No no no, this is not a standard "no poles isn't skiing" or "poles are a thing of the past" thread. It is a comparison of my past experiences.
I have been riding no poles on sunny park-centered days for years now. Stemming from cycling around in racing, no poles has always been there for me.
While yes, it is fun, it isnt the same as ripping with some poles.
No poles on a sunny park-day; These days are lots of fun. buttering around, hand dragging, pushups, whatever. though most of the time I do use poles, sometimes I just ditch them, whatever, its rad.
No poles on a powder day; So saterday I did a sweet gap-type jump thing in the trees, and while trying to prove to my snowboarding counterpart that the jump was possible, I had too much speed and overshot.
I overshot by about 15 feet to flat choped up pow stuff, and Fd my thumb up. So the next day, which turned out to be a gnarly powder day of the "lightest wet snow ever". It was a classic day of sierra cement. Anyways,
due to the possible broken thumb, and the fact that I hadnt been skiing the three weeks prior, I decided to go without poles. I started the day on my 183 gotamas. This proved to be more difficult than I expected, and I felt
fairly out of control. I never fell, or got stuck really, but I think due to the loss of pole control in addition to the deep wet snow that was snakin my skis from under me, it wasn't ideal conditions for my experiment. I then switched
to 189 made'ns. These proved much better, as the larger ski floated and allowed for better control in the powder. Though it was still difficult, and I found myself leaning back a whole lot more.
Dropping cliffs, nothing larger than 10 feet, was fun, but I slaped my arms against the snow upon landing, which kinda hurt.
Overall, handrags in powder were sick, but there was a loss of overall control. It is not impossible to ride no poles in powder, but I think it is a lot easier on huge pow sticks. Though I usually would not go no poles in powder, if I got something like hellbents I would probobly experiment more. I had fun with something new, though i didnt feel like I could shred like I usually do.