Best Kids Ski Poles Reviewed: Boys & Girls 2020

by Simon Naylor | Updated On: January 3rd, 2020
kids skiing with poles

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Strong, light and reliable – I’ve reviewed this year’s best kids ski poles for downhill and backcountry skiing.

Ski poles help us to create rhythm in our turns and help to propel us along flat sections. While they’re an important piece of a skiers toolkit, not every child needs to use ski poles and kids should be at a certain age and skill level when the benefits of ski poles outweigh the risks.

Best ski poles

Ski Pole ⛷Score 👍How much? 💰
Zipline Blurr 16.07/10Check Price on Amazon
LEKI Racing Kids’7/10Check Price on Amazon
Volkl Phantastick Kids’8/10Check Price on Amazon
Salomon Kaloo Junior Alpine9/10Check Price on Amazon

When should kids start using ski poles?

Children don’t need to use ski poles until they’re around 8-10 years of age or are learning to do short turns and ski bumps or good at skiing in parallel – whichever comes first (source).

There is a range of opinions depending on the ski instructors school of thought (pun intended!), but the general consensus is that focusing on good technique first without poles is more beneficial in the long run. However, once a young skier grows in ability or gets a bit older, using ski poles has more of an advantage.

What type of ski poles?

Ski poles come in three main materials, aluminum, carbon composite (mix of carbon and fiberglass) and carbon fiber. Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but for most recreational skiers aluminum ski poles are the best choice for their great mix of strength and cost.

Materials

Aluminum: Strong and cheap but comes in different strengths – 7000 series is the strongest.

Carbon Fibre: Most expensive but lighter and won’t bend – but may snap if hit hard against a rock.

Style of skiing

There are three main styles of ski poles, everyday alpine ski poles that most people use; backcountry ski poles with wider baskets and racing poles that are very light.

Alpine Ski Poles: Most young skiers will choose an alpine ski pole, which is perfect for everyday resort skiing.

Backcountry Ski Poles: These poles tend to be lighter, may be extendable for hiking and will have a larger basket at the bottom to stop the pole going too far into deep snow.

Racing Poles: some poles for specific ski disciplines are bent for aerodynamic at speed and for safety in case of an impact – the pole will bend rather than cause injury.

Does ski pole weight matter?

Yes – a lighter ski pole is easier to use throughout the day and will cause less arm fatigue. Although weight savings is only in the tens of grams across most recreational ski poles, the lighter the ski the easier it is to carry when you add up the thousands of movements you make throughout the day. Lighter skis tend to cost more and can be less durable (cheaper aluminum series) and carbon fiber poles are not always the lightest option (they can be wider in diameter).

I wouldn’t recommend finding the lightest pole available as it will generally have a lower stress tolerance and be more prone to damage. However, finding a pole for a decent price with a good mix of strength and weight is the best strategy. 

What length ski pole?

Your child’s ski poles should roughly come to the height of their hands when they’re elbow is put into a 90° bend. If you’re buying online you can measure the distance from the floor to your child’s hand to get the height of the ski pole.

Most poles are sized in 2” increments – If your child is in between sizes, it’s best to go with the shorter pole as poles that are too long are more of a hindrance than too short – sizing chart.

 

Best ski poles reviewed

#1: Zipline Blurr 16.0

Shaft: Carbon Composite Graphite
Basket: 16mm – resort trails & some off-piste.
What we like: Lightweight
What we don’t: Finish paint may chip too easily

 

Zipline Blurr 16 Ski Pole

Zipline Blurr 16 U.S / Orange

The Zipline Blurr 16.0 ski poles is a great pole at a good price. It’s made from carbon composite which makes it very lightweight and durable. It’s has a 16mm handle that tapers to a 14mm at the tip. This gradual width reduction makes for a stiffer pole with a lighter swing weight – so pole planting is more efficient.

The Zipline Blurr is the official supplier to the U.S ski team which means it has been tested at the highest levels and had a good amount of R&D put into its construction.

