As we all know, shaped skis blew this
type of pole touch out of the water. The
large shovel and rockered tip features
have made turn initiation much faster
and easier, and helped reduce many of the
unwanted movements created to make
a straight ski turn. New equipment has
revolutionized how we talk about the
beginning of the turn. In my opinion the
most important change in skiing is the
acceptance that the turn truly starts from
the ground up. That said, do we still use
the pole touch in the same fashion and, if
we don’t, are we using the right poles?
Do We Need the Pole Touch?
In short, yes. Whether we are using the
pole touch as a blocking mechanism when
redirecting our skis through rotation, or
relying on the proper pole timing when
carving – the pole touch is a critical link
between our upper body and the ground.
Yet, over the past decade it seems that the
pole touch has increasingly taken a back
seat in lessons and clinics. As a result, it
appears that skiers in general are having
a harder time using their poles during
Joe Hofstetter makes some turns using his refined pole touch technique.
PHOTO / ANDREW MAGUIRE
what’s in your pack?