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Do expensive poles really make much of a difference? - Page 2

post #31 of 89
Skinny composite poles are much more comfortable to sit on - on the lift.
post #32 of 89

Who's bragging?  I'm a private school French teacher.  Should I spend $100 on poles, or lift tickets? 

 

 

post #33 of 89

no matter how poor, it's a question of value. If you don't lose things, don't have things stolen, don't ruin or neglect, don't destroy or consume, $100  over 20 years is not a bad value.

post #34 of 89

Know where I can buy a good set of carbon poles for $5/year?

 

I'm saving up for a season's pass at the local speed bump, and my current poles provide sufficient balance for my needs and desires, but I might appreciate some flexibility and shock absorption, and maybe a shorter length for moguls.

post #35 of 89

there are some nice poles for sale right now...

 

http://www.epicski.com/t/105823/fs-leki-mountain-lite-carbon-poles

 

 

you can also become an EPIC supporter and buy on promotive from Leki for about 40% off...

 

post #36 of 89
    
I think they do make a difference. I tried the aluminum - composite Leki trigger poles when they first came out. Has to be 10 years ago. They immediately felt like part of me instead of a stick in my hand. The trigger release is very convenient and fast at the lifts when I am skiing on my short Midwest hills. And as pointed out above, the flex really makes a difference to the wrists when skiing the hard man made snow. I liked them so much I bought a second pair (found them on eBay) and put powder baskets on them (found on a web site) for my mountain skiing. They have taken a lot of abuse over the years. As to "loosing" them, I always wrap the ski lock cable around them in the rack with the skis. Had a pair of skis stolen once, don't want it to happen again. I let a couple of thrifty minded friends to try them. They really liked them, and although it bothered them to spend so much $$ on poles, they did and like me, won't give them up.

 

post #37 of 89

For a beginner,  expensive poles will only make a difference if you are also wearing expensive goggles

post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

no matter how poor, it's a question of value. If you don't lose things, don't have things stolen, don't ruin or neglect, don't destroy or consume, $100  over 20 years is not a bad value.


Ok -- but I'm saving for better boots first (it may take 20 years). 

 

 

 

post #39 of 89

The best answer I can give is this...

 

If you consider yourself a beer drinker and have a fridge full of BudLight or something equally unimaginative, that I guess you'd be fine with off -the-rack aluminum poles.  Enjoy the greens and blues.

 

However, if you consider yourself a beer drinker and have a fridge full of local and distant microbrews filled with flavor and occasionally brew your own bee with trusted friends, then by all means rush out to your locally owned ski shop and pump a few bucks into the economy.  It does in fact make a huge difference to have in your hands wrapped around a set of poles that don't bend, dent or ping when they are abused.  You will count on them in the steeps, the deep stuff, black runs and anything else you throw at them. 

 

If you are concerned that they cost so much, consider this.  How much is my freetime worth? 

 

I say, "Work an extra day to earn the money and enjoy them for many years." 

 

Get a pair and don't look back.  Oh, and, Don't cross your tips!

 

 

post #40 of 89

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiBikeLove View Post

The best answer I can give is this...

 

If you consider yourself a beer drinker and have a fridge full of BudLight or something equally unimaginative, that I guess you'd be fine with off -the-rack aluminum poles.  Enjoy the greens and blues.

 

However, if you consider yourself a beer drinker and have a fridge full of local and distant microbrews filled with flavor and occasionally brew your own bee with trusted friends, then by all means rush out to your locally owned ski shop and pump a few bucks into the economy.  It does in fact make a huge difference to have in your hands wrapped around a set of poles that don't bend, dent or ping when they are abused.  You will count on them in the steeps, the deep stuff, black runs and anything else you throw at them. 

