SkiTrax - - Contents - By Keith Ni­col

by Keith Ni­col

The one-step dou­ble-pole (also known as the kick dou­ble-pole) is a dif­fi­cult Clas­sic tech­nique for many skiers to mas­ter. As well, given that you don't see many peo­ple us­ing this tech­nique, the typ­i­cal cross-coun­try skier may not even know what it is. I typ­i­cally de­scribe it as a com­bi­na­tion of di­ag­o­nal stride and dou­ble-pol­ing that is used on sec­tions of trail where the skier might have too much speed for strid­ing, but not enough for dou­ble-pol­ing. Hence, usu­ally recre­ational skiers will ap­ply it on the flats, but rac­ers will typ­i­cally use it on slight up­hills. This is be­cause the fit­ness level of rac­ers is such that they are trav­el­ing faster than recre­ational skiers on the same ter­rain. Al­though it is tough to learn, it has a smooth flow and rhythm that many skiers ap­pre­ci­ate.

Let's be­gin by ex­am­in­ing the ba­sic one-step dou­ble-pole tech­nique and then look at ways you can re­fine it to im­prove your power and speed. Be­fore I teach this tech­nique, I have my students per­form some strid­ing and dou­ble-pol­ing so that I can gauge how use­ful this tech­nique will be to them. For novice skiers with poor weight shift and weak dou­ble-pol­ing, I will not teach this at all, since I know from ex­pe­ri­ence that they will only be­come frus­trated try­ing to learn it. For skiers who have good weight shift in di­ag­o­nal stride and can per­form a solid dou­ble-pole, I break this tech­nique into three steps. In fact, should you need a re­fresher, in the Sk­itrax Fe­bru­ary-march 2015 is­sue, I wrote a col­umn on im­prov­ing your strid­ing and dou­ble-pol­ing, so re­fer to that for tips on those tech­niques.

The first step in one-step dou­ble-pole in­volves strid­ing for­ward with one leg while at the same time bring­ing both poles up to dou­ble-pole (see photo 1). In the sec­ond step, com­plete the dou­ble-pol­ing ac­tion while bring­ing the strid­ing leg un­der the body (see photo 2). Next, re­cover your arms and re­turn your body to an up­right po­si­tion, get­ting ready to re­peat the first step (see photo 3). One key to this tech­nique is to re­lax and not rush it. Of­ten, skiers tend to hurry through this tech­nique, never al­low­ing them­selves to stand tall, as shown in photo 3. Other skiers don't al­low them­selves to get a full weight shift and they be­gin dou­ble-pol­ing too soon (see photo 4). Co­or­di­nat­ing all these com­po­nents in se­quence is not easy and it takes prac­tice to per­fect it.

In the be­gin­ning, skiers of­ten stat­i­cally go through the ac­tions. I then sug­gest sim­ply say­ing to them­selves as they ski down the track “Stride, dou­ble pole” (step 1), “com­plete dou­ble-pole” (step 2) and “stand up” (step 3), be­ing care­ful to com­plete each step. Of­ten skiers will al­ter­nate their strid­ing leg so that both the left and right leg aid in propul­sion. Once you have de­vel­oped good tim­ing, then be­gin to add more power and flu­id­ity to the tech­nique. I of­ten find that skiers don't get much power from the legs in this tech­nique and rely too much on their poles. To de­velop good leg power, I some­times have skiers ex­e­cute this tech­nique with­out poles (see photo 5). Once skiers have de­vel­oped a solid one-step dou­ble-pole, I then have them try to get more leg power by ad­vanc­ing one foot slightly ahead of the other foot be­fore kick­ing off of it (see photo 6). Here my right foot is ahead of my left foot and I will quickly add my body weight to that foot be­fore kick­ing off to max­i­mize my power.

Here is a link to a Youtube video that de­scribes the one-step dou­ble-pole: www. youtube. com/ watch? v= Znl­c6r­wWpnk. For help with any as­pect of your Nordic ski­ing, seek out the as­sis­tance of a cer­ti­fied CANSI or PSIA in­struc­tor.

Con­trib­u­tor Keith Ni­col has been on four Cana­dian INTERSKI demon­stra­tion teams for Nordic ski­ing. He holds CANSI'S high­est in­struc­tor rank­ing in both track and tele­mark ski­ing. He has a pop­u­lar Nordic ski­ing web­site at http://www2. swgc. mun. ca/~ kni­col/ nordic% 20main. htm and many pop­u­lar Youtube videos for im­prov­ing your Nordic ski­ing (search k2nicol). He can be reached at

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