what type of pole is best?

by Megan
(Baton Rouge, Louisiana)

I'm looking to buy a pole asap by Xpole but I don't know what type to get for a beginner. Chrome, titanium, brass, or what size mm around?

Susan from PDFF says....

Thanks for your question Megan. You're certainly not the only one who's a little confused by all the options out there! While there's no one right choice for everyone, perhaps I can give you some more information that will help you decide what the right choice is for you.

First off, it sounds like you've already decided on an X-pole, so I won't bother discussing the pros and cons of some of the other poles.

Let's deal with sizing first. Back in the old days, 2" (50 mm) diameter pole was about your only choice, unless you made your own. That size used to be the standard in strip clubs and later, in pole dance competitions.

Many of us (yours truly included) learned our tricks and spins on a 2" pole and did just fine, especially seeing as that was our only option. But for someone with smaller hands, or a petite build in general, that 2" pole can seem awfully big!

A few years ago, some companies began making other sizes, most commonly a 1.75" (45 mm) pole, and now Xpole also makes a 1.5" (40 mm) size.

The 45 mm has now become the standard for pole competitions, and is often an excellent compromise for those looking for a "goldilocks" (just right) fit.

So which size is best for you? And how can you tell without actually ordering a pole and trying it out?

If your pole studio doesn't have different size poles, or if there is no studio nearby you where you can try out different sizes, I would suggest making a trip to your local hardware or plumbing supply store. You won't be able to actually pole dance of course, but holding the different size pipes in your hands for comparison should give you a pretty good idea of which size allows you to have the best grip.

Just be sure to ask for OD (outside diameter) otherwise if you have a 1.75" inside diameter pipe with a 1/8" thick wall, it will actually be a 2" outside diameter pipe.

To figure out which is the best fit, you don't necessarily need your fingers to be able to wrap all the way around the pipe or tubing, but you should feel like you can get a good, solid grip.

If your fingers overlap your thumb when you wrap your hand around the pipe, you'll almost certainly find the pole too small for your grip.

If you can't quite decide between two sizes, something to keep in mind is that when you get into leg holds (look ma, no hands!), the smaller diameter poles are actually harder to grip with your legs. Especially if you have thin legs, you may want to go up, rather than down in size.

Now let's talk about material: brass, titanium or chrome. X-Pole actually sells their poles in 4 different finishes.

Brass tends to have the very "stickiest" grip. It's also the most expensive material. If you tend to sweat a lot, and/or slide off your pole, you may want to consider brass. It's terrific for climbs for this reason, but if you really love to spin, you may find it a bit too grippy.

Xpole's "Titanium Gold" finish is like chrome, but it's gold colored to resemble brass. It's much less expensive than brass, and doesn't actually have the same grip qualities as it's not porous like brass. Keep in mind that many people find chrome plated poles one of the more slippery surfaces. As well, the plating can chip off so you'll need to be extra careful about not wearing jewelry, and taking care not to scratch your pole when putting it up or down.

Chrome is a very popular finish due to the lower cost. Like the Titanium Gold however, it's prone to chipping, and some people find it offers a less secure grip.

Stainless Steel has always been my personal favourite for pole dancing. I find it offers a good compromise of decent grip for climbs and holds, but also allows me to spin well. It's also more durable than chrome or "titanium gold" since it's not plated. This means if it does get a scratch, the scratch will be into the stainless steel and won't cause any plating to flake off.

Brass is definitely the gold standard (no pun intended!) when it comes to dance poles. That's why they've been used in the exotic dance industry for so long. Home dance poles are offered in different materials to offer more price points, and for the aesthetics, but brass is considered the best material by many. However, it's also the most expensive option, which is why it's not as popular as it used to be.

I hope this helps you choose your pole Megan. Be sure to come back and let us know what you chose and how you like it!

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