Deciding what size ski pole do you need for cross country skiing requires some knowledge about three things. The correct length of the pole, size of basket needed, and the composition of the ski pole. Below is a quick summary of these topics. This will help you make the right choice when it comes to selecting your cross country ski pole. However, if you are still in doubt we recommend visiting your local ski shop. Nothing replaces testing the product in person.

Nordic cross country skiing is a great past time providing hours of enjoyment as you glide across the trail or slice through powder in the backcountry. Whether you are skate style skiing, touring (backcountry), or classic Nordic skiing selecting the proper equipment can make your Nordic skiing experience a success. No matter the type of cross country skiing you are planning your skill level and body measurements (height and weight) are very important to consider before purchasing equipment.

A major component of any Nordic skiing set up are ski poles, and depending on the type of skiing you plan to do the length of your ski poles could be different. For instance, in skate style Nordic skiing it is important to have a long thrust. This enables you to generate as much power as possible. Selecting poles that measure above the shoulder is an easy way to determine if your ski poles are long enough for skate skiing.

cross country ski poles in snow

If you plan to go classic cross country skiing select poles that are shorter than skate ski poles. Classic cross-country ski poles should measure at the shoulder.

Backcountry Skiing

The third type of Nordic skiing is touring or backcountry skiing. When participating in touring ski outings people will generally leave the trail and venture into the backcountry. The changing terrain and unpredictable snow conditions make adjustable ski poles ideal for this situation. Since you will need to maneuver your ski poles in tighter spaces and use them for balance a good measurement is for them to stop just below the shoulder, and if adjustable ski poles are purchased these can be changed based on changing snow conditions.

Is Ski Pole Basket Size Important?

One more consideration in addition to the length of your ski pole is the basket on the end. Generally, the more backcountry skiing you plan to do the larger basket you will need to displace the snow. However, if you plan to stay on groomed tracks with firmly packed snow smaller baskets work better.

The final consideration is the composition of the ski pole shaft. Shafts are made from a variety of materials like aluminum or composite materials. However, most people will not notice the difference between the compositions of their ski pole. It is more important they are the proper length with the proper basket size. Correct basket size prevents the ski poles from sinking in the snow.

A great idea to get pro-level equipment on a weekend warrior’s budget is searching your local outdoor gear consignment stores. These shops have great deals on outdoor gear at prices that won’t break the bank.

Where Can I Get More Information?

One final tip is that taking a little time to visit your local cross country ski shop and testing ski poles is the best way to see if the fit is good for you based on your skill level and body measurements. Another great benefit is reliable advice from locals who know the area and terrain. Whether you need advice on what size ski pole do i need for cross country skiing, gear, clothing, or ski conditions in the area Moab Gear Trader is Moab’s local resource for all things skiing.