Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Source of Trekking pole handle
Display Avatars Sort By:
Paul Cronshaw
(beemancron) - F

Locale: Southwest US
Source of Trekking pole handle on 12/18/2007 10:42:27 MST Print View

I am attempting to make my own trekking poles using golf shafts. Does anyone know of a source of this type of handle? I love the feel of cork....

Handle photo

Thanks for any input.

J Her
(sailfast3r) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
bar wrap on 12/18/2007 12:48:38 MST Print View

It's not exactly the same... but I used bicycle handle bar wrap that is made of cork. I actually like the wrap that is synthtic foam and it holds up well too. Foam wrap for tennis raquets or field hockey sticks would also work pretty well, not very costly and it's pretty light.

Victor Karpenko
(Viktor) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Source of Trekking pole handle on 12/18/2007 13:09:25 MST Print View

Try fishing rod parts companies...


Casey Bowden
(clbowden) - MLife

Locale: Berkeley Hills
Source of Trekking pole handle on 12/18/2007 13:10:55 MST Print View


Contact Gossamer Gear and ask if you can buy the grips they use for their poles. I did this last year and have been very happy with the results.

htmHomemade Trekking Poles with Gossamer Gear Grips

Brian UL

Locale: New England
Re: Source of Trekking pole handle on 12/18/2007 18:17:35 MST Print View

Thanks guys I was asking myself the same question. Im also making some poles - for winter. Thanks

Matt Mahaney
(Matt_Mahaney) - MLife

Locale: In the District
Re: Source of Trekking pole handle on 12/20/2007 08:26:38 MST Print View

Hey Paul,
I found this. Of course inner and outer diameter need to be checked. Also, I found that searching for "ski pole grips" or "ski pole parts" was fruitful. If you find anything else, let us know. I'm looking at making my own poles as well. Good luck with the poles I'd like to know how they turn out.
Here's a source, but who knows if they'll sell two grips to MYOGers.
Can't hurt to ask.
If you have any luck with Champion Shine I like to hear about your experience.

Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Floam handles for trekking poles on 03/06/2008 23:29:49 MST Print View

I made a set of trekking poles from carbon fiber golf club shafts from 5 wood metal drivers from Goodwill.
5 wood metal drivers sawed off
I sawed them off with Dremel tool cut-off disk.
I made handles from a kid's toy modeling clay-like product called Floam (TM). This consists of tiny polystyrene beads in a water-soluble binder.
Floam (TM) clay in package, finished handle, 2nd shaft drilled
I found the Floam on the kid's craft aisle at Wal-Mart. There were two cups, one orange and one silver. Net weight wet is 3.5 oz (100 g). You can see the finished orange handle in the photo. On the bare shaft, you can see the holes (about 3/16") I drilled in the to give the Floam some tooth to grip to. Each cup has just enough (about 1.75 oz wet) to mold one grip.
To mold the grip, I first kneaded the Floam to mix thoroughly. I formed a sheet and wrapped it around the grip. I then alternated squeezing with each hand. This made a symmetrical grip that I could use in either hand. If you'd rather, you could make one for your left hand and one for your right. Since my shafts were slightly different lengths, I opted to make them so either would fit either hand. I can then use the long pole on the downhill side of the trail. ;) It helps to spread your fingers apart slightly when molding. The Floam shrinks a bit when it dries. I hung the pole handle end down to dry. Every 30 minutes or so, correct the shape since it can sag a bit. It takes several days for the Floam to dry completely. It never hardens completely but dries somewhat spongy, very comfortable in the hand.
The Floam is not waterproof and might start to disintegrate if soaked in water. For this reason, I coated the handles with silicone sealer diluted with paint thinner (just like seam sealer). This didn't attack the Floam. The sealer gave them a nice grippy feel, also.
Finished weight was about 4 oz per pole before sealing. I'll try to get a more accurate weight and some field test results over the next couple of weeks.


Edited by robstr on 03/06/2008 23:30:38 MST.

Joshua Mitchell
(jdmitch) - F

Locale: Kansas
Re: Floam handles for trekking poles on 03/07/2008 07:49:16 MST Print View

Wow... that's kind of crazy, but it would give you custom handles...

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Source of Trekking pole handle on 03/07/2008 07:52:49 MST Print View

Robert -

Cheers on a very outside-the-box solution!

- Sam

Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Floam trekking pole update on 03/08/2008 16:23:46 MST Print View

Here is my second attempt at making a custom trekking pole handle for a carbon fiber shaft salvaged from a golf club. The handle is made from Floam (TM) modeling compound.
Custom trekking pole handle made from Floam (TM)Floam trekking pole handle in hand.
The orange handled trekking pole (previous post) weighs in at 3.7 oz (105 g). The silver one weighs 3.9 oz (111 g). The silver golf club had a longer metal shaft.

Loki rubber trekking pole tips fit well and add 0.4 oz (11 g) each.

I believe the handles themselves weigh around 1 to 1.5 oz apiece.


Jeff Cadorin
(JeffCadorin) - F

Locale: paper beats rock
Re: Floam trekking pole update on 03/08/2008 16:32:30 MST Print View

Very nice Robert. Curious to see some pics of the grips with alot of miles on them. Any notable long term limitations that you have noticed so far?


Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Floam trekking pole update on 03/08/2008 18:42:04 MST Print View


No long term tests yet--just neighborhood walks. I left one out in a rainstorm with no noticeable effect. They are quite firm, and the handles seem to be well bonded to the shafts. I'll post updates as I use them more.


Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Floam trekking pole handle trip report on 03/23/2008 15:06:16 MDT Print View


The Floam (TM) trekking pole handles worked well through two days of hiking at Big Bend NP. The first day we hiked about 8 miles through the open dessert. (We had a zone backcountry permit.) Temperatures ranged from about 55-85 F. This was very rough trekking around/between/over lechuguilla and other spiny plants. The next day we hiked on the Pinnacles trail and climbed Emory peak, about 10 miles round trip with about a 2000 foot climb. We hiked in light, wet snow near freezing. The last morning was below freezing.

The handles were very comfortable. I was concerned that they would only be useful in one position since they were molded to fit my hands, but I found I could use them in several positions: letting my pinky dangle off the bottom to shorten them, or grabbing to top to lengthen them. The set I make, I will try wearing gloves to compensate some for the shrinkage.

The only problem I noted was that the silicone seal sloughed off like dead skin after a sunburn. Anybody have any waterproofing ideas?

I wouldn't hesitate to use these again on a two or three day trip. I'd be concerned about hiking in wet conditions for more than a few hours.


Jeff Cadorin
(JeffCadorin) - F

Locale: paper beats rock
Re: Floam trekking pole handle trip report on 03/23/2008 21:06:23 MDT Print View

Great report Robert.

When you said "I wouldn't hesitate to use these again on a two or three day trip" is this only because of precipitation precaution, or do you not think they would theoretically hold up to the daily abuse of a thru-hike? Of course assuming you didnt have any water degrading issues.

I will give it more thought but right now Im thinking you could have the handles dipped in some kind of rubber or something(i think you can buy home kits but not positive).

Thanks for thinking outside of the box Robert. I am thinking of making some poles for my daughter(almost 5) and think she would have a blast making them as well as using them. Maybe the rubber dipping would be a great long term solution or maybe someone else has a solution? I think even without any long term field data these will certainly hold up to a 5 year olds grip(I would hope).



Here is a source for the dip

Edited by JeffCadorin on 03/23/2008 21:09:18 MDT.

Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Floam handle durability on 03/29/2008 13:11:36 MDT Print View


Thanks for the Plasti-Dip suggestion! It sounds like it might do the trik. I have seen similar products for dipping tool handles.

The handles seem to be plenty durable enough, even for a through hike, IMO. I'm concerned about the handles disintegrating while hiking in an all-day rain. If you Google "make your own imitation floam" you can get some insights into the material. The imitation stuff is made from Elmer's (TM) white glue, borax, and foam beads. The instructions that came with the Floam say you can remove the stuff by soaking it in water. Kept dry, no problems. Soak in water for a long period of time, and it falls apart. Light rain or even a soaking while not in use don't seem to bother them much if they can dry out.

I'll soak one overnight to see what happens.

I like your idea for the father-daughter project.


Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Source for Plasti-Dip on 03/29/2008 23:51:17 MDT Print View


I bought a 14.5 fl. oz. can of Plasti Dip at Harbor Freight Tools for $7. The can is tall and skinny, and it looks like I can dip the handles. I scored three more carbon shaft golf drivers at Goodwill for $4 each. I plan to make second pair of trekking poles for my son and then dip all four handles in Plasti Dip. I don't want to open the can until I'm ready to dip all four. The Floam takes about a week to dry completely, so it'll be a week or two before I can tell how well it works.


Jeff Cadorin
(JeffCadorin) - F

Locale: paper beats rock
Re: Floam handle durability on 04/01/2008 15:31:21 MDT Print View

Looking forward to seeing how that plasti-dip works out for you Robert. I was reading and found that some of it can be thinned for spraying application. Maybe experimenting with thinning it could create a thinner lighter coating? Just ideas to play around with. I will be picking up some floam and dip pretty soon and trying this out with my daughter. She cant wait to have her own poles.

Joe Kuster
(slacklinejoe) - MLife

Locale: Flatirons
Floam Trekking pole handles on 04/01/2008 19:18:30 MDT Print View

Having worked with plastic dip stuff it might cause a pretty sweatty grip over time. What about polyurathane like is used for sealing wood?

Actually after thinking about it a bit, why not just add a standard adhesive into the mix during making the floam. That should remove the possibility of it disolving. Add a layer of cling wrap over it while shaping it - I'm sure it'll peel off over under use leaving the foam which would be more comfortable than a pastic dip coating.

Edited by slacklinejoe on 04/01/2008 22:01:36 MDT.

Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Plasti Dip works great on 04/04/2008 11:42:16 MDT Print View


The Plasti-Dip worked great! I opened the can and poured some out into another can to leave room for displacement. The can size was just right for the handle. It took two coats (30 minutes apart) to get a complete coating. I don't think thinning would help because I think it would take more coats, but if you want to try, the can has thinning suggestions. The solvents in the dip did dissolve some of the exposed polystyrene beads, but the second coat covered these rough areas. Here is the result next to the can:
Plasti-Dip (TM) and coated Trekking pole handle
Here are the finished handles:
Finished trekking pole handles made from Floam(TM) coated with Plasti-Dip(TM)
The handles are still springy to the touch and quite comfortable.

I'm off to buy more Floam for a second pair for my son.


Edited by robstr on 04/04/2008 11:44:13 MDT.

Robert Strickland
(robstr) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Alternate materials for Floam binder on 04/04/2008 11:52:25 MDT Print View


Thanks for your suggestions. I haven't tried to make my own Floam-type substance. Some other adhesive than the white glue for the DIY version would probably make it waterproof. What kind of "standard adhesive" did you have in mind? I considered epoxy, but the probability for a gooey, sticky mess seemed pretty high. The plastic food wrap suggestion seems like a good idea. I'm pretty happy with the Plasti-Dip.


Edited by robstr on 04/04/2008 11:53:57 MDT.