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Pole Length?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I know that you might say that pole length in an individual matter but on the other hand there must be some general rules for using longer/shorter poles. fx. If you are racing slalom or GS, do you gain any advantage by using a longer/shorter pole then normal?

Hang loose

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[This message has been edited by Ben75 (edited January 16, 2001).]</FONT>
post #2 of 8
There was a rule-of-thumb once upon a while, at least here in Italy.

-With your normal street shoes on (or barefoot, if you like)
take the pole upside down, seize the part which normally goes into the snow into your hand and, if the pole is of the right
lenght, your elbow should make a 90ish degrees angle.

With your skiing gear all on, while standing still on a flat area, the results should be the same with the pole seized the right way,
the elbow ought to have the 90ish degrees angle...

The above translates for me (175ish cm tall) into a pole length of 125 cm which is the "other" rule I've heard people enunciating
"poles ought to be 50ish cm shorter than your height..."

With the shaped skis and all the risers that are nowadays inserted under the bindings, I don't know if these practical rules are
to be considered valid...but

I noticed (try and error) that the lenght I felt more comfy with was 127 cm, which is not commercially available, so I needed to sew some 130 cm poles...then

Two years ago I bought 130 cm poles,straigth. The result?
Those were obviously too long, the extra cms caused a "wrong" (exaggerated) shoulder movement, since when initiating a turn
I needed to stick the poles way out in front, resulting in yours truly being thrown off balance...the momentum of the shoulder movement was inducing an upper body rotation in the wrong direction.
So I stopped sticking the poles into the snow while making GS like turns.

This year I've got a pair of shaped skis, with Salomon 912 bindings
with raisers, and the same poles are now perfect...can use them in a normal way again

As far as racing goes, I haven't the slightest idea, althought the basic
should still apply...I see no advantage in a "longer" pole, nor in a "shorter"
I am courious, if anyone has experimented otherwise, let us know...please.

Sorry for the verbosity...



Think what You say
Say what You think
but most important
once You've said it, DO it.
post #3 of 8
You are talking racing, so some of the rules can change. Practice your starts with a few different sizes. Pick the one that gets you down the ramp fastest. May be a longer pole than what you had before.
post #4 of 8
For those learning to ski, or intermediates perfecting their turns, poles that are slightly short are a good idea, forces them to plant the pole and go down a little which helps with the turn. For those of us who are past that phase, I actually still find that poles that are too long are a royal pain. The fact that poles come in 5cm increments is not great, people do not come in 5cm increment, so, yes, indeed sawing them down yourself to the perfect length is the solution. How ? Stick the handles in very hot water until they soften up, pull off the handles, saw off at that end, heat the handles again and put 'em back on...
post #5 of 8
Oh, I just have in my hands a local ski magazine called hear hear SCI (=ski in Italian, whatta creativity eh?)
They're discussing the matter as well
"A more technical way to determine the pole length (than the one I referred to earlier)
consists into dividing your height (in cm)
by 1.4, then approximate to the nearest standard measure available...
I.E. if the calculation gives 124 or 126, then take a 125 cm long pole. Of course
nothing forbids to saw it to the exact lenght"
Nothing concerning racing, though...

Think what You say
Say what You think
but most important
once You've said it, DO it.
post #6 of 8
For racing, the pole is mostly used for the start, and to open the binding at the finish. During the run down in GS SG and DH, poles are useful for balance, and feelers. In slalom, I use the poles as blockers for the gates, and the occasional plant to rebalance and realign myself. If you are getting new poles, err on a longer length. Poles can always be cut, but they can't be stretched.
post #7 of 8
As to pole length ? Well with shaped skis, on most terrain [ not the steeps, bumps, or powder ] the pole is nothing more than a timing device.

On the steeps you need it for stabiltiy, and in the bumps for stability and timing. In POW it is for timing and at times stability, not really sure yet, sometimes I wonder why I have a poles under those conditions, though the arm movements prove to be useful.

You certainly can use it to help you on the flats, while getting positioned for the lift up. The 90 degree elbow, while holding the pole upside down just under the basket, works for me.

Good Luck and Happy Skiing.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

I am 182 cm so dividing by 1.4 gives 130, so it could not be easier..Thanks
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