 

 


That's a ridiculous analogy.  And using cheap poles doesn't say a thing about your ability or what trails you should ski. rolleyes.gif

post #41 of 89

I have 3 sets of poles. SL racing poles,Kerma prehistoric poles and some fancy Leki's given to me. After a few runs I can't tell the difference.

post #42 of 89

I find that the grip makes the biggest difference to me. Some are more comfortable than others ... most likely an individual thing. I have one pair that I really like, but it has become obvious that something about the grip and angle of my thumb and wrist is hurting my thumb and wrist. I don't experience it with my Scott poles. 

post #43 of 89

Poles are certainly not the first thing we think of upgrading.....but if everything else is dialed, it makes perfect sense. the difference is most noticeable if you ski every day, because your hands and arms will be more comfortable and rested. the differences are many: the strap is not a length of woven nylon but a tapered and padded synthetic leather; the grip is not a simple tube, but is contoured to fit your fingers and thumb; the shaft is unbreakable and unbendable, which saves the aggravation of having to replace a pole in the middle of your ski day; the basket is durable and available in several diameters; the point is not aluminum or steel but carbide and milled to grip on ice. to me, skiing daily, that's all significant stuff. every piece of gear supports the entire system, IMO

post #44 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

Poles are certainly not the first thing we think of upgrading.....but if everything else is dialed, it makes perfect sense. the difference is most noticeable if you ski every day, because your hands and arms will be more comfortable and rested. the differences are many: the strap is not a length of woven nylon but a tapered and padded synthetic leather; the grip is not a simple tube, but is contoured to fit your fingers and thumb; the shaft is unbreakable and unbendable, which saves the aggravation of having to replace a pole in the middle of your ski day; the basket is durable and available in several diameters; the point is not aluminum or steel but carbide and milled to grip on ice. to me, skiing daily, that's all significant stuff. every piece of gear supports the entire system, IMO

only thing that I don't agree with is the unbendable,...but to each their own
post #45 of 89

Never once have I thought: "Wow, today would have been way more fun had I bought different poles." 

 

Just buy cheapish poles and forget about it for a while.  If you aren't vain or adverse to spray paint, I've found super cheap deals on good quality women's poles in long sizes.  I currently ski with a pair that uses the same aluminum alloy as the high end Rossi poles, but cost me about 10 bucks as there aren't many women my height but they apparently made poles for them.  I also have a pair of composite poles from Level 9.  A bit heavier, but have held up well to some tree bashing and not once have my hands/arms/shoulders gotten tired from my poles after a few days or skiing.

post #46 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post


only thing that I don't agree with is the unbendable,...but to each their own


I can see the advantage of having a flexible pole that doesn't become permanently bent out of shape when you fall or accidently get it wedged under the chair.  Would you call that unbendable or bendable?

post #47 of 89

IMO, a lighter swingweight helps mechanics, and lighter = $$$. 

post #48 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post



I can see the advantage of having a flexible pole that doesn't become permanently bent out of shape when you fall or accidently get it wedged under the chair.  Would you call that unbendable or bendable?

 

Neither.  In my mind unbendable=noflex, but bendable means kinkable.  

So in this context unbendable and bendable both are not the right words to choose from.

Flex is better, maybe stiff flex or super extra duper stiff flex would be the wordsmith's choice.

All semantics though, I think we know what is meant, otherwise we'll fall into the discussion of if inflammable mean the same thing as flammable.

 

So back on topic, not just on breaking; but if you hit rocks or trees or things or just get a bad plant, having some flex also will absorb the shock and not sting your hands or tire out your arms.

 

post #49 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

 

Neither.  In my mind unbendable=noflex, but bendable means kinkable.  

So in this context unbendable and bendable both are not the right words to choose from.

Flex is better, maybe stiff flex or super extra duper stiff flex would be the wordsmith's choice.

All semantics though, I think we know what is meant, otherwise we'll fall into the discussion of if inflammable mean the same thing as flammable.

 

So back on topic, not just on breaking; but if you hit rocks or trees or things or just get a bad plant, having some flex also will absorb the shock and not sting your hands or tire out your arms.

 


... or break your wrist.

