Saturday, July 23, 2005


New Lightweight Telescopic Shock Absorbing Nordic Hiking Pole - Only £14.99 (approx $27 US) Plus P & P

Yesterday someone said to me: "David, here's an advert (In a UK National Daily Newspaper) for your Nordic Walking poles... and they are only £14.99 (approx $27 US)

Note: Proper Nordic Walking poles from a quality manufacturer will typically cost between about $80 (US) - nearly $200 US

In fact when I read the article the company weren't actually claiming these to be 'Nordic Walking' poles (did you notice that the title actually says Nordic 'Hiking' not Nordic 'Walking' ?). The article said: "Perfect for all who love walking this Telescopic Nordic Hiking Pole will etc etc. They then go on to say: "And remember when you buy one we'll send you another one absolutely free !"

So it is quite clear what they are selling... isn't it ? Yes... Of course it's clear - They are selling you two Nordic Hiking Poles for £14.99. Now is that by any chance 'Nordic Hiking' as in 'Nordic Walking' or Hiking as in Hill Walking ? See the confusion this advert can cause intentionally or otherwise !

I have to admit I was taken in myself by this advert (ok.. only for a second or two) , but what chance has the person who knows little if anything about Nordic Walking got ?

I wonder how many people wanting to take up Nordic Walking have placed an order with this company for these Nordic Walking (sorry - I meant to say Nordic Hiking) Poles ?

At a casual glance the poles (and yes the picture shows two of them just like for Nordic Walking) might look identical to real Nordic Walking poles but they are not and they will not do the job that specially designed Nordic Walking poles do. For a start they have a simple wrist loop and not the proper Nordic Walking strap that is key to the Nordic Walking technique.

I would also point out that there are companies who manufacture Hiking poles (which is what these poles clearly are) but they also manufacture Nordic Walking poles. If Hiking poles and Nordic Walking poles were the same they wouldn't need to bother.

So don't get caught out, don't buy Hiking Poles thinking you are buying Nordic Walking poles. Always buy the proper equipment for the job.

Note: When I was just getting started I phoned my local outdoor activities shop. They said "Yes we sell Nordic Walking poles". I jumped in my car only to find when I got there that they were infact single hiking poles. I was told "yes some people do buy two to use together !"

So what can we take from this story ? I guess it's that as consumers we always have to be on the look out because everthing is not always as it seems - So... Buyer Beware ! Remember just because something is cheap versus the 'real thing' doesn't mean that it is a good bargain - It could be that it's false economy because you will only have to buy again when you have been let down by your original purchase.

Note: Also see my article posted on Friday July 15th entitled 'What Poles Should I Buy'.

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