Rollerski Poles work well for pushing on pavement. DON’T STICK YOUR POLES IN CRACKS; it can break your tip off and rip your shoulder. I have learned to pull up quickly when a pole tip accidentally goes in a crack.
The tips usually need about a ’10mm’ diameter on the end of the pole where the tip goes. This is usually found on a ski touring or racing pole which taper down, vs just a continuous width. So you may need to shop around some on line or retail shops. Nordic Skater is one outlet which sells roller ski poles.
As far as length. mine are nose-high on skates. much below shoulder level you lose the physics of a long push.
Two key things to double your speed: Get really long poles, and keep your tips sharp. I use a diamond blade to sharpen them every few times.
Otherwise you’ll just be muddling along while your poles slip and you throw your shoulders out of joint.
Basic stroke is what you would think; right foot push combined with a left pole push, then vice versa, alternating. Your goal should be a long pole push starting beside your foot and extending back 4-5 feet.
Or if you are in or near Albuquerque I can sell you some premium poles as pictured here–delivery or pickup.
On a gentle Albuquerque bikepath: $50 for an hour and a half lesson, $75 for two people. Equipment, Basic and Advanced Strokes for full body workout, avoiding falls, optimizing your workout. You provide the blades/skis and protective equipment and I supply the roller ski poles. Hip protection is good and I can hook you up with hockey pants. Call 505-440-1219
With a dozen or so stroke combinations, you can target most muscle groups and your core. For example, progressing from the basic stroke alternating foot pushes and pole strokes on opposite sides, you can move to double pole, bending at the waist. which builds abs, pects, delts, triceps and biceps, and the long muscles of the abdomen and back.
Number one is don’t put your pole down in front of your skates-or do it once because then you’ll never do it again. As with all skating, knee elbow wrist protection and a helmet. Padded pants such as those used for hockey are good too. I wear two pair of hockey training pants for hip and lower back protection. Cars are the major problem so stick to bikepaths or empty roads.
Besides the all-around aerobic workout, the sport can be a rush and a real benefit for alpine ski training. I plan my routes to start with an uphill or upwind leg, so the return trip includes some exhilirating carving. IT DELIVERS SKATE-SKI WORKOUT BUT MUCH MORE DYNAMIC AND VARIABLE.
Go for the smoothest roads or trails–because of such a low-friction environment–your every efficiency is rewarded threefold compared to being on snow.
If you want to explore a city or landscape at street level, nothing could be better than Rollerpoles. The Ability to hop up curbs, climb stairs, or climb over a fence gives you an incredible mobility that exceeds bikes, and a speed which exceeds going on foot.
I would recommend rollerblades or inline skates with at least 82mm wheels. Any smaller than that and it’s hard to get a good momentum going and the turns are choppy like little short tiny skis. I have migrated to 90mm, then 100mm wheels. Rotate your wheels every 30 mile or so or when the insides of the wheels get visibly worn. Older worn wheels take away from the smooth turns and easy riding. Roller ski tips should be sharpened every few times. You want it to have a bite when you touch it like it could cut your skin. Again, hockey pants like from Play it Again Sports can help prevent hip fracture.