Black Diamond ski poles are outfitted with a FlickLock mechanism. which you should never leave in the locked position when you are storing the poles. Make the lock easier to open or close by putting a small drop of oil both beneath the lever and on the lever pin. Never use oil on the pole shaft itself as it could make the joints slip while you're using the poles. Never use silicon on the shafts either, as that could also cause slippage. If the bottom part of the shaft is slipping, turn the lever's adjustment screw slightly with the lever open. A review on the Wild Snow website warned that the FlickLocks are somewhat bulky and often get caught on straps, clothes or nearby tree branches, so watch the locks don't inadvertently flick open in such situations.
You can easily attach and remove the baskets from the bottom of the pole with a few simple maneuvers. Attach the basket by pushing it onto the pole and turning it clockwise until it is snugly fit next to the upper stop. Make sure it can still spin freely. Remove the basket by pulling it off. A review on the Feed the Habit website found the baskets often twist around while using the poles, leaving the open side of the basket facing in random directions instead of always facing forward.
Black Diamond ski pole straps do not release. That means you'll be stuck with them around your wrist no matter what happens to the ski pole. You best bet is to remove the straps from your wrists if you are moving through densely forested areas or in areas where an avalanche is likely.
Inspect your Black Diamond ski poles before and after you use them. The first thing to check is the FlickLock, to make sure it opens and closes with no resistance or hindrances. Then check the levers, housing and poles themselves to make sure nothing is broken or cracked. Store your Black Diamond poles only after you've removed the bottom portion of the shaft and let it dry. Never store a wet pole. If things do go wrong, you can always order replacement parts directly from Black Diamond and often at the place you bought the ski poles.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.