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I don’t know why the ski industry got out of making strapless grips a long time ago. My research says it’s because the grips had an increased incidence of thumb injuries. Still, strapless grips have their proponents, and I’m one of them.
I hate straps. They’re a pain to get on, a pain to get off, and get caught on things. With strapless grips, my hands can be in and out of the grips with a flick of the wrist. They’re easier to use while maneuvering in corrals, and far more comfortable on the hand.
Mine were made by Scott and are over 20 years old. I have pulled them off and moved them to new shafts with every set of poles I have had for the last 20 years. You can see photos of them every time I do a pole test, like yesterday.
But they are dying. The top grip on my right pole cracked 2 weeks ago. I glued it and duct taped it (I am, after all, a Canadian). It’s time for new ones. But boy, are they hard to find. After much searching (a lot of which included advice like “find old poles on eBay or in the Goodwill”), I found someone who is making them.
One downside of these grips is that the curvy part (that wraps outside your hand thus eliminating the need for straps) goes in front of your knuckles (like brass knuckles). “Normally,” these go across the back of your hand, meaning these Sword grips are hard to keep on with an open hand. The second downside is that most of the strapless grips I have seen and used in the past have a split in the curvy part. This makes it easy to hang your poles on the crosspiece of a chair’s safety bar. You can see these grips are solid.
Cost is €5 per grip (about $6.50 CDN) and they will ship to me for a measly €6.50. Two grips including shipping: €16.50 ($21.60 CDN), paid via PayPal (gotta love the internet). Worth every penny, if you ask me.
Interested? Contacts are available on the website, or you can e-mail Uros Cesnik directly: firstname.lastname@example.org to start the ball rolling.
Tell him that guy from Alberta sent you.