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Buying Your First Pole – FAQ

Buying your first pole can be a difficult task – it only takes a few minutes of research to discover there’s a lot more to it than you might have first though! Hopefully, this article can help…

Frequently asked questions about buying your own pole


How/where do I buy a pole?

There are a number of companies that specialise in manufacturing quality dance poles for home use, including Platinum Stages, X Pole and Lil Minx. Your local pole dance studio may also be able to sell you a pole, as many studios are distributors for the aforementioned manufacturers, or sell their own custom poles to students.  It’s also possible to build your own pole, if you are handy with that sort of thing. Just make sure you know what you’re doing – or get help from someone who does.

A quick word of warning: most poles available in supermarkets, retail chains or adult shops are simply toy poles that are not suitable for dancing on. Please also be wary of buying poles on ebay. There are many fake or knock-off versions of popular poles (including X Pole), and it can be very difficult to determine whether you are paying for a genuine one until you take it out the box (and by then it’s often too late!)

If you’re looking to buy a pole online, check out some of these websites as a good starting point:

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Permanent, Semi-Permanent or Removable?

This depends on your house, your personal situation and how you intend to use your pole. A permanent pole is screwed or bolted in on at least one end (often the ceiling if not both). A semi-permanent pole requires a floor or ceiling mount to be installed, and then the length of the pole can be taken up and down at will. Fully removable (or portable) poles require no alterations to the floor of ceiling, and can be taken down or moved at will.

If you are in a rental property, or don’t wish to install ceiling mounts or screw anything permanently into your roof, then a removable (or portable) pole is probably for you. If you intend to hide your pole away whenever you have company, semi-permanent or removable poles would be the way to go. If you’re shopping on a budget, permanent poles are often cheapest.

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How does it stay up?

When I tell students they can buy poles that don’t screw or bolt into their ceiling (and that in fact they will cause no damage to their ceiling or floor at all) the question that invariably follows is “Oh, but how does it stay up?”

Removable (or portable) poles stay up the same way as chin up bars: they are pressure mounted. Just as your car jack will lift your car higher up from the ground the more you unwind it, so too will your pole push tighter against the floor and ceiling as you unwind the tightening bolt (aka adjuster screw).

For more information, check out the assembly videos available on X Pole’s youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/xpoleinternational#p/u

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Is it safe?

If it’s not installed and maintained correctly – any pole can fall down, including permanent poles. Please read the safety instructions for your pole, as each one will be unique. Top of the range poles are built to handle heavy weights at high speeds, but all poles CAN come loose! Having said that, I have had my own pole for nearly 3 years, I perform with some incredible women who really put their pole’s strength to the test, and I teach classes several times a week on a variety of different pole types – and I can count the number of times I’ve seen a pole has fall down on one hand. Personally, I’m happy with those odds.

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How much should I spend on a pole?

As a general rule of thumb, anything less than $300(AU) for a removable or semi permanent pole is probably not worth your while. At that price it’s likely to be poorly manufactured and dangerous.

With dance poles, you really do get what you pay for. The cheaper, bottom of the line poles are notorious for falling down, twisting and loosening until they slip out of their fixtures, having rough joints that cut your skin and more. If you’re going to be swinging your weight around the pole or going upside down, it is wisest to invest in a quality pole, such as one of the ones available from the companies I listed above.

Top of the range poles cost approx $400 – $600 for your average height home. If you want to purchase special finishes, or need extra extensions to reach your roof you could be looking anything from $600 – $1000 and above.

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Chrome, Titanium, Brass … What’s the deal with all the different finishes?

First things first: each type of metal is composed differently. Brass, for example is very porous, while stainless steel is not. Your ideal pole type and finish will depend on your skin type and the climate in which you live, among other things.

Highly porous finishes are great for humid climates, or sweaty pole dancers, because the moisture in your skin will have somewhere to ‘go’, when you try to grip the pole. Low/non-porous finishes, on the other hand will not be able to absorb any of the moisture and instead a film of slippiness will form between your skin and the pole.

