I’ve gotten new poles, and even after a few short outings, I’m loving them. My barely broken-in Exel Sport poles are comfortable, lightweight and well-balanced. I’m a walker, not a runner, and though like so many people, I could lose a few pounds, but I’m not a heavyweight. Therefore, my demands are not extreme, and the Sport model seems to suit me just fine. The company says, “The Nordic Walker Sport pole is designed for aggressive Nordic Walkers who seek excellent performance and durability from their equipment.” Sounds good to me.
Having tried and borrowed various poles in various places, I don’t believe that there are any really bad poles out there, but rather variations on the theme of Nordic Walking poles. People seem to have different preferences in terms of materials, grip, strap, even color and more.
When I started writing about snowshoeing, I had the same sense that they were all remarkably good, differing in shape, deck material, binding and so on. But on the whole, there appear to be no lemons either in Nordic Walking poles nor in snowshoes. My new poles haven’t taken me far beyond my immediate neighborhood (photo, right) yet, but I know that they will.