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How to become a Pole Dance Instructor in Australia

How to become a Pole Dance Instructor in Australia

This post is for those of you who've been doing pole for a while and feel like part of the family at your pole studio. It's for all the polers who are proud of the progress they have made, and want to help other people achieve that same feeling of success. This is...

PoleSphere Review

PoleSphere Review

2020 has been a strange year. The world has changed, and the way we train has changed with it. Without access to pole studios, many polers rushed to buy home poles, only to find themselves at a loss for what and how to train. Luckily, there are a number of online pole...

Share the love and support your home studio or fave pole brand

Share the love and support your home studio or fave pole brand

Welcome to the Australian Pole Directory! I can't tell you how excited I am that you're here! This website was my #isoproject, my way to be connected to the pole industry while we were all effectively confined to our homes, as well as being my way to help support and...

An Interview with Nikki McLennan of Lioness Photography

An Interview with Nikki McLennan of Lioness Photography

A few weeks ago, while I was still in the process of preparing the Australian Pole Directory for launch, I started chatting online to Nikki McLennan of Lioness Photography. We made a connection, and decided to have a chat - we've both been around the block a few times...

BREAKING NEWS: X-Pole Australia shipping/delivery delays.

BREAKING NEWS: X-Pole Australia shipping/delivery delays.

UPDATE 22/06/2020: X-Pole Australia has received their shipment, approximately 1 month later than expected. They are in the process of preparing the orders to be sent out, and have reminded people who are waiting on their deliveries that it can take 7-10 days from...

How to choose a pole for home use

by | Jun 5, 2020 | Pole Products | 2 comments

It’s an exciting day for you – you’ve decided to buy a pole for home! You’ve started shopping around, and you’ve realised that it’s not as straightforward as “just buying a pole”. After a quick google search, you’re overwhelmed, asking yourself: 

Never fear – The Australian Pole Directory is here to answer all your home poling related questions! 

Should I buy a pole from Amazon (or Wish, or another cheap online marketplace)?

This is a question I hear A LOT, and the short answer is no. Not if you’re interested in pole for sport.

Yes, you can get poles on Amazon, Wish and other online marketplaces and they are amazingly affordable – I was able to find a listing for a 45mm chrome pressure mounted pole with spin and static functionality for $199.00 when I looked just now. Meanwhile, for reference, the cheapest pole offered by X-Pole in Australia is a static only powder-coated pole for $250.00, and if I truly want to compare apples with apples, the X-Pole 45mm chrome pressure mounted pole with spin and static functionality is $495.00.

On the surface, this seems like a no-brainer. Why would you spend almost five hundred bucks, when you can get virtually the same product for less than half the price?

The answer is simple. For safety and peace of mind.

X-Pole, and comparable, industry-leading brands like LupitPole, Pussycat Pole and Lil Mynx are tried and tested, professional-quality poles designed to stand up to the dynamic forces we place on the pole while staying stable and strong during the highly dangerous positions we as dancers put ourselves in.

Cheap poles that are purchased from Amazon or other marketplace websites are effectively the cheap, knock-off version of the real thing. You do not have the assurance that comes with buying a verified product from an authorised seller, and chances are, it is NOT the genuine article.

X-Pole Australia purchased more than 40 of these cheap poles as research, and reported that not one of them offered the safety features found on an X-Pole.

The potential impact on your life if your pole falls or breaks while you are training is huge. There is the risk of death, or permanent incapacitation through a spinal injury, but there is also the risk that you will suffer a less severe injury that could still mean you cannot train pole ever again.

Yes, there are many people out there training happily on a cheap, knock-off pole, but unless you like to play Russian roulette, I’d recommend sticking with a big name brand.

Why are X-Poles so expensive?

A picture of some x-pole ambassadors including Michelle Shimmy, Suzie Q

 

When you’re first shopping around for a home pole, you might look at X-Pole, Lupit or other big-name brands and write them off as too expensive.

They’re expensive for a reason.

