Poles are an essential piece of gear for skiing as they help control your speed and provide balance while skiing. Here are a few pole basics:
- Proper length is determined by holding the pole upside down with your hand gripped directly beneath the basket and your forearm parallel to the ground. With a slight bend in your knees, the handle of the pole should touch the ground.
- The handle should have a strap to attach to your wrist. This will keep the poles with you during a fall or if you lose your grip while on the mountain so that you don’t have to hike up the hill after them.
- The size of the basket is only essential when skiing in powder. In this case it is better to have a larger basket so it floats on the snow with you instead of sinking.
- Choose straight poles as there is little to no advantage using bent poles.
- Consider trying composite poles. They are lighter weight than aluminum and retain their shape better. They also reduce hand fatigue.
SkiEnthusiast personally recommends locks or ski watches to prevent someone from walking off with your skis. The Kryptonite lock is lightweight, easy to turn the combination numbers (key in cold weather) and can purchased at any Ski Market.
Powder straps are fluorescent in color and are used to help locate your skis if the bindings release while skiing in deep powder. The straps attach to the thin tubing on your heel-piece and are tucked into your boot (it is not tied to prevent injury on the lift or in tumbling falls). The strap is fairly long so if you fall it will pull out of the boot and make finding the skis easier.