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Ski poles

How to choose your ski poles?

The ski pole may very well be the piece of equipment that is the most neglected and yet, you cannot ski if you don’t have a pair of them. The ski pole helps you finding balance on the slopes, helps you push forward in the queue, provides support when you wait, allows you to release your bindings effortlessly and helps you to stand up after a fall. In other words, it helps you do pretty much everything! So, Single shaft or Telescopic poles? Before buying a pair, make sure you know what you're going to use them for.

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Buyer’s guide for an alpine ski pole

If the only thing left to complete your package is a pair of ski poles, then you should read the lines below. Whether you broke your old poles or you just want new ones, Glisshop.co.uk made a little guide for you to help you make your selection.

Composite or aluminium pole?

That is the question. If aluminium is known for being light and affordable, new composite materials have improved and deliver comparable performance. They get lighter and lighter, the pole diameter also gets smaller without sacrificing durability and strength. Carbon, titanal or fibreglass, composite ski poles can bend and come back to their original shape (if breaking point isn’t reached obviously) while an aluminium pole will remain bent.

Which pole for which skiing?

The traditional ski pole and the most versatile one as well, is straight with a tapered shape to enhance aerodynamics and balance. Simple, efficient and convenient, it is the pole that everyone knows and loves. It delivers great skiability on and off piste. The racing pole however looks different. Designed to deliver high performance, it has an arc-shaped profile in order to ‘wrap’ around the body and reduce air friction as much as possible.

What are the other interesting criteria for buying a ski pole?

When you look at our pole corner, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of options available from a pole to another. The plastic grip on entry-level models is replaced by ergonomic grips made of foams of different density which increases comfort and ease of use. This grip can also run further down the pole allowing skiers to hold the pole easily from any point. It is a great option for skiers who ride off piste on powder snow with a variable depth. These skiers will also appreciate the wide baskets (over 80mm) which are ideal for not sinking too deep in soft snow. Piste skiers will prefer smaller baskets, more convenient for their skiing style. Straps are important too as they help you not losing the pole in case you drop it. Some straps are adjustable, some others, like Leki’s system, remain around the glove and can be clipped to the pole in seconds. But if you are a freerider, don’t forget to take them off. A pole can be dangerous and could break your wrist if you’re skiing at high speed through rocks and trees.

What size should you get?

Ideally, you need to place your arm against your body, make a 90° angle with your elbow, hold the pole upside down just under the basket and the tip of the grip should touch the ground. Of course, when buying on Internet, this is not really possible, this is why we made a sizing chart to make things easier!