How to Choose Telemarking Poles

How to Choose Telemarking Poles
Poles are an integral part of the telemark ski setup. The fluid action of a telemark turn includes pole planting with steady arms. There are many types of ski poles, but certain ones are better for telemarking than others. Choosing your poles is not as serious a task as choosing skis and bindings, but there are a few things to look for in poles for telemark skiing.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Choose adjustable poles if you will be going into the backcountry. Adjustable poles pack smaller when not in use, and they can be made shorter for hiking up a trail and longer for skiing down. Most pole shafts are made of carbon fiber, which is lightweight. Some ski poles, such as ones by Black Diamond, are made with carbon fiber on the bottom shaft and aluminum on the uppers, making them weigh even less.
Step 2
If you like to pack as light as possible, pick poles that are multifunctional. Ski poles that convert to a snow probe are handy. Even if you carry a normal avalanche probe, a pair of convertible ski poles makes a great backup probe.
Step 3
Consider the types of grip on the handle. Some are standard rubber while others are made of cork. Which handle you choose is a personal preference. Also, if the poles have removable baskets, be sure that they fit securely. Removable baskets allow you to adjust the size of the basket depending on the snow conditions, but a flimsy connection won't do you much good.
Step 4
Examine the poles in a store. Play with how they adjust and how easy they are to convert into a probe. If adjustable poles seem complicated or unnecessary, there are fixed-length poles that can be used like adjustable poles by simply gripping the pole at different heights. Rolling a thick amount of duct tape to create grips at different spots along the pole seems to work for some people (and stores a bit of extra tape).
Step 5
Once you know the main type of poles you want, let the small details determine your choice. Are the hand loops big enough for your gloves? Do you like the color and overall feel of the poles? Do they have a warranty or guarantee? Used poles are fine if you are just beginning to collect gear to try telemark skiing. Ski swaps are a great place to find used gear.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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