Here at the United States Ski Pole Company, we understand that everyone has different needs and desires with their skiing equipment. That’s why, when we get a special request, we do our very best to accommodate ones requests. When Andy met Alan, he learned that Alan had some very special requests that he’s been searching to fix for decades! We are pleased to have filled his request, and would love to share his story:
I had skis strapped to my feet when I barely knew how to walk. I learned to ski in the backcountry behind my house and hit the groomed trails at the age of six, only to win my first race. That was the beginning of a childhood with the Copper Country Ski Tigers of Michigan’s U.P. I grew up on the trails and came to love Nordic skiing. I am now the president of the University of Minnesota Duluth Nordic Ski Club and share my passion for the sport with our skiers.
When I say I grew up on the trails, I mean I really grew up. I am now 5 feet 19 inches tall and have size 50 ski boots, which luckily Salomon makes. But, even the best Nordic companies only make an 180cm pole, which comes to about the middle of my neck. I met Andy at the USSPC demo at the SISU Ski fest in Ironwood, MI. I tired some poles and we got to talking about length. I ended up placing an order for a pair of extra-long and stiff XC Signature skate poles.
Two weeks later, I picked up a pair of custom designed 184cm, extra stiff poles. Oh yeah, and they were painted gold! I was shocked by their length, and had a difficult time skiing with them at first. It took me a week or so to break the bad habits I developed over years of skiing with short poles. I am still not completely used to my new poles, but I love them. The straps are better than any I’ve had before; it is really nice to easily adjust my straps for lobster mitts and race groves. I am still amazed to have a pole that reaches my upper lip and amused to have poles taller than most the athletes I encounter. The stiff shafts are great, I can feel that I am transferring more power to the snow and less into the flex of my poles. I am no longer afraid of breaking my pole when I throw my weight into a powerful V2 stroke. I have to say that I love the gold as well! It really catches the eye and I receive many comments on both their length and design. I think these poles are worthy of a new name; Thundersticks perhaps?
The guys at USSPC do great work and I am glad to give them my business. I can’t thank them enough for the opportunity to have a quality pole custom-designed to suit my height, and for a great price too!
Here is Alan with his custom poles!
If you have any special requests, don't hesitate to give us a call!