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Pole Dance

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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Teaming with technical features and offering multiple forms of functionality, the K2 Lockjaw is the ideal multi-tool for backcountry skiers. This…

Teaming with technical features and offering multiple forms of functionality, the K2 Lockjaw is the ideal multi-tool for backcountry skiers. This lightweight all-carbon pole is equipped with a bubble vial inclinometer to gauge slope angle, and functions as depth ruler to measure snowpack. But don’t let its fancy gadgetry fool you; its ergonomic grips and rugged design validate that this pole means business.

$180; http://k2skis.com

Eric Pollard’s new pro model is the ultimate pole for versatility in the park AND the backcountry. The durable 7,000 aluminum shafts have flashy…

Eric Pollard’s new pro model is the ultimate pole for versatility in the park AND the backcountry. The durable 7,000 aluminum shafts have flashy graphics for steez points, and the skinny, easier-to-grab grips are wrapped with handlebar tape for better “grippage”. Use their ScrewOff technology to switch between 60mm all-mountain baskets and 80mm powder baskets.

$80; http://lineskis.com

This über-lightweight and rugged pole is the product of Swix’s Filament-Wound engineering process. Its 18mm shaft is made of 100 percent carbon…

This über-lightweight and rugged pole is the product of Swix’s Filament-Wound engineering process. Its 18mm shaft is made of 100 percent carbon fiber, making it responsive and easy to move. The ZEO comes with a carbon ice tip, and features Scott’s new Lite Strap system, where straps are shaped to left and right.

$150; http://www.scott-sports.com

Swix poles have long been favorites of World Cup athletes like Tommy Ford and Steve Nyman, but that doesn’t mean that weekend warriors can’t enjoy…

Swix poles have long been favorites of World Cup athletes like Tommy Ford and Steve Nyman, but that doesn’t mean that weekend warriors can’t enjoy their sleek and lightweight design as well. Ergonomic rubber grips have tabs that prevent slipping or dropping, and the steel carbide tip allows you to plant with confidence, even in the most miserably icy conditions.

$90; http://www.swixsport.com

Carbon composite material in the 16S has a strength-to-weight ratio six times greater than aluminum and it also absorbs shock better. LEKI didn’t…

Carbon composite material in the 16S has a strength-to-weight ratio six times greater than aluminum and it also absorbs shock better. LEKI didn’t skimp with the beefy (but refreshingly light) 16mm shaft, which will stand up to seasons of merciless abuse. The 16S also features LEKI’s signature Trigger S system, which makes strapping up a breeze.

$139; http://www.leki.com/skiing/skiingPole.php?pID=139

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…

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; http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com