Double poling is a technique used in cross country skiing where the skier uses two poles simultaneously to propel themselves forward.
The poles are planted alternately on either side of the body and the arms are used to drive the poles forward. This technique is used primarily on flat or uphill terrain, as it is an efficient way to generate forward momentum without having to stride with skis. Double poling requires a lot of upper body strength and coordination and is considered a highly technical aspect of cross country skiing.
Is it faster than striding?
It depends on the terrain and the skier’s personal abilities. In general, double poling is faster than striding on flat or uphill terrain as it provides a more efficient way of generating forward momentum. Striding, on the other hand, is better suited for downhill terrain as it provides better control and balance. Both techniques have their advantages and disadvantages and skiers often switch between them depending on the terrain and the situation. Ultimately, the fastest technique for an individual skier depends on their specific strengths and weaknesses, as well as the conditions of the race.
Here’s a fantastic, very thorough paper on the topic writen by Jørgen Danielsen from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology