant, often can.

Now, over here in the United States, you rarely see double pole plants being used by your everyday alpine skier. Yeah, sometimes you see a “Joey” down on the groomers making double-pole plants and waving his arms around like frightened school girl, but he usually grows out of this phase after he sees a video of himself skiing. Sometimes you might see ski-racers pulling out the double pole plant in a effort to re-center themselves on a tricky transition from flat to steep terrain or visa-versa.  Or even still, you might see a telamarking skier  using there poles like boat oars…rowing themselves down the mountain. But in general, double pole planting is often looked down on here as a type of rookie maneuver until one can slide down the slope alternating pole plants one at a time.

Man...this guy is in the dog house now!
He should have known double-pole plants would ruin his style.

Now I'm not saying that I've never used the double pole plant. Sometimes it can help one get their skis out of the snow a bit more to help them "come around" easier in tricky snow conditions. In other instances, it can help a skier rotate their skis quicker when they are in a confined space, like in a tight couloir with minimal room below them to negotiate an obstacle. But in general, I think double pole plants are somewhat of a "training wheel" to help a skier re-position themselves when they have gotten too far off center or when they lack the skills that allow one a single pole plant to do the job. Some of our European friends might disagree as you often see double pole plants being made by even the strongest skiers.

I'm ready for all the comments like..."What do you know about technique Randosteve?"...or..."Who are you to say what's right and wrong Rando?"...or..."Man you're uptight Steve, live and let ski!" let them fly if you feel the need. But honestly, isn't style important to all of us as skiers? Do we really want to make it down a slope anyway possible without any thought towards style-points and technique?  What do you think?