Which Side to Pole?

Q: Which side should a person be poling on in a turn? For example, turning right should the poling be on the right side or the left? Also, when on a trail that cants to one side, should the poling action be on the downhill or uphill side?

A: The second question you asked is the easier, and I will answer it first. When skiing on a canted hill, pole on the uphill side. Always. Help yourself climb the hill, and let gravity aid you on the downstroke. This is why we encourage people to learn to ski with left and right leads, so that while skiing on a slanted hill, you can change leads to your benefit. Again, you need more help climbing, and should use poles on the uphill side.

As for going around a corner, this depends on your quickness, and on the sharpness of the corner, and on your technique. In general, for V2 or V2 alternate, I would tell you to pole on the inside step. So if you are turning right, pole on the right. However, there are times when if you are quick, and the corner is not too sharp, it is beneficial to pole on every step. NEVER pole on your outside step only.

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Things change for V1. While doing V1 around a corner, have your “high” side to the outside. An uphill turn will invariably lead to an angled track, and just like we mentioned before, you want to be poling on the uphill side. So for a right hand turn, have your left hand “high.”

I recommend you try different techniques and lead sides for yourself. See if you can feel a difference. It might be that you are so much stronger on one side that my input is moot. Until you develop proficiency left and right handed, the gain is minimal.

Have a wonderful winter,
Michael Sinnott

source credit: SkiPost.com

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