How to Measure Ski Poles

Two Methods:For Alpine Ski PolesFor Cross-Country Ski Poles

For peak performance during ski season, determine your correct shoe size and ski pole length before renting or buying gear. This is especially important for beginners, as they will frequently use the poles for support. If ski poles are too short, you will lean over, affecting your forward balance. If poles are too long, you will lean back too far, and be more likely to fall back. There are ways to measure to ensure you can use your poles to turn easily and get up after you have fallen. This article will show you how to measure ski poles.

Method 1
For Alpine Ski Poles

  1. Image titled Measure Ski Poles Step 1
    Stand up straight in a normal skiing stance with legs hip-width apart.
  2. Image titled Measure Ski Poles Step 2
    Put your hands into fists and then put your elbows a 90-degree angle and parallel to the ground. Hold them close to your waist. Now, flex your biceps. This will simulate your comfortable skiing stance.
    • If you are having trouble finding your comfortable skiing stance, put on your ski boots and skis, if you have them, and then measure. This will also find the most exact measurement.
  3. Image titled Measure Ski Poles Step 3
    Instruct your friend to measure the distance between your thumb and the floor. Take the measurement in inches and cm.
    • Make sure your thumbs are to the inside as if you are holding something and not pointing up.

Method 2
For Cross-Country Ski Poles

  1. Image titled Measure Ski Poles Step 4
    Put on your ski boots and skis if you already have them. Stand up straight in your comfortable skiing stance, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Now, flex your biceps.
  2. Image titled Measure Ski Poles Step 5
    Instruct a friend to place a ruler at the top of your shoulders, parallel to the ground. Ask them to measure from the ground to the ruler at your shoulders in both inches and cm. This is the appropriate length.


  • For skate ski poles, put on your skates. Instruct your friend to measure from the ground up to your upper lip at mustache height.
  • Many ski supply companies and rental places have a ski pole size chart, predicting the comfortable length in inches and cm. For example: the chart would suggest that someone who is from 5 feet (1.5 m) 7 inches to 5 feet (1.5 m) 9 inches (170 cm to 175 cm) would need poles that were 48 inches or 120 cm.


  • Most ski pole charts are calculated according to height; however, arm lengths differ greatly from person to person.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Friend to measure
  • Ski boots and skis (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Snow Skiing