Ski Poles - Ski Equipment

Ski Poles - Ski and Snowboarding Equipment

Ski poles consist of a shaft, a handle and a basket. The best way of testing the length of the pole is to hold the pole upside down and grip it beneath the basket. Your forearms should be horizontal when you stand up with your knees slightly flexed. A small bend forward below each handle could help you plants your pole more keenly.

Straight poles are good enough for most skiers and they are cheaper. Most come with a year's warranty. There is little difference in the weight of steel or carbon poles. Thinner poles, however, are lighter and reduce swing height.

Some poles are used as avalanche probes or can convert into a camera. The good ski poles usually allow you to interchange the baskets (bottom tips).

Shaft - Although the better ones are stiff and made from carbon fibre or fibre glass and are often more durable they are more commonly manufactured from a light metal such as aluminium.

Handle - The more popular strap is one with a loop of leather or alternatively a form of webbing which is attached to the pole at your wrist. There is also the sword-grip type. This consists of a moulded guard and it extends round the back of the hand.

Basket - large baskets help to avoid the pole from sinking in the snow in powder. They are not meant for off piste skiing and the size of basket is not important.