Unlocking the Magic: How to Use Your Ski Poles 

Uncover the secrets of ski pole mastery in this comprehensive guide. From strapping in for safety to perfecting turns and balance, learn how these seemingly simple tools can transform your skiing experience into a graceful dance down the slopes.

Family has a ski lesson with the Ski and Ride program in Keystone, CO.

Unlocking the Magic: How to Use Your Ski Poles 

Ever stood at the top of a slope, poles in hand, and wondered, "what's the deal with these things?" Ski poles aren't just fancy accessories; they're your wingmen on the slopes. Trust us, they're more than just sticks with pointy ends.  

  1. Strap 'Em On Right: Let's start at the beginning - strapping in. It's not a fashion statement; it's a safety measure. Once you get off the chairlift and are ready to hit the slopes, loop your hand through the poles straps and grab the grip of the pole handle. This simple act will allow you to let go of the pole and let it drop away from your hands if you fall.
  2. On Your Mark ... Push Off: After you’ve squeezed into those ski boots and clicked into your skis, it’s time to use the pole-assisted push off. With your poles planted firmly in the ground, you can use them to give yourself a nudge forward (or backward if that's your style) and hit the slopes like a pro. 
  3. The Pole Swing — Guiding Your Turns: As you’re skiing, the poles become an integral part of each turn. The pole swing is a technique designed to help you move your body smoothly into the turn. Mastering the pole swing will bring fluidity to your skiing, transforming each run into a graceful dance down the slopes. 
  4. Mastering the Pole Plant: Now that you’re moving and turning, you can use the pole plant technique to help you stay in better balance and control. It’s pretty simple. When you're initiating a turn, use the pole plant to gently tap or plant the pole into the snow in sync with your movement. This action helps you time your turns better and maintain a steady rhythm as you move down the slope. 

There you have it - your guide to mastering the ski poles. From the push off to turning like a pro, these sticks can help you make each run down the mountain a more graceful and controlled experience. So, enjoy the slopes and let those poles work their magic.


A Note About Kids and Beginners:

For those new to skiing, ski poles can seem like an essential part of the gear. However, we believe it's more important for kids and beginners to master the basics—stopping, turning, speed control—before introducing poles.

Ski poles are incredible tools, aiding in fluid turns and balance, but they can add complexity to a beginner's experience. Once they’ve got a good grip on maneuvering without them, integrating ski poles will help elevate their skiing to a whole new level.