- fantastic training in the fresh air;
- perfect relax for the back, shoulders and neck after a working day stress and weariness;
- takes stress off, might improve relations in the family and working team;
- improves your posture and walking;
- reduces strain in joints;
- remarkably solves overweight problems with an adequate nutrition;
- decreases blood pressure and cholesterol;
- very good for those, who never had any exercises and do not like traditional sports or sport halls;
- for athletes in complex trainings;
- rehabilitation after traumas;
- for everybody who’d like to try new things.
Basic Nordic Walking inventory – special walking poles. They are of a hollow tube form, tapered down to the bottom, made of carbon and glass fiber using special technologies. The poles are of fixed or adjustable length (telescopic). They must be strong and light and should have a certain form strap.
We kindly draw your attention that Nordic Walking poles differ from ordinary walking or skiing sticks. We’ve noticed that even large traders in the shops and internet very often do not make difference and ordinary trekking sticks or climbing sticks name as Nordic Walking poles.
The main thing is to choose the right Nordic Walking poles!
Below we present detailed information which will help you to choose yourself the suitable Nordic Walking poles.
Requirements for Nordic Walking poles
Whilst there are no European standards for Nordic Walking poles, European Association and Federation have defined minimum requirements for the poles. We present the most important criteria according to which you could choose Nordic Walking poles.
- Choose nonadjustable (fixed) length poles.
- Not to be made of aluminum.
- The best choice – poles made of carbon and glass fiber;
- Grips – light, made of plastic and covered with natural cork fiber or rubber.
- Wrist straps – only of special design, specifically designed for Nordic Walking poles ( not basic loop shape strap!).
- Tips of the poles made of tungsten, straight or curved.
- Removable tips for walking on hard surfaces – only rubber, dissymmetric “shoe” form.
- Length of poles should be suitably chosen.
Further you’ll find the information about each requirement in detail
1. When nonadjustable (fixed) length and when adjustable (telescopic) poles?
Adjustable length poles regulatory mechanism is the least reliable place of a pole. Even the mechanisms of poles of “expensive” companies earlier or later begin to fix the length worse. Forthermore, adjustable length poles are heavier. While choosing such a poles pay attention to vibration, which might occur because of regulatory mechanism and to the noise, which might spread while walking with such a poles. We are sure that such a vibrating and noise spreading poles are not acceptable for Nordic Walking. Therefore for individual use we recommend nonadjustable length poles. By the way, analogous quality nonadjustable length poles are always cheaper than telescopic.
However good quality adjustable length poles are really suitable when one needs to apply the same poles for several persons, e.g. in groups, etc.
2. Not aluminium
We can see in the market the poles made of aluminium tube, which , judging from the outside, do not differ from good fabric poles, but aluminium absorbs vibrations poorly which increases very quickly the risk of upper limb problems, such as 'tennis elbow'. Sometimes the so called spring-loaded mechanizm „anti-shock‘ is being installed. In reality it doesn‘t solve these problems, but makes the poles heavier. There is no such a problem in skiing, because the snow absorbs vibration very good. The advantage of aluminium poles – lower price, but treatment of disorders might cost considerably more expensive. Therefore we do not recommend or offer aluminium poles.
3. Glass or carbon fibre poles (recommended)
Very light, strong, absorb vibration very good. To increase the strength of poles glass fiber is used in combination with carbon fiber.We recommend the poles containing 20%-60% of Carbon. The higher the carbon content, the stronger the pole will be, and lighter. But Carbon fiber increases not only the quality of poles, but the price as well.
4. Grips (with natural cork cover – recommended)
Contrary to skiing or ordinary walking with a stick Nordic Walking requires constant gripping and releasing of the poles, therefore grip form is very important to the comfortability of walking. Most often walking is without gloves, thorefore grip ergonomy and surface quality is very important. Surface material might be plastic, rubber, artificial cork or natural cork. The most recommended are grips covered by natural cork. They flatten gently to the hand, warm , absorb humidity, rather durable. Grips, covered by rubber (particularly spongy) could be used as well. They are not of high quality, but much easier to clean, if neccessary.
5. Wrist straps: (only the form of „glove“) In order for the pole to return to the palm of the hand when released, a special fixation system is used called the 'wrist strap'. Wrist straps are attached to the grips with special locks, which allow to adjust the length of the straps. The straps are different for the right and left hands. Usually there are notes on the straps „L“ or „Left“, „R“ or „Right“. We‘d like to draw your particular attention that ordinary loop form straps are not suitable at all for Nordic Walking, it‘s simply impossible with such a poles to take the right Nordic Walking step. Sometimes the so called „Quick lock“ straps are used. They are convenient for the instructors.
6. Tips (only tungsten)
This is the part of the pole which takes the brunt of the action when the pole is placed on the ground, therefore it‘s important the tips are made of particularly strong and non fragile material. While walking the tip experience a myriad of impacts on stones, gravel, concrete, asphalt and other hard surfaces. It’s very important that the lower part of the tip is made of especially hard metal – tungsten. All other tips made of ordinary metal are not acceptable because of short service period and a tip, made of hard carbide, is not recommended, though it’s hard, but fragile and significantly worse than the first variant, i.e. tungsten.
The tip has a widening, the so called “basket”, which is necessary when walking through snow, sand or other loose surfaces and it prevent the pole from “sink” The above mentioned baskets are usually screwed up (umbrella form) and if necessary, can be replaced. Very often we can walk without them. It’s absolutely normal. Recently, especially in the fixed length poles, the basket is spilled along with the plastic part of the tip and they are irremovable. We’ve noticed that the market has not sufficiently hard irremovable tip baskets of the poles. They should be avoided, because it’s impossible to replace the broken ones.
The form of the tips itself might be classic round straight or sharp-curved. The most common are classic type tips. The latter is more recommended while walking on the ice or wet asphalt. Because of it’s extreme sharpness walking with such a poles requires enhanced care to avoid injury of feet or shoe damage.
7. Removable tips (only rubber)
Used only walking on hard surface (e.g. asphalt, concrete). Nordic Walking tips have special asymmetric form. Sometimes mixed with symmetric round shape form tips, which are used for mountain or ordinary walking sticks and they are often even plastic. They absolutely are not suitable for Nordic Walking. Removable rubber tips – the same as car tires, is a part that worns itself out while walking. It’s important that we could replace them if necessary. Therefore one should buy poles from the companies who undertake to provide service. In the future if you buy the poles in the market or supermarket you might have problems with the replacement of depreciated tip.
8. Length choice of the poles (pole’s length – important for the right Nordic Walking technique).
If you want to feel pleasant and effective walk, you should take the right Nordic Walking technique and choose suitable length poles. Standard fixed length poles are manufactures from 100 cm till 135 cm., every 5 cm. The length of poles could be calculated according to the formula: length of pole = your height x 0,66. However, it’s necessary to take into consideration that human body has individual proportions, therefore an error is inevitable. If you want to be sure that the length of the pole is correctly adjusted for your height, stand up straight, take a pole by a grip and bend your elbow at a right angle, put a pole vertically in front of you. Standing in this position the end of pole must not reach the ground nearly 2-3 cm.
To learn how to walk properly and get maximum benefit for your health it’s recommended to visit Nordic Walking trainings where you’ll have a possibility to try different length and model poles and choose the most suitable for yourself.
V. Krėvės pr. 28a, Kaunas. Phone: +370 698 34381
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