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Pole problem

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
While I never gave too much thought on how good the poles must be, last year I had a beautiful and expensive pair of ski poles destroyed on the way back from a trip to Lake Tahoe (they were my brother’s). I’ve always had aluminum poles. Never bought anything that’s supposedly stronger because I never thought I'd needed. But this year I refuse to go again with aluminum.



Did a little bit of research and came up against poles made of carbon and composite materials. How do they stack against each other as far as durability, response etc? They’re definitely stronger and more durable than aluminum, that I know, but they all come in different “flavors” and I have no idea what to go for. Any ideas will be highly appreciated.
post #2 of 18

I'll never go back...

I'll never go back to aluminum either. Carbon poles are more britle in a since that they don't bend. Rather, chipping and scraping them deters from their structural integrity. That being said, I have over 700 days on a pair of Goode carbon poles. They are not the "lightest" carbon poles out there. But, they're the cheapest carbon poles as you can find them for under $50/pair. You can generally find "cheaper" carbon poles for that price. Leki makes a half carbon/half aluminum pole I think. I like those because of the trigger...I'm a fan of that.

Good luck,
KT
post #3 of 18
I too will never again use al. I've used Goode Cabron composit Poles for last 5 years at about 50-70 days a year. My biggest fear is not them breaking but having them develop feet and walk away.

The best part of the Composit Pole is that it feels like they dampen the vibration from hard pole plants ( I know, I know) They are a lot more expensive than al but I definately think they are worth it.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Guys, thanks for your replies! I'm a little confused though. Is composite (Vylon) the same as CARBON? I mean, I found poles on EBAY made of composite materials (ie Vylon) and also some made of CARBON. Or the word "composite" applies to everything but al?
post #5 of 18
I'm not a big fan of buying on ebay. You can't touch or feel what your buying. In this case you want to know what your buying. Poles are something most skiers don't think make a difference. Those of us that ski alot like what we like. I have ICE USA carbon poles from about 7 years ago. Still love them. To bad they went out of bussiness. The one nice thing about Al poles is that each time you bend them or break them you always get to have new poles. You won't be stuck with the same poles for ages...
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
The one nice thing about Al poles is that each time you bend them or break them you always get to have new poles. You won't be stuck with the same poles for ages...
...now, that's my GOAL
post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktrubin
Carbon poles are more britle in a since that they don't bend.
Um... Excuse me? Carbon poles DO bend. They bend a lot. It's the AL poles that don't bend wiithout kinking and getting destroyed.

Some carbon poles are more suseptable to nicks and dings that others. The woven fiber carbon/graphite poles are the strongest, lightest and most durable, as well as the most expensive. The solid carbon poles, such as Goode, are more suseptable to snapping if dinged or if it gets really, really cold (I've seen them snap when hit with just a little force at -20F). The best poles are very light, very stiff and have good vibration dampening, but can be bent quite a bit without breaking (I've taken a Kerma Banshee - top of the line Kerma - and supported the ends on chairs and sat my 200lbs on it with no damage or funny crackling noises)

I have never heard of Vylon, but it sounds either fake or some derivitive of nylon. I'd stay away. Stay with the name brands, like Kerma, Ice, and others. Any pole you find on ebay, you should be able to look up at the manufacturer's web site, or ask about here.

Don't buy used from ebay. Chances are, they've been abused or have a nasty ding in them.
post #8 of 18

...

The lightest, strongest, and thinnest carbon poles are usually referred to as "pencil fibers." They're about the size of your average #2 pencil and will bend nearly in half without breaking.

When people refer to an object being made out of carbon, they almost always mean "carbon composite." Composite poles and carbon poles are, in most cases, the same thing.
post #9 of 18
Colorado Ski and Golf has the Kerma Scorpion (carbon fiber and fiberglass composite; very light and well balanced) for $25.00. I just got a pair for my son.
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
Um... Excuse me? Carbon poles DO bend. They bend a lot. It's the AL poles that don't bend wiithout kinking and getting destroyed.
Sorry, maybe I should rephrase. I've never seen a carbon pole bend and stay bend. Yes they're more flexible, but I've never seen them stay bent. I've seen Aluminum stay bent (or Kinked) if you will.
post #11 of 18
Ya, isn't it always about having the newest and greatest stuff. If you keep buying aluminum, everytime you bend one you get to have the new, newest and greatest. May be that's why the good Scott pole are only $80.00. So you don't feel bad about breaking them. If they were $100.00 like cabon composite poles that last forever. You'd feel real bad about breaking those.

My Ice poles have so many nicks and paint removed off of them the bottoms are almost totally black, the silver is almost all gone.
post #12 of 18
Two years ago I was hiking in bounds. While maneuvering between rocks near the top of a ridge my carbon pole got placed between 2 of them. When I pulled the pole up the bottom of the pole with the basket had broke off. I decided that I would much rather have a pole that will get kinked rather than break, especially when I am "slogging," side stepping, hiking, or climbing around terrain where having both poles may be much more critical.
post #13 of 18
Want the deal of the century on Arno Adam poles??

Check out the TP price, then check out this thread:

http://tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17375
post #14 of 18
: What? You mean my 28-year old Scott strapless poles with several kinks in em are out of style?
They are just beginning to get that aero-dynamic racer profile
post #15 of 18
I'm with you ghost. I use a 24 y/o pair of K2 poles. The straps gave out long ago. I replaced them with the nylon safety straps from an old pair of Solomon binding (orange nylon--I'm sure you all remember them). The poles are beige aluminum with blue plastic handles and blue snow-flake baskets--almost retro enough to be cool.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58
I'm with you ghost. I use a 24 y/o pair of K2 poles. The straps gave out long ago.
Just replaced my 20 year old K2 poles. Several basket changes, straightened one several years ago. The top handles both broke so rather than look for a new handle got some new scott poles for $15. Yeah swing weight may be less with carbon but mine will likely still be around when I leave them outside while getting some lunch.
post #17 of 18

Composite poles are not all they're cracked up to be...

Having worked for the warranty and race department of a ski company that made both alu and composite poles for the better part of 5 years I can tell you from experience that Aluminum poles are the better choice. Your poles got ruined by the airline baggage handlers? Ship your stuff next time or get a padded bag. I don't mean to sound insensitive... believe me I know the pain of having to scrap a piece of gear, but I have seen so many composite poles snap from the slightest impact. Everything that has been said about composite poles here is true. I had a pair of Banshees and don't doubt for one minute that you can sit on them while suspending them between two chairs. But if you're standing on the hill and someone hockey stops up next to you and taps your pole right above the basket with their ski edge your pole is going to snap 10 times out of 10. Do aluminum poles bend, kink, and break? Yes, but when you consider that you can get a decent aluminum pole for 25-30 bucks at a ski swap you're better spending your money on them then shelling out 50+ bucks for a composite model. From personal experience I can tell you that I've skied gates, trees, groomers, bumps, etc... for the last 4 years with the same pair of Kerma Equipe poles. After going through 3 pair of composites in 6 weeks I made the switch and I will never ever ski a composite pole again. That being said, let me add this... if you're deadset on composite poles get Swix. They are by far the most bomber composite poles on the market. You pay big $ for them, but they are good. If you don't want to shell out the dough, go with aluminum.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Euclide
Guys, thanks for your replies! I'm a little confused though. Is composite (Vylon) the same as CARBON? I mean, I found poles on EBAY made of composite materials (ie Vylon) and also some made of CARBON. Or the word "composite" applies to everything but al?
Vylon is plastic - that means it's a composite, a la fiberglass, kevlar, graphite, carbon fiber saturated with epoxy resin.
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