So, you're ready to buy a home pole and you have no idea where to start? This simple guide will help you figure out which type of dance pole is best for you.
There are many brands and types of fitness poles out there. Since I'm not sure how new you are, I would like to clarify that the phrase dance pole, stripper pole, fitness pole, and so on are all used interchangeably. Whatever phrase you are searching by, there will be a large amount of information online. Because this information can be overwhelming if you are new, the checklist below will help narrow down your options.
Answer the questions below that you already know. Fill in the remaining questions as you read the article.
Pole Buying Checklist
Name-Brand vs. Off-Brand
Below is a list of the top name brands in the industry. For a long time, X-Pole was the top dog. Arguably still the top dog, there are many other brands that have surfaced, or resurfaced. As pole fitness is becoming more popular around the world, many companies have sprouted up to offer comparable options.
The cheap knock off poles you see on Amazon and other places will not be as safe or sturdy. You always run the risk of poles causing damage to your ceiling, breaking, or falling down. However, with name-brand poles, it’s unlikely you will have those issues when installed correctly. If you are serious about learning pole...why go the cheap route? Get something that will last you for years. Invest in yourself.
Sizes range from 38mm to 53mm. The common three are 40mm, 45mm, 50mm. 45mm is the most common size among pole dancers and pole studios! The smaller the size, the easier it is to grip with your hands. Dancers with very small hands tend to prefer the smaller sizes, usually the 40mm. However, smaller poles are more challenging to grip with armpits, legs, and thighs because there's less surface area for the skin to stick to.
Imagine hanging upside down with your leg only....the "skinnier" the pole is, the less secure you will feel. The "thicker" the pole is, the more you can grip in your knee pit. Now image wrapping your hand around the pole to do a basic spin. If your fingers can't wrap all the way around, you will have to grip harder with your hands and wrists. With smaller poles, like the 38mm-40mm, spins are much easier because the average adult can wrap her hand around the pole to where her fingers touch, or are pretty close to touching, however, it can be a little scary to get used to when doing tricks that involve the legs.
Like I mentioned, 45mm is the most widely used. If you plan on competing in a pole competition one day, go with the 45mm. That is the norm. You want to practice on the size you’ll be competing on. This could vary depending on the organization, so you’ll want to confirm the size that will be used well in advance. If you don’t plan on competing, but you take pole classes, find out what size your studio uses. You’ll likely want to get the same size.
If you are only going to pole at home, then you have more leeway. However, if you buy something other than a 45mm, and later decide to take classes or compete, it may be a challenge to relearn on a different size pole.
There are some poles that are only static (they don’t spin) and some that are only spin. We highly recommend getting one that can switch from static to spin easily. You are limiting yourself if you only learn one type of pole. Most studios have both static and spin. Don’t cheat yourself, get one that is static and spin.
Most home poles are pressure mounted. Meaning you put the pole up between the floor and ceiling and twist it until there is enough pressure between the ceiling and the floor to stay put. Pressure mounted poles are the most common type of home pole. You probably don't want something you have to drill into the ceiling, especially if you are renting.
Another type of pole are the ones that are on a platform (for example, the X-Pole Stage). These are often called "freestanding poles." The main benefit of having a freestanding pole is that you can take it places. Freestanding poles are only connected at the base, not at the ceiling. So, if you felt like poling in your backyard, you could! The issue with this though, is that it is actually more time consuming to put together than a pressure mounted pole. There are often metal plates you have to put in place to secure the pole and it can be a bit tedious if you are planning to move it often. If your ceilings aren't suitable for an indoor pole because of the height or some other reason, a freestanding pole may be a better option.
Another downside to freestanding poles is that floorwork can be challenging. You have to get really creative when transitioning from stage space to the actual floor.
My verdict on this one: If you are buying a home pole, go with the pressure mounted pole. As long as it's a quality name-brand pole, and installed correctly, pressure mounted poles feel more secure than the freestanding pole, they are easy to move around, and are much less expensive.
There are sooo many to chose from! Brass, chrome, stainless steel, powder coated, & silicone!
Quick Highlight Of Each
Chrome: Chrome is the top pick for most studios. It’s the most common material you’ll see in studios, clubs, and pole competitions. It’s slightly more slick than brass and stainless steel. Most chrome poles have nickel in them so if you are allergic to nickel this may pose a problem. Because chrome is the most widely used material, it’s generally less expensive than the others.
Stainless steel: The main selling point for stainless steel is that it’s great for sensitive skin. Although stainless steel poles are considered less slick than chrome, the difference is very minimal.
Brass: Brass tends to be slightly more pricey, however, it’s great for those with sweaty hands. It’s less slick than chrome and stainless steel. It’s not as grippy as the powder coated or silicone.
Powder Coated: SUPER grippy! This coating holds up well in hot weather. It may be a challenge to perform certain spins and drops because of how grippy it is, but it’s made to allow for very complex tricks that require a lot of grip.
Silicone: This is the ultimate grip material. Think of dancing on a pole made up of rubber bands. It’s so sticky you could be fully clothed and dance on this pole. The downside is that it’s so sticky that pole burn is common, and you can’t do spins on it when it’s in static mode because of how sticky it is. Because of how well you stick to this pole, you aren't having to use as much of your own strength. This is somewhat of a hindrance because you aren't forced to build up as much hand/wrist strength as you would with a chrome or stainless steel. would avoid getting a silicone pole as a first time pole. It's a great addition if you already have a pole at home.
I hope this helped you narrow down your decision on which pole to buy! Whatever you decide, make sure you install it correctly. Some dance poles need to be installed on a ceiling joist, and some in between 2 joists. If you plan on practicing solo, you may want to consider purchasing a crash mat as well.
Other items you may want to consider purchasing along with your new pole....
Crash Mat (especially if you are going to be practicing alone!)
Beam Level (if your pole isn't straight it will not be securely mounted)