What are the pros and cons of bamboo ski poles?

If anyone reading this is old enough to remember taking up cross-country skiing in the 1970s then you’ll already be familiar with bamboo ski poles.

Most people skied with bamboo poles up until this time until the new kid on the block aluminium came into fashion, then later usurped by fibreglass and carbon fibre.

Now bamboo ski poles are making a resurgence due to their eco-friendly green credentials and our modern inclination toward living a more sustainable and recyclable lifestyle.

But are bamboo ski poles any good? Do they hold up against their aluminium and carbon colleagues?

So what are the pros and cons of bamboo ski poles?


Bamboo is lighter than aluminium or carbon fibre.

Many manufacturers of bamboo poles don’t normally quote the exact weight of their poles due to each piece of bamboo being slightly different with it being a natural product. 

However, poles are generally equal to or lighter than both aluminium and carbon fibre when compared using purely the shafts (i.e no handles, no baskets, no strap and both shafts the same length).

Bamboo ski poles are stronger than Aluminium and carbon fibre

Bamboo is a naturally strong material, used frequently as scaffolding in Asian countries and scores higher than most hardwoods on the internationally accepted hardness Janka test

Bamboo ski poles are quoted as being 25% stronger than aluminium poles, however, their strength is fairly equal to that of a composite material.

One huge strength benefit over aluminium poles is that they don’t suffer from the kinks and dents that aluminium poles can.

Bamboo ski poles are better for the environment

For many buyers, switching to bamboo poles is a sustainable choice. 

Bamboo is sustainable for many reasons. The speed at which it grows, the ease of growth, the things it needs to grow, and how it’s harvested. All of these steps need fewer resources than other materials, including aluminium and carbon fibre.

Bamboo naturally flexes when put under pressure meaning bamboo poles won’t snap. Your ski poles will remain effective for years to come reducing the need to replace or repair them. In fact, original bamboo poles over 40 years old have been found for sale in thrift stores.

They look good!

They’re certainly a lift chair conversation starter. 

Many skiers won’t be familiar with (or old enough to remember) bamboo poles so their use remains a great ice breaker.


Relatively more expensive

It’s true, modern bamboo ski poles are relatively more expensive than aluminium ski poles

Anyone who has a habit of breaking or losing ski poles fairly regularly may find their own priority is cost above sustainability, and that’s fair.

Why should you switch to bamboo?

Bamboo ski poles are an excellent alternative to traditional ski poles made from metals or plastics. They offer a more sustainable and eco-friendly option for those who want to reduce their environmental impact.

Bamboo is a fast-growing renewable resource that requires less energy to produce and process than metal or plastic. It is also biodegradable, which means that at the end of its life cycle, it will decompose naturally without leaving behind toxic waste.

By switching to bamboo ski poles, you can enjoy your favorite winter sport while making a positive impact on the environment.

In addition to their eco-friendly qualities, bamboo ski poles also offer superior performance on the slopes. Bamboo is a lightweight material that provides excellent flexibility and strength, which is ideal for skiing.

It is also known for its shock-absorbing qualities, which can help reduce the impact of bumps and jolts on your hands and wrists.

Bamboo ski poles are also resistant to extreme temperatures and moisture, which makes them a great choice for winter sports. They are also easy to grip, thanks to their natural texture and smooth finish.

Finally, bamboo ski poles offer a unique and stylish look that is sure to turn heads on the slopes. They have a beautiful natural texture and color that sets them apart from traditional metal or plastic ski poles.

They are also customizable, which means you can add your own personal touch by painting or decorating them to your liking.

By switching to bamboo ski poles, you not only make a statement about your commitment to sustainability, but you also stand out from the crowd with a unique and stylish accessory.

Soul Poles

Soul poles are backed by a two-year shaft replacement warranty. Stylish, sustainable and simple – characteristics sought by many of today’s discerning skiers.

Soul Poles come in an impressive collection of styles and colour options, as well as a fully customizable program that allows you to have your name engraved on the pole.

– Bamboo shaft, kiln dried and oil treated (China)

– Recycled plastic grips, wrist straps and baskets

– Array of custom colours and shaft engraving

Kang Bamboo Ski Poles

Available in three fixed lengths, this bamboo ski pole weighs in at just 280 grammes per pole.

Fitted with a hardened steep spike, a bioplastic handle and strap, these poles are ready to go when you are.


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