An Expert Guide to Leki Ski Poles

Published on 01/21/2024 · 8 min readEnhance your skiing experience! Dive into our expert guide on Leki ski poles, renowned for their innovation, comfort, and reliability on the slopes.
Melissa Stevens, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Melissa Stevens

Photo courtesy of Hunter R.

TL;DR: Leki is well known for its cutting-edge technology when it comes to crafting high-quality ski poles. Their poles are packed with features that allow Leki to stand out from the rest. Leki prioritizes comfort, ease of use, and safety when it comes to their poles. This guide will walk you through finding the perfect Leki ski poles to aid your next adventure on the slopes.

I grew up skiing on the East Coast in elementary school, and moved to Salt Lake City after graduating high school to chase some powder. I have taught skiing in New Zealand and Park City, and walked customers through finding their perfect pair of ski poles while working in a local ski shop at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. I love helping others find the perfect ski gear and sharing my passion for being outside with family and friends.

With that, let’s dive into who Leki is, and how to find the perfect set of Leki ski poles for you!

Who is Leki?

Photo by Maarten Duineveld

Leki has been around since 1948, and originally started out as a wood lettering company. At the time, they made wood letters for businesses like bakeries and butcher shops. But by 1960, the founder of Leki had identified a new problem: he was fed up with the low-quality functionality of ski poles. So, he started making his own grips and baskets, and the rest is history. For decades, Leki has used its 6 core principles of innovation to craft superior ski poles: quality, innovation, enthusiasm, excellence, partnership, and responsibility—with plans to continue well into the future.

What to Consider When Buying Leki Ski Poles

Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for your perfect pair of new poles.

What is Your Pole Length?

Pole length sizing varies depending on what type of pole you are looking for. In this article, I refer to alpine skiing. The easiest way to find the right length is to refer to a chart such as the one below. However, if you are sizing in the store, you can follow this general rule of thumb: Flip the ski pole upside down and grip right below the basket. If your arm is sitting at a 90-degree angle, the pole is likely a good fit.

Skier HeightPole Length (in)Pole Length (cm)
6'7" +56140
6'4" - 6'6"54135
6'1" - 6'3"52130
5'10" - 6'0"50125
5'7" - 5'9"48120
5'4" - 5'6"46115
5'1" - 5'3"44110
4'9" - 5'0"42105
4'5" - 4'8"40100
4'1" - 4'4"3895
3'9" - 4'0"3690
3'5" - 3'8"3485
< 3'4"3280

What is Your Skiing Ability?

If you are just starting out, you should use the chart above to determine your ski pole length. If you are unable to get the exact fit, it is better to have your ski poles slightly too short than too long. Many parents make a big mistake by purchasing a fixed-length pole that is too long for their kids, thinking that they will grow into them. Instead, get them the right size to start, and let them grow out of them. This will make it much easier to use the poles when just starting out.

What Terrain Do You Like to Ski?

The terrain you like to ski is an important factor to consider when shopping for ski poles. Poles that fit according to the size chart above will allow you to ski more aggressively in varied terrain. Freestyle skiers may prefer their poles to be on the shorter side, allowing more mobility when landing tricks and jumps, while still providing enough support to turn effectively.

What Are the Different Types of Leki Ski Poles?

There are three main types of alpine ski poles: traditional, race poles, and adjustable poles.

Traditional

Traditional ski poles are the category in which most alpine ski poles fall. They can be marketed toward men or women, but generally, men’s and women’s poles are the same. They also can be made of different types of materials, usually with carbon or high-strength aluminum shafts.

Benefits:

  • Work well in a variety of conditions
  • May have a variety of features such as ergonomic grips, interchangeable baskets for different terrain, and the ability to detach in case of an accident

Be Aware:

  • They come in a variety of materials and therefore prices vary
  • They can be marketed as men’s or women’s-specific, but the main difference is usually just the color

Race Poles

Race poles are built specifically for athletes who race. If they have a big bend in them, they are likely GS (giant slalom) race poles, and the straight ones are for slalom.

