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Removing Wrist Straps From Poles
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John Coyle

Locale: NorCal
Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/15/2012 10:47:14 MST Print View

I just bought some Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork poles and I want to remove the wrist straps without damaging either the straps or the grips. I feel that straps aren't really necessary on hiking poles like they are on ski poles. I tried pulling the straps through the cam mechanisms on the grips, but they bind up where the straps get wider. Does anyone know how to do this with this particular pole? It would be nice to put them back in also, for the times I go back country skiing.

BTW, the Alpine Carbon Cork poles are currently on significant reduction at REI, (about 30%) so you might want to check that out if you are in the market for them. I believe it is because Black Diamond has replaced the old plastic fliplock mechanism with a new metal one. The new fliplocks are prettier, but the old ones work fine.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/15/2012 10:57:26 MST Print View

You probably have to knock the pins out. That might require some glue or larger pins on reassembly. The pins on mine have serrated ends to lock them into the plastic. Then again, you might make a good mess of it :)

I use the straps. If you get them properly adjusted wound around your hand (รก la x-country style), you don't need a tight grip to support your weight and you can just flick them forward when doing easy walking.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/15/2012 11:36:02 MST Print View

Yep, just take a thin nail or nail punch and pop the pins out. i put the pins back in and have not had a problem with them being loose or anything.

never found a need for straps while hiking and not being attached far outweighs any "energy saving" that people claim. i use them more like mogul skiing than xc skiing.

Todd T
(texasbb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/15/2012 20:43:33 MST Print View

I can't answer your question, but I'm pretty sure there's a library book on it. It'll be right between Who "Needs Those Pesky Pack Shoulder Straps" and "Boot Laces and other Marketing Myths." :-)

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Keep the straps because... on 11/15/2012 21:04:11 MST Print View

John, as a cross country skier I can tell you that the weight you lose removing the wrist straps is insignificant.

But... the use you will get WITH the wrist straps is quite significant.

Wrist straps (used properly as shown below) will:
1. save your knees on downhills
2. utilize your arms and upper body to help you ascend hills & assist your legs/knees
3. stabilize you better in stream crossings
4. keep your forearm muscles from getting tired due to gripping the pole handles

1st-> Put your hand UP through the "upside down V (^) of the pole straps
2nd-> Your palm must face the pole handle and the strap needs to be high around the BACK of your wrist,just below your hand.
3rd-> your hand grasps the pole handle AND the pole straps where they come out of the handle, thumb wraps one direction, fingers the other direction, the ^ of the straps between them and the pole handles.
4th-> Adjust the straps so your hand falls comfortably on the pole handle with no loose strap hanging below your wrist.
5th-> FINALLY, if all has been done properly the ^ of the strap should be between your thumb and forefinger.


To use the straps grip the pole handle LOOSELY and put pressure on the straps as you push off on them. Use them this way when descending as well. Generally only your thumb and forefinger will always stay on the pole handle.

All this instruction likely seems silly to those who have never properly used pole straps. They are there to PUSH on, not just to keep the poles on your wrists, as novices think. As such pole straps ae a vital part of using poles and not to be discarded.

PLEASE, try them this way for a few hikes before you discard them.

Edited by Danepacker on 11/15/2012 21:17:47 MST.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: lose the straps because... on 11/15/2012 21:27:04 MST Print View

exactly HOW does the straps change anything on

1. saving your knees on downhills
2. using your arms on up hills
3. stabilize on stream crossings
4. keep your forearms for getting tired by gripping the poles.

you don't need straps to do any of that.

without straps you can:

1. quickly let go of poles if they get stuck and avoid breaking/bending poles
2. quickly hold both poles to grab your water bottle and drink while walking
3. quickly hold both poles to ascent a short steep section when you need your hands
4. quickly drop both poles down to descent a section you need your hands
5. switch grips between the handle, under the grip, etc

i've never had my hands or arms get tired from hiking with poles.

it's hiking not cross country skiing... pushing with your upper body other than uphills does not push you any faster. there is no "glide" in hiking. on flat and downhill it is pure balance and support

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
pro straps on 11/15/2012 23:44:46 MST Print View

I agree with Eric..

I have mine set in to I barely have to grip the handles it all.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: pro straps on 11/16/2012 03:51:52 MST Print View

I too agree with Eric.
I don't use the handle at all. (I decided I didn't use them enough to make cork or rubber handles worth the extra weight, never installed them.)
I *do* use a longer, fixed length strap, though. When I want it shorter, I simply twist it up 2-3 turns. This lets me change length as I go. No fiddling with locks, etc.
If I need to hurry, I often slip them under my arms. Good for short down-hills where a slight jog lets momentum build up. Slowing gradualy on uphills (say at a gully) bleeds it off after a step or two. Momentum is *always* speed*mass.

Mike V
(deadbox) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
RE:"Removing Wrist Straps From Poles" on 11/16/2012 06:26:27 MST Print View

Using a nail punch and a hammer gently tap the pins out, they can easily be put back later if you need. I have done this with my poles as I use straps for snowshoeing but not for hiking.

straps on 11/17/2012 10:41:59 MST Print View


If you use the straps properly, you dont have to grip the pole when putting wt on it. This makes it much easier on you over the course of a day. Both uphill and downhill.

