Skiing

9 Best Downhill (Alpine) Ski Poles for Men and Women 2019

best ski poles

There is nothing cooler than a skier racing down a mountain while occasionally using their ski poles to dig into the snow to be propelled forward. However, many think that ski poles are a reserve for the experts; that ski poles can be quite dangerous to beginners.

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Zipline Lollipop Ski Poles 4.5
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Leki Spark Lite S Ski Poles 4.0
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Leki Stealth S Ski Pole 4.7
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Winget Carbon Fiber Mountain Alpine Ski Poles 4.3
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Salomon Arctic Ski Poles 4.4
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WSD Adult Downhill Alpine Ski Poles 4.4
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Rossignol Stove Pipe Ski Poles 4.2
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Rossignol SnowFlake Ski Poles 4.1
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Salomon Arctic Lady Ski Poles 4.0

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In this article, we will look at the reasons why you need a ski pole, whether you are a beginner or an expert. Ski poles come in a variety of sizes and have different purposes, something that we will break down in this article. This way, you know which type of ski pole is good for you based on your needs. We will then review some of the best ski poles for sale out there so you can pick a pair, or two, for the coming ski season.

 

Benefits of ski poles

Technique

Ski poles are important in maintaining the correct skiing posture. It is easy to get distracted and settle into a more relaxed posture, something that can be quite dangerous, whether you are skiing on or off-piste. Having ski poles helps you to keep your arms in front of you at all times to avoid toppling over in the ice.

Speed and rhythm

Ski poles help you maintain a steady speed and rhythm when you ski. Skiing requires high speeds, especially when you are skiing off-piste. It is easy to reduce the speed when you round corners or come across obstacles on the ice. Ski poles help to propel you forward, especially when you go around corners that are likely to slow you down. Maintaining a constant speed when skiing is important because it protects you from falling over in the snow.

Handy tools

Ski poles are handy tools when you are skiing. You can use them to remove the snow stuck in the grooves of your boots, to find a ski you have lost in the snow and to clear your bindings of snow. They are important tools when powder skiing because their sturdiness makes for a good hand-me-up when you fall, protecting you from falling through the snow when you use your hands to get up from a fall.

 

Buying guide

Gender and age

Yes, gender is important when considering a pair of ski poles. Ski poles designed for women are shorter and slimmer, with smaller grips made for a smaller female hand. Ski poles for men come in longer, less slim sizes. The grips will also be wider to fit the wider male hand. Of course, depending on your size, you can buy either the male or female ski poles. There are also ski poles designed for kids that come in shorter lengths and have smaller grips to fit the kiddie palm.

Size

The correct size of a ski pole for you depends on your height. To determine if the size is the right fit for you, flip the ski pole upside down and hold it by the tip underneath the basket. If your arm is elevated to less than 90 degrees, the ski pole is too long for you and will be thoroughly uncomfortable when you are out on the slopes. However, if your arm is perpendicular to the ground or is elevated to slightly more than 90 degrees, then this is the right size of ski pole for you.

Construction material

The type of material the shaft of a ski pole is constructed from determines the sturdiness and durability of your pole. Aluminum material is sturdy and heavy, able to withstand immense pressure exerted on it by the user. It is stiffer and provides unyielding support to skiers who are just starting out on the slopes and for younger users.

Carbon poles are more flexible and they are super light. These are easy to swing and make you forget that you are even using poles. They are therefore suitable for more advanced skiers and for professionals. Composite poles are also common and they are made from a variety of compounds. These poles are also able to withstand a lot of pressure and they are highly flexible.

Designated use

To the inexperienced eye, all poles look the same and are for the same use, skiing. However, some poles are designed for a specific use. All-mountain poles are designed for all ski ranges and are suitable for any user, regardless of gender or expertise.

Freestyle poles are shorter than all-mountain types, and they are highly flexible. They are for advanced skiers who want greater maneuverability on the slopes.

Race poles are made from lightweight material that suits the aerodynamics of ski racing. These will be highly flexible and have smaller baskets so as to reduce resistance.

Backcountry poles are normally designed for off-piste skiing. Extendable ski poles mainly fall into this category and their length can be adjusted to suit the type of terrain you ski on.

Type of basket

The two main types of baskets are the standard baskets and powder baskets. Standard baskets are smaller in diameter and do not add too much extra weight to the poles. These baskets are suitable for on-range skiing where the ice has been tended for. Powder baskets have a large diameter to prevent the pole from sinking too deeply into the snow. These are optimized for powder skiing.

 


 

Best Downhill (Alpine) Ski Poles for Men and Women 2019

 

1. Zipline Lollipop Ski Poles

These ski poles are some of the best out there, so good they were the ski poles of choice for the US Olympic team and the World Cup team. This is because they are super light and flexible, perfect for more rugged skiing than that done in the park. The lightness comes from graphite carbon, which is not only light but also highly durable. The carbon also absorbs any shocks resulting from planting, enabling you to swing seamlessly and easily.

