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Vintage ski pole baskets

urungus

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When looking at vintage ski photos for the 1940s, I am always struck by the enormous baskets on their ski poles. Anyone have insight as to why these have shrunk over time and what are the advantages/disadvantages of a huge old school basket ?
 

Yo VT Raps

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Larger baskets can be more useful in the backcountry. A lot of modern skiing culture starts with the 10th Mountain Division guys who brought it back from Europe after WW2 and created a boom in the skiing industry after the war. I think the larger baskets were just the norm then and this is what you would want if you were only skiing off piste. They eventually shrunk for resort skiing... just my opinion.
 

ss20

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When looking at vintage ski photos for the 1940s, I am always struck by the enormous baskets on their ski poles. Anyone have insight as to why these have shrunk over time and what are the advantages/disadvantages of a huge old school basket ?

Larger basket=heavier pole, especially towards the bottom. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s a large amount of your turning force was generated through your pole swing. A heavier pole gave you more of that swinging force to turn the "skis" which, remember, were long, heavy, long, narrow, and long.

Ski technology improves, turning becomes generated from the lower body, no longer a need for heavy poles that swing.

Proper powder skiing technique still involves an early pole swing and heavy poles with big baskets have become my preferred method of attack on the deep days.
 

djd66

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I think it has to do mainly with the technology that was available at the time. Back in this days, baskets were made from leather and aluminum,… then in the 70’s we started to move into plastics which could be smaller/ stronger and effective.
 

mister moose

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When looking at vintage ski photos for the 1940s, I am always struck by the enormous baskets on their ski poles. Anyone have insight as to why these have shrunk over time and what are the advantages/disadvantages of a huge old school basket ?

Keep in mind what 1940 skiing was -fewer participants. No grooming. 'Slopes' not trails. No snowmaking. It snowed, you skied.

There was a lot more soft snow skiing, and pushing to get up from a fall or bull fighter turn et al needed flotation. Bigger basket, more flotaion. Ther was only a steel ring and leather cross straps, so area came with size.

Once plastic baskets came on the scene, snowmaking was a thing and the Tucker Snow Cat was grooming the trails. The plastic basket had more surface area as a solid disk, so a smaller diameter could be used.
Larger basket=heavier pole, especially towards the bottom. In the 1940s, 50s, and 60s a large amount of your turning force was generated through your pole swing. A heavier pole gave you more of that swinging force to turn the "skis" which, remember, were long, heavy, long, narrow, and long.

Ski technology improves, turning becomes generated from the lower body, no longer a need for heavy poles that swing.

Proper powder skiing technique still involves an early pole swing and heavy poles with big baskets have become my preferred method of attack on the deep days.

I learned on bamboo poles, steel ring and leather baskets, and cable bindings. There was zero instruction on pole swing as a force. How does that help in powder skiing, especially on modern equipment?
 

ss20

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I learned on bamboo poles, steel ring and leather baskets, and cable bindings. There was zero instruction on pole swing as a force. How does that help in powder skiing, especially on modern equipment?

A slightly earlier pole swing in the powder helps to unweight the skis back "up" to float on top of the snow and therefore helps to initiate the next turn. Not as critical as what the legs are doing but it makes a difference for sure!

She does not mention it in the video but you can see the visual here-
 

mister moose

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A slightly earlier pole swing in the powder helps to unweight the skis back "up" to float on top of the snow and therefore helps to initiate the next turn. Not as critical as what the legs are doing but it makes a difference for sure!

She does not mention it in the video but you can see the visual here-
All her bounce is coming from extending her legs, releasing the reverse camber and releasing the pressure of the turn. Powder skiing is about pressure management, you are in a fluid medium, not packed. All you have is pressure, there is no surface. None of that pressure management comes from your arms. You wouldn't rotate your shoulders to turn, and you wouldn't swing your arms to unweight your skis.

That video is shot on windpacked powder, fairly dense snow. In lighter deeper untracked snow your skis never see daylight, as she does in the video. I'm guessing they shot it that way so you can see the hop more clearly. Just keep in mind it isn't the daylight under your skis that matters, and it isn't being able to see your tips. It's pressure management and staying centered. She could be knee deep the entire time in lighter snow, and her form would be the same.
 

ceo

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I remember the old-school baskets with the metal ring. When plastic "snowflake" baskets replaced them, when I was still in single digits, I assumed it was because they were less likely to snag on things.
 
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