Take it from Flake, the swingin'est swinger you'll ever file a restraining order against: yes. Swing weight is the reason skiers get as hot and bothered over Swix ellipticals as the male species gets over of the cover of Maxim. A light-at-the-top stick with a heavier bottom weight whips out of your hand with little energy, like a pendulum. This quickens your pole plant, which-in engineer-speak-helps you bring your shiznit around into the next turn. Sounds far-fetched, but compare smooth-flicking, high-end poles with a junk pair of rentals and you'll feel the difference. For the official word, here's Aaron Ambuske, a former engineer at Life-Link, now with K2 Ski: "Swing weight is important for most skiers' speeds." Thank you, Mr. Ambuske.