The ergonomic handle is designed for comfortable holding of the ski poles. The hand is made of quality, durable thermoplastic that molds against the specific curve of your hand. This also means that your gloves will stay put even when you swing. There are straps that can be adjusted easily even when skiing so that the ski pole remains fitted to your hand.

The tip of the ski poles is made from carbide material. Carbide gives the teeth at the tip sharpness so that they remain stable when planted and do not shift when you place your weight on them.

Pros

  • Made of light graphite-carbon that does not weigh you down
  • Carbon material absorbs shock from pole planting
  • Ergonomic handle that molds to your hand and prevents gloves from slipping
  • Adjustable straps to keep the pole intact
  • Carbide tipped teeth keep the pole stable when planted

Cons

  • May feel to light for someone used to aluminum poles

 

2. Leki Spark Lite S Ski Poles

These ski poles are slim in design, making their weight manageable since they are made of high-quality aluminum material. This material is designed for the aggressive skier who skis in more rugged slopes. The handle is ergonomic with 4 finger grooves that molds to your hand. These ski poles come with an S trigger that releases the straps upwards for easy adjustments on the fly. Once you try these straps you will never go back to the traditional straps.

The tip of these ski poles is made of high-quality, durable steel. Steel digs into the snow and keeps the poles stable even when you put your weight on them. The ski poles come with a replaceable that does not require any special tools to replace. These ski poles also come in different colors to suit your taste and match your skis. These colors come from water-based paint and the coatings are free from heavy metals. Not only will you have fun with your ski poles, but you will also protect the environment while at it.

Pros

  • Made of durable aluminum that withstands aggressive ski slopes
  • Steel tip that plants stably in snow
  • Ergonomic handle with finger grooves for comfort
  • S trigger technology for quick adjustment of the straps
  • Tool-free basket replacement

Cons

  • The price may seem steep to some skiers

 

3. Leki Stealth S Ski Pole

Another pair of high-quality ski poles from Leki, these ski poles are also designed for the professional, aggressive skier who is not afraid to take chances on the slope. Made of highly durable aluminum, the ski poles have a high tensile strength that withstands any sort of rugged use without hurting the skier. They are slim, with a 16mm shaft that is suitable for skiers of all ages.

In classic Leki fashion, these skis come with an S trigger that releases the straps upwards for quick adjustment. Furthermore, the ski handles are ergonomically-made, with four finger grooves into which your fingers will fit for secure holding of the ski poles. The ski poles also have in-built safety binding that keeps the ski poles gripped and prevents slips and falls. The ski poles come with two replaceable cobra and powder baskets.

Pros

  • Sturdy aluminum construction to withstand high tensions
  • S trigger for quick releasing of straps
  • Ergonomic handle that molds to specific hand curve
  • Safety binding to prevent accidental falls
  • Replaceable baskets

Cons

  • Work best when you have Leki brand gloves

 

4. Winget Carbon Fiber Mountain Alpine Ski Poles

These ski poles from Winget are designed to make it easy for you to ski without adding extra weight and stress. The 16 mm shaft is 50% carbon, a material that makes the poles super light and easy to handle. The lightness does not mean that stability is sacrificed. These alpine ski poles have a shaft that is 50% aluminum that keeps them sturdy. They will not slip when planted and will comfortably handle your weight.

They come in a variety of shaft lengths to suit each user’s height. The tip is made of steel and has anti-wear manganese to give you long-term use without deteriorating. You can comfortably use these ski poles season after season. The handles are ergonomically designed, with a comfortable grip and adjustable straps to suit them to your hands. They also come with a mud basket that can be removed to clean it out and replaced when it wears out.

Pros

  • Aluminum construction keeps the poles stable to hold weight when planted
  • Made of lightweight carbon for easy handling
  • Adjustable straps to suit each user’s needs
  • Steel tips with anti-wear manganese for durability
  • Removable and replaceable mud basket

Cons

  • May seem a bit pricier for some skiers

 

5. Salomon Arctic Ski Poles

These ski poles are designed to cater to the specific needs of all skiers, recognizing individual preferences and tastes. They are constructed from aluminum to give them the strength to withstand the weight of any skier without wobbling when planted. The aluminum is also strong and durable, which means you will get a lot of use from these ski sticks before they wear out.