Big-name poles are well designed. They’re the result of many years of structural engineering and stress testing. They are a deceptively sophisticated piece of equipment designed to support death-defying tricks while withstanding powerful centrifugal force.

I am sure that there is an element of “paying for the name” when buying a big-name pole. But the big-name pole brands EARNED their big names by producing safe, reliable pieces of equipment. A home pole is an investment, and should be treated as such.

On a personal note, I bought my first pole (a 50mm chrome X-Pole) in 2006 from a sex shop in Darlinghurst, not long after I started pole classes at Bobbi’s. It travelled with me through 10 house moves (including moving from Australia to Europe in 2014!). I FINALLY upgraded it in 2019 (to a 40mm brass Xpert Pro X-Pole). So when you buy the right pole, it should last you a REALLY long time!

What thickness of pole should I buy?

This really comes down to personal preference, with a few considerations.

Poles generally come in a few standard thicknesses: 38/40mm, 45mm and 50mm.

The general consensus is that thicker poles are easier for body grip because they offer a larger surface area for your skin to connect with, but harder for hand grip, because particularly if you have small hands, you can’t wrap your hands all the way around for an easily secure grip. Vice versa, thinner poles are easier for hand grip, but more challenging for body grip.

If you have aspirations to compete, the international standard for competition is 45mm chrome or stainless steel. Australia is known to have 38/40mm brass competition poles (just to throw a spanner in the works for the rest of the world).

If you already train in studio, and you’re looking for a pole to complement your training at home, you might want to replicate your studio experience at home. Ask your instructor, they will know what size poles are used at the studio.

If you are new to pole, have no idea about any of this, and just want everything to be simple, stick with 45mm. It’s the most versatile, and a happy medium of the best of all poles.

What finish of pole should I buy?
An image showing the appearance of the different pole finishes offered by X-Pole

This is another question that really comes down to personal preference, with a few considerations.

Chrome is by far the most common finish for dance poles. It’s affordable, reasonably robust for inside use, and when clean it has an average level of grip. It’s NOT ideal if you are a particularly sweaty poler, and I don’t recommend it if you live near the beach, or in an environment where metal rusts easily. Chrome is NOT a rust-proof finish, and when exposed to the elements for a long period of time, it will eventually bubble and begin to break down. Chrome is NOT recommended for polers with a nickel allergy.

Powder-coated is another very affordable finish for dance poles. In my experience, powder-coated poles are not particularly common, but if you ever see someone dancing on a white pole, or a pink pole, or any other not-metal colour, they are probably dancing on a powder-coated pole. Like chrome, powder-coated poles are affordable and reasonably robust for inside use. When clean, powder-coated poles are very grippy. Like chrome, powder coated poles are a plated finish pole, so I don’t recommend them if you live near the beach or in an environment where metal rusts easily. When exposed to the elements for a long period of time, the powder-coat will eventually bubble and break down.

Stainless Steel poles are one of 2 premium pole finishes. Stainless Steel poles are typically a solid tube construction, rather than a plated finish. This does come with a hefty price tag. Stainless Steel doesn’t rust, so it is suitable for indoor and long-term outdoor use. Even when clean, stainless steel has less grip than the other finishes. If you live near the beach or in an environment where metal rusts easily, stainless steel is likely the best finish for you. Stainless steel is also the recommended finish if you have metal allergies.

Brass poles are typically the most expensive poles on the market. Like stainless steel, brass poles are a solid tube construction rather than a plated finish, and this comes with the biggest price tag I’ve seen in standard poles. It is suitable for indoor use, and when clean has a very high level of grip. While brass doesn’t rust, it does accumulate verdigris, a green coating that can corrode the metal over time. For this reason, brass is not recommended for prolonged outdoor use, and in fact, brass is quite a high maintenance finish for a pole. Having said that, it is a beautiful finish to dance on, and my preferred finish.

