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Shorter poles for telemarking?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I lurk a bit on teletips and many posters there talk about telemarking with much shorter poles to improve technique. I know I should probably post this question over there but what do people think? I'm 6' and weigh 185lbs so if I was to cut down some (dumpster) poles how short would I go?

post #2 of 6

I use the same poles for telemark turns that I use for parallel turns. I would suggest 50-51" for you. I'm 6'1" and use 52s, but I prefer slightly longer poles than most.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm trying to telemark with a quite upright stance but when it gets more variable and steeper I find myself getting a lot lower. I might experiment and chop some poles down quite short, it surely couldn't hurt my style much!

post #4 of 6

Instead of recommending a specific length, I suggest a progressive approach - just cut the poles 1cm or so  at a time until you find something that feels good.  


YMMV, but for me, the place where my poles sometimes feel long is in hard snow bumps, so that might be a good place to try them out after trimming.  

post #5 of 6

I do a lot of alpine and tele and recommend shorter poles for telemark.  I am tall and use 52" for alpine.  My telemark poles are about 2" shorter.  If possible borrow some adjustable backcountry poles and experiment to see what feels right, but I would bet that you will immediately like using something shorter.


My experience is that alpine length poles inhibit your ability to link turns because they tend to force you to come up out of one turn before allowing you to comfortably plant your pole for the next, instead of planting and initiating the next turn from the bottom of the present turn. IMO longer poles tend to be favored by ex-alpine skiers that initiate a parallel turn from an upright stance and then drop the other ski back into a tele stance, rather than making true tele turns from the constant balance point between the skis.  That is not to say that there are not lots of excellent tele skiers using long poles, but in my completely personal and uninformed opinion they do more harm than good, especially in the learning stage

Edited by mudfoot - 3/23/2009 at 02:01 am
post #6 of 6

I use 125cm for alpine and 120cm for tele - just get some adjustables - problem solved.

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