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Essentials: Poles

You need poles. Here are seven good options.
posted: 07/01/2009
Seven Poles
by Sarah Klingelheber

Scott Zeo
This carbon-fiber pole has the sturdiness of an aluminum stick without the weight. It comes with a light wrist strap, an aluminum-alloy ice tip, and a comfy notched grip, but the baskets may be too small for a deep powder day. [$150;]

K2 Lockjaw Aluminum/Carbon

The Lockjaw is K2’s first adjustable pole line and features a secure, easy-to-use clamping system. Numbered measurements run the length of the aluminum top section. Remove the powder baskets and the carbon bottom half can be used as a probe.[$140;]

Swix Jon Olsson Freeride
Design-approved by Swedish ski superstar Jon Olsson (hence the gold label), this pole goes anywhere–backcountry booters, railslides, or big-mountain terrain. It has a resilient composite shaft and interchangeable baskets that you can swap out when it gets deep. [$90;]

Leki Speed Carbon S
Leki’s proprietary grip system connects your glove to your pole grip—you won’t drop it by accident, but it releases if your pole snags on a branch. This year, Leki redesigned the pole and replaced the plastic insert with a stronger, reinforced cord. See page TK for the matching gloves. [$140;]

Black Diamond Boundary

At just $80, the Boundary is BD’s most affordable aluminum pole. And it comes loaded with extra features: a padded power strap, a comfortable grip, and a hook under the top of the grip for making adjustments to your climbing bars and boot buckles. [$80;]

Joystick The Sauce
Three years ago, Canadian pro skier and self-taught artist Anthony Boronowski started making basic, durable poles featuring his own graphics—like The Sauce. Its supple grip holds an aluminum shaft. [$55;]

Goode Hybrid
Goode is known for its light, pencil-thin ski poles. This year, the company introduces its first-ever tapered pole—fat up top, skinny down low. Made of carbon composite, the Hybrid has an interchangeable basket system allows you to easily snap on powder baskets. [$90;]

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