Removing straps is not a particularly good way to save 0.4 oz IMO

Possibly cross country skis benefit from straps. You arent supposed to use them for alpine skiing, can break a thumb or have a whirling pole injure you in a fall. Poles are mostly used for timing in alpine skiing.

Edited by livingontheroad on 11/17/2012 10:43:43 MST.

Joe Guilmette
Re: Re: Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/17/2012 23:14:42 MST Print View

"I can't answer your question, but I'm pretty sure there's a library book on it. It'll be right between Who "Needs Those Pesky Pack Shoulder Straps" and "Boot Laces and other Marketing Myths." :-)"


when i use my poles my hands rarely touch the grips, most of my weight is on the straps.

Edited by loltron on 11/17/2012 23:15:34 MST.

Lowell Mills
(FarmHand357) - F
Pics of proper strap use? on 11/17/2012 23:48:24 MST Print View

Eric, as a novice, I'm having a hard time picturing your description of the correct way to use the straps. Could you please post or refer me to pics to help explain?

Many thanks in advance...

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Pics of proper strap use? on 11/17/2012 23:57:34 MST Print View

OK so your strap makes a loop. Put your hand up through the loop- from the bottom up. Then grab the grip.

the strap should be s little snug IMO. This way there is a good bit of weight transfer without having to actually grip the grip.

As you hold the strap you'll see how you can (at least should be able to) twist the straps to flatten them. Sometimes there is some sort of pad to consider the placement of. you just have to look at it- often there is a right and left.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/18/2012 00:37:05 MST Print View


Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pics of proper strap use? on 11/18/2012 00:39:52 MST Print View

This YouTube video should do the trick.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"One picture..." on 11/18/2012 01:22:46 MST Print View

Thank you Franco. One picture is truly worth a thousand words.

P.S. Dale, good video too.

Edited by Danepacker on 11/18/2012 01:24:58 MST.

John Donewar
(Newton) - MLife

Locale: Southeastern Louisiana
Re: Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/18/2012 05:02:38 MST Print View


I can only echo the others posting here in that I wouldn't remove them.

My own personal reasons are;

1.)The strap helps me to avoid dropping the trekking pole by being around my wrist.

2.)I also let the strap bear the weight that I am applying to the trekking pole.

3.)By using the strap to bear the weight my wrists, hands and forearms don't get so tired so soon while hiking.

My method of using the straps differs just a little from those mentioned above and shown in the video Dale's posted link.

With the straps hanging down and open I insert my hand through the strap loop. I grasp the pole handle lightly and let it rock in my hand while hiking. On an uphill section I let the strap bear my weight while cradling the grip in my hand loosely.

This video link may help to explain how I use the straps.

What I am describing is visualized at about 1 minute 43 seconds into the video.

It works for me.

Party On,


Note: I do not use the trekking/Nordic walking poles that are shown in the video. My straps are permanently attached and do not "snap" on and off of the pole as the ones in the video. I use the Walmart, flick lock trekking poles. They have worked fine for me using the strap method described.

Edited by Newton on 11/18/2012 05:12:45 MST.

Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Removing Wrist Straps From Poles on 11/18/2012 09:39:42 MST Print View

I removed my wrist straps a few months ago. There were far more times where having the pole "attached" to my arm was a nuisance . Also, never had an occasion where my forearm was tired from gripping the pole all day. Does that honestly happen?

Any 5th graders reading this are bound to get a chuckle.


Edited by ViolentGreen on 11/18/2012 09:42:46 MST.

Nathan Watts
(7sport) - MLife
Straps on 11/18/2012 09:48:07 MST Print View

I used to use straps the way shown in this thread, but have shifted to removing them completely for a few reasons

1) When scrambling up or down sections of trail where I need to use a handhold I found it cumbersome to have to remove the straps temporarily so that I could hold my poles in one hand while pulling myself up with the other.

2) I change my grip a lot depending on the angle or type of terrain. Straps limit the flexibility to do this somewhat. An example of changing grip: when descending steep terrain I don't change the length of my poles (in fact I can't do this with mine) but I transition my hand to hold the top of the grip in my palm. Straps aren't too much of an intrusion on this but they are functionless in this scenario, therefore not necessary

3) The straps account for a significant portion of the weight of the poles that I use and really throw the balance off when I carry the poles by their shafts when jogging (something I do a lot of on flat terrain). You can balance them by holding at the proper part of the shafts, but straps will swing back and forth as my arms swing creating an awkward sloppy feeling.

4) Sometimes when running downhill using poles I have saved my poles from breaking as the result of the tips getting stuck. Without straps I simply let go of the pole if I sense a snag and my momentum is carrying me forward. If I had a strap around my hand or wrist my momentum would carry me forward with no way to release the pole - which could lead to a tip or shaft break.

So for my typical style of hiking (includes mixture of jogging and scrambling) I've found straps to be more of a nuisance than a value adder.

Lowell Mills
(FarmHand357) - F
Correct use of trekking poles on 11/18/2012 13:14:04 MST Print View

Awesome imagery; many thanks.