The Evils of Pole Straps & why you should never use them - VIDEOPole straps can be killers and there is no real reason for them to be part of a ski pole. There, I said it. I know many of you will disagree and if you do then let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Having hung upside down in a tree well (in bounds at a ski resort) and fully buried by snow I am confident that the only reason I am alive today is the fact that I was not using pole straps and that I was in good enough shape to perform a sit-up from a completely vertical position while hanging upside down in my skis.
Pole straps restrict the mobility of your arms and thus your hands and without your hands, you cannot extricate your self from a tree well, never mind clear snow from your face. In an avalanche the same restrictions apply, you need your arms to swim above the snow, free your gear, trigger an airbag and when the snow is about to settle create an air pocket for breathing. If your arms and hands can't move freely without ski poles flailing about hindering them and ultimately completely restricted any movement once the snow settles, your self-rescue options are severely limited.
To better understand why Pole straps are evil and why they should be removed from your ski poles have a watch of the following video:
The only down side to not having pole straps on your ski poles is that you may drop your ski pole. Nothing compared to the negatives aspects they present if they are attached to your poles. They effectivity affix your ski pole to your hand which in turn is fixed to your arm and should your pole snag a tree or obstacle, it tends not to break, what typically happens is that your arm is dislocated from your shoulder,... never fun.
Remove those straps and try skiing without them, sure it may feel weird at first,... but one day your life may depend on not using them.