Ski Pole Sizing

The chart below only works for people of average height and arm length. To make sure you ski pole length is correct, turn your alpine ski pole UPSIDE DOWN and grab your pole under the basket or on the grip side of the basket. Your lower arm should be parallel to the floor. Pole length can vary for people the same height because of different arm lengths.


ski pole in
ski pole in
classic pole
in centimeters
3’ 2” not
80 cm
3’ 3” - 3’ 4” 32”80 cm80 cm
3’ 5” - 3’ 7” 34”85 cm85 cm
3’ 8” - 3’ 9” 34” - 36”85 - 90 cm85 - 90 cm
3’ 10” - 3’ 11” 36”90 cm90 cm
4’ - 4’ 1” 36” - 38”90 - 95 cm95 cm
4’ 2” - 4’ 3” 38”95 cm100 cm
4’ 4” - 4’ 5” 38” - 40”90 - 95 cm100 - 105 cm
4’ 6” - 4’ 8” 40” 100 cm105 - 110 cm
4’ 8” - 4’ 9” 40” 100 cm100 - 115 cm
4’ 10” - 4’ 11” 40” - 42”100 - 105 cm120 cm
5’ 42” - 44”105 - 110 cm125 cm
5’ 1” 44” 110 cm125 cm
5’ 2” 44” 110 cm130 cm
5’ 3” 44” - 46”110 - 115 cm130 cm
5’ 4” 46” 115 cm135 cm
5’ 5” 46” 115 cm135 cm
5’ 6” 46” - 48”115 - 120 cm140 cm
5’ 7” 48” 120 cm140 cm
5’ 8” 48” 120 cm145 cm
5’ 9” 48” - 50”120 - 125 cm145 cm
5’ 10” 48” - 50”120 - 125 cm150 cm
5’ 11” 50” 125 cm150 cm
6’ 50” 125 cm155 cm
6’ 1” 52” 125 - 130 cm155 cm
6’ 2” 52” 130 cm160 cm
6’ 3” 52” 130 - 135 cm160 cm
6’ 4” 54” 135 cm165 cm
6’ 5” 54” 135 cm165 cm

Novice to intermediate skiers - If you are between sizes, go longer. A longer pole will help keep your body in better balance and allow you to put your weight on the proper ski easier.

Advanced skiers, expert skiers and racers - If between sizes, you may go shorter. This is due to the aggressive stance which is normally lower than intermediates.

When in doubt, always go longer. Many poles can be cut down in length by removing the grip and cutting the shaft. Poles can not be made longer.

How to Size Poles - Types of Poles on the Market
How to Pole Plant by Gold Medalist Deb Armstrong

For CROSS COUNTRY Ski Pole Sizing

Extend one arm out to your side making it parallel to the floor. Check your ski pole length by putting your pole UNDER your arm pit. Your pole should fit under your arm comfortably.

Less aggressive skiers - If you are between sizes, go shorter.

More aggressive skiers - If you are between sizes, go up a size.

More aggressive skiers usually raise their arms higher. A longer pole can help. Less aggressive skiers sometimes don't raise their arms as high.

When in doubt, go longer. Poles can be cut down in length by removing the grip and cutting the shaft. Poles can not be made longer.

Why Type of Ski Pole Should I Get?

Ski poles are usually the last thing you think about when getting new equipment. In most cases, after the work in finding a pair of boots that fit well and the big decision of which skis to get, the choice of ski poles falls to: What's cheap and looks good with my skis?
And it used to be that was all you needed to ask. But now there are many more options to consider when buying ski poles. Manufacturers have developed more bells and whistles than cost and color.

Ski poles need to be strong for planting turns, pushing yourself around in lift lines and occasionally to help you climb uphill. They have to be light to lessen arm fatigue and somewhat flexible so that a fall doesn't bend them into a pretzel. If you're a beginner, a basic aluminum pole that fits properly is all you need. As you become more experienced, you may want to try different materials for a better performance.

Alpine Accessories offers a wide range of price choices, starting at the basic $29.00 and ending with the Leki Trigger Grip Ski Poles at $100. Why such a wide range of price you ask?

  1. The Shaft:

  2. Early ski poles were simply sticks, then bamboo (1930s), then steel (1940s and early 1950s). In 1958, Ed Scott invented the aluminum ski pole. Even though ski poles are now made in other materials, aluminum is still one of the main types of ski pole on the market.

    Aluminum Shaft: Cheap ski poles will use a lower cost aluminum alloy which will cause them to be a little heavier and break easier. Aluminum poles are a good inexpensive pole for beginners, the aluminum pole is preferred by trick skiers and many racers because it will not bend with the pressure they require. Pay a little more and you will get stronger, lighter alloys.

    Composite Shaft: Manufactures are now producing ski poles made of fiberglass, and other specialized materials. Lightweight composite materials are used to reduce weight and increase the strength of the pole. The best ski poles made of carbon fiber, or graphite for instance, are very light and durable. These poles also bend a little with pressure, example being when planted hard in the bumps. The advantage to this is the shock absorbency. Your joints will thank you for this at the end of the day.

  3. The Tip:

    On the starter poles you will get what is simply called an ice tip. But on the pricier poles you will get a carbide ice tip made of a stronger material.
  4. The Grip:

    On the low cost poles you will find an extruded plastic grip, a woven nylon strap and a plastic buckle for adjustment. As the price of poles increase, the grips are made with better materials for their anti-slip quality, but still use the basic strap system. On the higher price poles, improvements can be found in performance and safety as seen on the (above) Leki Vantage S. Their unique Leki Trigger System gives you an adjustable strap that securely wraps around your gloves but attaches and detaches from the pole by the press of a button. The strap also detaches from the pole if the basket was to get caught in a tree to avoid shoulder and arm injuries.

Alpine Accessories offers a wide price range to fit everyone's budget, starting at $29.00 and ending at $139.95 . Like the above section on aluminum poles, the material of the pole, the ice tip and the grip determine the cost. Here again, the Leki ski pole is our top choice with the ease of use when riding chair lifts as well as the safety factor of the detachable strap. I personally would much rather climb up the hill to retrieve a dropped pole than have a dislocated shoulder.

More Ski Information

Ski Size Chart

Get the correct size skis for the best performance and experience.
Get the right ski length for your weight, ability, skier type and the corresponding ski model you choose. Getting a shorter ski does not make it easier to turn. Get the correct ski and you will feel the difference.

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Ski Boot Sizing

Get correct size ski boots for the best fit, performance and experience on the slopes.
Get great fitting ski boots by going to a great boot fitter who will get you into the correct size in length and width, model and stiffness. Having the right ski boots are the most critical component of you gear.

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Ability Level

What is your Ability Level?
What is your Ability Level?
Knowing your aggressiveness and ability level on the slopes will help you select the proper gear and the most suitable slopes to take the lift to.

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Find out more about ski gear.