By Gill Stewart at
We know how difficult it is to choose a pair of poles so we have decided to give you an expert guide to each type of Nordic walking pole from fixed length to telescopic. In this article, we will concentrate on EXTENDABLE POLES.
Q. WHAT are EXTENDABLE NORDIC WALKING POLES?
The term is used to describe any Nordic Walking pole models which are ADJUSTABLE but the adjustment mechanism is placed near the handle at the TOP of the poles rather than in the middle of the shaft like the traditional fully adjustable models.
Q. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF PLACING THE ADJUSTMENT NEARER THE HANDLE?
An adjustment mechanism will generally add a little weight to a Nordic Walking pole and it is preferable for this to be added just under the handle area although it is minimal and most people would not notice any difference. Similarly, as adjustment requires two diameters of tube (one sits inside the other and can be moved up and down before fixing at the desired height) and this will naturally create a tiny amount of vibration which is minimised if towards the end of the pole shaft rather than central.
In essence, an EXTENDABLE pole behaves very much like a fixed length pole but has the added benefit of being fully adjustable.
Q. WHAT ARE THE DRAWBACKS OF EXTENDABLE POLES?
The only real reason not to opt for extendable poles would be if you intend to travel a lot because they do have on longer piece of pole shaft and therefore will not fold down small enough to go into a typical suitcase. Many Nordic Walkers will still opt for them and check them in as ‘outsize baggage’ as you would with skis and golf clubs when travelling.
Q. WHICH MODELS ARE RECOMMENDED?
We stock a number of models by both Leki and Gabel and all are highly recommended – they are listed here in price order with their main features.
1. GABEL EVO TECH
The latest model from Italy and very keenly priced at only £69.95 – these poles are made of Carbon which has a protective Aluminium ‘wrap’ to make it robust, lightweight and super strong – size from 100cm-130cm.
They come with comfy flexible Gabel straps, roadster paws and a trendy green, black and silver finish. Brand new to the UK these are a massive £29.00 under RRP at the moment too! Click here for more information or to order a pair on line.
2. Leki Flash Vario
Fantastic poles with the unique quick lock adjustment which is ideal for those who struggle with twisting adjusters. Simply flick the lever, adjust and flick back! Stocks are running low on these because they are being updated for 2015 – so take advantage of our offer of £69.95 – They come in 5 cm increments and are suitable for sizes from 105 – 130 although some sizes may now be out of stock – for more info and to order on line click here.
3. Leki Speed Pace Vario
Simply the crème de la crème of Nordic Walking poles! 100% carbon, lightweight and with a small adjustment area at the top to ensure you get the feel of a one piece pole but PRECISE adjustment to within a millimetre. The poles come in 5 cm size increments and range from 105 to 130 cm Top of the range and priced at £120 – click here for more information.
In the next issue we will be exploring telescopic or ‘travelling’ 3 piece poles.