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Kick Double Pole
Level: intermediate advanced technique

kick double pole
Kick Double Pole technique

It's important to learn and utilize all the techniques for cross country skiing. It not only increases enjoyment but is also more efficient. The technique to round out our skiing skills is the Kick Double Pole (KDP).

There are good reasons for using the KDP technique.  At high speeds, it's difficult to maintain balance when kicking and gliding. The KDP allows us to use slower, balanced, relaxing movements while maintaining momentum. At the opposite end, trying to double pole on a slight rise may seem fast but tiring. In this instance, the Kick Double Pole will give us the added kick to keep our momentum flowing.

The KDP is precisely how it sounds: a single step or kick for propulsion followed with a complete double pole.  To get the most out of the technique we'll utilize a few hints from 5 Classic Tips to develop better balance by "floating the back foot" and better grip with the "foot stroke".

kick double pole technique lessonFloating the back foot not only tests our balance but helps us get more power out of the poles by leaning our upper body weight into the push. To practice, float the back foot to the extreme (PHOTO 5d-5e). After the kick, quickly plant both poles into the snow. Before the back foot has a chance to return forward, begin to push down on both poles.  See how long you can hold the back foot off the snow during the double pole push.

The forward hip movement also comes into play during this move. I talked earlier about keeping the hips forward in the diagonal stride. We should also feel this in the KDP. As our arms swing forward to begin the double pole, our entire body should move forward too (PHOTO 5a-5d).  Lean the upper body forward from the ankles so that the only thing preventing you from falling on your nose are you poles planted in the snow (PHOTO 5e).

The last tip is to improve grip during the kick. We want to utilize the same foot stroke movement as we did for skiing uphills. To test this theory for the KDP practice the scooter kick: multiple kicks with one foot while the other glides on the snow. Kick with the right foot for a moment and begin to pressure it as the foot is directly to the side of the gliding foot. For comparison, now begin the kick by moving the foot slightly ahead of the gliding foot.  With your foot out in front (Photo 5a), pressure the heel of the kick foot as it nears the toe of the gliding foot. Continue to pressure the whole foot to complete the kick.  You should find that stroking the foot ahead prior to kicking supplies better grip.

Stroking the kicking foot ahead in the KDP takes practice but will feel natural in time. The movements of a good skier will show a slight scissored motion of the (PHOTO 5a) feet at the completion of the double pole (that is when one foot is slightly ahead of the other while gliding). This transfers weight to the heels for better glide. Then, just before the kick, they'll stroke that forward foot even further ahead.   To complete the double pole, the opposite foot scoots forward during the glide and becomes the new kicking foot.



CLASSIC TECHNIQUE: Diagonal Stride; Adjusting Pole Straps; Arm Swing; Double Pole; Kick-Double Pole. CLASSIC UPHILL TECHNIQUE: Classic Uphill Diagonal; Edging; Side Step; Herringbone. DOWNHILLS AND TURNING: Getting up from a fall; Kick Turn; Track Snowplow; Five Tips for the Diagonal Stride; Kick Double Pole. SKATE SKIING: Ten Tips for the V-1; V-2 skate technique; Marathon Skate. ALL AROUND: Stationary Turns; Step Turns. RESOURCES: Nordic Glossary; 20 Q and A; History of Cross Country Skiing

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