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Tell me about Pacer Poles

Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I read a short post her about pacer poles and can only find one webpage which explains them.

On it they mention the carbon poles being better for short people, HOWEVER they say they can crack or break if you drop them.

Any feedback on this?

Also, I have had surgery for carpal tunnel and my arms still often fall asleep. I notice the Leki poles do bother my wrists. Do any of you have carpal tunnel issues and if so, how do your pacer poles work with this problem?

I'm about 5'3" and wonder if the alloy poles would work for me. They don't give specific heights.

How about it? You folks like your pacer poles?
 
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jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
I am 5' 7'' and have just purchased a new set of Pacer Poles - the Carbon Fibre ones. I have done this because I consider that they will be strong enough for me on my next Camino and they are very noticeably lighter that the alloy ones. As I am anticipating that there will be more times when the poles will be attached to my pack this time I thought it was worth the weight saving.

When crossing the Pyrennees last time I slipped and fell 3 times (having just warned my companion to take care because it was slippery!). The final time was the best fall of all as I landed fair and square on my pole and nicely bent it so that it was almost unusable. At the bottom of the hill there is a gate leading into Roncevalles which served nicely as a vice and we were able to straighten it enough for me to use it all the way to Santiago! A good testament I think!.

I don't know about the cracking of the Carbon fibre ones, but I found that other than the above incident that I didn't have much propensity for dropping them - certainly not from great heights, which I would think would be what would cause the damage. The one draw back is that the carbon tip tends to make the rubber stopper on the end wear out easily (at least mine did after 800 kms), and so I will be taking a spare set of rubber stoppers next time.

Because my hands are my lively hood I take good care of them - which is the prime reason that I chose these poles over other brands. Thus far, I have had no problem with carpel tunnel etc and so cannot give any comment on that. My feeling is that it should not be a problem because you are using the natural swing of your arm, rather than your wrist to move the pole (other than when you are using them downhill)

Hope that helps, Janet
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
That helps a lot, Janet.

I have another question.

Do your poles telescope inside each other?
Are there 2 parts or 3?

I couldn't really figure it out from the website.

So you're saying the aluminum alloy poles weigh more?
 

jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hello Annie, Yes they are definately lighter - with my not too accurate scales - by about 150 grams the pair.

Yes they do telescpoe inside each other - three sections, and I actually took mine totally apart when I was coming home so that I could make them just a few centimetres shorter inside my pack.

The idea is that you make the bottom section as long as possible, extend the middle section as much as required and that way the balance and the weight is light at the end of the pole for ease of moving. However as you are a few inches shorter than me you may need to make that second section a bit shorter than the maximum. If you get them just experiment and work out what is best for you.

I taught a friend how to use these poles as she had some trouble initially, and I think the important thing to remember is that you should not change anything about your walking at all. Use the swing of your arm to move the poles. You will feel the little push that it gives you at the end of each swing as it propels you along. The style is (to me - a non skier!!) much like what ski poles are like. Indeed a young skier friend was thinking about getting a pair for that purpose, although as far as I am aware they are not marketed for that purpose. The hand grip on these poles makes it very easy to use that arm swing - once you get over the initial awkwardness. I got my friend to carry her poles and swing her arms (we automatically swing the opposite arm to the leg) and then when she had a rythm going drop the poles down and start to use them.

Hope that answers your questions. Cheers, Janet
 

Aldernath

New Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP 2009, Le Puy & Norte 2011, Arles 2013, VF 2015, Kumano Kodo 2016
I have just walked from Seville to Santiago using carbon fibre Pacerpoles. I found them excellent and had no trouble at all with them. According to the manufacturer's website, http://www.pacerpole.com/, their design is biomechanically superior to conventionally handled poles. I felt they gave me a speed boost. They were also useful for balance when crossing muddy patches, etc.

Aldernath
http://aldernath.blogspot.com/
 
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Janeh

Active Member
I took pacer poles on my camino - not the carbon fibre ones but the ones I took were perfect. I would recommend thenm 100% and wouldn't consider doing another long walk without them. After a day or two I didn,t even notice them - they and my legs became one! Yes, by about 300kms the tips had started to wear through but I carried a spare set so that was the only negative thing I could say about them. I ordered mine directly from the UK and the people were very helpful. Perhaps you could email them re durability / breaking of the carbon ones? I occasionally have wrist aches and especially if I walk without poles, I never had a moment of wrist pain on the camino when I used my pacer poles.
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Has anyone had experience using regular poles and then switching to Pacer poles or vice versa?
I use leki poles right now, which are a great help, but I do have some irritation on the wrists from the straps. I am considering changing to pacers.
 