It comes with a good size 9mm powder basket that makes it great for groomed resort trails and some off-piste resorts. The tip is tough and durable – made from carbide (a type of carbon) and will handle many years of use.

This pole comes in nine bright colors with a two color tone grip with a size range from youth to adult. 85cm-132cm (34″-52″).

Main Features
  • ✅ Lightweight
  • ✅ Strong shaft and tip
  • ✅ All sizes available

How much?  Check price on Amazon


#2: LEKI Racing Ski Poles – Kids’

LEKI racing ski poles

LEKI kids racing ski poles

Shaft: Aluminium
Basket: Resort trails
What we like: Looks great
What we don’t: Small basket

LEKI are renowned for their racing poles and this recreational kids model of ski pole is a really good looking pole with sleek graphics and a bright yellow and red color tone.

Despite its name, this is a great kids pole all over the mountain from baby slopes to black trails. It’s has a lightweight aluminum shaft, steel tip, and comfortable PU grips.

The small racing basket makes this pole not ideal for deep powder or straying too far off the trail.

It’s available in a range of six lengths from 80-105cm (33″-41″) so most younger kids up to teenagers should be covered.

Main Features
  • ✅ Comfortable grip
  • ✅ Strong shaft and tip
  • ✅ 138g /4.8oz (size 90cm)

How much?  Check price on Amazon


#3: Volkl Phantastick Kids’ Ski Poles

volkl phantastick kids ski pole

Volkl Phantastick Kids’

Shaft: Aluminium
Basket: Resort trails
What we like: Lightweight
What we don’t: Not the strongest aluminum

This Volkls Phantastick Kid’s ski poles are a great first set of poles. They look great and are lightweight with a 14mm aluminum shaft, ergonomic grip. They’re not made from the toughest aluminum but will last if they’re not hit against rocks or bashed against solid objects.

They come in two colors, bright green and dark orange with a black grip and clean simple graphics. They’re sized from 80-105cm (33″-39″) which will fit most young kids.

Main Features
  • ✅ Lightweight aluminum
  • ✅ Durable and easy hold grip
  • ✅ Good value

How much?  Check price on Amazon


#4: Salomon Kaloo Junior Alpine Ski Pole

Salomon Kaloo Junior Alpine Ski Poles

Salomon Kaloo Junior

Shaft: Aluminium
Basket: Resort trails
What we like:  Cool colors
What we don’t:  

Another great pole from leading ski company Salomon. The Kaloo Junior Alpine is a great first or second ski pole. Weighing in at 130grams with a lightweight aluminum shaft, the Kaloo is good for all-day recreational skiing.

It comes in two color tones, blue and a pink with a cool gradient that fades in as you look down towards the tip of the pole. It’s an inexpensive pole that is comfortable, no fuss and back to basics.

Main Features
  • ✅ Lightweight aluminum
  • ✅ Durable and easy hold grip
  • ✅ Good value

How much?  Check price on Amazon

 


How to pole plant?

Read on If you’re learning to pole plant or want to give your child some advice.

Getting the right pole planting technique brings a huge boost to your skiing enjoyment. Most new skiers let their hands drop by their side and their ski poles hang back – only using them to propel themselves on flats or steady themselves while stopped.

Brining pole planting into your skiing will help you set a rhythm and flow to your skiing, will allow you to sense the terrain in whiteout conditions and improve your parallel skiing.

Correct pole plant
Incorrect pole plant

I wrote a whole guide to pole planting – check it out if you want a walkthrough instruction on the proper technique. 

Is there a difference between girls and boys ski poles?

All ski poles are unisex, but some brands to offer women or girls specific ski poles that have a grip more shaped to the average female hand with smaller gaps between the ridges. All other differences are cosmetic and are differences in the overall look of the pole, its colors, and graphics printed onto the pole.

If you’re interested in more differences in ski gear read my piece on the Difference Between Men & Women’s Skis.

Simon Naylor, the founder of New To Ski, started skiing in 2005. He has continued to practice his skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other new skiers. He launched New To Ski in 2018 to help first-time skiers have more fun on the slopes and get out and explore the mountains safely.