What Are Ski Poles For?

by Frank V. Persall

Skiing involves using a lot of different equipment and even if you aren't familiar with the sport, you'll likely have seen skiers using ski poles. But what are ski poles for?

Ski poles are used for a variety of reasons including rhythm, balance, timing, support, and accuracy.

Understanding each of these reasons is important in learning how to use ski poles correctly and we have put together some information to help you get started.

What Are Ski Poles For?

What Are Ski Poles For?
What Are Ski Poles For?

In this article, you will learn the following:

  • Why skiers use poles
  • All about rhythm and balance
  • Other uses for your ski pole


Why Do Skiers Use Poles?

Ski poles, which are sometimes just called poles or even sticks have a variety of uses. Primarily, the pole is used to help you maintain your stability, especially when tackling tricky downhill turns.

On the mountain, or even on a man-made ski slope, some twists and turns could see skiers sustaining a serious injury if they aren't tackled correctly.

Ski Sticks In Corn Snow
Ski Sticks In Corn Snow
Ski Sticks In Corn Snow

A great example of this is a curve where the skier's feet may be moving slightly in one direction. They would hold the pole ready to plant and this is perfect for maintaining balance and accuracy.

When you need a point to move around on shorter turns, you can use pole planting to do this. This is also a good opportunity to practice your ski technique. Once you plant the pole, you should make sure that you don't go too wide. When learning to ski, this can be an advantageous tool to ensure that you get to grips with turning correctly. You may later decide that you no longer need the sticks but you'll feel confident that you are at the top of your game.

As you are making your way up the side of the mountain, traction could be lacking. However, you can use your sticks to pole plant into the snow with each step, aiding your ascent. This is also true for moving along flat areas before making your final descent.

Other Uses For A Ski Pole

Aside from the obvious uses, these pieces of skiing equipment can be used for some rather creative purposes when you're out on the mountain.

For example, a lot of skiing enthusiasts double their ski sticks up as a handy tool to get snow out of their boots and fish lost skis out of the snow, they can also come in handy if you need to take out a snowboarder, sniper style.

What's more, if you are new to the sport, you may find that having poles can give you a lot more confidence out on the slopes. This is especially true when you are tackling steep slopes or difficult turns for the first time.

Sniper With Ski Slopes As A Stand
Sniper With Ski Slopes As A Stand
Sniper With Ski Slopes As A Stand

A Ski Pole Summary

Skiing poles are used for many reasons but most commonly they are used to aid your balance and rhythm as you move down the powder slopes.

They are excellent for helping you make turns, especially when you are just starting out as they can help improve your technique. Much more than this, many ski fanatics will use the sticks as a multi-tool!

Getting to grips with your skiing poles may take some practice, but we're sure you'll have lots of fun. Why not check out some more fantastic skiing information to help you as you learn?

What Is A Ski Pass?

About Frank V. Persall

Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.

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