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How To Adjust Black Diamond Trekking Poles


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Meggi Swindell



Black Diamond trekking poles are essential gear for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. These lightweight and durable poles provide stability, balance, and reduce strain on your joints while trekking through rugged terrains. However, to fully optimize their benefits, it is important to adjust them properly. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of adjusting Black Diamond trekking poles to ensure a comfortable and safe trekking experience.


Proper adjustment of trekking poles is crucial as it allows you to maintain an efficient and natural walking posture, whether you are ascending steep hills or descending rocky trails. It also helps to distribute the impact on your knees and ankles, making long hikes more enjoyable. Additionally, adjusting your poles correctly maximizes their stability and minimizes the risk of injury.


Whether you’ve just purchased a new pair of Black Diamond trekking poles or need a refresher on how to adjust them, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of adjusting your Black Diamond trekking poles for optimal performance and comfort.


Step 1: Understanding Your Black Diamond Trekking Poles

Before you can properly adjust your Black Diamond trekking poles, it’s important to familiarize yourself with their components and features. Black Diamond trekking poles typically consist of three main parts: the shaft, the wrist strap, and the tip.


The shaft of the trekking pole is usually made of lightweight aluminum or carbon fiber. It is adjustable in length, allowing you to customize it to your preferred height and the terrain you’ll be hiking on. Look for the adjustable mechanism, which could be a twist-lock or a lever-lock system, located near the top of the shaft.


The wrist strap is an important component of the trekking pole as it helps to secure your grip and takes some of the weight off your wrists and hands. It is usually made of durable nylon or similar materials and is adjustable in length to ensure a comfortable fit.


The tip of the trekking pole is where the rubber or carbide tip comes in contact with the ground. The rubber tip provides traction on rocky surfaces and reduces noise on hard surfaces, while the carbide tip is more durable and provides better traction on slippery or icy terrain. Some trekking poles also come with interchangeable baskets to prevent the pole from sinking into soft ground or snow.


Now that you have a basic understanding of the components, let’s move on to the next step and learn how to adjust the length of your Black Diamond trekking poles.


Step 2: Adjusting the Pole Length

Adjusting the length of your Black Diamond trekking poles is crucial to ensure proper biomechanics and comfort during your hike. Improperly adjusted poles can lead to unnecessary strain on your joints and muscles. Follow these steps to adjust the pole length:

  1. Start by loosening the locking mechanism on the shaft. This may be a twist-lock or lever-lock system, depending on the model of your poles.
  2. Extend the lower section of the pole by pulling it gently until it reaches your desired height. Most poles have height markings on the shaft to help you match them easily. If you’re unsure about the ideal height, a general guideline is to adjust the pole so that your forearm is parallel to the ground when you hold the pole with a relaxed grip.
  3. Tighten the locking mechanism by twisting it or pushing it down firmly, ensuring that it securely holds the pole in place. Test the pole’s stability by putting weight on it and making sure it doesn’t collapse or slide down.
  4. Repeat the process for the upper section of the pole, ensuring that it aligns with the lower section and is adjusted to the same length. Some poles have a single adjustment point for both sections, while others have separate adjustments.

Remember to take into account the type of terrain you’ll be hiking on. For uphill ascents, you may want to shorten the poles for a more aggressive stance, while downhill descents might require longer poles to provide additional stability.


With your Black Diamond trekking poles properly adjusted in length, you’re ready to move on to the next step: adjusting the wrist straps.


Step 3: Adjusting the Wrist Strap

The wrist straps on your Black Diamond trekking poles play a crucial role in providing support and stability while hiking. Adjusting the wrist straps properly will ensure a comfortable and secure fit. Follow these steps to adjust the wrist straps:

  1. Locate the wrist strap on each of your trekking poles. The wrist strap is usually made of durable nylon or similar materials.
  2. Insert your hand through the wrist strap from underneath, placing your thumb in the designated loop and letting the strap rest comfortably across the back of your hand.
  3. Adjust the length of the wrist strap by using the buckle or adjuster located near the top of the strap. Pull the strap tighter if it feels too loose or loosen it if it feels too tight.
  4. Make sure the wrist strap provides a secure and comfortable fit, allowing you to maintain a relaxed grip on the trekking pole handle without putting excessive strain on your hand or wrist.

