Ski poles are used by skiers to improve balance, speed and acceleration. They probably evolved from walking sticks carried while traveling, and possibly from spears as well.

In the days before turning techniques had been properly developed, one long pole was normally used on sloping ground. The skier would lean or sit on the pole in order to increase friction with the ground, so slowing or stopping.

In modern skiing one pole is held in each hand, and each pole has a circular "basket" attached close to the lower end to prevent the pole sinking significantly into deep snow. At the upper end of the pole a strap is attached, which is normally slipped over the wrist to prevent the loss of the pole in the event of a fall. When skiing the backcountry (off piste) in trees, the wrist strap is not normally used, since there is a risk of wrist injury if the pole should catch on an unseen branch or root.

Poles Poles