Owen Bennett wrote (see)
More thrust forward using the power of arms
More thrust forward using the power of arms
If you use correct technique and use the straps properly (with 'normal' poles) as Matt says, there will be no improvement using Pacers . Pacers don't have any magical method of overcoming the laws of physics.
I agree that pacers are going to be better than using normal poles the way many people seem to use the latter....
What's the advantage of using pacer poles over Trecking Poles?
Having had limited experience of PPs (a quick go in a shop) I'd say that they're going to be a lot better for A Notional Hiker to pick them up and get on with it and get some benefit straight away.
If you are (a) aware that conventional grips benefit from a bit of technique and practice and (b) can be arsed to put in the effort then I suspect what you mainly get with PPs is a slightly smaller bank balance. But from looking around me on the hill I would say that (a) is very widely lacking so in general a wider uptake of PPs would benefit a lot of people. And among clued in users (e.g., Chris Townsend, who has plenty of ski touring under his belt to know how to use "normal" poles) some seem to just prefer the feel of the PPs and if you like it then why not?
If you genuinely got more forward thrust from PPs compared to a properly used conventional grip then I think it's the case that serious Nordic skiers (and I mean serious to the point of professional) would have been all over them for years: they rely in part on poling power to bring home the wages, but seem to prefer a conforming strap to do that. To be fair, it's usually a semi-glove affair these days, and having them on my Nordic track skiing poles I can say for sure they're a complete PITA to get in and out and I wouldn't want to use them for walking, though OTOH the biathlon crowd still seem to like conventional straps and if those were limited compared to PPs for the power delivery again I'd expect lots of top level biathletes would be using PPs, especially as they wouldn't need to get in and out of their poles to shoot.
I bought my Pacer Poles a couple of weeks back and used them in earnest on a recent trip to the Lakes. I was quite impressed by how much difference they made on everything but particularly ascents. I didn't need to stop so often and I didn't overheat so much. They made me feel at least 5 years younger. The collapsed length is a pain but otherwise they're GREATTT!
I've had mine for about six months now. I like how I push down on them rather than pull up, how my hand feels it is in a natural position rather than 'half-cocked', how they make me keep my chest open even when working hard uphill......might not be to everyone's taste but they work for me.
I haven't tested mine out in the wild yet...but as I sell lekis et al at my outdoor shop, I find simply I don't grip the PP's as hard as I do regular poles.
On 'normal' poles, if using the straps correctly there really is no reason to grip the handles much at all (hard or soft). Or 'pull up' on the poles(Redscottis post). You push down on the strap.
If you use normal poles and straps like this (i.e. correctly), they are used pretty much exactly the same way as Pacer Poles. (I've tried both and watched the Pacer vids). I've taught several teenage Scouts to use standard poles like this and they 'get it' pretty much straightaway. And a few adults. Some adults seem unable (unwilling?) to get it and insist on gripping the poles - which is very limiting.
Many people seem fixated on gripping the handles and not using the straps properly. And then if they use Pacers rave about them as if they are somehow really really different. They aren't - the handles design just make yous use them the way any poles should be used much of the time (But, Pacers limit you to near that one position grip only...)
Maybe if straps were made out of that sheep wool nice feeling stuff
I started using Pacer Poles following a broken ankle and my Leki Makalus have been languishing in a corner ever since (when I stupidly lost my first pair of PPs they were immediately replaced with another pair). My husband thought they were great 'for me' but loved his Black Diamond elliptics . . . . until I finally got him to try a pair of PPs (just once) on a walk up Yr Aran. Ten minutes along the track and he said "They're not just walking poles with a different handle are they. I can really feel the difference - powering along". His Black Diamonds joined my Lekis!
I was worried about the slightly heavier weight when the PPs first arrived but I didn't notice it out on the hills - I chose to stick with the alloys for my replacement pair.
I have confidence in the PPs to help me get off the hill with an ankle injury - I crawled last time. The handle position is also very natural for the wrist and avoids any strain.
They may not look as elegant as some other poles (but then neither do I on a windswept hill), I can't recommend them highly enough.
It’s not all hill walking and Kendal mint cake
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