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Poles length and type

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I currently own two pole sets, a pair of Leki WC GS, and a pair of Apex composite straight poles that I will use for freeskiing and SL (they arent race poles though). I use the Leki for my NASTAR racing and this year when I embark in masters racing they will be my pole of choice. I recently have also gotten into slalom racing and want to pursue it more. I purchased the Leki poles extra long, my reasoning is that I can get better leverage for my start with the long poles, and since I am not doing any pole planting while I am going down hill, the extra length does not get in the way. For SL skiing the long poles do get in the way, and for recreational skiing its nearly impossible to use the extra long poles. So tonight I cut down the straight poles to a size where my arms are at 90*(the length I normally use).

My question is what do you guys and gals use for your race poles and what lengths? To give an example my GS poles have my forearms high up at about 45*, and as mentioned with my free skiing/SL skiing poles my arms are at 90*.
post #2 of 12
You need to account for boot/binding/ski statck height when figuring out your pole length, not just the usual flat-footed, upsidedown pole rule of thumb. To be honest, it's a try-it-and-see thing.

I don't like unarmored composite poles for slalom, as I've had them get dinged and snap. Of course, the same could be said for aluminum poles, but I've just had more composites (of various qualities) snap. I use the old standards, Scott World Cups. They're a little heavier, but I like the swing weight (personal preference) and they tend to last me a while. I tape whatever poles with electrical tape (or spraypaint them) in a distinctive way so they don't get mixed up at the racks, and I have never had a pair walk away. Your mileage may vary.
post #3 of 12
I use the same ordinary straight aluminum poles for free-skiing and GS. I have a separate set of straight aluminum poles in the same length for SL. The alternative is to keep taking the hand guards on and off, which is a pain in the neck. Some people suggest using a slightly shorter pole for SL. I actually tried that a little (using a pair that were 2" shorter and were lying around anyway), but didn't like it: it tended to make me drop my hand back, I think.

I think it's pretty common to use longer poles for speed events for exactly the reason you say: better push off at the start, and then they're just baggage anyway. I sometimes plant a pole in GS (not typically, but sometimes).
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska Mike View Post
You need to account for boot/binding/ski statck height when figuring out your pole length, not just the usual flat-footed, upsidedown pole rule of thumb. To be honest, it's a try-it-and-see thing.

I don't like unarmored composite poles for slalom, as I've had them get dinged and snap. Of course, the same could be said for aluminum poles, but I've just had more composites (of various qualities) snap. I use the old standards, Scott World Cups. They're a little heavier, but I like the swing weight (personal preference) and they tend to last me a while. I tape whatever poles with electrical tape (or spraypaint them) in a distinctive way so they don't get mixed up at the racks, and I have never had a pair walk away. Your mileage may vary.
No I did, put boots on and stood on something about the height of my race skis, also took into account that the tip digs into the snow, so I have them at the right height as far as free skking is concerned.
post #5 of 12
I would consider getting a pair of aluminum SL poles so you don't have to remove the hand guards every time you want to free ski. That can be a pain and really tear up the poles. I think they're on sale at several places (like Reliable Racing) right now, and eBay and ski swaps are good locations as well.
post #6 of 12
Scott WC Poles. Get'em while they're hot!

http://www.overstock.com/cgi-bin/d2....ROD_ID=2038820
post #7 of 12
One little minor side-point:

If your SL handguards are the full-coverage kind that take a screw through the top of the grip, ideally you'd like a pair of poles with a grip that has a screw there. Most don't, nowadays.

If not, you can drill or ignore the screw, I guess.
post #8 of 12
For SL I like the Swix aluminum SL poles, as I prefer the grips, straps and ferrules to the Scott WC SL.

If you ever buy Swix poles though, do yourself a flavor and epoxy the ferrules on.

I've never been blessed with enough money to waste on fancy composite poles to break in slalom courses. I've broken plenty of aluminum poles as it is.
post #9 of 12
I had to epoxy the basket/feurrels on the Scott GS. The flat baskets come off pretty quick with gate contact and the replacements never seem to fit tight for the aero cones .....

I roughed the alu shaft and feurrel with some coarse grit and then slathered with epoxy.
post #10 of 12
[quote=Yuki;564500]I had to epoxy the basket/feurrels on the Scott GS. The flat baskets come off pretty quick with gate contact and the replacements never seem to fit tight for the aero cones .....
QUOTE]

Duct tape. Under the basket.
post #11 of 12
The general rule of thumb I give our kids is that SL poles are "normal" size, GS are longer. ("Normal" being a length with your forearms perpendicular to the snow when simulating a planting motion on your skis.) It's a good thing to have a pole plant in a SL course, so you don't want poles that are uncomfortably long. Definitely get guards for your SL poles. It won't be long before you'll be blocking - at least with your inside hand.

GS poles can be one size longer than normal to emphasize leverage out of the start vs. planting. (one size..two sizes.. really personal preference) As you mention, there's far less pole planting in GS. When in a ski shop looking for GS poles, I generally turn the pole upside down and look for something where the basket is solar plexus high as a rough estimate.
post #12 of 12
My kid came back from his summer training at Whistler and Hood with two huge balls of duct tape .... no baskets!

He didn't seem to care a bit .... "Dad, works fine! ..."

He skis six of seven days from November thru ..... that's why I went with the epoxy. With the ice and the push starts, the duct tape wouldn't last long and I wondering if the epoxy will even last with the abuse. There is a safety issue here (learned that the hard way), if you lose the basket and then make a plant .... and ... the pole goes in .... you get spun and yanked pretty bad ... my shoulder hurt for a week.
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