Sure, ski poles are easy to take for granted. But once you've had a good one, you'll have a keener appreciation of the finer points. Swing-weight matters. So does durability. And fancy grips, cool graphics, adjustable lengths, and interchangeable baskets seal the deal. Here are a few of our favorites.
(From left to right)
Goode Pure Carbon 10.4
With its high strength-to-weight ratio, carbon fiber – Goode's specialty – comes into its own in a ski pole. The 10.4 is height-adjustable and has a breakaway grip that could spare you from a shoulder injury.
Leki Speed S
Leki's signature technology is its Trigger grip-and-strap system. With the Speed S, the strap remains attached to your glove at all times. When you're ready to ski, simply snap in the strap. To detach, just push the trigger.
Yes, that's a velvet-covered grip. It's easy on the hand – and goes nicely with your Elvis paintings. Leave it to Scott: the Idaho-based company has a distinctly American sense of youth and style. And who wants boring poles?
Like the Velvet, the Leather is part of Scott's 4 Series. Both feature fun graphics and are constructed of aircraft-grade aluminum rated to 75,000 PSI – strong enough to withstand the punishments of treeskiing and spring bumps.
Swix Mach CT1
Classically Swix-racy in look and performance, the CT1 readily goes freeride with the addition of optional powder baskets. The grip tab keeps it from slipping out of hand in tight spots, and the ultralight weight makes it quick to flick.
Leki Elegance Vario S
As with the Speed S, the Elegance – a women's model – features Leki's Trigger system. Plus, its Vario capability allows you to adjust its length with a quick twist. Interchangeable powder baskets are optional.