ski orienteering: how to hold an SI stick
Another big issue faced by a ski-orienteer is "How Do I Hold My SI stick????". Wearing gloves or mitts, holding a ski pole, manipulating the map - how does an SI punch fit into the picture?
There are two main goals:
- Don't drop the SI stick
- Reasonably convenient way to punch the control - no fiddling around!
Rule #1 - add extra elastic!
The SI punch is designed for foot orienteering - with no gloves on. It comes with an elastic band for attaching to the index finger, but this isn't very secure when wrapped around a ski glove - and it doesn't help at all if you are wearing mitts. For safety add a longer elastic strap to wrap around your wrist.
Method #1 - attach to index finger
This approach is great for fast punching, and generally the SI stick does not interfere with skiing or map reading.
Note the extra red "safety" elastic that ensures the SI stick stays connected to the skier - even if the skier takes off the glove!
Method #2 - attach to wrist
If you're wearing mitts, or if you're not so worried about the time it takes to punch a control, then you can simply attach the SI to your wrist. To punch, grab the SI stick with the opposite hand - once you get the hang of it, it is actually quite fast. The disadvantage is that you need to be standing very close to the control to be able to reach it with both hands.
What the future holds
At major ski orienteering races touch-free punching is in vogue. A small device is strapped to the runner's wrist and it senses when it is "close enough" (a few inches) from the control. This is great for ski orienteering and mountain bike orienteering - and we can expect to see it become more common in foot orienteering too.