 

post #50 of 89

I have been a fan of Leki Trigger poles for many years now.  The most comfortable poles I have ever used.  Just found a new pair of their Carbon 11S Trigger for 50% off.  My first pair of carbon poles!

 

In the past I have used more moderately priced alluminum alloy poles.  I always look for a nice comfortable grip with grippy and sticky rubber instead of the hard and slippery plastic on the el-cheapo poles.  I find that the grippier and stickier rubber grips help in the comfort arena as you don't have to grip them as tight with your hand to keep them in place in your hand/gloves.  I also look for a nice feeling swing weight. That also helps in all day comfort.  I would usually pay $35 to $60 for those.

 

As for hurting your wrist/thumb, over the years I have broken both thumbs multiple times both when using conventional straps correctly (up through the strap and then down between thumb and forefinger) as well as the period I wasn't using straps at all.  When not using straps, I found I would keep a death grip on the poles even when falling (so I wouldn't lose it) and would just smash the thumb on the ground still clutching the pole grip.  I could never train myself to just jettison the poles while tumbling.

 

Since switching to Leki Trigger poles I have not had a thumb injury.  Probably due to equal parts of their release feature and the fact I don't fall much anymore (Thanks God!).

 

As always YMMV.

 

Rick G

post #51 of 89

This is ridiculous.  Some of the best skiers I've ever seen on the mountain had shitty, old-school, crappy aluminum poles.  They did however have nice skis and boots.

 

Not saying there isn't *some* truth to this all, but this is really taking tech talk to an absurd level IMO.

post #52 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

 

So back on topic, not just on breaking; but if you hit rocks or trees or things or just get a bad plant, having some flex also will absorb the shock and not sting your hands or tire out your arms.

 


Been done, over and over.  Probably the best solution is a softer basket at the bottom instead of a shock or expensive shaft.  Only pair of expensive poles I ever purchased had this.  They were stolen two weeks after I bought them in 1980hopmad.gif

 

6898824-0-large.jpg

 

aa974912_1225111506.jpeg

 

post #53 of 89

Poles are not that important in the overall scheme of things.

 

However, after dragging my baskets in powder, and bumps for years with "proper" length poles, I considered cutting them down but was too lazy to go through with it.

 

At the ski swap last year, I spent grocery money $50 on a pair of fancy ($150)K2 T-nine ladies' (short) poles.  Skinny carbon with deluxe leather laced grips, they are a good five inches below a level forearm.

 

Well, I love them.  Too short for an early "correct" plant in the bumps, my style evolved to where I don't use them unless I really need that extra oomph in a short radius turn in tight quarters.  The rest of the time they point straight back, baskets level with my hands so they don't catch a stray branch. (I like trees)  Using long and fat rubber bands, I wrap the top half for a choked up grip in uber steep sidesteps and hikes, much easier to grab than that slick skinny carbon.

 

Some days I leave them behind just for the freedom of no poles, and enhanced awareness of turn initiation.

 

There is one local skier who has not used poles for the last decade. It is ridiculous trying to keep up with him, he is like a bunny rabbit going down steep, gnarly and precipitous runs that mortals cannot imagine trying without their crutches, (sorry, poles) and that is how I view poles today.  

 

In mountaineering situations, hike tos and big flats for skate and poling, I need my "crutches".  For mellow on piste days I leave them behind.  The main drawback is explaining to fellow chair riders that I did not forget my poles, and that my MX98s are too sweet in transition to spoil with a pole plant.

 

How many other epic skiers eschew the pole?

 

post #54 of 89

I just purchased new poles yesterday after nearly breaking a pole in half last week.  Took the hardest fall in 20 years for me and landed on the aluminum pole and it bent to about 70 degrees.  I was surprised it didn't break and I thought my forearm was broken, but fortunately it wasn't.  Deep bruising and still tender above the bruise.  I think the "bone is bruised?" IMO.  My old Scott poles were about 15 years old with mismatched baskets and straps.  Replaced them Salomon Patrol Aluminum Poles.  I liked the grips, straps and swing weight felt similar to old poles and on sale for $40.  Can't beat that!

