PERSONALISING YOUR SHAFT HEIGHT
When measuring pole height: stand erect with upper arm vertical and elbow bent to 90°. Set the bottom shaft section at the "A" mark first.
|Relax the hand down into |
the Pacerpole's contours.
If you have an average stride, then set the initial pole height so the top of the pole is about 1-2cm above elbow height (if a shorter stride, then just touching the elbow instead). Stretch the trunk upwards, and with the shafts at an angle behind walk on the flat for about 15 minutes to familiarise yourself with the new arm action (refer to the basic walking section). Remember to relax your hand down into the handle's contours, with just slight pressure between thumb and index finger to retain the pole as you walk.
Then experiment by....
1. increasing the middle shaft section height by 1cm and note the effect on the arm's thrust/leverage as the elbow straightens-out behind, and on general ease of the arm's actions.
2. repeat, but with the shaft reduced to be 1cm below the original height. Note any differences between the 3 heights and decide on the final height after experimenting for about 15 minutes. This is your personalised shaft height which relates to body proportions and general stride length. Keep both poles at the same height. After a few weeks of use, repeat this exercise to confirm your optimum shaft height.
Lars Nielsen; Denmark - "I have used a couple of days to try-out different shaft lengths and personalizing the shaft lengths (quite surprised on how big a difference 1 or 2 cm´s is doing). I tried using my standard trekking poles in the Pacerpole way, and I found that the handles wasn´t up to the job, but also that there was a potential in using poles in that way. The Pacerpole handle really makes it much more natural.
To learn how to adjust your shaft height click here
WHY PERSONALISE YOUR SHAFT HEIGHT?
Pacerpoles are like an extra body part so once its 'grown' i.e you have personalised its height (to the optimum length for integrating with the rest of the skeleton/frame then there is no need to adjust it:
Except - when needing to lengthen on a steep/rocky descent ... as you can't always place the tip in the best spot for good alignment and so need a bit more range whilst still keeping the upper arm vertical to the trunk i.e. retaining the scapula at the back to keep the strong shoulder 'girdle' form (this form is similar to when you hold a tray/weight close to you, it takes less effort/wastes less energy, and offers better shaft control than when holding the tray with the arms stretched in front i.e. more tiring). It is best to try and keep the upper arm no further forward than vertical to the trunk).
On an ascent, the pole height need not be changed from the personalised one, since the gradient difference between where the shaft tip is placed opposite the foot (so arm/shaft and leg/foot are working at similar levels) for optimum arm leverage for lifting the vertical trunk up the slope effectively, and for better breathing.
There is therefore, no need to shorten the shaft; this 'shortening' has been seen as the 'norm' by conventional pole users, as here the arms are stretched in front, higher-up the slope/gradient - so the hands are held high - which is uncomfortable. By reducing the shaft height, it eases this problem .... only to increase the stoop and reinforce poor posture, poor breathing and underperformance.
If on exceptionally steep/almost scrambling terrain then the legs are levering the trunk upwards, and the arms are being used more to hold the vertical trunk into the slope (as in climbing when the angle of slope has increased so much, that it's now coming to meet you as a vertical wall). If poles are still being used then a shorter shaft allows the arms to hold the vertical trunk into the slope whilst the leg push it up, from underneath; though this is ceasing to become a "walking" action.