Unless you are a super spy or an extreme sports athlete, every skier needs a ski pole for support while skiing. Ski poles, especially downhill skiing, require a strong and flexible pole for planting turns and withstanding falls. Getting light ski poles also helps to reduce fatigue in your arms. And a right ski pole length of ski poles provides convenience and comfort for the skiers. So, yes, size does matter when choosing a ski pole.
Measuring Ski Poles
To ensure you get the correct size of ski poles, you must consider the whole condition you will be in when skiing, including the boots you stand in when you’re traversing the slope. For the right fit and getting the correct length, turn the pole upside down while holding it just right under its basket and the grips touching the floor.
By doing this, your elbows should be at a 90-degree angle. If the angle is greater than 90 degrees, you should get a longer pole. But if it is less, get a shorter one. Usually, poles are designed with 2 inches pole length increment. If you find yourself in between the pole size, always go for the shorter pole.
Ski Pole Sizing
Now you have established the condition of your height when you are skiing, here’s a skiing pole guide and ski pole size options for you:
Ski Pole Parts
To understand ski poles better to choose the right one, you have to learn the essential parts and the terms for a perfect ski experience.
The disc near the end of the pole, which prevents the pole from sinking all the way to the snow, is called the basket. For powder skiing, choose poles with a bigger basket. In groomed and hard-packed snow, choose the ones with smaller baskets.
Ski Pole Straps
The straps are a significant part of your ski poles which keeps the poles attached to your hands so you won’t lose them when you fall, and it keeps the pole where you planted it. Most pole straps are made of nylon material for flexibility.
Types of Ski Poles and Relevance to the Ski Pole Size
In skiing, there are different snow conditions, slopes, and activities you can do. There are poles specifically designed to suit your skiing activities. Not all ski poles are made the same. Therefore, choose the ones that can accommodate the type of ski adventure you will be doing.
Powder Ski Poles
For powder skiing, choose a ski pole with a bigger snow basket and thicker shaft to help you reduce the impact when you traverse powder snow.
Alpine Ski Poles
Most skiers prefer this type of ski pole, which features a standard basket size.
Related read: What is Alpine Skiing?
Freestyle Ski Poles
These poles are typically shorter than most ski poles and are recommended when skiing in parks.
Nordic Ski Poles
If you plan to do cross-country skiing, the Nordic ski poles are lightweight with spiked tips to accommodate your need.
You may also read: What is Nordic Skiing?
Race Ski Poles
The race ski poles will probably be your last option if you’re a beginner and just learning the basics, as this pole is the most expensive one among the choices. It is mainly designed to reduce drag. It is not as high-tech as the alpine and powder ski poles, but it does the job it is designed to do. The race ski poles are lightweight and thin.
Ski Poles Materials
Aside from the ski pole length, it would help to consider the different materials used to ensure you get the best value for your money.
Carbon Ski Poles
The carbon-type ski pole is the first one on the list as it is one of the toughest and most resilient materials to be used for a ski pole. It offers high stability, lightweight handling, and damping. But with these excellent features, you can also expect that it will cost you a lot of money.
Aluminum Ski Poles
A cheaper alternative for a ski pole is an aluminum-made one. However, aluminum doesn’t have the best reputation of being sturdy and tends to bend if you fall. But you can opt to get a heat-treated aluminum ski pole which is stronger than the ordinary aluminum ski poles.
These poles are great shock absorbers but can also break in freezing weather conditions. Composite poles are made of combined materials, including but not limited to resin, carbon, aluminum, graphite, and carbon.
Fiberglass Ski Poles
When you reach the point of advanced skiing, fiberglass ski poles are reliable for fast skiing. This material is strong despite its thin appearance.
Ski pole length and size can affect your skiing. Appropriate pole length provides not just comfort but also helps in your landing and overall ski experience. To ensure you get the correct size for you, make sure you are in full gear wearing ski boots to get the feel. But the size chart is an excellent guide for you to choose the right size for you. Besides the skier height and pole length, you should also consider the materials and the type of ski activity you will be doing for an optimal ski experience.