A couple of years ago when we were developing the Hoks I tried a single pole like those still used in the Altai Mountains by indigenous skiers. It worked great! since then I have used the Tiak a lot and gotten many of my friends to try it as well. I find it the easiest way to really ski the Hoks, particularly for downhills. I have experimented with various woods around here and settled on Lodgepole Pine. There are places in the mountains were the trees grow in very poor conditions, rocky, dry, and too close together. Trees that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter can be over 50 years old!. The wood is very strong and supple, while being relatively light. We cut a number of poles this summer and fall, and have been seasoning them since. They are then hand peeled, trimmed, sculpted, and branded (literally). We then finish them with a light linseed oil and a strap at the top. They are very strong and handy to have on any winter adventure in the woods or mountains. We will offer a 1 year warrantee on them, and look forward to getting people to try this ancient but incredibly functional and intuitive style of skiing. 9.13 Update! We have added sizes to the Tiaks, Medium and Large . If you are under 5’10” order a medium , and over that, order a large. We have found length is not as critical as with normal ski poles and with a longer Tiak one can simply choke up a bit on the grip. This allows us to ship direct without having to get sizes from each customer before shipping. Shipping Tiaks: Tiak Boxes are oversized so we have had to add an oversized fee for shipping costs.