But porous isn’t always best. Think of your skin as a suction cup… like the kind you use to stick sun-shades to car windows. A suction cup works by creating a vacuum between itself and the surface it is trying to stick to. If the surface is highly porous (like wood, for example) it cannot create the vacuum because there are too many opportunities for air to get in. But if the surface is smooth, with the molecules packed tight together (like glass), the suction cup can stick! So for this reason, finishes such as chrome and stainless steel can provide great grip, especially for dancers with dryer skin.

A quick summary of common pole finishes

In general, silicon (or plastic) is the grippiest, but can burn the skin during drops and slides. Brass is most grippy of the metal poles and is favoured by a lot of pole dancers. In some climates however the grip can be so good that it becomes very difficult to perform spins. Titanium comes in sliver and gold varieties. Titanium gold is often touted as brass’s less problematic big sister. It provides grip almost equal to brass in most situations, whilst still being sleek enough to easily perform spins and drops.

Chrome is one of the most common finishes found in clubs and studios worldwide. In my experience there is little difference between chrome and titanium silver, but other dancers will swear otherwise – and insist titanium is grippier. As I said before, the chemical makeup of the dancer’s skin will make a difference – so your experience may vary! Stainless steel is the odd one out here because its grippiness changes over time. Stainless steel poles are often very slippy when new, but once ‘broken in’ they can provide grip equal or superior to chrome.

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Is my house suitable for a pole?

This is a difficult question to answer, because it depends on the type of pole. Permanent poles, for example, will need a strong solid beam to drill into but stage poles do not attach to anything at the top, and instead require a flat, even surface, with strong support structures beneath it and wide clearance space for the base.

Generally, the factors that will influence the type of pole that will fit your house include:

  • Ceiling height
  • Ceiling material – wooden beams, concrete etc
  • Type of ceiling (suspended or false ceilings are not suitable for many types of poles)
  • Angle of the ceiling – if it’s slanted you will likely need an adapter to level the surface
  • Your flooring – tile, carpet, wood etc.
  • Clearance space around pole
  • Whether there are any interfering factors, such as asbestos in your roof, which could pose health or safety risks
  • Whether you rent or own the property – see ‘Should I tell my landlord about my pole?’ for more information

If you have your heart set on having a pole in your home – I am sure it is achievable!

Desperate and dedicated pole dancers around the world have been known to go to all kinds of lengths – including setting poles in concrete in their back garden! So rest assured – where there’s a will there’s a way! If you would like someone to assess your home and help you decide which pole to buy and where to install it, I recommend getting in contact with your nearest pole dancing studio.

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Do you have a pole question not answered here?

Go ahead and ask in the comments section below.

(Readers – feel free to answer your fellow pole dancers’ questions if you can help!)

Reader Feedback

41 Responses to “Buying Your First Pole – FAQ”

  1. SMarcks says:

    How much space is needed to comfortably move around the pole?

    • Fern says:

      This really depends on your goals – if you want to get to an intermediate/advanced level and do some fast, wide sweeping moves you could end up needing your entire body length as a diameter for your pole space (as in, lying down with the tips of your fingers at the base of your pole, and the tips of your feet at the edge of your ‘flying space’).

      However, most pole dancers work with much less than that (it’s part of the skill actually – to develop spacial awareness so that you can perform even with obstacles around you!)

      As a starting point I’d recommend you stand at arm’s length from you pole, and then stick out leg out at 45 degrees. Take the point of your foot to be the edge of the circle you will need to comfortably performing tricks on and around the pole. :)

  2. Lynn says:

    Can i put a pole in my back garden some where as inside my house is to small ??

    • Fern says:

      Yes, lots of people have their poles outside. You can look into a stage pole, which does not need to be fixed to anything at the top (eg X Stage, Platinum Stages etc), or a portable or semi permanent pole that could be installed under an outside beam or balcony.

