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12 or 13” handle width??


whitem71
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What are everyone’s thoughts on handle width? It seems most pros used a 11-12 (or even 10) back in the day- I wonder why?

And what are the pros and cons of the ‘standard’ 12 inch vs the 13?

Personally I have way less mis-grabs (with my pinkie hanging off the end) with the 13” handle especially with a radius bend as seems to make the handle feel narrower, but have heard people say the 12 helps to keep the elbows in?

 

Is it height related? (as I’m only 5’9 and prefer 13) or maybe rushing too much to get back on the handle

 

What are the majority of the pros using now?

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I think the only commercially available handles today are 12s and 13s. Personally I'm inclined to think it's personal preference. I use a 12 and I just find something awkward about the 13. whatever.

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Agreed. I think whatever you think would be better for you... do it.

 

I went to a 13" a few years back because in the back of my demented head I feel like if my hands are a full inch further apart that I clearly have a "wider" and more stable stance. It's a mind game I like to play with myself.

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I see a lot of 12” handle use. Additionally it’s often observed skiers hold hands closer yet biasing the grip to handle center with the palm down hand. It’s a leverage and energy transfer move that places the arm and shoulder on direct path with rope and pilon.

 

That said the question is whether the 12” handle is actually better or the product of culture.

 

Standing dry land with the 13” handle seems to be more complimentary to better posture through thoracic vertebrae and also enables more tied in shoulder blades. That said if you don’t get into that position the wider handle might be counter productive as your arms won’t be as close in to your body.

 

A lot of skiers default to the rounded upper back protracted shoulder position (shoulders forwards/ to front of capsule) because it works really good. There’s a lot of stability at end range, consequently it’s extra stressful to the body. Mostly the position is a result of unawareness and often it’s not a negative for buoy count. It works to create good energy transfer but it’s hard on the spine and shoulders long term (Think Marcus, Jamie, and Wade).

 

I use a 12”. I used the 13” as a jr skier. I changed because I noticed more people used 12”. I stuck with 12” through my 20’s because it was something I didn’t feel like messing with and I didn’t have the income to buy multiple handles for the sake of testing.

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I have a big chest but have always used a12inch, I have never tried a thirteen but thinking tells me that if you are big, it is going to be easier to get your chest up, not sure if iot would be restricted by a twelve inch, but then as you have stated, Mapple used a ten or slightly smaller and he was fairly well built.
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Slalom pros tend to be very slight in build (with a few exceptions). if your like @Stevie Boy with rippling pectoral muscles or me with a flowing beer gut, a wider handle can be more comfortable and natural to hold on to. I look at gymnasts and weight lifters/movers, a wider grip allows all the back muscles to activate and prepare for load/tension.

 

thoughts from an old man

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I use a 13". I've only had a couple years in the course and am still 15off, so I don't have the credentials to really say as a skier, but what's made sense to me at least intuitively is that having a wider grip would make it easier to achieve a good position with shoulders back and hips up. When you do a deadlift, you hold your hands straight down from your arms. If your bar was only 12" wide, you couldn't do that, and it would be a detriment.

 

Admittedly though, it's not a perfect comparison to skiing, but similar is some ways. I wonder if the body gurus over at @FlowPointMethod have any opinion? Or maybe @Than_Bogan, since he seems to analyze everything that can be analyzed? (to be clear, both those comments are compliments :-)

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