An Expert Guide to Rossignol Ski Poles

Published on 03/03/2024 · 9 min readMaximize your slope performance with Rossignol ski poles. Our guide highlights their durability, grip comfort, and how they match various skiing styles!
Elijah Rawls, Ski Expert
By Ski Expert Elijah Rawls

Photo courtesy of Rossignol

Tl;dr: Rossignol offers ski poles in three main categories: alpine, touring, and Nordic (cross country). The French company is known best for racing and downhill-focused poles that excel on-piste.

While they’re sometimes an afterthought, poles are the unsung hero of any skier’s kit. Picking the right type for the right activity is a great way to ensure a successful ski day. I spend about 60% of my time on skis in the backcountry, with the rest spent in-bounds at resorts, and if I’ve learned one thing over the years, it’s that not all poles are created equal. Picking the right pair of ski poles largely depends on the type of skiing you plan on doing.

In addition, we’ll cover the differences in pole features, like basket size, height adjustability, and handle type, to help you find the right fit. Fortunately, Rossignol has a lot of variety, so there’s bound to be something that works for you. If you’d like to talk to a Curated Ski Expert directly to help you decide, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

What Are Rossignol Ski Poles?

Photo courtesy of Rossignol

Created in 1907 at the doorstep of the Alps in Isère, France, Rossignol is the definition of skiing pedigree. The company is so old that Abel Rossignol, the company's founder, started with wooden skis. Fast-forwarding to the 1970s — the company's plastic Strato skis became the first ski model to sell 1 million pairs. Today, the company is known for alpine-focused gear, apparel, and footwear products. Their skis are known for providing elite-level performance.

As mentioned in the tl;dr, Rossignol sells poles in three main categories: alpine, touring, and Nordic. While they carry a few models focused on freeriding, that's not the brand's forte, so if that's what you're after, you may want to look elsewhere. Now that you have a good understanding of the brand and what it offers, let's dig into a few things to consider when purchasing your Rossignol poles.

What to Consider When Buying Rossignol Poles?

What Kind of Skiing Do You Plan on Doing?

To me, this is the most critical question you should ask yourself when purchasing any ski gear. Most of today's gear is specialized for one use or another. For instance, if you're a skier who enjoys spending time in-bounds at resorts, Rossignol's alpine poles are for you. Featuring small baskets, light shafts, and a comfortable grip, these ski poles are designed to not get in the way of your carving down groomed runs and provide you with all day comfort.

On the other hand, if you're looking to get a pair of touring poles to complete your uphill kit, Rossignol also offers options that can be height-adjusted depending on whether you're traveling uphill or downhill. Plus, the brand also has a great selection of Nordic skiing poles with specialized tips to help with propulsion.

How Tall Are You?

Picking the correct size for your ski poles depends on your physical height. Unless you get adjustable touring poles, you will only have one size to choose from. Take a look at the charts below to figure out the best length for you.

Alpine Ski Pole Size Chart

Photo by Rossignol

Nordic Ski Pole Size Chart

Photo by Rossignol

Since Nordic poles are used for propulsion during cross-country skiing, they are supposed to be longer than alpine poles, so don't be shocked if you're trying the sport for the first time.

How Much Money Should You Spend?

Fortunately, poles are some of the cheaper elements of a ski kit, so they won't break the bank. You can expect to pay less than $100 for a pair of Rossignol all-mountain alpine poles. However, as with most ski gear, the more specialized you get, the more expensive things are. If you're looking for a pair of Nordic or touring poles, you'll see prices anywhere from $100 to $200.

Different Types of Rossignol Ski Poles

Rossignol offers three main types of ski poles: alpine, touring, and Nordic. Let's dig deeper into each type and help you determine which one is best for you.

Alpine

Photo courtesy of Rossignol

While most types of poles are designed to be used downhill at some point, for alpine poles, downhill is all they know. You can expect small baskets at the tips and a slender shaft that keeps a low profile while engaging your edges. They'll also provide a secure feel with ergonomic grips. While they're what most beginners start with, alpine poles are popular with on-piste skiers of all ski levels because of their excellent adaptability and provide all mountain versatility.

Benefits:

  • Don't get in the way while you're turning or getting on and off the lift
  • Ideal for beginners

Be Aware:

  • Not as sturdy as freeride poles, as it relates to off-piste skiing
  • Not adjustable

Touring

Photo courtesy of Rossignol

Designed to provide stability and precision on uphill ascents, touring poles are usually adjustable — meaning you can make them shorter while traveling up and longer for traveling down. They look a lot like hiking poles and are usually made of a lightweight aluminum shaft.

