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Length of pole for 50/50 pisted versus touring/backcountry skiing?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hello

I'm trying to decide on the 'correct' length of pole to go with for about 50/50 pisted versus touring/backcountry skiing. I'm 5'8" (173cm) tall. Charts suggest a 120cm pole but I'm wondering if the advice would be to go shorter to allow for better performance in the backcountry however I guess this could affect touring performance.

Any recommendations on length and brand/model?

Many thanks in advance
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
All I will say...is go for a bigger Basket on your Pole, for Off Piste.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Adjustable pole? Iíve just got my first pair of touring skis and on the look out for a set of adjustable poles.

Currently looking at Black Diamond, Leki and Swix. I donít really want to spend more than £80-100.
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For 50/50 I would stay where you are. For alpine I have 120 (I'm 5" 6'), and for tele 115 (and I ski in a very low stance for tele) --- I really notice the shorter length if I skin with the 115. As everyone else has said adjustable are one answer --- but they do have more to break and they are a little heavier.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Not keen for adjustable - looking for fixed length.
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I would say the 120cm might be too long, as Iím 6ft and use 125cm, but you might have long legs. Is the grasping the upturned pole under the basket and looking for a 90 degree elbow still valid?

I doubt the charts take into account the stack height of your binding, or the depth of your boots, so you need to measure kitted up to ski.

Even though you dislike adjustable pole, borrow some and work out your perfect length, then buy the nearest option, bearing in mind the majority of poles come in 5cm increments.

As for brands if you are a crasher or equipment loser, consider going cheap, otherwise go for what you fancy, or matches your gear.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Fri 9-02-18 17:21; edited 1 time in total
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Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@nosiesta, not sure why you would get shorter poles. If you insist on buying fixed length then you have to go for the correct length for skiing and then put some grip tape on the pole so you can use it a shorter length.
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After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
This may be worth a read. It is a pretty comprehensive guide, including the slightly different characteristics of On and Off Piste Poles.

https://www.absolute-snow.co.uk/buying-guides/the-absolute-guide-to-buying-ski-poles
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Same fixed poles that Iíve used for years for me. Try this thread:

http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2816184
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@nosiesta,
Quote:

Not keen for adjustable

- not sure why you say that?? BD flicklock are very good https://www.backcountryuk.com/black-diamond-flick-lock-traverse-poles-34077-p.asp
... mine are 20yrs old & still going.

As well as using grips below the up-hill handle when side hilling, you can also make one longer / one shorter for the same effect.

(One other great use is when you get on some flat terrain, as you can lengthen them for skating which makes a big difference as you can use your upper body for poling, like XC skiers do.)
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Yeah flicklocks are rock solid.

Why would you want anything else?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
What is the correct length these days? I'm 5'10'' and use 110cm poles, I like them short, gets you nicely over the front of your skis on piste and got some adjustable komperdells for touring and skinning.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I'm just under 5'10" and prefer 125's. They are probably a little long for pure piste skiing but for steeps and powder I much prefer them to a shorter pole. I also have BD flicklocks, great poles, light and strong.

Seconded on the sticking big baskets on... The other week I had piste poles with tiny baskets, ventured off into the forest, stopped and fell over as my pole sank up to the handle Laughing
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
Another flicklock user here. 5' 8", generally go for 125cm setting. 115cm feels like I'm going to fall, and 120cm a little odd. Going to stick with the 120cm a little more while away and see how I get on!

Interesting the absolute snow article suggests shorter length for powder, as I definitely prefer the 125cm! Might be my combination of techniques perhaps...


Last edited by You know it makes sense. on Sat 10-02-18 10:59; edited 1 time in total
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
@the_doc, 110 way too short IMV.

Iím 5í6 and use 115.

Itíll force you to bend at the waist and stick yer bahookey out. Neither good!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I just bought fixed poles with long grips, which seem to be getting more common.

Standard length but can grab them lower for deep snow, hiking up or steep traverses. Effectively a quick way to change length without actually adjusting. Not used in anger yet but theory seems good.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@gravity-slave, what did you go for?
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I have some komperdells (?) for the basic touring that I do, no problem with them except occasionally you have to do up the little screws on the clamps.
Surely some of this length stuff depends on the relative lengths of your legs / trunk and arms ?
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skitow wrote:
Surely some of this length stuff depends on the relative lengths of your legs / trunk and arms ?

Correct, hence the invert the pole and grab under the basket test, which takes your body ratios into account automatically.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@skitow, indeed, but at 5 10, Iíd think youíd need arms like a gorilla for 110 poles to work.
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Scott Riot 18
Liked the long grip, big basket and quick release straps. And the orange is easy for the wife to spot!

I'm 6 feet tall, always use a 125.

I had a voucher from here so they were under £40!

https://www.glisshop.co.uk/pole/scott/riot_18_orange-115151.html


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Sat 10-02-18 12:47; edited 1 time in total
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@gravity-slave, thanks, look like what I' after. Considered the Black Crows Oxus too. Pricy though.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I looked at the BC too, would match my skis but they didn't have my size. Grips look really interesting.

Lots more folk seem to be using them on steep and deep type stuff. Looking forward to trying them next week!
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under a new name wrote:
@the_doc, 110 way too short IMV.

Iím 5í6 and use 115.

Itíll force you to bend at the waist and stick yer bahookey out. Neither good!


Ah more of a retorical question really, can see what this didnít come across well on the we!!! 110s have done me fine the last 16ish seasons.
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@the_doc, well, I would guess you'd have noticed any problems!
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We sometimes use a drill where we get our clients to grip down the pole when doing pole plants, starting just below the handle and then moving progressively lower down the shaft. Most people break at the waist rather than flexing the legs more deeply to cope with a 'shorter' pole.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Quote:

Most people break at the waist


That being the problem...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
I'm 174cm and use 2 PART touring Komperdells set to 117cm. Adjust to 150cm for skating. And brilliant 3 year no quibble warranty. Sent an email with pic of date on pole and new bits come back by DHL.
Looking at many skier's ski pole set by the upturned pole method, they can pole plant back on their heels. So on the steep stuff just accelerate on their tails.
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