How to Measure Ski Poles

How to Measure Ski Poles
The importance of ski poles varies throughout a skier's learning curve. Beginners depend on poles as a source of security and an extra balance point. Intermediate skiers may be asked to do without poles in order to focus on ski position and balance. Finally, advanced skiers may find themselves once again appreciating ski poles as an extra, extended point of balance when skiing off-piste or moguls. But a ski pole cannot perform any of these functions unless it's of the appropriate length.

Instructions

Difficulty: Easy

Alpine Ski Poles

Things You’ll Need:
  • Flexible measuring tape
  • Ruler
Step 1
Put on your ski boots and skis. Stand in front of a mirror.
Step 2
Bend your elbow so that your forearm is parallel to the ground; look in the mirror to confirm this. Keep your elbow close to your side and make a fist, hand oriented as if you were holding a ski pole.
Step 3
Ask a helper to measure a straight line from the floor to the top of your thumb (remember, your hand should be in a fist, not thumbs up). The resulting measurement is the appropriate length for your Alpine ski poles.

Classic Cross-Country Ski Poles

Step 1
Put on your ski boots and skis.
Step 2
Stand up straight and hold a ruler or other flat object on your shoulder, parallel to the ground.
Step 3
Ask a friend to measure straight up from the ground to the ruler on your shoulder. This is the appropriate length for your classic ski poles.

Skate Ski Poles

Step 1
Put on your skate ski boots and skis.
Step 2
Stand up straight. If you don't have a helper handy, use a mirror to help confirm your positioning, plus the position of the tape in the next step.
Step 3
Ask a friend to measure from the ground up to mustache height, or midway between your upper lip and the bottom of your nose to calculate your pole length. If you don't have a helper, stand on the 4-centimeter mark of a flexible measuring tape, measure directly up to the same "mustache" point, then subtract 4 centimeters from the measurement to calculate your pole length.

Tips & Warnings

 
Note that most ski pole measurements are made in centimeters; be sure to read the centimeter side of your measuring tape, or use the inches-to-centimeters converter in the Resources section.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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