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Ski Pole Length

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm looking at buying myself a decent pair of poles and am wondering about what length I should be looking into for myself. I'm somewhere around 5'11" or 6' and ski somewhat aggressively (even if I'm no that great, it's still aggressive, just with a few more falls). I have noticed that when I'm going down something steep and leaning myself forward and pole touching ahead to keep forward pressure that it feels like my current poles are too long. Additionally, with that length it feels like when I go to make the touch that the pole is getting rebounded back at me despite not changing form from skiing on other pitches where it feels fine.

 

I have 50"/125cm poles, which I think is appropriate for my height. I have done the classic test with my hand under the basket when upside down and my arm is slightly less than 90 degrees, but not by much and that changes once I'm in boots and on skis. When I tried the 48" poles my arm was definitely at an obtuse angle and I was told that would be too short and lead to bad form because I would be working too hard to pole touch with a short pole.

 

In looking to buy my first actual pair of poles (these are super cheap, beat up and old heavy aluminum poles) should I be looking for 48" or possibly even something variable? I ski mostly on piste and realize the variable length poles are more for the needed height change between ascent and descent in the side/backcountry, but I'm not completely sure of my own pole length and feel like the adjustability would allow me to perfect and customize my pole length. Or am I just completely crazy and just have bad technique but the poles are fine in this length? I'm going to get new poles anyway, but just want advice for sizing.

 

I like the Leki trigger system, so if anyone has specific feedback about those poles, it would be appreciated as well.

post #2 of 11
Get adjustable poles (Black Diamond Equipt. makes some sweet ones). They're a great solution for using different lengths on descents. You don't have to use them for ascents. wink.gif

You may be crazy, but adjustable poles makes a lot of sense for you.
post #3 of 11

I'm 5'11 5/8" (used to be 6' boo hoo) and like 125's for general skiing, 130 and 135 for deep and very deep snow, 120 for bumps, and very long for long skates and climbs. I have BD Traverse poles, which also tolerate being run over by a car quite well. I'm wondering why you would find your poles too long for steeps--if you are skiing something truly steep your pole plant should be a blocking pole plant downhill from the middle of your skis as you finish your turn across the hill, in which case you might want a longer pole, if anything. Or perhaps you're not really talking about steep?

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post

Get adjustable poles (Black Diamond Equipt. makes some sweet ones). They're a great solution for using different lengths on descents. You don't have to use them for ascents. wink.gif

You may be crazy, but adjustable poles makes a lot of sense for you.

 

 

...and the Leki carbon vario as well! I like the swing weight a bit better.

 

(Nope, don't own them, but would if I were looking for a new adjustable pole...  120 for teley, 125 for alpine. :) )

post #5 of 11

I have a pair of Leki Peak Vario Trigger S poles.  I really like the poles and the ability to adjust the length - comes in real handy when skiing deep snow or is I want to look like a park rat.  I also thought the trigger thing sounded cool.  The second time I used them I was walking somewhere with gloves handing from their idiot straps and when I got to where I was going, one of the Leki straps was gone.  Never did find it, but was able to get a replacement at the industry demos last year.  I think it would work a lot better with the Leki trigger gloves or just don't get the trigger version.  Leki charges about $40 for a set of straps.

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgoat View Post
 

I'm wondering why you would find your poles too long for steeps--if you are skiing something truly steep your pole plant should be a blocking pole plant downhill from the middle of your skis as you finish your turn across the hill, in which case you might want a longer pole, if anything. Or perhaps you're not really talking about steep?

I'm definitely not talking about something truly steep where I need to be blocking in the middle of my skis! For that, I see the confusion. I'm talking about something in the 25 degree pitch area, but I haven't done anything scientific to measure that to an accurate point. I'm still touching as a timing thing and slightly to push when unweighting for edge transitions.

 

Thanks for all the advice! I didn't realize that the trigger strap would fall off that easily, I'll keep that in mind. I know someone who really likes the trigger system, but I hadn't thought about the strap/glove issue that adds.


Edited by jmrobins3 - 2/16/14 at 8:47pm
post #7 of 11

You'll find a few threads about pole length, I know I started one last year.

 

The long and short of it......is that that there are going to be to camps those that would suggest long (I'm in that one, same ht as you using 135's) and those that suggest shorter (seems to the larger group).  Ultimately it comes down to personally preference.  Try a few poles before you go out and invest (if you have the old set you can cut them down incrementally and try them out till you find what you like before you buy new).  I actually tired my several of the poles in the family and just could get use to any of the shorter lengths,  caused more problems than it was worth.

 

So for length, if its working don't mess with it would be my advice.

 

BTW my new poles are Gabel poles and like the strap system.  Similar to Leki, but different.  Love the fact that the strap remains on the wrist glove with the release protection if required.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I took the plunge and just ordered the leki peak vario s. I had been looking at them for a while and they're pretty much everything I want in a pole and more. I'll share my thoughts once they arrive!

post #9 of 11

I have had shorter poles then most people for about 10+ years now. I feel the normal lenght pole was forcing me into the back seat.

 

When I grab my pole upside down my forearm is at a downward angle about a 1" This helps me to reach for the next turn and stay ahead of my skis.

post #10 of 11

Hey all!

 

I am moving to ski touring (+ inbound skiing) and I wonder how big poles should be according to my height (180cm). I usually ski around 130cm. I wonder if i need to consider 140cm or 150cm adjustable poles (still thinking 3 or 2 adjus parts - any thoughts??)?

 

Since ski touring I and standing height on skis (baron) I am considering that one pole should be longer so maybe 140 should not be enough?

 

Thanks for help!

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cayzi View Post
 

Hey all!

 

I am moving to ski touring (+ inbound skiing) and I wonder how big poles should be according to my height (180cm). I usually ski around 130cm. I wonder if i need to consider 140cm or 150cm adjustable poles (still thinking 3 or 2 adjus parts - any thoughts??)?

 

Since ski touring I and standing height on skis (baron) I am considering that one pole should be longer so maybe 140 should not be enough?

 

Thanks for help!


130 is the correct size for you. You could consider an adjustable pole so you can make the pole's longer for skinning, but for skiing it wouldn't make sense to use a 140, or really anything longer then 130.

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