October 9, 2009, Newsletter Issue #268: Choosing Nordic Ski Poles

Tip of the Week

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.

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