I don't know about most of you guys, but I always used to ski with my pole straps pretty tight because I normally like to keep a really loose grip on my poles. Well I learned the hard way this year that it's a bad idea. Dislocated left thumb and chipped bone/torn ligament in my right, which made me miss out on the last month of this year's skiing. Both were caused from falling onto an oustretched hand and the grip pushing into my thumb, and would have been completely avoided if I'd had them loose. So for your own safety, keep it loose.