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Ski pole suggestion for beginner/intermediate?

drdavidge

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Hey guys - anyone have a suggestion on a decent set of ski poles for a guy who is comfortable on greens and some blues? I only have the clunky big rental-type ski poles (like these http://www.svst.com/SVST1.aspx?Category=3f327665-6aea-400b-a8e1-924dbe26335f) but would like to get a basic set that are a little thinner and easier to handle. I don't really want to spend a lot - looking for the best bang for your buck. Any suggestions?
 

thetrailboss

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Check out some of the poles here: http://www.levelninesports.com/Ski-Poles They have some great poles for dirt cheap.

The biggest thing is to make sure you have the right length. To be sure, hold the poles upside down with your hand under the basket. If your elbow makes a 90 degree bend, it is the right length. Go a tad bit shorter for bump skiing.

The only other consideration, for resort skiing with no hiking or slackcountry use, is weight. Carbon are the lightest and most expensive...but they can break and you are SOL. Aluminum are much cheaper and work fine. But there are different makes in between that will work great. Other than that a grip that you like is a good thing.

Over the years I have owned Black Diamond, Leki, and K2 poles. I had a sweet pair of K2 carbon poles that I got on a closeout deal. As I was getting set for a photo shoot of some friends, theoriginaltrailboss lost an edge, took a terrible tumble, and plowed over me. Those poles are now on his office wall....one completely shattered from the impact. Thank God he is OK...it was a freaking scary fall that I saw in front of me.

I now use these guys most of the time or these bad boys that I snagged at a ski swap for a sweet price. The latter have the powder baskets. But I am a gear whore...I admit it.

Leki makes some great poles. Black Diamond does too if you want telescoping or tech poles. If you want to break the bank Swix makes good ones...but they are big bucks. Really it is the right length, grip, and style that you like.
 
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BackLoafRiver

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How do you like the Traverse vs. the Compactor? I need some adjustable poles for this season. I'd love something carbon but the $$ seems almost stupid. My k2 silencers are my favorite pole to date.
 

thetrailboss

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How do you like the Traverse vs. the Compactor? I need some adjustable poles for this season. I'd love something carbon but the $$ seems almost stupid. My k2 silencers are my favorite pole to date.

The Traverse are just an average pole that works great as my daily driver...because I can adjust the length for bumps (shorter) or deeper snow (longer). Somehow I bent the lower shaft of one of them last season....either a bad fall or on the chairlift when someone put down the safety bar too soon. It cost me $15 to fix it with a new section. Can't complain. I had to replace both bottom shafts though because they changed color. But still, big deal...not much to repair them. I like the grips and the rubber grips lower on the pole for climbing when I do slackcountry. They aren't too heavy and not too glitzy so I have to worry about them "walking away" from the ski rack.

I just snagged the Compactors from L9 for that crazy low price. I have not had a chance to ski with them...maybe this weekend...initial thoughts are good, solid, and great for travel. The sacrifice is that they don't offer much in terms of length...but that is the sacrifice for making them so small to begin with. Would I make the Compactors my daily driver? Probably not just because I sometimes need something a little bit longer...or so I think. Would I use the Compactors on a side-trip when I'm out for work or flying? Absolutely.

Carbon is nice and light. I loved my K2 5-speed carbon poles that I used for one-half a season until they broke, but they broke and they weren't THAT much lighter in the scheme of things. Plus I always had to worry if someone was going to take them. The Black Diamond carbon poles I bought were used, but in good shape, and at a cheap price. I like them, but worry that they will (eventually) break leaving me SOL.
 
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MadMadWorld

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For a beginner/intermediate? As cheap as possible. TB is right, length is most important. But for someone in that skill levels, poles are really only used to get around the flats. Good luck and have fun.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using AlpineZone mobile app
 

drdavidge

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Thanks. Any other particular models I should look at? Something in the $30-50 range would be ideal. Just want something a bit nicer than the rental type ones I have now!
 

jack97

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For a beginner/intermediate? As cheap as possible. TB is right, length is most important. But for someone in that skill levels, poles are really only used to get around the flats. Good luck and have fun.


+1


btw... a pipe cutter does a nice job of tweaking the right length.
 

thetrailboss

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Thanks. Any other particular models I should look at? Something in the $30-50 range would be ideal. Just want something a bit nicer than the rental type ones I have now!

Really it is length and the grip. For that price range you have a lot of good options. You can go to a shop and get some basic poles from a ski manufacturer or made by Leki. If you want to get something a bit slicker, and with better graphics, check out the "Royal Shaft" poles from L9 that I put in my first post: http://www.levelninesports.com/Ski-Poles Those are fiberglass composite that makes them strong but light. My wife loves hers. But, again, if you hit a tree with them or bend them too far they will snap as opposed to bend. Theoretically, you could bend back an aluminum pole but you'd need a pipe vice to do it right. But for $35.00 you can't go wrong...and it would take A LOT of force to break a pole...a very fast crash or a lot of your body weight on it.
 

thetrailboss

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How do you like the Traverse vs. the Compactor? I need some adjustable poles for this season. I'd love something carbon but the $$ seems almost stupid. My k2 silencers are my favorite pole to date.

Am typing up a review of the Compactor for you right now...you inspired me to use them today and I loved them. Very light, surprisingly solid, great lock, and oh so easy to pack.
 
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