Essentials: Poles

You need poles. Here are seven good options.
Seven Poles

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;]


ew to Black Diamond’s Efficient Series, the Compactor is the perfect pole for anyone trying to maximize space and efficiency. New Z-pole technology uses internal Kevlar cords that allow you quickly fold and deploy your poles for touring or storage. But gimmicks aside, they’ve also got BD’s easy adjusting FlickLock system and extension grips for when you choke up your grip on the steeps. $120;

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Poles are poles, right? Wrong. New technology and lighter, hybridized materials mean that ski poles have reached an all-time high of technical sophistication. Here are a few new ones you should take a look at.

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