Nov 15, 2012 at 9:47 am #1296087
I just bought some Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles and I want to remove the wrist straps without damaging either the straps or the grips. I feel that straps aren't really necessary on hiking poles like they are on ski poles. I tried pulling the straps through the cam mechanisms on the grips, but they bind up where the straps get wider. Does anyone know how to do this with this particular pole? It would be nice to put them back in also, for the times I go back country skiing.
BTW, the Alpine Carbon Cork poles are currently on significant reduction at REI, (about 30%) so you might want to check that out if you are in the market for them. I believe it is because Black Diamond has replaced the old plastic fliplock mechanism with a new metal one. The new fliplocks are prettier, but the old ones work fine.Nov 15, 2012 at 9:57 am #1928561
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
You probably have to knock the pins out. That might require some glue or larger pins on reassembly. The pins on mine have serrated ends to lock them into the plastic. Then again, you might make a good mess of it :)
I use the straps. If you get them properly adjusted wound around your hand (á la x-country style), you don't need a tight grip to support your weight and you can just flick them forward when doing easy walking.Nov 15, 2012 at 10:36 am #1928576
Yep, just take a thin nail or nail punch and pop the pins out. i put the pins back in and have not had a problem with them being loose or anything.
never found a need for straps while hiking and not being attached far outweighs any "energy saving" that people claim. i use them more like mogul skiing than xc skiing.Nov 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm #1928769
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
I can't answer your question, but I'm pretty sure there's a library book on it. It'll be right between Who "Needs Those Pesky Pack Shoulder Straps" and "Boot Laces and other Marketing Myths." :-)Nov 15, 2012 at 8:04 pm #1928777
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
John, as a cross country skier I can tell you that the weight you lose removing the wrist straps is insignificant.
But… the use you will get WITH the wrist straps is quite significant.
Wrist straps (used properly as shown below) will:
1. save your knees on downhills
2. utilize your arms and upper body to help you ascend hills & assist your legs/knees
3. stabilize you better in stream crossings
4. keep your forearm muscles from getting tired due to gripping the pole handles
WEARING POLE STRAPS:
1st-> Put your hand UP through the "upside down V (^) of the pole straps
2nd-> Your palm must face the pole handle and the strap needs to be high around the BACK of your wrist,just below your hand.
3rd-> your hand grasps the pole handle AND the pole straps where they come out of the handle, thumb wraps one direction, fingers the other direction, the ^ of the straps between them and the pole handles.
4th-> Adjust the straps so your hand falls comfortably on the pole handle with no loose strap hanging below your wrist.
5th-> FINALLY, if all has been done properly the ^ of the strap should be between your thumb and forefinger.
USING POLE STRAPS:
To use the straps grip the pole handle LOOSELY and put pressure on the straps as you push off on them. Use them this way when descending as well. Generally only your thumb and forefinger will always stay on the pole handle.
All this instruction likely seems silly to those who have never properly used pole straps. They are there to PUSH on, not just to keep the poles on your wrists, as novices think. As such pole straps ae a vital part of using poles and not to be discarded.
PLEASE, try them this way for a few hikes before you discard them.Nov 15, 2012 at 8:27 pm #1928790
exactly HOW does the straps change anything on
1. saving your knees on downhills
2. using your arms on up hills
3. stabilize on stream crossings
4. keep your forearms for getting tired by gripping the poles.
you don't need straps to do any of that.
without straps you can:
1. quickly let go of poles if they get stuck and avoid breaking/bending poles
2. quickly hold both poles to grab your water bottle and drink while walking
3. quickly hold both poles to ascent a short steep section when you need your hands
4. quickly drop both poles down to descent a section you need your hands
5. switch grips between the handle, under the grip, etc
i've never had my hands or arms get tired from hiking with poles.
it's hiking not cross country skiing… pushing with your upper body other than uphills does not push you any faster. there is no "glide" in hiking. on flat and downhill it is pure balance and supportNov 15, 2012 at 10:44 pm #1928825
@jasongLocale: iceberg lake
I agree with Eric..
I have mine set in to I barely have to grip the handles it all.Nov 16, 2012 at 2:51 am #1928841
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
I too agree with Eric.
I don't use the handle at all. (I decided I didn't use them enough to make cork or rubber handles worth the extra weight, never installed them.)
I *do* use a longer, fixed length strap, though. When I want it shorter, I simply twist it up 2-3 turns. This lets me change length as I go. No fiddling with locks, etc.
If I need to hurry, I often slip them under my arms. Good for short down-hills where a slight jog lets momentum build up. Slowing gradualy on uphills (say at a gully) bleeds it off after a step or two. Momentum is *always* speed*mass.Nov 16, 2012 at 5:26 am #1928850
Using a nail punch and a hammer gently tap the pins out, they can easily be put back later if you need. I have done this with my poles as I use straps for snowshoeing but not for hiking.Nov 17, 2012 at 9:41 am #1929176
If you use the straps properly, you dont have to grip the pole when putting wt on it. This makes it much easier on you over the course of a day. Both uphill and downhill.
Removing straps is not a particularly good way to save 0.4 oz IMO
Possibly cross country skis benefit from straps. You arent supposed to use them for alpine skiing, can break a thumb or have a whirling pole injure you in a fall. Poles are mostly used for timing in alpine skiing.Nov 17, 2012 at 10:14 pm #1929324
"I can't answer your question, but I'm pretty sure there's a library book on it. It'll be right between Who "Needs Those Pesky Pack Shoulder Straps" and "Boot Laces and other Marketing Myths." :-)"
when i use my poles my hands rarely touch the grips, most of my weight is on the straps.Nov 17, 2012 at 10:48 pm #1929325
Eric, as a novice, I'm having a hard time picturing your description of the correct way to use the straps. Could you please post or refer me to pics to help explain?
