Gentleman's Ski Poles




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Skiing can be a thirsty sport. Your extra large ski jacket may have many pockets to carry some quintessential quenching quaff, but it's already full with goggles, sunglasses, handwarmers, cell phone, MP3 player, headphones, and that amusingly-shaped stick you found when you went off-trail, so there’s no room for a bottle. Not even a flask.

Why not adapt something you’d be carrying anyway? Enter the gentleman's ski pole. Made with a few dollars worth of hardware store bits and pieces, you can make portable liquid container. For the refined gentleman, your schnapps is sippable even when you can’t reach your pockets. Also, by combining the pole with a flask, you're less encumbered when on the chairlift and far less likely to inadvertently drop a skiing accessory.

Forget bringing a St.Bernard on your next ski trip, all you need is the gentleman's ski pole! A discreet decanter for the discerning downhill gentleman

Enough talk, let's hit the slopes in style!

*this project is in response to the Cold Pole liquid reservoir ski pole. My version is about 1/10th the price.

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Step 1: Tools + Materials

  • drill + bits
  • hobby knife
  • adhesive
  • clear PVC tubing
  • travel-size plastic bottles
  • ski poles

Step 2: Assemble Components

Ski pole handles are typically friction fitted to the poles. I was able to get the handles off these poles with a little effort and by applying a rubber mallet to the underside of the handle, striking the handle from the pole. If you can't get your handle off try submerging the handle in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes to warm the plastic, then wrap the handle in a towel and try removing from the pole.

The size and length of your PVC tubing will be determined by the interior diameter and length of the ski pole you choose. I used a 7/16" O.D (11.1+mm) PVC tube with a length of about 2' (610mm). An opening was made in the top of the handle slightly larger than my PVC tubing, making sure to line up the opening with the cavity inside the handle. 

Next, I found travel sized shampoo bottles that had a similar sized opening as the outside diameter of my PVC pipe. I cleaned each bottle thoroughly and removed the neck off each bottle. The PCV tube was pushed inside the neck of the bottle and is held in place with friction. 

The bottom of the PVC tube was sealed with an acrylic plug. I cut mine using the laser cutter at work, but almost anything would work as long as it seals the bottom from leaking. I had originally envisioned using a small wooden dowel or scrap plastic. I'm sure the bottom of your junk drawer will produce something you could use. 

Step 3: Feed Tube Through Handle

After the opening in the handle has been made, feed the tubing through with the bottle neck on the handle top.

Apply a small amount of adhesive to the underside of the bottle neck and press into handle top. Allow adhesive to dry completely, then place tube into cavity inside the pole and reinstall the ski pole handle and press fit it in place.

Repeat entire process for the other pole.

Step 4: Fill

The last thing to do is fill your boozy ski poles with your favourite alcoholic alpine aperitif!
Carefully pour your liquor into each pole and seal it tight with the caps.

Step 5: Take a Break!

With your poles all liquored up you're ready to hit the slopes in true class! Make sure to break out these ski poles the next time you're lost in the back country, or just taking a break after shredding gnar all day.

Have fun!

Did you make your own gentleman's ski poles? Post a picture of your version of this project in the comments below.

Happy making :)

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    50 Discussions


    2 years ago

    It would be cool to put something in it that you could use to light a fire


    2 years ago

    A) I LOVE the concept, and nifty Making
    skills. I've been skiing for 40+ years; old-skool was "Bota Bags", the
    'hip-flask of skiers' if I can coin a phrase.

    B) Saw the comments
    below on safety of the vinyl -- funny timing, as I was just commenting
    on another Inst'ble about using "vinyl" (=PVC) gutters for hydroponic
    gardening, which I think is just fine. But: I'm gonna have to disagree, here.

