Buying Ski Poles Tips

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What length should I choose for skating technique?

Choosing Nordic Ski Poles

Nordic skiers that use a freestyle skating technique often choose a longer ski pole than those that practice the classic technique.Your skating poles need to be long enough to allow you to incorporate the major muscle groups in your abdomen and upper body. This will help you propel yourself forward.

Skating ski poles should reach the cleft of your chin when you are standing in ski boots. This represents about 90 percent of your height. Since they are quite long, they can be exposed to considerable forces. As such, it behooves you to choose skating poles that are sturdy and durable. Be sure to find poles that feature special skating handgrips, asymmetrical baskets and adjustable straps.

Experts suggest that novice Classic Nordic skiers select a lightweight pole. If you are skiing on groomed trails, select a smaller basket. In -track gliding poles should be strong but lightweight. They should reach from the ground up to your armpits, and should have a comfortable, adjustable strap assembly that facilitates a full range of poling motion. Off -track striding poles should feature larger baskets. Ideally. Their length will be adjustable to allow for climbing and descending.

   
Why is ski pole length important?

Ski Pole Length

Since the length of your ski pole will determine your ski stance, choosing the correct length is crucial to good technique. If your poles are too short, you will be leaning too far forward. If they are too long, you might end up in the backseat. Here's how to determine the best length:

1.Stand up straight with your arms at your sides.
2.Turn the pole upside down and hold the pointed end, directly underneath the basket.
3.With the grip touching the floor, your forearm must stay parallel to the ground. If you need to lift or lower your arm, the pole is the wrong length for you.

Keep in mind that a pole that is too long can be cut down. However, there is nothing that can be done for a pole that is too short, so be sure to choose wisely.

   
What should I know prior to buying ski poles?

Before You Buy Ski Poles

Just as you should wear your ski socks when trying on ski boots, prior to purchasing poles, you should always wear your gloves. Then, determine how much you want to spend, and how much longevity you would like from your poles.

For example, while aluminum poles are the least expensive, in the event of a wipe-out, they might flex or break completely. Composite poles are much more durable and in recent years, their prices have begun to drop. Be sure to choose poles that are suitable for the type of skiing you prefer. If you are a telemark skier, you will probably want to take a look at double or triple section adjustable poles. These specially-designed poles can be linked together to create avalanche probes, which are a crucial safety feature for backcountry skiers.

If you have kids, resist the temptation to buy poles that re too long in the belief that your children will eventually "grow into them." Longer poles can cause injury. Since children's ski poles are relatively inexpensive, it's best to consider safety instead of price.

   
What is the shaft of the ski pole?

The Shaft of the Ski Pole

The shaft is the long slim tube that makes up the main body of the ski pole. It can be composed of either light metal, aluminum, fiberglass or graphite. Some ski pole shafts are composed of a composite of materials, which make them lighter in weight. The ski pole tip is located at the end of the shaft. It needs to be sharp enough to pierce through crud.

For mogul skiers, there are ski poles that are designed with internal shock absorbers. Racers enjoy aerodynamically curved shafts. These are known for their swing weight efficiency. Swing weight refers to the amount of energy required to swing the poles during skiing.

The correct swing weight is determined by personal body weight as well as personal strength. If you ever see skiers whose neck and shoulder seem to be extremely tense, they are probably using poles that are too heavy. In recent years, manufacturers have become more creative in their ski pole shaft design. As such, some ski pole shafts feature attractive graphics. These are especially popular on women's ski poles and kids ski poles. However, while attractive graphics may be fun, remember to choose your ski poles based on their suitability to your height and skill level.

   
How should I plant my ski poles when going through moguls?

Using Ski Poles Effectively when Going through Moguls

Learning the art of skiing moguls can be a daunting task. Unlike flat terrain, skiing through moguls requires very strategic pole position as you navigate through these bumps in the snow. Once this task is mastered, skiing through moguls becomes an exciting new way to experience the thrill of the mountain.

Remember that it is the position of your ski poles that can make all the difference! The first thing to remember is to maintain control of your ski poles at all times. Don't let them fly around or you will quickly lose control! Plant each pole as you turn your body into the mogul. This should be firm enough to allow you to turn your body around as you ski. Remember that while these instructions are meant to help, listen to your ski instructor to learn better position for your ski poles.

   
What are the benefits of carbon fiber ski poles?

Benefits of Carbon Fiber Ski Poles

There are many different materials used in different types of ski poles. We are way past wood sticks at this point and state of the art materials make skiing less dangerous and ski equipment last longer. Perhaps the most durable ski poles are carbon fiber ski poles.

Carbon fiber ski poles are made from a composite of the sturdiest synthetic fibers. The carbon fiber is actually woven prior to being sealed with a coating that provides both durability and flex. The key benefit to carbon fiber ski poles is their flexibility.

