When choosing your ski poles, it is incredibly important that you get the right ski pole length for your height and body. If you get poles that are too short or too tall, you could have a lot of trouble controlling your path down the slopes, or even injure yourself.
Downhill ski pole sizing can be a bit tricky and feel a bit daunting when all the information is coming at you in the shop or at the ski mountain. You might feel like just making a quick choice to get it over with. Never do that!
You will be able to find the perfect set of ski poles for you if you read on for just a few minutes!
So how can you find the perfect ski poles for you? How can you tell when they are the right size? Never fear! We are here to help!
Using a ski pole size chart or calculating out the right length for your ski pole height can help you find the right size poles for you to maximize your speed and control while hitting the snowy slopes!
Here is a great interactive ski pole length calculator that can help you solve your ski pole drama, or help you figure out where to begin if you are feeling overwhelmed by all the information before!
Depending on your height, you can find the length that your ski poles need to be for you to enjoy skiing without feeling like you are hunching over or holding your shoulders too high up.
Naturally, the taller an individual is, the longer their ski poles and the shorter the person, the shorter the ski poles.
Below is a comprehensive sizing chart that you can use to help you find a ski pole length that is approximately the right length. It is also important to double-check this length with other methods since not everyone has the same body type.
Some people are tall but have long legs and short torsos, meaning their arms might not be long enough to comfortably reach the handles of the ski poles and the skier will have to hunch over to reach.
Others may have short legs and long torsos that make their poles too big for them, causing the skier to be holding the ski poles uncomfortably high, leading to discomfort or soreness.
Reasons like these are why every person needs to be subjective when trying to find the right length of a ski pole. Do not just take this chart as the only method of finding the right ski pole length.
|Skier Height||Pole Length (in)||Pole Length (cm)|
199 cm +
|6'4" - 6'6"|
191 cm - 198 cm
|6'1" - 6'3"|
184 cm - 190 cm
|5'10" - 6'0"|
176 cm - 183 cm
|5'7" - 5'9"|
169 cm - 175 cm
|5'4" - 5'6"|
161 cm - 168 cm
|5'1" - 5'3"|
153 cm - 160 cm
|4'9" - 5'0"|
143 cm - 152 cm
|4'5" - 4'8"|
133 cm - 142 cm
|4'1" - 4'4"|
123 cm - 132 cm
|3'9" - 4'0"|
113 cm - 122 cm
|3'5" - 3'8"|
104 cm - 112 cm
< 101 cm
Often time, the length of ski poles can be different for men and women, since they both have different lengths in their bodies. In general, men are typically taller than women and need longer ski poles to feel comfortable.
Women tend to be shorter, with shorter legs and longer torsos, meaning they may have different ratios between the genders. This just means to be mindful of your physical ratio of the torso to the leg while shopping or picking your ski poles.
When you find ski poles that you like and want to purchase, or you are at a ski resort and it is time to pick your ski poles, try this method for a quick measurement to see if they will fit you and work well.
Firstly, put on the ski boots. You do not need to put on the skis themselves, just the boots. Putting on the boots gives you the added height that you would have out on the slopes, so you get a more accurate height and ski pole measurement.
Take the ski pole and flip it upside down so the handle is on the ground and the end or tip of the ski pole is up in the air.
Next, locate the basket. The basket is usually a small rubber or plastic disc located somewhere near the tip of the ski pole. Once you have found it, make a fist directly under it.
Your thumb should be touching the basket and the ski pole itself should be straight.
Your arm should be meeting the ski pole at a 90-degree angle from your shoulder. This ensures that the pole you have is the proper length for your height.
If your shoulder is in a wider angle, meaning it is sloping upwards than you should try to find a smaller pole in a shorter length. Repeat the process instructed above to make sure this new ski pole is the right length.
If your shoulder is creating an angle that is less than a 90-degree angle, you may want to find a longer ski pole. This means that your arm is angling downwards from your shoulder.
This method in combination with measuring your height to get a rough estimate of the length your ski pole should be are the most common ways to determine the length of a ski pole for an individual!
Finding the right ski poles should not be too difficult for the average skier or someone who is of average height and has a relatively balanced leg to torso ratio.
If that is not you, do not worry! You will be able to find the right ski poles. It just may take a couple more minutes than others.
Like stated earlier, finding the right ski poles is all about finding a balance between your body and the ski poles. Double-checking your measurements and trying out the upside-down method as a fairly sure-fire way of confirming the length of your ski poles in comparison to your body height.
The calculator is perfect for those who prefer something a little bit easier!
Once again, do not stress! You will find the right ski poles!
Have fun on the slopes!