The Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z Pole is a super lightweight folding pole perfect for adventure racing, endurance running or anyone looking for the ultimate in packability and fast and light. The pure carbon construction makes these poles ultra lightweight and strong and the z pole system makes them extremely small when packed away. The poles have a lightweight, moisture wicking EVA foam grip with a mini grip extension and also come with rubber tech tips.
The folding Z-Pole system comprises a 3 section pole that has a coated cord running through it's length. At the lower and middle joints this coating is expanded into a cone shape that enables fast assembly and provides strength. Using Black Diamond's Speed Cone technology to deploy the pole just pull the grip and first shaft sections away from each other. This snaps the pole into place where it will lock. Collapsing the pole is just as easy as there is a single push button to release the locking mechanism so the pole can be folded back into it's super compact shape.
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As a fell walker/runner with nearly 50 years experience of chasing round the hills, I've always been rather disparaging of running poles. However, at last year's Longmynd Hike, a fellow runner was talking to me about races abroad. "You can tell the Brits," he said; " they're the ones without the poles." His comment brought back memories of a guy I once saw in the Dolomites, hauling himself, at great speed, up a mountain scree. My Shropshire friend had recommended the Black Diamond Carbon Z, and with points I'd collected at the wonderful Facewest, I was able to buy a pair at a fraction of their normal cost.
I've only used them twice, for two 25k shuffles round the hills: these excellent running sticks are so light you hardly know they're in your hands; they can be folded easily into three sections each time you break into a faster run; pounding up the hills really is assisted by the extra pressure from the poles - but it's made me realise just how weak are my arm muscles; navigating along narrow, muddy tracks is made so much easier by having two extra pivot points. So I have to say, I'm a convert to these running/walking poles. Not least they do take some of the stain off my constantly- aching periformis muscle. I calculated my pole length at 0.68 x height - this has worked perfectly.
In a couple of weeks, I'm off to Skye: as I zoom up the Great Stone Shute, it'll evoke distant memories of my man in the Dolomites; and hopefully the carbon fibre will stand the strain!
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