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What, a new double pole?

Tue, Dec  23, 2008 - By Ernie Brumbaugh

Just a comment to spur some discussion.  Has anyone watched the La Clusaz video of the World Cup 4x5 Women's Relay posted on the NordicSkiRacer website?  It is  well worth the time to upload and watch 1:15 of world class skiers in action.  The classic technique of the first Polish racer, Kowalczyk, is excellent visual imprinting material.  She is currently ranked fourth in the world.  Virpi Kuitenen is the second Finnish skier and ranked third.  She won the World Cup last year.  Also Saarinen from Finland, currently #1, is on this video.  

The Swedes and Italians are using the new diagonal, more upright and more like running, in the first leg, but watch Kowalczyk (in the black suit) diagonal the old way, strong, smooth and long and skiing away from everyone else.  The farther back in the pack you go the worse the technique.

But what struck me most was the double pole technique.  Where is the new double pole?  I don't even see any of the semi-new double pole from several years ago.  Note how many of the leaders are going to almost a 90 degree upper body bend on their double pole.   And this appears to be a rock hard set of tracks, which should favor the new techniques. 

I am feeling a little bewildered and agreeing with Marty Hall and Lee Borowski who took so much heat from the powers that be in US Skiing several years ago when they simply said, the new techniques may be correct, but it is not the way the best skiers are skiing.  If anyone followed Dick Taylor's commentary this summer, whether you agree with it or not, the backlash from the power structure was certainly not called for.  Has anyone else noticed the lack of the "New Double Pole" on the World Cup level?  Is it a female vs male difference?  Any comments?