Carbon fiber ski poles can withstand the worst beating that your favorite slopes can dish out. Because of the woven fibers, these poles will bend and flex well beyond traditional poles from metals or woods. For active skiers who encounter rough terrain, carbon fiber ski poles may be the answer you need.

   
Can a broken ski pole be fixed or should I replace it?

Replacing a Broken Ski Pole

Unfortunately, the ski pole is one of the most vulnerable pieces of equipment in skiing. Ski poles are notorious for breaking when you least want them to. Whether the ski pole snaps or just a piece breaks loose, many people choose not to repair a broken ski pole, but rather just replace it. Repairing a broken ski pole can be far more trouble than it is worth. Depending on the needed repair, you will be better of buying a new set most times.

Beyond the trouble and expense of repairing a broken ski pole, it is typically not worth risking the same pole breaking a second time. Usually, if a repair is not done correctly, the pole can break again very easily and cause you more trouble and possible injury. If you are debating between repairing your ski pole and replacing it, give the matter enough thought before making your choice. For the cost and trouble of many repairs, you could already be back on the slopes with a brand new pole.

   
Can I buy ski poles on the Internet?

Buying Ski Poles Online

People who get a lot of use out of their ski equipment are usually the ones who need to replace it more often. Ski poles, for example need replacing often due to rough rides or just plain overuse. If you need to get new ski poles but do not have the time to get to a ski shop, don't worry, you can get the brand and model you like from any number of online store that carry ski poles and other equipment.

If you already know the type of ski poles that you prefer, shopping for them online is not only a matter of convenience it is also a matter of savings. Most online vendors of ski equipment can give their customers savings that are well below those found and most local ski shops. The markup at ski retail shops is amazing when you see how cheap you can get the exact same stuff online. The next time you need to replace your ski poles, check for your model online before you go spending more than you need to on your ski poles, and the gas to get to the store.

   
Should I learn to ski without ski poles?

Learning to Ski sans Ski Poles

There are probably hundreds of methods that people feel are the best ways to learn how to ski. The variations are astounding. One, in particular, is to learn skiing without ski poles. The people who support this method are unmovable in their beliefs, and trying it can show you why.

The theory behind learning to ski without ski poles is simple; you can't ski until you can glide. If you can master balance on skis without ski poles, bringing the poles in later will be a non-issue. For beginners, getting the tempo in sync between ski poles and skis can be very difficult. Not using ski poles when you start is a good way to eliminate half of the problem.

Once you are able to get your footing without the poles, you will have no problem adding them to the skiing process. If you are trying to teach a young skier the ropes but are having trouble with getting everything working together at once, try this method. Leaving the ski poles at home may give you the solution by making the process far easier.

   
What is the basket of a ski pole?

The Basket of the Ski Pole

The basket of the ski pole is located on the bottom of the shaft, a few inches above the tip. This plastic device prevents the poles from sinking too deeply into the snow. Powder skiers often use a bigger type of basket for those coveted powder days.

However, for groomed slopes, smaller baskets are preferable. As such, one of the key factors to consider when buying ski poles is the type of terrain that you usually ski. If you tend to ski in variable conditions, you don't need to buy two sets of poles. Some manufacturers have designed ski poles with interchangeable baskets. These are common in telescoping poles, which are sometimes used by backcountry skiers. Telescoping poles can be made longer for uphill climbs and shorter for downhill descents.

   
What is a grip handle?

The Grip Handle of the Ski Pole

A ski pole's grip handle is located at the top of the shaft. It serves as a handgrip with indentations for your fingers. You will notice that the grip has a strap, which can be adjusted to fit your hand. To avoid wrist and thumb injuries, the strap should be tight enough to support the heel of your hand. For proper fit, make sure to wear gloves when trying out the grip of the ski pole.

A grip handle can either be made of plastic or rubber. The plastic grip handle is a more recent development. It is a one-piece grip that has an elliptical plastic loop sticking out on one side. It was created to prevent the thumb injuries that resulted from skiers being unable to let go of the ski pole during a fall. Women, whose hands tend to be smaller, often require a smaller grip handle. In recent years, K2 and other manufacturers have designed a line of women's ski poles featuring grip handles that will fit a woman's hands.

   
How often do I need new ski poles?

Replacing Ski Poles Should Be Done Regularly

In my family, ski poles were passed down as children got older. The same poles my cousin used, I used, as did my little brother after I was through. We never had a problem with them, but once I reached my teens, it became apparent that this hand me down poles were restricting me from growing as an advanced skier.

Ski Poles warp with time and are difficult to repair. I have found that a quality pair of ski poles can make all the difference when tackling challenging terrain. As with all ski equipment, I make sure it is in working order each season, and remember to make any repairs as they are necessary. But once every few seasons, it becomes time to replace the poles. I am always amazing with my skiing ability when I am using a new set of poles.

   
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