HELLOOOO DEVOS !!! ❄️ 🎿 ⛷️ ❄️

* The Long-Lost Pole Plant

Pretty unattractive. I’d be OK losing this pole plant. 

But, not so with this one … 

For sure, there is a powerful pole plant hidden in the snow

Our Devo ‘curriculum’ is progressing from snow up …  from feet to ankles, shins, knees, and higher. Last weekend we ‘detoured’ with work on hand position and proper pole plants. Even our most proficient skiers have room for improvement on timing, positioning, and consistency of their plants.

It’s not their fault … Regrettably, modern-day ski equipment has enabled skiers to forego pole usage on less demanding terrain. Indeed, a few years ago I recall some US Ski Team coaches discussing the lost art of the pole plant – and subsequently, there has been a push on reestablishing pole usage.  A proper plant is now one of three Okemo Comp Center / OMS core fundamental skills for every athlete.

Pole plants are important for balance, control, rhythm/timing, stabilization, and something called (re)stacking / structural alignment.  When properly executed, planting initiates a series of mechanics; our shoulders square to the fall line, and our hips move out over our feet. Together, these movements promote power, efficiency, and dynamic skiing. And while it’s conceivable to get away with plant-less turns on less-challenging trails, that’s not the case once we take on steeps, off-piste terrain (ungroomed), bumps, glades, or other entertaining features.  Executing proper plants on all terrain – and on every run – engenders good habits.

For short radius turns, plants are nearer the boot, firm and decisive – for longer (giant slalom-like) turns, the plant is more forward, softer (and more of a touch than plant).  When initiating a short radius turn on steep slopes, a strong plant delivers a stable pivot point for easier unweighting of ski tails. Moreover, we can ‘restack’ or realign body position around the pivot. 

On Saturday, we had our Devo’s work through several activities emphasizing pole plant position, timing, and rhythm.   In weeks ahead, we’ll add new concepts building off these fundamentals. 

* And Other Activities from Last Weekend

Nothing like a skate-race — uphill — to start the morning

Serving up soft drinks after lunch?  Not exactly.  We used some props to have Devos get hands ‘up and out’ and to deliver precious cargo down the mountain.  

* Attendance – Response Requested
Thanks to those of you who are diligently completing the brief Weekly Attendance Form … the info is important for planning purposes.  Please complete this week’s survey (for Saturdays, 1/6/24 and 1/13/24) via the link shown below.  Greatly appreciated if you submit the info before Friday at 5 pm.  


Tuning Clinic 

Also, by way of the Attendance Form, please let me know your interest regarding a ski tuning clinic (via Zoom). As mentioned previously, properly maintained equipment (e.g. sharp edges) is critical for executing on many of the skills we are teaching your Devos. Even for families using a local shop for preparation of their skis, having basic knowledge of ski design and maintenance will be valuable for communicating needs. Again, LMK your thoughts via the Attendance Form.

Oh, by the way, Okemo is now reporting near 60 trails open … 

Glad that you all did your snow dances !! 

On to the top of the A/B (meet at 8.20 am for 8.30 am liftoff) !  

Bill, ET, Nima, Brian, Goran, and Garrett   ❄️  

Goran and Nima’s squad, (with Garrett stopping for a hello)


Bill Hauser

Climate. Cyber. Democracy.