Silicone poles are a speciality pole that is typically used for a style of pole known as Chinese pole. Silicone poles are designed to be used fully clothed, and are not the ideal finish for most pole dancers. Outside of Chinese pole, silicone poles can be the right choice for women who (by virtue of their faith or otherwise) are unable to expose their skin to grip the pole.

What is the difference between a pressure-mounted pole and a stage pole?

 

The two most common pole types seen for home use are pressure-mounted/tension-mounted poles and stage poles.

I will speak specifically about X-Pole here, as they are the most common pole here in Australia, and are widely regarded as the industry standard.

A pressure-mounted or tension-mounted pole is a pole that is held upright through the application of pressure through the floor underneath it and the ceiling above it. This is the more affordable option for home poles when compared to a stage pole. Important considerations when purchasing a pressure-mounted or tension mounted pole are your ceiling height and the pole placement.

This type of pole requires a fixed, strong and stable surface in order to be safe. This means that you may struggle to install this style of pole if you have floating ceilings. If you have concrete ceilings, you can install it wherever you like, but if you don’t you’ll need to install the pole against a beam.

X-Pole pressure-mounted poles come with 2 primary pole pieces, an A pole and a B pole, as well as a selection of extension pieces. Out of the box, they have the capacity to be installed in a space with a ceiling height anywhere between 2275mm and 2770mm. If your space is outside of these dimensions by even one millimetre, you will need to purchase appropriate extension pieces to resize your pole.

When installed correctly, a pressure-mounted or tension-mounted pole gives the closest pole experience to a typical studio experience.

Please note: A pressure mounted pole requires a flat floor surface AND a flat ceiling surface. If you’re looking to install a pole in an area with a sloped ceiling, you will need to look at either a stage pole, or a permanent fixture.

A stage pole is a free-standing pole that is held upright because it is housed in a heavy base (the stage) that has a large enough diameter to keep the pole secure and upright, even under load. This is a more expensive option when compared to a pressure-mounted pole, but can be more versatile in terms of where you can use it (for instance, the image at the very top of this article is of me on my x-stage lite while on holidays).

A stage pole requires that the surface it is placed on be almost perfectly flat. This is obviously fine if you plan to use it indoors, but is an important consideration if you plan to use it outdoors. Even placing the stage pole on the gentlest of slopes will be incredibly unsafe, particularly if you’re planning to utilise the full height of the pole.

X-Pole stage poles come with the stage base, 6 metal plates to cover the stage base and provide you with a suitable dance surface, an A pole and a B pole that together have a height of exactly 3 metres. In order to use an X-Stage out of the box in a covered space, you will need a minimum ceiling height of 3.2 metres. You can, however, purchase extension pieces to replace your B pole and build a shorter pole to suit your space.

A stage pole is a good choice for people who are worried about the potential for damaging their ceiling with a pressure-mounted pole, for people who have floating ceilings that prevent them from installing a pressure-mounted pole, for people who plan to use an outdoor space as their training area, for people with a ceiling height higher than 3.4m (when a pressure-mounted pole becomes unsafe), and for people who like the idea of being able to travel with their pole.

A stage pole will never fully be able to replicate a typical studio experience as the pole is only fixed at the bottom. This means there will always be some movement of the pole throughout use, and the movement will be greater and potentially more disconcerting the higher up the pole you are.

Will a pressure mounted pole damage my ceiling?

Generally speaking, a pressure-mounted or tension-mounted pole shouldn’t damage your ceiling, but there are a few big ‘ifs’.

IF you have a genuine X-Pole pressure mounted pole, and IF the pole is installed correctly, and IF you do not have popcorn finish ceilings, your pole should not damage your ceiling. It might leave a few marks, but in my experience, these marks have always come off easily with a gentle wipe using a magic eraser.

X-Pole pressure-mounted poles have a thick, shock-absorbing layer of silicone on the dome that has prevented damage to all the ceilings I’ve used them on. I can’t speak for other pole brands, as I do not have experience with them, but if it is a concern for you, I’d check with the manufacturer before making your purchase.

