V1 Pole Technique: How to Pole on Both Sides

XC Ski Academy welcomes a guest tip from PSIA Nordic Team coach Scotty McGee!

V1 skate ski pole technique might be the most utilized poling technique for most skate skiers in the US.  Although I think V1 poling technique is over taught in the US (great topic for another post), V1 poling is an absolute necessity for climbing hills.

Becoming a powerful, efficient hill climbing machine requires the right combination of many factors. In this post and video, Scotty McGee focuses on one factor to help you become a better, more developed V1 skate skier - switching from left side to right side as you V1 pole.

Why Switch Sides?

Most trails don't run flat across as they climb. Most trails slope right or slope left while going up. Consequently, skiers V1 poling up hill pole on the right ski or pole on the left ski to match the side-slope of the trail.

As you pole up a hill, pole on the uphill side of the slanted slope of the trail.

Poling on different sides requires you to switch sides as you pole. There are various ways to keep your momentum up while not stalling out.

The two key ingredient to switching sides? Practice switching sides (I know, "duh" statement but I'm amazed how many people DON'T practice this) and master rhythm change. 

Take it away Scotty!

You skate ski? Then you V1, or what the European nordic skiers call "offset" skating. Today's tip from guest coach Scotty McGee will help you master switching sides when you V1. Many intermediate skiers I ski with usually V1 on their dominate side. Follow these 3 tips to become a more functional and versatile skate skier.

About Scotty McGee

Scotty McGee has been on the PSIA Nordic Team since 2000, and is the current Team Coach and Senior Manager for Nordic, Guides and Training at Jackson Hole Mountain Sports School. He's been deeply involved in skiing and outdoor education since his college days, when he first instructed cross-country skiing and supervised the telemark programs for the legendary Dartmouth Outing Club. He's taught skiing and guided in the Wasatch and Teton ranges for resorts, colleges, private outfitters, and his own business.

Scott is among the most widely certified members of the PSIA Nordic Team with certifications in ski teaching, avalanche, and guiding. He is Certified Level III in Cross Country, Telemark, and Backcountry. Scott has been a regular contributor to The Professional Skier, and for SkiTrax, for whom he’s written a regular Tele Technique column for the last five years. He’s also been widely published in other ski instruction publications.

Scott’s latest passion is backcountry skate skiing, and to date he has posted over 20 trans-Teton tours on light gear, and other distance tours in other ranges. Demonstrating he is an all-season mountaineer, guides for Exum Mountain Guides, and relishes in his summer training regimen of leading climbs and peak ascents in the Tetons.