Pole planting initiates the skies body motion down the hill. The problem is many skiers pole plants are in the direction of across the hill or in the direction of their ski tips. The pole should be planted at right angles to your feet.
Ultimately you want the tip of the pole to be pointing in the direction of your path. And here is why, when the tip of your pole travels down the fall line several things happen. One, our shoulder will create a counter angle to your skis, two your hips will move towards your hands, three your skis will release in the fall line and four your eyes will look down the fall line.
At my camps around the world we dig a bit deeper into this concept and explore the these four points.
When you reach down hill with your pole plant your shoulders will do two things, they will square off to the fall line and move out and over your feet. This will give you more speed control.
Now you will be ready for the transition of the turn and if you move your hips and core towards your down hill pole in the fall line you will move your body out and over your feet and set you up for a smoother transition.
What you will discover in these movements is the skis will now release and flow into the fall line and travel out and away from your body which will set you up for a smooth round turn with your upper body moving through the center of the arc. This will ultimately give you more control and use less energy.
The added bonus is that when you plant your pole in the direction of the fall line your eyes will also look down the hill rather than across the hill and this will allow you to flow into your turns with greater confidence.
So you see that planting your pole in gravity or down the fall line will set up a chain reactions that will make you more efficient, use less energy and make your skiing more dynamic.
The key is to resist the temptation to swing the tip of the pole in the direction of the tip of the ski. This will move your body across the hill rather then down the hill and the result will be that your body will move around the arc rather than through the arc. Plus once your eyes are focused down the hill you will notice that you will be less intimidated by obstacles in your path.