It is important to note that the wrist straps are designed to support the weight of the poles and to help with stability, but they should not bear your full body weight. Your fingers should be able to grip the pole handle lightly, with the strap providing additional support but not causing any discomfort.


With the wrist straps properly adjusted, you can move on to the next step: adjusting the pole tips.


Step 4: Adjusting the Pole Tip

The tips of your Black Diamond trekking poles are essential for providing traction and stability on different types of terrain. Adjusting the pole tips correctly will ensure optimal performance. Follow these steps to adjust the pole tips:

  1. Examine the tips of your trekking poles. They are usually made of rubber or carbide.
  2. If you plan to hike on rocky or uneven surfaces, use the standard rubber tips. These tips provide traction and help prevent your poles from slipping.
  3. If you’ll be hiking on slippery or icy terrain, consider using the carbide tips. These tips are more durable and provide better grip on such surfaces. You can easily remove or replace the tips depending on the terrain.
  4. Some trekking poles come with interchangeable baskets that you can attach to the tips. Baskets help prevent the poles from sinking into soft ground or snow. Choose the appropriate basket size based on the type of terrain you’ll be encountering.
  5. To attach or detach the tips and baskets, simply twist or unscrew them from the end of the pole. Securely tighten them to avoid any loosening during your hike.

It’s a good practice to periodically check the condition of your pole tips and replace them if they are worn out or damaged. Maintaining the tips in good condition will ensure optimal performance and safety during your outdoor adventures.


With the pole tips properly adjusted, you’re now ready to use your Black Diamond trekking poles on the trails. Let’s move on to the final step: using the poles effectively.


Step 5: Using the Poles

Now that your Black Diamond trekking poles are properly adjusted, it’s time to put them to use on the trails. Here are some tips for using your trekking poles effectively:

  1. Hold the trekking poles securely but with a relaxed grip. Your fingers should wrap around the handles, and your thumbs should rest on top.
  2. As you walk, plant the poles slightly ahead of you, keeping your arms bent at a comfortable angle. This allows the poles to provide stability and support as you move.
  3. Coordinate your pole movement with your stride. As your right foot moves forward, plant the left pole, and vice versa. This rhythmic pattern helps maintain balance and momentum.
  4. On uphill sections, shorten your stride and lean slightly into the slope. Use your trekking poles to push off and propel yourself forward.
  5. When descending, lengthen your stride and use the poles to support your weight and absorb the impact. Plant the pole tips firmly to provide stability and confidence on steep or uneven terrain.
  6. Take advantage of the wrist straps by slipping your hands through them and resting your weight on your wrists. This will help alleviate stress on your hands and maintain a consistent grip on the poles.
  7. Regularly adjust the pole length and strap tension as needed, depending on the changing terrain and your comfort level.
  8. Pay attention to your surroundings and adapt your pole usage accordingly. Be mindful of any obstacles, slippery surfaces, or loose rocks.

Using trekking poles can make a significant difference in your hiking experience, providing added stability, reducing fatigue, and protecting your joints. Explore different techniques and find the most comfortable and efficient way to use your Black Diamond trekking poles based on your personal preferences and the terrain you’re traversing.


As you become more comfortable with using trekking poles, you’ll appreciate their benefits and wonder how you hiked without them before. Enjoy your adventures and happy trekking!



Properly adjusting your Black Diamond trekking poles is essential for a comfortable and safe hiking experience. By understanding the components of your poles, adjusting the length, wrist strap, and pole tips, you can optimize their performance and reduce strain on your body.


Adjusting the length of your poles ensures proper biomechanics and allows you to customize them for different terrain. The wrist straps provide support and help distribute the weight, so adjusting them to a comfortable fit is crucial. The pole tips, whether rubber or carbide, should be chosen based on the type of terrain you’ll encounter.


Once your poles are adjusted, use them effectively by coordinating your pole movement with your stride and adapting to the terrain. Take advantage of the wrist straps and regularly adjust the pole length and strap tension as needed.


Remember, using trekking poles can enhance your balance, stability, and overall hiking experience. With your Black Diamond trekking poles properly adjusted and utilized, you can confidently conquer new trails and enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors.


So, grab your trekking poles, adjust them to your preferred settings, and set off on your next adventure with confidence!