View Full Version : Poles: Antishock Springs or Not?

06-27-2003, 14:15
The few hikers I know with a lot of experience say 'nay' to the antishock springs in poles. If you have used both antishock poles and those without this feature would you please relate you preferences. Thanks.

06-27-2003, 16:31
I have used MSR OVERLAND I (which does have a little spring) and LEKI Super Ma... (which has a lot of spring). I prefer a stiffer pole (MRS O I). When I plant I know the pole will respond with almost equal force. I didn't like to the feeling of losing myself in a pole plant (LEKI). (FYI: i use the straps, with a underhand grip resting completely in the straps)

06-28-2003, 00:05
I have never liked the spring loaded shocks on trekking poles, they don't seem to do much for me...and they work against you when climbing. I say Nay.

06-28-2003, 10:10
I have the Leki Super Makalu Ergo... with springs. Frankly, I haven't noticed any real advantages. The manufacturer says they're supposed to be more comfortable, but it's tough to tell if they really do any good.

06-28-2003, 20:47
We used the Leki ultralight titanium Makalu with the springs. I loved having the springs, especially on the downhill. Personal preference, I'm sure. We didn't have the angled grips but had the cork ones, and I will definitely say that the cork grip seemed to make more difference, less sweat, more comfort, etc... Also, grips and straps can be cleaned well with a mixture of vinegar and water when your thru-hike is over...our wrist straps reeked of sweat...

06-30-2003, 11:49
Have used both and have found no noticeable advantages. The shock absorbing feature might make a difference over the wear and tear of a very long hike, but since poles with springs are heavier, I do not use them.

07-03-2003, 00:01
Spring loaded poles are heavier and noisier.

I think poles are great but "shocks" are mainly a gimmick to sell poles.

07-03-2003, 09:38
I don't like the shocks either. When I plant my pole I want it to stick to the ground, not be all "squishy". The problem is, most of the better models of sticks have shocks. You really have to do a bit of hunting to find a quality pole with no shock. But they are out there.

07-08-2003, 12:26
I have been evaluating this question for some time. I own REI Traverse poles. They are supposed to allow you to eliminate the shock absorption feature but I haven't been able to get that to work. The problem I have with these poles is that the springs make noise. Not a lot mind you, but when you're walking in the quiet of the forest the constant squeak of the springs can get annoying. I think that antishock is helpful on long down hill stretches. I hike with a friend whose poles don't have the antishock feature and I think that I like them better.

07-08-2003, 18:28
My poles make a slight amount of noise, I can bearly hear it, but it is there. I used the noise to help me keep rythym as I hike and after awhile you don't notice it at all. Springs are lifesavers if you have trouble with your knees, but probably unneccessary for regular use. As for the weight, The Leki's ultralight titaniums are about 9 oz each..not bad considering all the shock absorption...regular poles without springs that aren't titanium weigh a lot more...

07-09-2003, 06:05
If the spring breaks on an antishock pole can you lock it out and continue to use the pole? Or remove it and continue to use the pole? Or does the pole become useless until repaired?

Regarding spring noise, I wonder if Leki's addition of elastomer to create their 2003 Soft Antishock System also makes for a quieter pole?

07-09-2003, 14:36
My poles were easy to lock out and not use the sprigns at all, if I wanted to, although I rarely used the option. One guy we hiked with had trouble with his poles in Waynesboro, and Leki overnighted him the entire bottom section of his pole for free, overnight..we picked it up on our way out of town back to the trail. I had no problmes with my springs the entire way and they still are in working order.

Good luck!