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Pole Length?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Is there some standard measurment to what size ski poles you should get? Or is it just what feels good to you?
mike
post #2 of 21
Preferably in your boots, hold the pole upside down so the handle is on the floor. place your hand above the basket, the right size should be so that your arm is at or a little less than 90 degrees. A little higher/longer for more powder.
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog
Preferably in your boots, hold the pole upside down so the handle is on the floor. place your hand above the basket, the right size should be so that your arm is at or a little less than 90 degrees. A little higher/longer for more powder.
Just for clarification, did you mean hand below the basket? (i.e. closer to the floor) Above the basket takes into account part of the pole that will be below the surface on softer snow.
post #4 of 21
Yes, should be hand below the basket, arm at 90 degrees.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh
Yes, should be hand below the basket, arm at 90 degrees.
The standard measurement has been to turn the pole upside down and grip the top of the pole (above the basket when upside down) to account for the tip in the snow. Lower arm should form about a 90 degree angle unless you ski deep powder or very steep slopes then the angle should be less (for a longer pole).
post #6 of 21
Once again it's all relative. Bumpers use chop sticks that barely come up to their knees

Start with the longest way of measuring - hand on top of the basket and continue cutting them down until you've gone too far - then go out and buy new poles that are the last size you were happy with.

FWIW - I've ALWAYS heard it to be hand under the basket.

.
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodee
FWIW - I've ALWAYS heard it to be hand under the basket..
Yep... age old guideline is to have a 90 degree bend in arm when standing on snow with pole in the snow. To do this in a ski shop, can't stuff the pole through the floor, so have to turn upside down and subtract the part of the pole that will be below the snow surface by grabbing under the basket.

As you say... like everything else it comes down to personal preference.
post #8 of 21
I know this has been the standard sysytem for some time. Last year at ETU, Ric Reiter suggested an alternate system which he seemed to prefer: Pole upright (tip on the ground) the top of the handle should reach the xyphoid process. This is the small bone at the junction of the left and right ribcage (just below the bottom of the sternum). He felt this was easier to measure with less error and variability. I have no experience with it. I am just relating the discussion. Perhaps if Ric is around he will comment.
post #9 of 21
I just want to add to this that doing it any of those ways still could account to poles which are too long. I started with 52" poles, then cut down to 50" and finally to 48" When poles are too long they get in the way. I'm 5'9" and there is a slight downward angle, not 90 degrees now when i use the above method (holding below the basket - ie not holding the tip.)
post #10 of 21
It's all personal preference. All of these methods offer a good base line, but there is no “rule” – just guidelines that you tweak.

I think I remember these correctly:
+6'2"- 54"
6'2"- 52"
5'10"- 50"
5'8"- 48"
5'6"- 46"
5'4" - 44"

Start from there – just guidelines that you tweak.
post #11 of 21
My bad, yes dislexia Below the basket!
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finndog
My bad, yes dislexia Below the basket!
Finndog - must have been the blood rushing to your head when turning upside down!

You mentioned something very important... if the "90 degree guideline" is important to anyone, don't forget the tolerance stack of boot soles, bindings/plates, and ski height. If not taken into account in the store, the pole is going to be a little shorter than expected on snow.
post #13 of 21
Medmark, goodpoint about the ski and binding. got to go, head rush comming on
post #14 of 21
Chop stix in the bumps.

I'm 5'11 and I use 48" poles. Some other bumpers I know think my poles are huge.

-T
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RiDeC58
... alternate system which he seemed to prefer ... top of the handle should reach the xyphoid process ...
This seems like it should come out about the same, on me anyway, as the standard. Perhas a little longer. It's the same if the pole tip (below the basket) is the same length as the vertical distance between your xyphoid process and your elbow.
post #16 of 21
I've always figured the best way to find a good pole for me was to use the free ones. I've paid for my poles only once, when I was 12. $5 for a pair of mismatched grip Scotts. Used them for about 25 years until I was given another pair of lighter poles which are bright pink. My brother wouldn't be caught dead on the hill with them so he gave them to me. Still using them. I think they're rather manly.
post #17 of 21
perception is reality
post #18 of 21
I have gone from a 52" pole down to about a 47-8" now. I have found with the new ski design, I am skiing much lower in my stance. Either I am carving, in the bumps or the trees, so a shorter pole suits me better. Size does matter .
post #19 of 21

Interesting discussion.  Funny how many perspectives there are.  Proves that it is preference and style.  My ski coach (slalom and GS) told me when I was a teenager to turn the pole upside down and above the basket.  90 degrees is perfect.  No longer than that. 

 

However, most ski shops I have visited say under the basket which will give you a much longer pole.

 

Personally I think under the basket works well.  My coach's perspective was that measuring above the basket would promote a better pole plant and make racers keep their weight forward to promote better edge use.  Interesting theory.

 

I liked a little longer pole because I felt I got more leverage for the first couple of gates.  Also, too forward on the skis I thought slowed me a bit in flat areas of courses; especially GS.

post #20 of 21
^first person in thread to notice that steepness of trail plays a role. icon14.gif
post #21 of 21

Agree with going long, particularly after a Vail instructor fixed my problem of getting in the backseat in moguls by getting 2" longer poles into my hands (act of reaching down to make pole plant put me in the backseat)

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