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In my opinion, it isn't worth much time and effort to make poles look sick because they are probably going to break soon anyways. Whatever though, I don't have a problem with people who do it, so don't attack me for saying that.
I guess, but I have been able to get replacement poles free from ski patrol or whoever. It doesn't make sense to buy poles when I can get other ones for free, especially nice ones if I thought there was a chance I could break them.
I used to buy expensive composite poles but I go through them almost as fast as old aluminum ones I get for free. Yeah they are stronger and lighter but if they take a hard enough hit they will break just like the cheap ones.