Determine a Price RangeCross country ski poles generally range up to $185, but sometimes you can find ski poles at a very inexpensive price. Poles made of graphite or carbon fiber are generally lighter and more expensive than poles made of aluminum or fiberglass. Poles that are for beginners will be less expensive than advanced, complex poles that are designed for expert skiers.
Determine the Type of Ski PoleBefore you buy cross country ski poles, it is necessary to know what kind of pole you will need. If you're planning on racing, a stiffer pole may be more preferable. If you're a recreational skier, a more flexible ski pole will do.
If you are planning to do a lot of backcountry skiing, large baskets are ideal - they will make sure your pole doesn't sink too far in the snow. Smaller baskets are better for racing, or for skiing at nordic centers.
Determine The Correct SizeWhen shopping for ski poles, poles of the correct size are essential. While cross country ski poles vary in length, classic ski poles generally will reach your armpit - when you hold the pole with the tip to the ground, a properly sized pole will reach your armpit. Skating or freeestyle poles may be long enough to reach your nose or eyebrows.
Make Sure the Pole is ComfortableWhen you're in a ski shop, make sure that the grip on the pole is a good fit for your hand and feels comfortable. If you want an exact feel, bring along your favorite gloves or mittens - it will give you a good feel of how the pole will feel while skiing.
Don't Be Afraid to Ask QuestionsIf you're at a ski shop and if you have a question about a certain ski pole, don't be afraid to ask someone. Chances are, the salesperson will be able to answer your question.
If you're at nordic ski center and you're having a lesson, don't hesitate to ask your instructor if you have a question about the poles you're using. They will be more than happy to answer your question!