Now that you have your skis, bindings and boots, it's time to buy your ski poles . There are fewer things to take into account when buying ski poles than other skiing equipment, but it's still important to familiarise yourself with the different materials you might encounter. Other than material, though, the only real factors to take into account are your height and your skiing style; poles are poles whether you're a beginner who never ventures off the piste or a more advanced daredevil who likes venturing through the woods and ungroomed terrain.
Poles need to be strong and durable enough to help the skier balance through turns and climb up inclines. On the other hand, they need to be flexible enough to both ease through hard turns without bending and to not break when saving yourself from a fall. Read on for more information on how to choose your ski poles.
Brand loyalty, budget, and style will play a part in how you choose your poles. (You might even look at colour so that all your equipment matches your ski helmet .) However, the most important aspect of getting the right pair is to make sure that they are the right size. The best way to measure for the correct pole size is to hold your elbow at a 90-degree angle as if you were gripping a pole, then measure the distance from your thumb to the floor. This measurement is the minimum you will need for piste skiing if you are a beginner. Other aspects can affect pole size as well:
- If you plan to venture off the piste and into some powder, then add an inch or two.
- If the poles are for a young skier who is still growing, give some extra room for them to grow into the poles. Otherwise, you will be buying twice. Don't buy poles that are way too long, however, since it will be difficult for the skier to use them. The youngest skiers, unless they are already at a competitive level, may not need poles.
- Advanced skiers need longer poles, preferably ones that hit at about armpit height.
- For skiing on and off the piste, maybe look into telescoping poles . They lengthen for skiing powder off-piste, climbing hills, and touring. They can be shortened for downhill skiing and trekking. Typically, these are best suited for advanced skiers who enjoy the slopes and the back country.
The basket is the plastic disk at the bottom of a ski pole that keeps your pole from sinking down into the snow. If you plan on skiing on the piste, a smaller basket will give better performance. For skiers that will be in more powder, a pole with a bigger basket will give more grip in the soft snow. When in doubt, buy poles that have interchangeable baskets. This is also a good idea if you plan to do both on and off-piste skiing.
Ski poles can range from $30 to well more than $100. The biggest factor determining the price tag has to do with a pole's durability and weight, which is directly relative to the type of construction material used. Graphite, carbon fibre composite, fibreglass, and aluminium are the pole material mainstays, which are explained in detail below. You should also note that some of the most modern poles are not straight, like the majority, but slightly bent. These are designed for racers and slalom skiers, since the angle is meant to wrap around the sides of the body while the skier is in a tucked position. It helps create more aerodynamics, which is important for racing.
- Aluminium poles are the cheapest and lightest, but also the least durable -- with one exception. The drawback to all aluminium poles is that if you take a big fall you may risk bending or even snapping them. That makes this type of pole reserved for beginners or the occasional skier who is not the aggressive type. Poles made of aluminium alloy or carbon fibre aluminium composite are much stronger and very well suited for advanced recreational skiers. They maintain the lightness of aluminium and gain the strength of a more durable material without overly affecting the cost.
- Carbon/graphite composite poles are strong and very lightweight, but also more pricey. Those who have skied for a few years and are upgrading their equipment may benefit from these hi-tech poles since they will last a long time, and outperform all other types of poles. They are ideal for racers and advanced skiers as well.
Typical grips are made of moulded plastic handholds with an attached, adjustable nylon strap that loops around your wrist. There are also less common grips that wrap around your hand, but these are often reserved for children's poles.
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NL: Skistokken Shopgids