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Swix Launches Radical New Pole

Tue, Feb  7, 2006 - By Mike Muha

Some of you may have seen Dick Fultz from the Cross Country Ski Shop in Grayling with this pole - he had a pair at the Boyne Highlands Classic Race in January. Comments from Dick are at the bottom of this article- Mike

Swix FORCE 10 Ski Pole

Dick Fultz before the Boyne Highlands Classic Race with his pair of FORCE 10s.

Close-up of the poles

The Swix Press Release:

Swix is introducing The Direct Force Concept Pole in time for the 2006 Olympics. The FORCE 10 Ski Pole design uses proprietary IPM carbon fiber technology already proven successful with Swix’ World Championship winning Alpine Poles. The FORCE 10 Concept uses a monocoque airfoil construction internally pressure molded so that the shaft and handle are integrated as one, resulting in far greater stiffness and more Direct Force to the snow. The aerodynamic profile provides reduced wind drag while adding extra high directional stiffness and improved swing-weight.

Conventional cross country ski poles are reaching the limit for what can be done in terms of the ideal combination of weight, strength, and stiffness. At the same time, racers are asking for stiffer shafts without an increase in weight. The primary concern is in the Skate Sprint event in which the longest length poles are used and the arm strength of the athletes is increasing. In all cross country events, bending and vibration of the poles results in a loss of energy and less power directed to the basket.

The solution--- The Swix FORCE 10. The tapered airfoil shape of the FORCE 10 pole provides more than double the directional stiffness without an increased weight or a reduction in impact strength. The primary benefit of the Direct Force Concept is a complete transfer of poling power to the basket. The single-unit pole body takes on a handle shape near the top that maximizes benefits of the strap design and features the perfect angles for better comfort, power, and control.

FORCE 10 Poles come with three basket size options. The weight of the standard basket is reduced by 30% versus the conventional basket. At the bottom end of the pole body the airfoil shape evolves into a smaller, distinct cross-section that assures correct basket alignment. The combination of single-unit construction, basket weight reduction, and airfoil shape give the FORCE 10 a super light and fast swinging action.

The FORCE 10 Poles come in four main lengths. Custom sizing is done by shaft cutting from the basket end of the pole where each primary length allows individual adjustments up to 10 centimeters.

FORCE 10 Poles have been available for racer testing for over a year, and will be available to the market on February 1, 2006. The FORCE 10 has already had its first World Cup win with Katherina Neumanova outperforming the field by half a minute in a 10 kilometer skating race in Nove Mesto, Czech Republic. There will certainly be more to come!

“Let The FORCE Be With You!” (When you ski )

Comments by Dick Fultz:

Dick skis with these poles - he has a bright red pair at his shop if you're interested in seeing them in person. He had a couple comments.

First, the poles are about the same weight as the CT1 - but the swing weight is very different. The tip end of the pole is much lighter, letting the pole swing noticeably easier. It's almost like it's not there.

Second, these poles are stiff - very stiff. In hard snow, Dick says it feels like your'e rollerskiing on pavement! Stiff poles mean more power transmitted to the snow.