How to Size Ski Poles
How do you determine what length pole is required? The chart on this page can be used as
a general guide and is based on height. The most common ”old time“ method is to invert
the pole with the grip on the floor and grab the shaft under the basket. The pole is a good
fit if your forearm is at 90 degrees (or parallel to the floor).
This is a good starting point, but personal preference may dictate a slightly shorter pole in
modern day slalom where racers attack in a little lower body position and the pole plant
becomes awkward if the pole is too long.
GS/SG and DH poles are typically longer for a stronger push out of the start and pole
planting is not an issue.
Select a longer pole if in doubt as most shafts can be cut down to size, but it is quite
impossible to add length. (Note: Cutting down GS/SG and DH poles is a bit more
complicated due to the bend of the pole. They may be cut down some, but keep in mind
the placement of the bend relative to the body while in a tuck, before making this
decision.) It may seem obvious to some, but always cut from the top of the pole. We have
calls each year by someone, who obviously shouldn’t be allowed to play with tools, asking
just this question.