This morning I took out the Black Diamond Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles for a spin on the local trails. Here are some first thoughts. UPDATE – After a little over a year now with these poles and putting them through the paces on many climbing/hiking trips, I’m happy to report that these poles have held up extremely well and have been reliable and up to the task. Super happy with the performance!
- Great grips
- Easily adjustable (both shaft length and wrist straps)
- Light weight
- Cool red/black color combo
- Solid feel on non-technical ground
- Adjustable screw allows effective “dial-in” repair of poles if they start to collapse.
- Felt a little “weak in the knees” when using them as support while descending technical terrain
- The shock felt overly stiff, like a locked out MTB fork. (Although too much rebound can be detrimental on tech sections.)
All-in-all, a solid first go with these poles, they’re a good choice. Neither “whoa!” nor “blech!”, just kinda living in that world of “these will work.” If you’re someone who is regularly fully-loaded in long, steep, super technical terrain, where you’re placing tons of weight on the poles for support, you might want to choose something a little more burly (but that will likely come with a significant weight penalty). If you’re like the other 95% of backpackers, adventure racers, climbers, hikers, etc, these will likely be an excellent choice for your needs. More to come as the mileage increases!