September 11, 2009, Newsletter Issue #264: The Shaft of the Ski Pole

Tip of the Week

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.

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