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Discussion Forum - Gear ! - walking pole failure

Author: John Barry
Posted: Thu 11th Oct 2018, 16:39
Joined: 2018
Local Group: Anytime Anywhere
Z Poles are probably a better option. Just ensure one gets the right length (the better ones are fixed length such as Leki and Black Diamond)


Height Range Suggested Z-Pole Length
<5 ft 1 <154 100 cm
5 ft 1 - 5 ft 7 154-171 110 cm
5 ft 8 - 5 ft 11 172-182 120 cm
6 ft + 183 + 130 cm
Author: Iain Connell
Posted: Sun 15th Nov 2015, 12:29
Joined: 2010
Local Group: East Lancashire
Hi Mike

My short and very lightweight four-section pole also 'failed' soon after purchase two years ago - see 'Shorter walking poles' - but survives in various partly-extended forms. The problem was not splits but tighteners - if not tight enough the sections slide down each other, if too tight they are difficult, if not impossible, to undo after use.

This one was a cheap model from a now-closed local gear shop, so I guess two years is not bad given the above. Not clear whether three or four section models are more prone to this problem, but I don't think it's necessary to shell out on the heavier and (generally) more expensive types unless you're much bigger than me.

Author: Mike Childs
Posted: Thu 22nd Oct 2015, 9:29
Joined: 1990
Local Group: Dorset
I have had two walking poles fail in exactly the same place and way.

A longitudinal split appearing in the aluminium shaft. Neither had been bent, heavily used or overloaded The distortion in the cylindrical section of the shaft then means that they are stiff to adjust and become frozen up. They were "top of the range" three section telescopic lightweight poles from a reputable manufacturer. i.e. they were not cheap poles from the Dodgy Outdoor Gear company (DOGco)

In both cases I have been offered a replacement by the supplier, which is fair and OK with me.

However, after the second failure, I was told (politely of course) that they thought the problem was caused by over- tightening when adjusting the length of the pole, and therefore was really down to misuse. Personally, although this sounds plausible (and may help the manufacturer save face) I think this is actually a very unlikely explanation.

But, in the interests of fair and open minded research, has anyone else had this problem with any walking pole, and what do others think ?

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