Originally Posted by mtbakersnow
Me: 5'9", 175 lbs, now use 120cm (approx. 50" I think?) salomon aluminum poles - seems fine to me. Was out yesterday with an accomplished, level 3 instructor, he is over 6' tall, and his poles are 48" maybe shorter. He felt I should have mine shortened to at least 48", maybe even 46"? Besides turning the pole upside down and holding it in front of you to measure, any thoughts out there?
This may sound "dumb" but here is your answer.....
Your pole is comprised of 3 sections. The tip and basket, the shaft, and the grip. The length of the tip and basket is pretty standard across all poles...so is the grip. Hence the big variable is the shaft.
The shaft should equal the length of the space between your hand at the moment the pole basket hits the snow, and the snow surface at the point your pole basket hits the snow....ie it should fill the void.
If the pole shaft is too short it will pull your hand, and likely your upper body into an unnaturally low position...conversly it will do the opposite if it is too long.
Now as a guide the upside down pole method gives a good ball park...but then if you ski with risers, you may need to add some length...BUT if you are a strong skier that is low in the transitions due to the need for absorbtion, your poles will be shorter!