Benefits:

  • Can be height-adjusted depending on the type of ski travel
  • Great balance of lightness and strength

Be Aware:

  • Not as durable in the long-term as freeride poles due to a focus on weight reduction

Nordic

Photo courtesy of Rossignol

Created for cross country skiers only, Nordic poles are as specialized as they come. They're designed to be longer than alpine poles to help give cross country skiers longer reach and better efficiency. They also have a unique curved tip that helps with propulsion.

Benefits:

  • Better at helping with propulsion on flat ground
  • Usually feature a durable tip made of metal

Be Aware:

  • Not designed for alpine skiing
  • Tend to be on the expensive side

Features to Look For in Rossignol Ski Poles

If you're a beginner or even a burgeoning intermediate, having a refresher on the different features of ski poles can be helpful when deciding on a new pair.

Basket Size

This term refers to the size of the plastic circle right above the tip of the pole. It helps your tip stay above the snow when you pole plant. Alpine poles are designed to be used on-piste only, so their baskets tend to be small since the snow is already compacted.

Freeride and touring poles tend to have larger powder baskets because they're used in deep snow. However, when engaged in deep carves, they could feel bulkier than alpine baskets. On the other hand, Nordic poles have a curved basket that helps propel yourself forward. You'll also find that newer pole models will come with an interchangeable basket system so you can adjust to different snow conditions.

Strap

If you ride on-piste, pole straps are commonplace. This welcomed safety feature can keep you from hiking back up to a dropped pole or relying on help from someone uphill in the event of a fall. Adjustable straps are standard in most modern models, but it's always worth checking before you purchase. Some models will even feature quick-release safety straps in the event of an accident, decreasing your chance of personal injury.

However, it's worth noting that if you're a free rider who spends most of their time off-piste, it's recommended that you ride without the use of a pole strap and keep a more secure grip in case the pole gets caught on unseen terrain under the snow. If that's you, then the sophistication of the strap system should matter less.

Adjustable Height

Most poles designed for touring have a telescopic height adjustment system. It allows skiers to tailor their poles' height depending on whether they are traveling uphill or downhill. It can make a difference, especially on long tours. It's also worth noting that these poles will often feature a changeable basket system to allow you to get more support in deep snow.

How to Choose the Right Rossignol Ski Poles for You

Since you now have a refresher on the features of ski poles, an overview of the different types, and a list of things to consider when purchasing, let's help you make your big decision! Below are three fictional skier profiles, each looking for a different option.

Orlando

Orlando is an intermediate skier who enjoys carving down green and blue groomers. Orlando has a pair of on-piste skis, and he's looking for a pair of alpine poles to match. He's not a fan of skiing in powder and only plans to spend a little time off-piste. A comfortable hold would be welcome.

Features Orlando should look for:

  • A small basket designed for groomed runs
  • An adjustable strap system that has an emphasis on comfort and reducing hand fatigue
  • A shaft, focused on aerodynamics, that has a low profile while he's carving

Pole example: Rossignol Tactic Ski Poles

Henry

Henry is a backcountry ski tourer looking to replace his old pair that snapped. His poles need to be able to be adjusted depending on if he's traveling uphill or down, and he wants them to be as light as possible. Henry would also like to be able to use them at his local resort on days he needs a break from the backcountry.

Features Henry should look for:

  • A telescopic height adjustment system
  • A durable aluminum shaft
  • An interchangeable basket system for uneven terrain
  • Adjustable straps for when he uses them at the resort

Pole examples: Rossignol Adjustable BC 100 Ski Poles, Rossignol Escaper Telescopic Safety Ski Poles

Timothy

Timothy is exploring getting into cross country skiing, so he's interested in Nordic pole options. Timothy has never tried the sport, so he hopes to spend less than $100.

Features Timothy should look for:

  • Curved basket for efficient propulsion while planting
  • A durable carbide tip for off-season training
  • A longer pole for increased reach on flat ground

Pole examples: Rossignol Force 3 Ski Poles, Rossignol FT-500 Ski Poles

Finding the Best Rossignol Poles for You

If you're confused with all the pole options available, don't be! To help narrow your list, focus on looking at poles designed for the type of skiing you plan on using them for. Manufacturers often specialize their gear for a specific activity to make it easier on the end-user.

You can always reach out to me or another of our Curated Ski Experts to help you decide if you still have questions. We're passionate about what we do and want you to find the perfect gear for your next adventure!

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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