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pole length help

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I know I am setting myself up for abuse, (have at it if you must) but I skied all last year trying to figure out the correct length for my poles. YES, ladies I have two.

Spring, two years ago while trying to force myself to purchase new poles I tossed my old ones in the rental shop so someone else could use them and force me to shop. I want the k2 Pistol Grips---they are sweet. Problem, I never measured my old ones. Problem II, several high end instructors advised me that mine were too short and this was causing negative body movement. For 67+- days last year I used rental poles. (Free) I kept switching sizes trying to get a feel for what best fit me and my skiing. No luck. I am now to the point that I feel confortable at x length plus or minus 2 inches! This is not good. Depending on the steepness, they are too long or short. I don't want to use telescoping poles on my teaching hill.

I am to the point that I am way over thinking this, I am sure of it. :

I don't want to wait another year. I want to own my own poles again.

Shop owners/ Gear heads
Is there a 100% fool proof measurment.
If there is a measurment, do I wear my boots? My skis have lifter plates on them as well.

From what I understand of the K2 pistol grips, the poles come pre-cut, so I cannot work my way down to the correct size.
post #2 of 13
I'm sure people will discuss the pros/cons of measuring by grabbing an upside down pole below the basket. Whether this should be done in bare feet, street shoes, ski boots, or ski boots and skis is debateable. I find this guide from Swix to be fairly accurate, but of course everyone's body dimensions can vary (http://www.swixsport.com/ie5D616.htm).

My recommendation is to go with a pole that provides up to 10cm of length adjustment in the grip (like the Goode Carbon poles). This isn't a telescoping pole at all, but gives you some adjustment range without needing to cut anything down.
post #3 of 13
On the snow,on your skis. Do theshort length of the poles make you bend over at the waist to touch the pole to the snow (at any speed) - pole too short if it ruins your centered, balanced body position. Does your pole when touching make you stand up too tall - this is really easy to notice and will actually ruin your centered position. Don't get way to technical and get poles that are longer on steeps etc., do the above on a comfortable, groomed intermediate hill. Good luck Pete ENESC-Idaho
post #4 of 13
Try this:

Pole length = Skiers height X 0.68

It works for me and many others.
post #5 of 13
Under basket in street shoes is close enough. Ideally, get a pair that can adjust a little bit. I'm unfamiliar with the K2s, but they sure look cool!
post #6 of 13
Just to ad some insight...the Height x .68 gives me 48 inches....the upside down basket thing in street shoes gives me 50....I have skied 50s for several seasons
post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by gretch6364
Just to ad some insight...the Height x .68 gives me 48 inches....the upside down basket thing in street shoes gives me 50....I have skied 50s for several seasons
I had never tried it, but a quick calculation brought me to 52" which is right on.
post #8 of 13
Both the formula and the chart indicate I should be skiing 48-49" poles; I've skied 50's most of the past three decades, with instructors' approval. Given that bindings and boots are getting us higher off the snow than ever before, I'd assume recommended lengths would be longer, not shorter.
post #9 of 13
It brought me to 49", which is also right-on. Cool!
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by ssh
Under basket in street shoes is close enough.
Do you mean pole flipped and hand between basket and floor? That works great for me.
post #11 of 13
BigE, yes, exactly. But, surprisingly that "multiply by 0.68" thing gave the same thing!

I did notice something today. We tend to stand with knees straight when doing this in a store. I suspect that the flex we get when in boots compensates for the additional under-boot height, don't you? If I'm stacked a bit higher, I might go a bit longer (in fact, this is why I just got some 50" instead of 48").
post #12 of 13
0.68X also worked for me - 50", which is what I've skied with for several years.

The formula says my 17 y.o should use 52" poles, but I can't get him away from his 48"ers. He's a math whiz currently taking calc and stats, so maybe a formula will be just the thing to convince him he needs longer sticks.


post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Eleven posts and NO jokes. Unbelievable. Thank you everyone. The 0.68 rule is a trivia question in the making.

Swix guide gets me to 47-48. The .068 rule gets me to 47 and my "standing straight up, knees locked, in shoes, forearm to 90degrees, measures 47 from the top of my thumb to the floor. I have new skis this year with lifters 1/4inch higher than last year. Ski, lifter, and boot most likely get me 1.5 inches --which is probably my flexed knee decrease.

I "dropped" my Goode Composite poles without measuring them first. I only wonder what they would have measured?? They were in perfect shape, no damage and I should have broken them many of times---they are tough. I just wanted new poles.

For those of you who have not seen the K2s---take'em for a test drive. "Like butter" in your hand.
Unfortunately, they do not adjust. Guess I am getting the 48's.

I read some of my skiing notes and found that then nights my poles were long--or felt long, were also ICE nights. IE, nothing penetrating which (in rental poles) gives another 2 inches.
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