Photo on 2-24-12 at 10.32 AM #2.jpg

 

 

post #55 of 89

^^^ I managed to get a pole crossed up in a fall last year ( I think it was last year).  Like Rickg, I usually have a death grip on the poles, but I decided to let go of this one, unfortunately only after it had busted a rib or two, but fortunately before I punctured a lung.  The bruised lung took longer to heal up than the ribs. 

post #56 of 89

I experienced a good reason to buy decent poles this season. I'd bought Scott Punisher poles a few years ago because I loved the grip plus the cool looking leather straps with grommets on them. The leather finally wore out and I broke a strap this season. I wrote to Scott and they mailed me replacement straps at no charge. Now that's customer service! One pole is slightly bent near the bottom, but seems to hold up OK and it allows me to tell left from right easily (the straps have a thinner leather on one side). My pole shafts look like crap from all the scraping on skis, rocks, chairs, etc., but I love the grips and the leather straps look steezy. And those that know me know I'm all about the steeze. ski.gif

post #57 of 89

aluminum is very harsh, no vibration absorption. see early aluminum bike frames. carbon fiber absorbs a lot of vibration, dampening impacts. aluminum does not have flex because it has very little memory. carbon fiber has a lot of flex and total memory.

 

I once propped my Scott carbon hybrid poles against the back of the car and forgot about them. I started to back out of the parking spot and couldn't get the car to move. I got out and walked around back to see what the problem was. there were my poles wedges into a lip on the rear hatch and  the carbide tip driven into the asphalt.

 

JT, I beg to differ. A lot of those skiers are broke, their main motivation in every decision they make. doesn't concern me.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by raytseng View Post

 

Neither.  In my mind unbendable=noflex, but bendable means kinkable.  

So in this context unbendable and bendable both are not the right words to choose from.

Flex is better, maybe stiff flex or super extra duper stiff flex would be the wordsmith's choice.

All semantics though, I think we know what is meant, otherwise we'll fall into the discussion of if inflammable mean the same thing as flammable.

 

So back on topic, not just on breaking; but if you hit rocks or trees or things or just get a bad plant, having some flex also will absorb the shock and not sting your hands or tire out your arms.

 



 

post #58 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post.

 

I once propped my Scott carbon hybrid poles against the back of the car and forgot about them. I started to back out of the parking spot and couldn't get the car to move. I got out and walked around back to see what the problem was. there were my poles wedges into a lip on the rear hatch and  the carbide tip driven into the asphalt.

 



 



 

roflmao.gifAt least you didn't tie the dog to the hitch!

post #59 of 89

Still skiing with old Scott Aluminum WC race poles from the mid 80's that cost paid $10 a set on pro-deal. I had 3 sets back in the day, down to 3 serviceable Scott poles now. 

 

The grips are great.  The aluminum had been bent and bent back many times, so many in fact they must be getting weak, always carry a spare pole or 2 in the trunk for the day one snaps. I love the old worn in leather straps- non breakaway though.

 

 Pretty good luck here getting spare poles for little of nothing (Scott or other AL) at thrift stores or from old racer friends retiring old gear.  Just pull the old grips off and slide (slam) on the Scott grips.

post #60 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by davluri View Post

aluminum is very harsh, no vibration absorption. see early aluminum bike frames. carbon fiber absorbs a lot of vibration, dampening impacts. aluminum does not have flex because it has very little memory. carbon fiber has a lot of flex and total memory.

 

I once propped my Scott carbon hybrid poles against the back of the car and forgot about them. I started to back out of the parking spot and couldn't get the car to move. I got out and walked around back to see what the problem was. there were my poles wedges into a lip on the rear hatch and  the carbide tip driven into the asphalt.

 

JT, I beg to differ. A lot of those skiers are broke, their main motivation in every decision they make. doesn't concern me.
 



 


Lucky thing you had one of those cheap foreign cars with no torque.roflmao.gifduck.gif

 

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