Ski pole reviews & news
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After burning through aluminum poles season after season, we invested in a pair of Grass Sticks. And we’ve used them pretty much exclusively in the four years since. Why? Bamboo bends instead of breaking, so no matter how many times we flip into a yard sale, the poles come away unscathed. Plus, those customizable grip and basket colors are a guaranteed conversation starter on the lift.
While testing, the Grass Sticks were not only light, but they were also incredibly durable. Bamboo provides the perfect amount of rigidity and flexibility for skiing—no more warping your poles or having them snap completely. The natural bamboo look harkens back to the pioneering days of skiing, while the accent colors add some personality.
Bamboo ski poles have taken the skiing world by storm in recent years. They’re lighter, stronger, better looking, and better for the environment than the average aluminum or carbon fiber pole. While there are a few companies in the U.S. making bamboo poles, a company out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado cleverly called Grass Sticks has quickly gained ground since their start in 2014.
Whether you are looking to get new poles for yourself this season or need a gift idea for your favorite skier, these sticks will be your new best friend. They’ll get you noticed in the lift lines and spark conversations on the chair. Look good, feel good, ski better.
A group of Outside editors took advantage of a recent snowstorm to rip around on some of the newest designs for winter 2017-18
We’ve been skiing with a set of Grass Sticks this season and are totally smitten. The Steamboat Springs–based company makes custom ski poles out of bamboo, and you get to pick everything from grip to basket color to whether you want them adjustable or fixed. Since the brand builds each set by hand, it can accommodate any length, so you’re not stuck skiing with poles that are just a little too long or short.
The Bamboo Poles That Last
Stronger, lighter, more durable, and more environmentally friendly than traditional aluminum poles, these bamboo versions from Steamboat City, Colo., startup Grass Sticks (from $89) can bend almost 90 degrees and still snap back into place. In some cases, the kiln-dried Calcutta bamboo—similar to the kind used in competitor Panda Poles—is stronger than carbon-fiber poles of similar weight, thanks to its thicker wall with less hollow space inside. Grips come in seven colors with weather-resistant hemp straps, and baskets come in eight colors and three different sizes.
Grass Sticks aren't the only bamboo ski poles available, but the combination of grip design and interchangeable baskets make them our favorite. They also happen to offer a bargain comparatively speaking. Each set is hand-made to order in Steamboat, Colorado, based on your color and style selections. The bamboo is hand-sanded and finished with a clear coat that keeps them protected. Rather than ski poles made from materials mined from the earth, ski something the earth grew.
You may not be familiar with the bamboo ski pole fad, but more and more skiers are deciding to give them a try. Each pole provides great stability and the material is more environmentally friendly than competitors. Grass Sticks, a relatively new company, allows skiers to customize their poles. Choose from a variety of colorful grips and baskets and get your poles delivered to you.
These great gifts will help the woman in your life stay warm and comfortable on the ski slopes this winter, while still managing to remain fashionable around the lodge too.