Can You Ski Without Poles?

Ski poles are optional and you only need skis for skiing. In fact, beginners are taught to ski without poles so that they can train their bodies to balance. However, we see most skiers skiing with poles and that’s because poles have been part of serious skiers for a long time. Poles also serve a purpose, for example, they allow you to push yourself forward when you are stuck in the snow. Also, ski poles are very helpful when performing tricks and they also allow you to change settings on your alpine touring binding.

Below I have discussed when to use and when not to use ski poles. So keep reading for more details.

Do you really need ski poles?

No, you don’t need poles for skiing. They are an optional piece of gear. It is even advisable to ski without poles especially if you are a beginner and just getting into skiing. Beginner skiers put too much weight on poles relying heavily on them for balance, which is not a good technique. Advanced skiers, on the other hand, choose to ski without poles so that they can improve their advanced skiing skills for example to have more control in freestyle skiing. Additionally, not using poles allow your hips and legs to do all the work, which ultimately helps find the center mass of your body.

When to use ski poles?

There are some situations where you need ski poles for the best experience. Poles are helpful when you are stuck on flat terrain. You use your poles to push yourself forward. Also, if you are racing, you can increase your speed by pushing yourself forward. You also need poles when you need to position your body properly when executing a parallel turn. This means that poles help align your body when you are preparing for a turn. Poles are a helpful footrest for chair lifts that don’t have footrests. If you fall, poles also help get back on your feet. Finally, ski poles are helpful when performing tricks.

When not to use ski poles?

There are some situations where you should never use poles because either they will be dangerous or not very helpful. If you are a beginner and just getting into skiing, you should not rely too much on poles. That’s because, beginners put too much weight on poles for balancing body weight, which ultimately makes them rely heavily on poles. Also, when you want to better control yourself while skiing, don’t you poles so your legs and hips do all the work. Finally, when you are learning to stop properly, skip using poles and you will learn how to stop correctly and safely.

Can you ski with one pole?

As mentioned earlier, poles are not necessary for skiing. So for some reason, if you can’t hold or grip two poles, you will do just fine with one pole. However, poles do help a lot with stability, especially in moguls and you might have some troubles when making a turn. But with just one pole, you can ski most terrain just fine. If you want to use one pole, you have two choices. You can either for a simple or reliable design or you can get a pole that has an adjustable length option. Finally, choose a pole with better grip and wrist straps so you can have better control over your pole.

How to recover from a fall without poles?

Learning how to get up from skiing is important especially when you are not using poles. Once you’ve fallen while skiing, the first and most important thing to do is to make sure that your feet are downhill from the rest of your body and that they’re facing perpendicular or sideways from the slope. From that position, you need to pull your feet underneath your body in a tuck position with your skis still attached. Have a look and make sure that your bindings are still attached to your skis. Stomp or kick on a surface so that you can hold yourself to the slope once you stand up. Now use your forearms, arms, and hands to push yourself up to a squat position firmly planted and over your skis. From this position, you can side step forward or backward up or down until you find your pulls to get back on the slopes.