Ken, I am guilty of getting sidetracked in this discussion so apologies. And I do understand what you mean by pole "recovery"-- the longer the pole, the further out to the side laterally one must have it in order to not receive a negative push back from the planting (tho perhaps after time, laterally is OK and even preferred), especially in shorter radius turns. I'm not sure if Hirscher's poles are too long or not, though I see how that could be argued by watching the video.
Funny story, I had to loan my GS poles to a friend of mine (he failed to bring his!!!) who started 20 racers before me one time in a race. I figured he'd have plenty of time to come around and get them to me before my start...I was wrong, and subsequently had to borrow someone else's poles in order to race. These poles were too long (by like, a couple of inches or so), and it did throw me off for most of the course. In fact, these poles can be seen here in one of my avatar pics:
Long story short, I think that it can be a matter of preference especially as one progresses as a skier or racer. A good rule of thumb IMHO is to start out with the rule of thumb and then maybe experiment from there after some mileage. Cut the 50's down to 48 and see what you think.
P.s. To oldschoolskier. Dude, you're only 49?? I was thinking more like 60+ in my mind's eye .
Edited by zentune - 10/1/13 at 6:36am