The grip of the Salomon Arctic ski poles is ergonomic, giving you a comfortable but firm handle on things. The grip has grooves where your fingers will go for the ultimate grip. The straps are adjustable so that you can secure your ski poles properly and not worry about them slipping off when you ski. These ski poles come in a wide range of colors so that you can get a pair that calls out

Pros

  • Aluminum construction for sturdy, stable use
  • Bi-material grip suitable for all ranges
  • Lightweight for ease of swinging
  • Ergonomic grip for comfortable handling
  • Adjustable straps to suit each user

Cons

  • Stiffer than other makes

 

6. WSD Adult Downhill Alpine Ski Poles

These are some of the best downhill ski poles, made from lightweight aluminum that makes them easy to handle and swing while remaining sturdy and stable when planted. They can handle many weight without wobbling, a feature that is necessary for all good ski poles.

The grip on these ski poles is strong but comfortable, designed so that your fingers will fit comfortably into the handle. The way they mold to the palm of your hand gives you confidence in handling downhill skiing. Furthermore, there are adjustable straps that give you the ability to hold the ski poles securely so that you do not lose them on the slopes. They come with standard baskets that can be easily screwed on and removed for replacement with different types of baskets.

Pros

  • Sturdy aluminum construction
  • Lightweight and stiff for easy planting
  • Ergonomic handle for comfortable holding
  • Adjustable straps to keep the ski poles secure
  • Standard, removable baskets

Cons

  • Stiffness and might break easily

 

7. Rossignol Stove Pipe Ski Poles

These ski sticks are made of high-quality aluminum. Aluminum makes the poles durable, meaning that you can use them over several seasons without them wearing out. They are lightweight for easy carrying up the slopes and easy swinging when skiing. The shaft is 18mm in diameter, suitable even for heavier skiers. The tip of the ski poles is made of carbide. Carbide is sharp and digs into the snow, remaining steady until the poles are swung.

The handles of these ski poles are made from nylon which is easy to grip and highly durable. The grips mold to the curve of your hand for easy handling. The adjustable straps keep the poles in the right position suitable for your specific needs. These straps can be removed as desired by simply pushing out the holding pin. The ski poles also come with adjustable, removable baskets that can be replaced with different types of baskets depending on your skiing needs.

Pros

  • Carbide tip for stable planting
  • Aluminum construction for durability
  • Lightweight for easy swinging
  • Nylon grip for comfort when using
  • Adjustable, removable straps to secure the ski poles

Cons

  • The straps are a bit short for bigger users

 

8. Rossignol SnowFlake Ski Poles

Another ski pole set from Rossignol, these ski poles are designed specifically for women. They come in different shaft lengths, with shaft lengths of up to 49 inches. The shaft is made of high-quality aluminum alloy to give it the necessary strength to withstand the weight of the user and the pressure exerted on them while skiing. The alloy is lightweight: you will feel like you are empty-handed when you use these ski poles.

These ski poles are inexpensive, giving you both affordability and reliability. The grips are ergonomic, with finger grooves so that you can hold them securely and comfortably. These ski poles feature adjustable straps to suit the needs of each individual user. They come with removable standard baskets that are easy to screw on and remove for replacement with other types of baskets. The color is also beautiful, blending in with the snow-capped mountain backdrop.

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Different shaft lengths to suit every user
  • Lightweight aluminum construction
  • Ergonomic handle with finger grooves for a tight grip
  • Comes with standards, removable baskets

Cons

  • Might not be the best ski poles for men since they are designed for women

 

9. Salomon Arctic Lady Ski Poles

Another pair of ski poles designed for ladies comes from Salomon. These ski poles are made from high-quality aluminum that is durable and can withstand all the weights placed on it without wobbling. They come in varying shaft lengths, with some being as short as 53 inches to suit all sizes of users.

The bi-material grip is comfortable and suitable for all mountains. The pole is lightweight, weighing only 210 g so that you can easily swing them without breaking your ski posture. They are also slim, with a 16 mm aluminum shaft that makes for easy handling. They come in a variety of colors to match your skis. They also come with standard baskets and straps that can be removed or replaced.

Pros

  • Durable aluminum shaft
  • Lightweight for easy swinging
  • Bi-material long-lasting comfortable grip
  • Comes in different lengths and colors to suit each user
  • Removable baskets

Cons

  • Designed for female users and thus may not be suitable for most men

 

Final Words

Ski poles are an absolute must-have when you are out skiing. They are irreplaceable equipment that even the most seasoned skier has to use in order to move downhill on a slope. The uses of ski poles are numerous, from providing you support to propelling you forward and helping you maneuver those corners on the slopes.

Picking the right ski pole is important so that you are confident. A good ski pole is not heavy, is made from strong metal that ensures a steady plant. It will not wobble when you place your weight, and trust, on it. When in the market for a new pair of ski poles, pick a pair or two from those reviewed in this article. These poles are curated and they stand out among all the other ski poles. They will give you great value for money and you are guaranteed a confident, smooth ski down the mountain.

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