Wombat

Member
The PacerPole website has and FAQ entry ALLOY SHAFTS v CARBON FIBRE SHAFTS ? at
http://www.pacerpole.com/walking-pole-faq-trekking-poles-6.html which explains the differences. Basically the Carbon fibre poles are about 20% lighter (518gm compared with 650 gms a pair). They will not corrode like aluminium poles. However, if you fall on them they may break and shatter whereas the aluminium will buckle. JL, see previous posts, bent and straightend an aluminium PacerPole on a previous camino. However, she has taken carbon fibre PP poles on her current Camino (Hi Janet). The FAQ suggests that the weight difference is not noticeable.

My wife and I have purchased carbon fibre PacerPoles for our coming Camino in September. They have proved themselves in training walks and definitly assist in uphill walking. I find I tend to walk faster. Some training would be advisable as your arms get a workout.

To quote from the above FAQ:

Whatever the material used for the shaft, Pacerpoles are fundamentally different to conventional poles as they are designed to integrate with the body both anatomically and biomechanically.
Anatomically: the hand/handle union requires minimal grip for load transmission, and for precision shaft control (a safety issue as well as a performance one).
Biomechanically: to exploit maximum upper body power from controlling effective arm leverage without wasting effort.
 

Hermanita

Active Member
Wombat said:
My wife and I have purchased carbon fibre PacerPoles for our coming Camino in September. They have proved themselves in training walks and definitly assist in uphill walking. I find I tend to walk faster. Some training would be advisable as your arms get a workout.

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Hi Wombat
Have you had experience with regular poles prior to using pacer poles? I am currently using regular poles. Just started about a month ago. I am finding them an annoyance really...but the certainly do help on the up and downhills.
I will also walk in September, maybe we will meet on the Camino.
 
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Wombat

Member
Hi Rita,

I have had a single normal pole for a few years but have not used it seriously. I think that the shape of the hand grips means that you dont have to hold the PP's as tightly as normal poles. This results in less hand stress.

Its also my impression that you get more forward momentum from the PP's.

Hope to see you on the camino.

Regards

Kevin
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Just ordered my Pacer Poles! Whoopie!
I am looking forward to trying them. Hopefully they
will help relieve the numb arms I get when I use Leki poles.
I've tried those both with and without the straps . . . something about the way you must hold them maybe. Anyway.. I'm stoked!

The lady said that "many" people are ordering PPs for the Camino, btw.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I have been training with my new Pacer Poles and I LOVE them!

The only thing about them is that I think they cause you to "go faster" and my be what caused my achilles tendon injury :?

So I'm reconsidering whether or not to take them, or to buy a stick on the Camino.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
Does any Pacer Pole owner have thoughts on adjusting them? Are they better elbow height/longer/shorter? Thanks.
 
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jl

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
When I use PP's I have them, slightly shorter than the reccommended height. I find this works for me. If they are at the rec. height my arms are not in their usual natural position. I think the the indivivdual has to experiment with them and adjust them according to arm length. It is my belief that there should be nothing in your gait that changes when using PP's - they complement normal walking movements rather than change.

Annie, I would suggest that you practice with the poles because, although they can make you go faster, they don't have to. They certainly make one walk more upright. When I saw a storm approaching on leaving Burgos one time they ehlped me really pick up momentum, but that was beacuse I need to - in otherwords it was how I used to aid me in going faster. Most times I just amble along with them. A bonus with the PP's is that they have a rubber tip which means that you don't sctatch the cobbles - AND they a silent!

Janet
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-19
Yes that sounds like my experience as to length. I've had my pair of pacer poles for about a month, using them on the ~30km/week of training walks. The manufacturer recommends slightly shorter than the elbow as a starting length, and I'm finding that maybe 1-2 inches shorter than the elbow is most comfortable for me. I enjoy them - they seem to increase my stamina and my hands don't swell up.
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I used and loved my pacer poles and will take them again next trip.

The only problem was in one particular alburgue where they insisted I leave my poles in a bucket which was located by a door which was continually left open to an alleyway. I had heard of other poles being stolen and wasn't willing to lose my pacers... although wouldn't have had a problem leaving a plain old walking stick. I asked if I could fold them up and put them inside my pack and was told no.

I went to a different alburgue, not willing to lose my poles.

I asked later why the insistence, and was told by another hospitalero that in some alburgue somewhere, the poles had been used as a weapon, and that was why there were not allowed.

Seems pretty silly to me... sort of like outlawing cars because one person got hit by one. :roll:

BUT... that was just me... it was easy to find another sleeping spot.
 

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