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Poles Or No Poles?

Whether you are a new wave skier, a seasoned pole planter or just here to learn which skier type suits your style more, this one is for you. We're weighing in on this popular debate within the ski world; Should you ski with poles or without?

It's not just the beginners cruising down the blue runs that go pole-less! Ditching the poles through the park offers some serious benefits, but that isn't to say you should throw your poles out the window just yet!


(Narrating/Riding: Dean Bercovitch Filming/Editing: Vince Emond. Filmed At: Whistler Blackcomb)

Let's Start With No Poles

Freestyle skiing has always been about experimenting and finding new ways to enjoy the mountain, but what reasons would lead a skier to want to leave their poles at home?

Skiing without poles has been popular in recent years, especially following the trend of 'New Wave' skiing. Many skiers love the style that comes from being pole-less but becoming the swerve king doesn't happen over night. Tricks can often look more steezy and effortless without poles as you're swinging around two less items.

Poles Or No Poles?
Rude Lepine with the no pole flow!

Through not stuffing your hands with poles, you also free yourself up to get grabs way easier! This is especially helpful when you are learning a new grab as you will have more freedom and ease to properly grab onto your ski. As Rudy shows you, having poles out of the way can even help you to become more creative by being able to get grabs before even leaving the lip.

Do you ever worry about falling on your poles when learning new tricks? There's an easy solution that is right on topic. You guessed it yet? When taking a fall, mo poles may result in mo problems!

Poles Or No Poles?
Hand drags and grabs are no issue for Trent Jones 

So Why Should Pick My Poles Back Up?

So if rocking the 'no pole' style carries so many benefits, why shouldn't I just throw these away right now? Poles, too, can offer a number of benefits for your skiing and making the decision 'for or against' poles will also brings it's fair share of pro's and cons.  

Poles Or No Poles?
Jake Carney demonstrates how poles can also add to your style.
  • Poles are valuable tools for helping to make micro adjustments and for saving your bacon when falling off balance! Having the ability to balance yourself using a pole when coming off a rail earlier than expected can be the difference between riding it out and face sliding it out.
  • On big landings/ deep landings, using both poles, you can give yourself a four-point landing. Poles can help to spread out your weight and can help to take the pressure off your knees when coming in a little too hot. 
  • Holding onto your roots! You're a skier after all and us skiers were brought up on pole plants and hip wiggles. While this post is focussed on the question when it comes to freestyle skiing, it's good to consider how much you might benefit from poles on days that you're splitting your time between terrain and all mountain shredding. 
Poles Or No Poles?
Would this Flat 3 look as good without poles?
  • Skiing park with poles also brings it's own unique style and is home to a lot of strong believers. The question 'Is freestyle skiing without poles still freestyle skiing?' pops up all over the internet. This all comes down to your personal preference and the all important look that you're aiming for when tearing through the park.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Would you ever ditch your poles? Would you ever dig your poles back out of the closet?

Ollie Barbour
Ski Addiction
Helping You Ski Better

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