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Struggling in Moguls? Change the Way You Use Your Poles

Pole plants make everything come together when skiing moguls. Here's how and when to plant your poles in bumps.

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Believe it or not, ski poles aren’t just an accessory. You’re supposed to use them—and not just for pushing yourself around on flats. Pole plants are an essential part of turning on the hill because they dictate the timing and rhythm of your turns, help stabilize the upper body, and give you something to turn against.

And when it comes to skiing moguls, pole plants are the secret sauce. It’s the thing that makes everything come together.

One of the things skiers struggle with most when it comes to skiing moguls is knowing where and when to turn. Consistent pole plants can help guide your skis through the moguls.

Related: How to Bash Bumps

“Having an active pole swing can make bump skiing way easier,” says Robin Barnes, professional ski instructor and member of the PSIA Alpine Team. “Specifically, make sure your pole tip gets to the bump way before your feet and skis do.”

Thinking about actively swinging your pole forward and down the fall line will help you release your skis’ edges between turns, making it easier to pivot your skis around and over moguls. And planning where you’re going to set your next pole plant is an easy way to visualize and plot your line through the bumps.

Watch: How to use poles when skiing moguls

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Top 5 Pole Planting Tips

  1. When skiing moguls, plant your poles just below the crest of the mogul, never on the backside of the bump.
  2. The pole plant movement should come from the wrist, not from the whole arm. Think about just flicking your wrist and the grip of the pole to move the pole tip forward.
  3. The pole plant should initiate every ski turn, not come after you’ve started turning your skis.
  4. Avoid dropping your hand and shoulder back after your pole plant; if you just planted your pole with your right hand, keep that hand forward and in front of your hips as you ski past your pole plant and get ready for your next pole plant with your left hand.
  5. Plant it like you mean it in bumps. The dynamics of bumps require a tighter connection between hand and pole plant.

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