Which diameter pole?

by Helen
(UK, London)

I was wondering what diameter to get? I'm a beginner and I see the x pole comes in 45mm and 55mm diameter? Also it spins round, could you explain when to have it spinning and when to have it static?? Thanks so much!

Your Pole Pal says...

Two great questions Helen, thanks for asking.

I'm afraid there's no straight answer to the all-too-common dilemma about which diameter pole to buy. Back in the day when Your Pole Pal started pole dancing things were much easier because there was only one size available!

That's all changed now of course. But while options are good, it can be hard to know which option is best for you.

The ideal thing is to be able to try out different poles before you buy your own. If you attend classes at a studio that has different sizes of poles installed (many do) then it's a fairly simple matter to find out which you like best.

If this isn't an option for you, here are a couple of things to think about that may help you decide which diameter is best for you.

First, consider the size of your hands. If you have a petite or small boned build, your hands are probably relatively small also. In this case, you may well prefer a pole that's thinner as it will be easier to get your hands around it. Having a better grip means you'll probably feel safer and more confident on your pole, which is important if you intend to do spins, inversions and other tricks.

Conversely, if you're quite tall and/or your hands are relatively large, you'll probably find a smaller diameter pole just doesn't offer enough for you to hang onto. In that case, a 50 mm pole might be a better fit.

And I know it may sound odd, but also think about how much flesh you have on your thighs. If you tend toward the thin side, you may find that it's more difficult to grasp a small diameter pole between your thighs. This is important to think about because for certain moves such as cross leg releases, you'll only be hanging on by squeezing your thighs together.

As for spinning vs static mode, this is partly a matter of safety and partly preference. You can do almost any move in either mode, however there is more skill and more risk involved in using your pole in spinning mode.

Let's take a basic spin like the Fireman Spin. Done with your pole in static mode, it looks lovely and it's relatively easy for most people to learn and to do well. Flip your pole into rotating mode, and that same basic spin looks very impressive because you can get a lot more speed and more rotations when your pole is in spin mode. However, there's also more force at work and therefore more stress on your pole. Not to mention the dizzy factor!

Of course, poses look spectacular on a spinning pole, as you can show these off from every angle. The challenge is that there's another level of difficulty added onto the learning of the move itself, as you need to learn to deal with rotation on top of the particular move you're learning.

The short version is that a spinning pole can take some getting used to! But there are no hard and fast rules about when you must have it on spinning or static mode.

I suggest that you start off using static mode while you're learning your foundation moves. This allows you to focus on good form and the technical aspects of the move. Once you've mastered your method, then add the extra challenge of spinning.

Above all, let common sense be your guide, and always work within the bounds of your current abilities. Remember, safety is sexy!

~ Your Pole Pal

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