    I won't/can't say this is 'unsafe' -- but it concerns me, and I wouldn't do it.(Just FYI, I have a patent in hydrocarbon chemistry and some relevant knowledge.)
    Here's the point: phthalates are used as plasticizers in PVCs to make
    them flexible. This vinyl is clearly (ahem) quite flexible. And while polar solvents (i.e. water) don't tend to leach
    phthalates (which are not bound, that's important) from PVC --
    apparently alcohols are more efficient at that. Link to actual science
    journal article below. I have no axe to grind (or commercial/employment
    interest) about phthalates, but they are possibly linked to estrogen-like effects in mammals, which is why we don't use BPA in baby bottles any more, for example.

    which makes the name "Gentleman's (Ski) Poles" somewhat amusing,
    potentially. Or potently. Or not-potently.... >;-) There's just way
    too much meat in there - oh, dang, there I go again - to chuckle about.


    I think it'd just be far easier and possibly significantly
    safer to just plug the bottom of a ski pole so that the libation won't
    leak out, and use the crafty shampoo-bottle-thread solution from this
    Inst'ble at the top. Ski poles are aluminum and, well, I'm pretty sure
    beer cans are too, so probably safe enough, after a few good rinses just for fun. I'd imagine that pouring in
    some food-grade silicone rubber would work just fine - better yet, just
    pull off the ski-pole tip and squeeze in a bunch of clear silicone
    sealant from the bottom; let it cure for a long time, more rinses. Added bonus: more
    volume. :-)


    P. Chatonnet, S. Boutou, A. Plana. Contamination of wines and spirits by phthalates: types of contaminants present, contamination sources and means of prevention. Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1080/19440049.2014.941947


    3 years ago

    I can wait until later for my delicious adult beverage--preferably something very warm. --With my tootsies close to a roaring fire.


    3 years ago

    have you had any issues with the alcohol degrading the tubing? that would be my only concern with this project

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    My concern would be the way that the alcohol would degrade the skiing.

    Alcohol IMPAIRED skiing is illegal but as long as you aren't above the legal limit for the state of Colorado there is nothing illegal about it.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Hmm, maybe one could make the other pole into a blowgun with sleep darts for bringing down small game as emergency food if you get stranded. Or perhaps other pesky skiers if they get in your way. The darts could be stowed inside along with matches. Which brings to mind the survivalist ski pole, loaded with the stuff often shown put into candy tins in other ibles. Heck, it could be used as a fishing pole, as well as, a pick for getting through the ice. The survivalist walking stick in summer? The possibilities abound.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the inspiration! This tube method allows you to put drinkable liquids in almost anything. Like an axe!


    5 years ago on Step 5

    Wow, really cool! This would be very usefull when I´m going out on a winter-activity, skiing, snowboarding, snowmobile ect. I´ll try to make this, looks fairly simple! One question though...How can you bore into the WHOLE lenth of the pole? Could you do this with more...handheld tools? I dont exactly own a whole workshop, although I will check if I can borrow my grandfathers worskshop sometime.

    1 reply
    spark master

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I loved the concept but I must ask, all kidding aside, is this safe plastic and glue wize. My mom died of cancer from chemicals like those in plastics. It is devastating and horrid. I do like this concept though.

    hope someone does on and sources food grade plastic parts..

    didn't mean to be a bummer, but it took my mom 14 miserable years to die, from exposure in her 20's and 30's.


    3 replies

    There's plenty of vinyl PVC tubing that is used for potable water, and shouldn't be an issue to use with many other consumable liquids (assuming you're not storing the liquid in the tubes for more than a few hours at a time). Look for tubes that are "NSF-PW", "NSF-61" or "ANSI" compliant for potable water use.

    Cool breeze, but the soap bottles the glue, that is worrysome. I love this thing. I wanna make one in a walking stick.I have carved many many sticks so this is fine by me. And I would put a very nice adult beverage in mine.

    Let me know what you find on the glues. I think olden fashions plugs might do for the one end (with a clamp, or spiral wound nylon line) and a plug at other end.........hmmm

    sounds good to me

    The plug and the bottle neck are friction fit to the tubing, the only glue contact id on the outside of the tube to the handle. Done correctly, there should be no glue contact with anything that contains consumables.