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Inline Skating Newsletter Article

Ski Pole Tips for Skaters

By Liz Miller

Excerpt from Get Rolling: Page 120, Advanced Slaloms chapter

Carving a turn with ski polesSkiers who cross-train on in-lines, as well as non-skiing skaters, find that using ski poles adds confidence and a feeling of security on steeper hills. For this purpose, the poles are fitted with rubber-covered tips (search the Internet for “rubber tips ski poles”). If you’re buying new poles just for skating, check out the mountaineering-style poles that feature adjustable lengths and interior springs to decrease the jarring of ground contact. A cork grip adds to the comfort. These can be set to a longer length when used for Nordic style cross-country skating, or shortened for downhill slaloms.

Here are some poling basics:

Grip the poles lightly, with pressure only at the fingertips.
  • Keep hands in view, no more than 2 feet apart. Don’t let them trail behind you.

  • Use the ski pole to mark your rhythm. Tap it on the pavement directly in front of you the moment you shift your weight to the uphill skate to start a new turn.

  • Do not jab the pole out in front of you; reach from the shoulder blades and flick it out by swiveling your wrist.

  • Keep your chest facing ahead, not down. Bending at the waist makes it hard to keep your poles high enough to plant without jabbing.

  • Keep your elbows slightly raised so that your arms are rounded.

Practice poling with this chapter’s upper body and hand-placement drills. This will help you properly initiate and complete your turns, maintain proper arm placement, and more effectively use your poles as a tool to improve timing and balance.

Other November 2005 Stories

bulletred picture All About Momentum - Advice for both ends of the spectrum: skaters who seek the thrill of downhills and those trying to avoid it.

bulletred picture Anti-Wobble Drills - Practice carpet skating to build memory in your joints, muscles and brain for proper technique and stances.

bulletred picture Ski Pole Tips for Skaters - Using ski poles adds confidence and a feeling of security on steeper hills. Get pole training tips from this excerpt from Get Rolling.

bulletred picture It's All Downhill From Here! - From the Orbit archives:
"With more machismo than skill, I ventured out the shop door and pointed my skates down the crowded sidewalk," Dan recalls.

bulletred picture SF East Bay - Lafayette-Moraga Rail Trail - Gravity aids momentum in this lovely roll past St. Mary's College, which glows white in the winter sun against the lush grasses of Mt. Diablo's foothills.

bulletred picture Adventure: We joined Zephyr Adventures' Tibet Trekking trip in August. Words cannot express what we saw, did, and felt in China, so we are sharing Dan's captioned photo album.