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pole length

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I used the search function but couldn't come up with anything that helped me.

I am 2.5 hours from a ski shop, so I can't go there and grab a pole and find out what length is the best, so I'm wondering if I say my height (5'9), somebody can tell me what size pole I need. I'm gonna buy some on ebay, and want to know what size to start looking for.

Also, any brand recomendations? I did notice some people talking about different carbon/aluminum poles and stuff like that.

I don't need the 00ber performance pole, just something that will suit an advanced skier.
post #2 of 7
Poles should be long enough that your forearm is parallel to the ground when you're holding the handle and it's planted in the snow. If you have a pole, you can turn the pole upside down and hold it with your hand under the basket. Your forearm should be parallel to the floor. If you don't have an array of different poles to try this with, you can hold a tape measure, reach out as though planting your pole, and check the distance from the floor to the top of your hand with your forearm parallel to the ground. Add about 4 inches to account for boot/ski thickness and the part that would go in the snow.

I'm 5'11, it's 46 inches from the top of my fist to the ground with my forearm horizontal, and I use a 50 inch pole.

If you're going to err, go big. You can always cut down a pole that's too long, and it's much harder to go the other way. Aluminum is easy to cut with a hacksaw or a tubing cutter. You can cut down the composite or carbon fiber poles, but it's possible to crush them in the process and ruin them.

No such thing as an "advanced skier's" pole, in my opinion. Lighter and stronger are better, pretty much for everybody; more expensive poles are just easier to justify if you can amortize them over more skier-days, which many advanced skiers can. A simple, narrow grip with no platform is best. Poles that come with powder baskets are nice if you ski where it snows a lot (removable ones are nice if you also ski where it sometimes doesn't).

[ October 28, 2002, 12:44 PM: Message edited by: daevious ]
post #3 of 7
Hey, Doug, NICE WEB SITE!! You can count on me to take a lesson with you at the 'Bush! I wonder if you might consider a joint husband and wife lesson where we're a few levels apart? Or maybe not? One at a time? Sometimes it's nice to learn how to ski together - I mean, not just be together to learn how to ski, but how to enjoy skiing together.

By the way, I just measured my poles - the ones I've enjoyed most of the about four sets I've owned. First, I used poles of 48" length, but I had them cut down [the shops do this for minimal charge] because I read that shorter poles are better in bumps. I didn't like them that way at all. I replaced them with new poles. Then, on an "impulse buy", I bought some poles that looked great, were really light, but relatively inexpensive. They're the most pleasant to use of all I've owned, and they are 50" length. I stand 5'8". They happen to have a platform grip - although it doesn't bother me, I like the other kinds of grips better and when I replace these, I'll look for the non-platform grips. I won't change the length, however.
post #4 of 7
Oboe, thanks! Looking forward to meeting up with you.

I should've presented that way of measuring poles as a rough rule of thumb, which ought to work for somebody trying to figure out what size to look for on eBay; but, as you point out, some people like shorter poles, longer poles, etc. I have really long arms in proportion to my height, so I might use a shorter pole because of that.
post #5 of 7
What is teh issue with platforms on the grips? Someone this season told me they were a Bad Thing too.

Pole length can be a funny one. I am 160cm (5'3") and am meant to use 115cm stocks. But I just dont' like them, so have used 110's for years. Handy cos you can guy kids' ones and they are cheaper! I like the really thin lightweight aluminium ones. They bend (especially when some idiot crashes into you) but then again they easily bend back (especially if heated first).
post #6 of 7
Ant, my opinion: The platform grips give support that's redundant with the straps, and less effective. If you're using the poles to skate or push yourself across the flats, you have to grip them hard to use the platform; you barely need to hold them at all to use the straps with ordinary grips. While skiing, I think the platforms encourage a much firmer hold on the ski pole than is needed for a light pole plant; people who use these MAY tend to have a pretty violent pole plant with a lot of arm motion. So, they mess you up when you're using them to propel yourself, and they can mess you up when you're using them for balance and timing. Except for whacking people who step on your skis in the lift line, there are no other uses for ski poles that I am aware of.

I also remember there being some repetitive-stress-type problems associated with the platform grips, especially in deep snow, but I have no idea where I saw that article, or how prevalent was the problem.
post #7 of 7
I use a 48" pole. I am 5'9" and have rather long arms. I have a brand new pair of Rossi poles if you are interested. They were included in a package deal when I bought my new skis, boots and bindings. I got a good package (Bandit X's, Solomon Evolution Boots and Solomon bindings), so the poles are also decent. I had purchased the same pair with a different color graphic 2 weeks before I got the skis so I don't need 2 pair.
If interested let me know and we can talk $$$ and shipping.

I used to use a 50-52" pole but feel much more comfortable and in more of a natural stance with the 48" poles.
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