Ski Pole Sizing

For most people, ski poles are just another piece of equipment you need to get in order to have the full package to start your skiing adventure. While getting the right skis for your mountain extravaganza is important, you also need to get the right ski poles, more precisely, the right size of ski poles.

Having the right ski poles can actually change your entire skiing experience. Too long and you’ll have trouble controlling and holding them, as they will be too heavy and demand a lot of effort to hold and use. Too short, and you’ll have trouble staying on your skis at high speeds when gentle touches with your ski poles help keep you in balance.

If we got you asking questions about what size your ski poles should be, don’t worry, we also got the answers.

How To Find The Right Ski Pole Size For You

We’d like to tell you that there are definitive sizes and that a formula can be used to determine which size ski poles you should get, but the reality is a bit different. First, we’ll explain the traditional method that involves a general rule of thumb used when picking ski poles, then you can take a look at the chart that shows the recommended ski size for your height. After that, we’ll explain the potential deviations that might occur due to your skiing style.

To say that only numbers are enough for you to find what you need is a lie. Personal preference also plays a role.

The Traditional Method

A method which has been proven to give very good approximate results, it involves taking a pole, turning it upside down and holding it right under the basket, with your thumb pointed upwards along with the basket. When in this position, the handle of the pole should reach the ground, and your elbows should form a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm.

Ski Pole Size Chart

In order to get a better idea of the correlation between your height and the length of the ski poles, you can refer to the following chart.

Skier HeightSki Pole Length in InSki Pole Length in Cm
3’5’’ – 3’8’’ (104cm – 113cm)3485
3’9’’ – 4’ (114cm-123cm)3690
4’1″ – 4’4″ (124cm – 133cm)3895
4’5″ – 4’8″ (134cm – 142cm)40100
4’9″ – 5’0″ (143cm -151cm)42105
5’1″ – 5’3″ (152cm – 160cm)44110
5’4″ – 5’6″ (161cm – 168cm)46115
5’7″ – 5’9″ (169cm – 175cm)48120
5’10” – 6’0″ (176cm – 183cm)49125
6’1″ – 6’3″ (184cm – 191cm)52130
6’4″ – 6’6″ (192cm – 198cm)54135

This chart is a very good indicator of how long your pole should be, but as we said, you don’t have to stick to it 100%.

Deviation

While the traditional method and the chart offer good info on what size to look for, now it’s time to see what effect your style and personal preference will have on the size of your ski.

First off, your skiing style. If you like to spend more time on the groomed tracks, or prefer riding fast on hard-packed snow, then you should look for ski poles that are just right for your height by using the chart and maybe even try ones that are an inch or two longer. If you like to take your skis on a backcountry adventure, or simply prefer riding on powder snow, poles that are an inch or two shorter than the length on the chart will be perfect.

Go for longer poles if you want to have a wider range of maneuverability and spend more time on flat tracks, where you’d need to plant your ski poles every now and then.

Go for shorter ones if you want to have balance while going down a mountain at high speed. The small touches and bumps will be more than enough for you to maintain your balance. Be careful not to get them too short!

Conclusion

Well, it might not be too much of a deal or something that requires importance, but if you want to enjoy your time skiing, you should take the time to pick the right ski pole size for you in order to enjoy skiing to the fullest.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated December 2019

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