STOP THE SLIPPAGE! A 4-Point Pole Dancing Checklist.
Can’t hold on for the life of you? Slipping all over the place? Ripped callouses?!
Every pole dancer has had this problem at one time or another; with the exception of people who don’t need grip aids, curse them. There are many things that factor into slippage on the pole but some of the known ones are:
- Room & Pole temperature
- Pole finish
- Pole diameter
- Skin type and external products
Depending on the humidity and temperature of the place you live in you may have the weird experience of having great grip some days and horrible grip during others because of the weather. There’s definitely a Goldilocks Zone of hot/cold/moisture/dryness that is key to an awesome grip.
Quick ways to remedy this:
Winter time: Turn up the heat, put on a pair of sweatpants to warm your body up, and take a blow dryer to the pole.
Summer time: Air conditioning and a fan. There are fewer options available to you if you don’t have air conditioning, but I find that a cold pack wrapped around the pole for a few minutes will help alleviate a pole that has become too slick with heat and oil. Make sure to really wipe down the pole with alcohol since your body tends to secrete more oil and perspiration during summer months.
Different finishes react very differently to skin types, but the general opinion I’ve gathered is this (listed in most tacky to least):
Powder coated > Brass > Titanium Gold > Chrome > Stainless steel.
Hold your horses before you go out saying you’re going to buy a powder coated pole. Remember that while a pole may have AMAZING hand grip, it’ll be practically impossible to do drops or certain moves. Your skin can rip or burn from the friction.
There’s a dynamic trade off between the size of the pole and the limbs mounting them, especially if you’ve got small hands or thin legs or prominent knees.
50mms and thicker
Pros: Generally, a thicker pole (50mm+) will produce more secure leg and forearm hooks. Your Jade split will be a breeze, Gemini and Scorpios will be extremely easy because you will have more skin on a larger surface area. Although the 5mm difference between a 45mm and a 50mm may not seem like a lot, it is.
Cons: Not many dancers have hands large or strong enough to complete a one-handed spin, twisted grip, or a lift on these poles.
These poles are now the standard competition size as most girls find a good balance between hand strength and leg security at this size.
Pro: You will have the hand grip of gods. Deadlifts, Handsprings, one-handed spins will all be extremely easy.
Cons: If you’ve ever done Lyra/Hoop before you know how painful it is to have a small metal rod behind the backs of your knees. Any sort of leg hangs or variations will be extremely painful, you may even rebruise in areas you’ve already worked so hard to strengthen.
Skin Type and External Products
How much oil and sweat your body secretes can be managed.
If you have dry skin:
Moisturize the night before. I recommend Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion and I DO NOT recommend any of the Nivea lotions. There are also pole dance specific moisturizers out there like Pole Physics, which leave a non greasy finish and locks in moisture. Grip aids that will work for you include Dew Point Pole, which moisturize first, then lock in grip (these need to be applied at least 10 -5 minutes before class).
If you have normal skin:
Don’t apply lotion right before class, that’s a spell for trouble — especially if your skin takes awhile to absorb moisture. Use a grip aid like Dry Hands, iTac, Mighty Grip Powder or X Grip to supplement your grip.
If you have oily or really sweaty skin:
Use Tite Grip or another form of antiperspirant. This product needs to be applied before class (like 20 minutes to an hour before) or a session and prevents you from sweating. It is NOT a grip aid.
You may find that you’ll need a grip aid on top of this if you’re extremely sweaty and oily. If you’re in a pinch try spraying or dabbing rubbing alcohol on your hands and limbs and wiping with a clean cloth to give you a clean slate and then applying a grip aid.
If you’re having a really hard time finding a good product in the pole realm, don’t be afraid to try out weight-lifting solutions like Firm Grip or Firm Grip Paste. These are really excellent if you need a ton of grip to feel secure. You may also want to purchase a set of Grip Gloves for days where your skin is too raw or oily. Mighty Grip also carries a variety of products for your ankles, hips, etc so that you can keep on dancing!
Remember there can be instances where you can have TOO MUCH grip. If conditions are right, you may have that perfect storm and what will happen is a tear. Your skin can burn raw or rip completely off if there’s too much going on.
If a rip does happen, clean it off with soap and water, take a clean pair of clippers and cut off the flap of skin, bandage and keep it clean. It sucks and may prevent you from dancing for awhile, but stay strong!
All these 4 points are interrelated, you may or may not have a hard time finding the right combination for you but keep trying!
If you have ANY questions, don’t be scared to message me. I will respond and I can do it privately if you ask me to :) Keep on dancing <3!