Freeski Debate: With or without poles?

Nick Goepper's recent pole-less performance at a major freestyle event sparked the old debate…

KeiranMcVeigh riding without poles
KeiranMcVeigh riding without poles© David Malacrida

When skiers lose the poles, freeski loses its nerves. Nick Goepper recent pole-less performance at a major international freestyle event brought the old question back to the spotlight: is freeskiing without poles still freeskiing?

When skiers lose the poles, freeski loses its nerves.

Pep Fujas, Eric Pollard and Andy Mahre were among the first freeskiers to drop the poles and ride (remember their video project: Idea) and Pep Fujas made a sensation at the X Games 2007. Legend Phil Casabon often rode without poles.

Phil Casabon riding without poles in Zurich.
Phil Casabon riding without poles in Zurich© David Malacrida

Freeskiing has always been about experimenting, new sensations, new ways of enjoying the mountain.

Some riders like Nick Goepper believe that dropping the poles make their tricks easier to perform, especially the grabs.

You can see it clearly in this beautiful video breaking down Nick’s favourite tricks and focusing on his fingers holding the ski.

Does skiing, like the earth, need two poles?

 

Does skiing, like the earth, need two poles?

Candide Thovex sparked a heated debate on Facebook with a post criticising the fact that a skier could win X Games with triples without poles.

Sport should be driven by what is necessary to accomplish a given task and poles are not helping in slopestyle.

Julien Régnier replied that the pole-issue was a 'long and painful battle in the skiing world. Sport in general should be driven by what is necessary to accomplish a given task and poles are not helping in slopestyle'.

And you, what do you think? Give us your opinion in the comments below!