The answer to the question every skier old and new wants to know. There is a very simple answer and the long one.
The short one.
What ski pole is the right length for you is easy to find out by making a right angle with you arm, holding your elbow against your side, measuring the distance between the top of your fist and adding 10cm*. Read on for a more in depth look at what ski pole size is right length for you.
The long one.
This is the generic way instructors and boot fitters use to find what ski pole length is the right size for you. Of course there are different levels of skiing abilities, people of all shapes and sizes! Bottom line its about being comfortable. You don't want a ski pole to be too short or too high, you want to be somewhere in the middle.
Then again if your into the park and like landing switch after hitting a rail or a double or in the powder, then I'd recommend using a short pole because the last thing you want is a pole handle to the face when you catch it in the snow as you land!! However you would look pretty stupid with short poles making nice even smooth turns down a ski run with 90cms when you should be using 120cm to get the right place for the pole plant, right!
If your in the shop and can test a ski pole out you should hold the ski pole upside down and above the basket. If you have aright angle at the elbow then your pretty much spot on for the right size ski pole. Its best to ask the shop pro as well, they generally have a lot of experience picking out the right sized ski pole for you.
As an instructor at CSIA we're taught and teach people to point to the ark of the next turn. The best ski pole size you will need is generally a bit higher than you think. Before I got my ticket was comfortable on 120cm but to get the right size ski pole to improve my turn, balance and posture I moved up to a 125cm. They felt high when I first took that size out but by then time I was finished skiing that day I could really appreciate the extra length and who doesn't appreciate a bit of extra length!
For your standard holiday skiing trip and your buying on line you really want to go with the first option.At the end of the day you want to be in a comfortable and in a balanced position, save you falling over all the time.
Next you don't want a piece of metal that wont bend when land on it either so go for something aluminium. Its great for falling on because it will bend back and is light too. Plus you want to have light weight poles with a comfortable grip that fits in your hand.The most common size ski pole would have to be a 125cm. Its the right sized ski pole for someone that is 5'11.
The next question is.. Which ski pole is best for me?
I'm going to let you guys in on a little secrete theres not much variety in the way of ski poles but if your looking for something different and new then look no further than a Screw U Poles. A small ski pole company with a 'twist' running out of New Zealand.
Whats so special about these ski poles you ask? They look the part, they are lightweight and strong too ......the point of difference is the tip... “Just The Tip” is Screw U Poles motto and thats because this Kiwi ski instructor/teacher/explorer put a screw driver in the end to make it a tool too. Thats a ski pole and a screwdriver! Boom
Thats right these ski poles have a screwdriver in the tip instead of your standard inverted tip this ski pole is not a tool too!! The lucky few on the hill that have these ski poles can make adjustments to any ski set up and even help out their snowboarding buddy's too anywhere any time. No more getting to the top of the lift and discovering you need to tighten up you dins because your mate used your skies the day before! There are tones of different situations that you can use these ski poles for. Helping people is what SUP do!!
If you want to have the new tech in skiing then this is as new and as simple as it gets. The brand is on point and Screw U Poles are all about making the mountain a safer place for all levels of skier plus its about being positive and friendly in an environment that can sometimes turn into our worse nightmare when our gear fails us.
*The reason we add 10cm is to account for skies, bindings and boots which I about 10cm.