Many thanks in advance…Nov 17, 2012 at 10:57 pm #1929327
@woodenwizardLocale: Greater Mt Tabor
OK so your strap makes a loop. Put your hand up through the loop- from the bottom up. Then grab the grip.
the strap should be s little snug IMO. This way there is a good bit of weight transfer without having to actually grip the grip.
As you hold the strap you'll see how you can (at least should be able to) twist the straps to flatten them. Sometimes there is some sort of pad to consider the placement of. you just have to look at it- often there is a right and left.Nov 17, 2012 at 11:37 pm #1929331
@francoLocale: TarptentNov 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm #1929332
@dwambaughLocale: Pacific Northwest
This YouTube video should do the trick.Nov 18, 2012 at 12:22 am #1929335
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Thank you Franco. One picture is truly worth a thousand words.
P.S. Dale, good video too.Nov 18, 2012 at 4:02 am #1929342
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
I can only echo the others posting here in that I wouldn't remove them.
My own personal reasons are;
1.)The strap helps me to avoid dropping the trekking pole by being around my wrist.
2.)I also let the strap bear the weight that I am applying to the trekking pole.
3.)By using the strap to bear the weight my wrists, hands and forearms don't get so tired so soon while hiking.
My method of using the straps differs just a little from those mentioned above and shown in the video Dale's posted link.
With the straps hanging down and open I insert my hand through the strap loop. I grasp the pole handle lightly and let it rock in my hand while hiking. On an uphill section I let the strap bear my weight while cradling the grip in my hand loosely.
This video link may help to explain how I use the straps.
What I am describing is visualized at about 1 minute 43 seconds into the video.
It works for me.
Note: I do not use the trekking/Nordic walking poles that are shown in the video. My straps are permanently attached and do not "snap" on and off of the pole as the ones in the video. I use the Walmart, flick lock trekking poles. They have worked fine for me using the strap method described.Nov 18, 2012 at 8:39 am #1929366
I removed my wrist straps a few months ago. There were far more times where having the pole "attached" to my arm was a nuisance . Also, never had an occasion where my forearm was tired from gripping the pole all day. Does that honestly happen?
Any 5th graders reading this are bound to get a chuckle.
RyanNov 18, 2012 at 8:48 am #1929370
I used to use straps the way shown in this thread, but have shifted to removing them completely for a few reasons
1) When scrambling up or down sections of trail where I need to use a handhold I found it cumbersome to have to remove the straps temporarily so that I could hold my poles in one hand while pulling myself up with the other.
2) I change my grip a lot depending on the angle or type of terrain. Straps limit the flexibility to do this somewhat. An example of changing grip: when descending steep terrain I don't change the length of my poles (in fact I can't do this with mine) but I transition my hand to hold the top of the grip in my palm. Straps aren't too much of an intrusion on this but they are functionless in this scenario, therefore not necessary
3) The straps account for a significant portion of the weight of the poles that I use and really throw the balance off when I carry the poles by their shafts when jogging (something I do a lot of on flat terrain). You can balance them by holding at the proper part of the shafts, but straps will swing back and forth as my arms swing creating an awkward sloppy feeling.
4) Sometimes when running downhill using poles I have saved my poles from breaking as the result of the tips getting stuck. Without straps I simply let go of the pole if I sense a snag and my momentum is carrying me forward. If I had a strap around my hand or wrist my momentum would carry me forward with no way to release the pole – which could lead to a tip or shaft break.
So for my typical style of hiking (includes mixture of jogging and scrambling) I've found straps to be more of a nuisance than a value adder.Nov 18, 2012 at 12:14 pm #1929405
Awesome imagery; many thanks.Nov 18, 2012 at 12:23 pm #1929406
@bookLocale: Northern California
How to put your hands in the straps: the rabbit comes up through the hole and grabs the carrot.Nov 18, 2012 at 1:04 pm #1929411
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
"Also, never had an occasion where my forearm was tired from gripping the pole all day."
No, it does not because I use the straps.
"…5th graders…" ;-?
On steep downhill sections I'll also grip the pole on the top like a walking cane to allow a slow descent through loose rock and slippery patches. In this situation the strap is simply used as a retention device for the pole.
NewtonNov 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm #1929467
@romonsterLocale: SF Bay Area
I also used to use the straps as described earlier in the thread, as this was what everything I read told me was correct. With experience, I've shifted away from that, and now use them only occasionally, on certain extended downhill sections, or in places where dropping a pole would send it falling down a steep hill or cliff. In general I found the straps more of a hindrance than a help. The biggest disadvantage when using straps is the inability to shift my grip up and down the pole; that's something I do every few minutes, since the terrain around here tends to be quite uneven, and many of the trails are narrow with dense undergrowth or raised banks of earth on both sides.
Lately I've also gravitated toward using only one pole, which I transfer from left to right hand as needed. This is much easier to manage in narrow sections and places where you need to hold onto rocks to climb up or down a big step. It's nice to be able to hold onto something with one hand while bracing yourself on a pole in the other hand.Nov 19, 2012 at 4:42 am #1929564
@brooklynkayakLocale: Atlantic North East
Some people barely use their poles. For them strapless is probably better.
I personally use my poles a lot. They get treated as another pair of legs with me. I know people will say that is the incorrect use of the poles, but joint issues make it a necessity for me.
I did go for a while without straps from the advice of others. Not only did my lower arms get tired much quicker, I ended up with connective tissue damage on both hands that made it painful to use my thumbs for months.
I have since gone back to straps. I really appreciate the way the straps distribute the weight away from thumbs and wrist.
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