How To Remove Ski Pole Grips (Easy Replacement Guide)

by Travis McCullough | Posted On: July 28th, 2022
Skiing at West

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Ski gear will inevitably break down over time, and poles are no exception.  Buying new poles isn’t always necessary if the shaft is intact. Sometimes, it makes sense to just replace the worn-out grips on your own.

Removing ski pole grips will vary between manufacturers but usually consists of removing a few small screws and slowly working the grip off the pole.  Some will prove more difficult, but anyone with a basic set of tools can effectively replace their grips at home.

Do I Need To Replace My Grips?

skiing-girl

If the pole’s shaft is in good condition, but the grips have seen better days, it’s probably time to consider replacing them.  Replacement grips are much cheaper than buying another set of poles and can make your current set feel brand new.

Signs of worn-out grips include peeling, cracking, and broken straps.  Over time the grip can become loose, which can be dangerous when skiing steep terrain, especially with moguls.

The Easiest Way To Remove Ski Pole Grips

The exact steps for this will be slightly different depending on the brand of your ski poles, but for the most part, this process will be very similar. 

  • First, check the grip for any screws.  Some poles don’t have any, but most of them will and they are frequently hidden behind a rubber or plastic plug.  These screws will most likely be located on top of the grip and/or on the sides where the grip meets the shaft.
  • Pop the plugs out to expose the screw head to determine the type of tool you will need to remove them.  
  • A small Phillips bit screwdriver will suffice in most cases, but some manufacturers may require a different bit.
  • Once the screws have been removed, check to see if the grips are threaded onto the shaft.  Some manufacturers will thread the grips on, just like a nut goes onto a bolt, for added durability.
  • If the shaft has threads then just twist the grip off, if it doesn’t have threads then you will need to pull the grip off.  Sometimes the manufacturer will apply some sort of adhesive between the grip and shaft, making this process a little more difficult.
  • Using a clamp, vice, or vice grips can help you apply some extra force to get the grip loose.
  • If that doesn’t work, apply heat or a lubricant like WD-40.  A hairdryer or heat gun will warm up any adhesives that may be present, making them weaker and easy to remove.  Some lubricants may be flammable when aerosolized, so don’t apply heat after spraying WD-40.

Voila, you have successfully removed your grips from your poles!  Now you can install a new set of grips by repeating the process in reverse and get back to hitting the slopes.  Remember to check the compatibility of grips and poles, especially between manufacturers, so that you don’t end up going through this process in vain.     

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Other Reasons To Remove Grips

orange jacket ski

Another reason skiers replace grips is to combine them with a pole that is lighter or more heavy-duty.  Swapping grips and poles won’t always work, especially between manufacturers, but trading out grips from the same company is sometimes possible.

The grip can also be removed to modify the length of the pole.  Ski poles can be easily shortened using pipe cutters or a hacksaw; an angle grinder is another easy way to accomplish this but isn’t recommended unless you are experienced with power tools.

Conclusion

Before you throw your current set of ski poles in the garbage, consider replacing the grips instead.  Dented or broken shafts will require a new set of poles, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hang onto the grips for future use.

Removing your ski pole grips is actually much easier than most skiers would assume and can greatly extend the life of your poles.  Sometimes they will take a little elbow grease, but it is worth the money you will save on a set of new poles.

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