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!"...so 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?
Doug Coombs was not afraid of the double pole plant. I watched him use it, with great style, in La Grave, in Chamonix, and on the Otterbody of the Grand.
The double pole plant allows for a very precise “windshield wiper” turn — DC’s favorite turn in the business. Basically, this is a jump turn with minimal jump — you keep your ski tips on or very close to the snow, and swivel your tails around. When it’s steep and tight, the double pole plant facilitates a smooth (and stylish) turn.
Try it. Though maybe not on the Otterbody.
double pole plants, double the precission, half the style… hhahaha
I agree with David. I use the double pole plant on very steep terrain or in tricky snow conditions.
However, I would never use a double pole plant on the angle of a slope like in the video, that is too mellow for it. The same goes for speed – double pole plant is not for speed.
Besides, isn’t the skier in the video a telemarker? I don’t telemark, so I can’t judge, but maybe for telemarkers double pole plant is different thing than for skiers.
For me, double pole plant is associated with a jump turn, so something needs to be steep enough in order to use a double pole plant.
Regarding the style “thing” – double pole plant is one of the tools (techniques) in skiing. Therefore, as any another tool it was invented for a special purpose.
Lance Armstrong used to motor up climbs with unmatched cadence, not very stylish when out of the saddle, yet very effective.
So use a double pole plant for things it’s good for and not a a semi-blue ski run on a powder day.
That’s my 2 cents 🙂
Good comments guys. David, I guess I’m gonna have to watch your Otterbody movie again to see DC rocking the double-pole plants
Which reminds me, I need to fix the Otterbody flick. But the Snaz is undoing a massive overhaul right now, so that will have to be part of it.
No surprise, DC made the double pole plant w/w turn look good. Super relaxed, no unnecessary motion, solid.
i think style is everything and double pole plants are for the birds
that is the ugliest thing i’ve ever seen
not legit. at all.
Telemarkers are skiers…they just have half a binding underfoot and are comfortable with a lack of balance. You should try it and you might even double pole plant at high speed on something steep. I think that Otterbody flick is some incredible footage!
I didn’t mind to disrespect anyone and I believe I didn’t. I said that I don’t have any experience with telemark skiing, so thanks for explanation. And yeah, I want to try it one day 🙂
Double pole plants are like one piece ski suits. You only bust them out when conditions are so bad, no one can see you anyway.
I use double plants on braile skiing days to just keep on my feet, as I’m mildly prone to vertigo, and just flop over on my side when it’s a real whiteout and I loose track of the horizon.
No worries…try it you’ll wonder why you did at first. Keep some pain medicine handy for the beatings you’ll take. It takes a while to figure out the free heels, but it’s a pretty cool carve when you get it down.
Not exactly poor… it depends. Remember, people can find– even a single thing out of it.
David beat me to it. I did a steeps camp with Doug many years ago, and I double-poled in a tight section and my friend watching told me that Doug said to the group, “Ahh, the double-pole.” Which the people in the group thought was a criticism, so laughed. Doug then said, “Very effective.”
He double-poles in Steep, BTW.
(I can’t switch to past tense, sorry.)
Thanks Tom. I saw Steep again a couple nights ago (it was on Encore) and I saw DC double pole…though only once or twice.