Benefits:

  • They are built with lightweight materials to reduce arm fatigue when racing
  • They are built to be aerodynamic, so as not to slow you down

Be Aware:

  • There are different types of ski poles for different types of racing
  • Race poles can cost more than regular ski poles

Adjustable Poles

Adjustable ski poles are poles that vary in length, making them ideal for the backcountry or sidecountry. Adjustable ski poles are also a popular choice for kids, as they can be adjusted as they grow.

Benefits:

  • Great for growing kids or sharing with friends
  • Ideal for the backcountry, so you can change the length to be shorter on uphill terrain

Be Aware:

  • Sometimes the adjustment mechanisms don’t work as well as they should, or can get stuck when it gets cold out
  • They don’t always last as long as regular ski poles, especially if you are rough on the adjusting mechanism and don’t lubricate it once in a while

Features to Look For When Buying Leki Ski Poles

Below is a list of common features to look for when buying Leki ski poles. Leki uses some innovative technology, so some of these features you won’t find when shopping with other brands.

Trigger S Grip System

Thanks to a direct connection between the strap or glove and the pole, you can click in and click out of the safety release system.

Benefits:

  • The poles detach from your wrists when you fall, to reduce the risk of injury
  • The strap is mesh, fully customizable in size, and extremely comfortable compared to traditional wrist straps, which can be awkward and inconvenient
  • The added convenience of not having to slip your wrist in and out of a strap

Be Aware:

  • To use the system, you can either purchase Leki gloves and lose the strap, or you can use your own gloves or mittens and utilize the provided strap

Material

Ski poles are constructed of either full aluminum, full carbon, or a mix of aluminum and carbon composite. All of Leki’s ski poles are durable and high quality, no matter the material, though carbon ski poles will be more expensive and high-performance oriented. When it comes to environmental impact, both are similar. Aluminum is easier to recycle, but carbon produces less waste initially and is longer lasting.

Carbon

Benefits:

  • Carbon is lightweight, stiff, and responsive with a high bending strength
  • Resistance to corrosion makes them long lasting

Be Aware:

Aluminum

Benefits:

  • Less expensive than carbon, while still highly durable
  • Shock absorbing and a slightly heavier/more stable feel

Be Aware:

  • When it comes to aluminum poles, strength varies depending on the heat treatment level. The higher the heat treatment, generally the stronger the aluminum.
  • Some of Leki’s ski poles are a mix of both aluminum and carbon composite

How to Choose the Right Leki Poles for You

Photo courtesy of Hunter R.

Choosing the right Leki ski poles for you can be daunting at first, but hopefully, now you have a better understanding of what to look for. Below, I’ve described two skiers who represent two different skier personas. I’ve highlighted what they should look for in terms of new ski poles, based on their skiing styles and goals.

Sheila

Sheila is a timid skier who has been skiing for a few years, but doesn’t like to go fast or ski anything harder than a blue (intermediate) run. She likes the safety features of the Trigger S System, but doesn’t want anything that will break the bank. Additionally, she is looking for optimum comfort, and nothing heavy.

Features Sheila should look for:

  • Trigger S System
  • Comfortable grips that will allow her maximum stability and enhance her confidence
  • A reasonable price

Leki Ski Pole Examples: Leki Bliss Ski Poles, Leki Elite Ski Poles

Selling fast

Jamar

Jamar is an advanced skier who mostly rides in the backcountry with other ski tourers, but does some resort skiing too. He loves to ski in extreme conditions. He has never had adjustable poles before, but would like to make climbing in the backcountry more comfortable and seamless.

Features Jamar should look for:

  • Lightweight ski poles with adjustable mechanism
  • Wide baskets suitable for powder
  • Ideally, an extended foam grip for maximum comfort when climbing

Leki Ski Pole Examples: Leki Helicon Lite Ski Poles, Leki Haute Route 2 Ski Poles

Find the Best Leki Ski Poles for You

Leki ski poles are truly high-quality products, enhanced with unique safety features. Finding the optimal Leki poles depends on your ability, terrain preferences, and budget. For more guidance on choosing the perfect pair for you, chat with a Curated Ski Expert for free, personalized advice!

Curated experts can help

Have a question about the article you just read or want personal recommendations? Connect with a Curated expert and get free recommendations for whatever you’re looking for!

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