Your pole needs to be installed correctly, centred against a strong supporting beam. If you install your pole directly on a plasterboard ceiling, without regard for the location of the beams, your pole, under the stress of regular use, could quite easily rip a hole in your ceiling.

If you have popcorn ceilings, the pressure of the pole against the finish of the ceiling will definitely disturb the popcorn finish, resulting in a large “bald patch” of ceiling when you remove the pole.

Please, please PLEASE do not try and protect your ceiling by putting a piece of wood between the pole and the ceiling. This reduces the safety and stability of your pole, adds a potential “break-point” into your pole installation, and is NOT SAFE. If you need guidance or help in installing your pole, please consult with the Pole Doctor or an experienced rigger.

Will a home pole fit in my house?

Most probably – but it may involve a level of customisation.

If you want to buy a pressure-mounted pole and have it fit in your house straight from the box, you will need a ceiling height of between 2275mm and 2770mm – these are precise measurements. If your ceiling height falls outside these ranges you will likely need to purchase additional extension pieces from X-Pole (at an additional cost).

If your ceiling height is above 3.4m, a pressure-mounted pole is not recommended. You will either need a permanently fixed pole, or a pole stage.

If you want to buy a pole stage for indoor use, and have it fit straight out of the box, you will need a ceiling height of at least 3.2m. Any shorter than this and you will need to purchase an extension piece to replace your B pole (at an additional cost).

I hope you’ve found this article helpful in your pursuit of a home pole, and I hope I’ve been able to cover off all your questions and concerns. If not, let me know in a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer your questions!

If you’re looking to buy a pole for home, and you’re in Australia, click here for a list of pole and aerial equipment retailers in Australia.

Have you ordered your home pole? Looking for tips on poling from home? Then THIS ARTICLE should be your next read.

**At the time of writing, I have never had any business relationship with any brands mentioned in this article. I have owned multiple X-Pole products over the years, all paid for by me, at the regularly listed price. I recommend X-Pole because I use them and love them.

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How to become a Pole Dance Instructor in Australia

How to become a Pole Dance Instructor in Australia

This post is for those of you who've been doing pole for a while and feel like part of the family at your pole studio. It's for all the polers who are proud of the progress they have made, and want to help other people achieve that same feeling of success. This is...

PoleSphere Review

PoleSphere Review

2020 has been a strange year. The world has changed, and the way we train has changed with it. Without access to pole studios, many polers rushed to buy home poles, only to find themselves at a loss for what and how to train. Luckily, there are a number of online pole...

Share the love and support your home studio or fave pole brand

Share the love and support your home studio or fave pole brand

Welcome to the Australian Pole Directory! I can't tell you how excited I am that you're here! This website was my #isoproject, my way to be connected to the pole industry while we were all effectively confined to our homes, as well as being my way to help support and...

An Interview with Nikki McLennan of Lioness Photography

An Interview with Nikki McLennan of Lioness Photography

A few weeks ago, while I was still in the process of preparing the Australian Pole Directory for launch, I started chatting online to Nikki McLennan of Lioness Photography. We made a connection, and decided to have a chat - we've both been around the block a few times...

BREAKING NEWS: X-Pole Australia shipping/delivery delays.

BREAKING NEWS: X-Pole Australia shipping/delivery delays.

UPDATE 22/06/2020: X-Pole Australia has received their shipment, approximately 1 month later than expected. They are in the process of preparing the orders to be sent out, and have reminded people who are waiting on their deliveries that it can take 7-10 days from...

Sara-May Monaghan

Sara-May Monaghan

Australian Pole Directory Founder

Sara-May is passionate about pole. She did her first pole class at Bobbi’s in 2006. 

After repatriating to Australian in late 2019, she struggled to find the right studio, her favourite polewear brands and the other poling resources she needed. As a result of this, the Australian Pole Directory was born.

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2 Comments

  1. Jonaye Ferreira

    Wow, thanks for the incredibly detailed guide! Definitely worth a read when looking to buy a pole. 😊