  3. Curtains says:

    I’m looking for a simi permanent pole that is mounted @ the bottom only. Any idea were I can find one?

  4. Lex says:

    For the portable poles that attach to the ceiling and floor without being bolted in, can it be used on floor tiles? Can it damage the ceiling?

  5. EMills says:

    I want to put my pole in my garage but I was thinking of a removable pole because I live on a base and I rent a house in housing. I was wondering if putting the pole on the cement floor wouldnt hold. I also thought of putting it on the rubber pads that I have or if that wont hold.

  6. Kaelyn says:

    I am going to buy a pole for my house but i need to know if there is any way to put one in a basement. i have 2by4s i can bolt the top to but i have concrete floors. is it possible or will i need a stage? its not but about 9 ft high and with a stage it will make for a shorter pole. what do i do? please help.

  7. Rachel M. says:

    This seems like a silly question but can I put a removable pole on carpet? It seems that it wouldn’t work but I don’t have a lot of hardwood floor space and can’t put a permanent pole in an apartment. Would it work?
    Thanks!

    • Fern says:

      Carpet is fine. If it’s thick though you will have to make sure your pole is tight each time, as the carpet will compress under the pole initially.

  8. yasmin says:

    Hi I have suspended ceilings but I rly rly want a pole is there any brand/type I can buy that won’t go through the ceiling?

  9. Maygan says:

    i plan on putting a dancing pole downstairs at my home but the flooring is concrete!! How do i do this? just need to know how to make it stable.

  10. kaitlyn says:

    How much weight can dancing poles hold? Me and a couple friends are interested in getting into pole dancing for exercising but we are all plus sized at at least 200 lbs each and need to know if the poles will be able to hold us until we lose more weight. Please help.

    • Stephany says:

      When I purchased my first pole I weighed 200lb. And my pole held me. The thing of it is when buying a pole the description will tell you what the pole can hold. My pole described that if under 220lbs no screws are required but if over 220 u need to screw it in. I had the peek a boo pole.

      • Faten says:

        The peek a boo pole- did u like it?? Was it sturdy enough. It’s pretty inexpensive and u said that u get what u pay for- so what did u think about it??

  11. ciara says:

    Hi there I have a carpet in my bedroom and am about to purchase a pole, I am thinking stage pole as I live in rented accom, do I need to fix the stage to the floor or does the pole just sit in the stage? Would really appreciate some info thanks a mill :)

  12. Louise says:

    what type of pole do you recommend for a suspended ceiling?

  13. Kristina says:

    Is it safe to do inversions and spins on removable poles? Is it less safe to do these tricks on a removable pole rather than a permanent one?

    • Beth says:

      As long as you have a good pole installed correctly its fine. I have an x pole expert which is removable. And can handle anything I do. Happy poling :)

  14. teena says:

    is it safe to install a dancing pole on a plaster ceiling ? will it mark or make a hole in the ceiling ??

  15. anna says:

    I just bought my first X-Pole Xpert 45mm but the height of my ceiling is about 85/86 which seems quite low. With the 125mm extension & without using the adjuster bit on the pole it is too tall to fit the ceiling. And when tried without an extension, and with the aduster on the pole fully spun to the heighest it can go is TOO SMALL! I’m really annoyed, starting to think this was a big waste of money..

    • Fern says:

      Hello Anna, Have you checked whether the place you’re trying to put the pole up in meets the minimum height requirement for X-Pole? I believe the ceiling has to be at least 7’4″ (or 2.24m) but if you contact X-Pole they should be help advise on the extensions you should be using. Good luck :)

    • Kaligh says:

      Anna,

      I to have a short ceiling. contact X-pole, they will tell you want pieces you need to bring the pole down to the correct height.

  16. Ala says:

    Where can I buy a pole in Switzerland?

  17. liz says:

    is it ok to put an x pole on the second floor in my house?

    • Msvonnnnnn says:

      Whattype of pole do you have? I have an x pole and its removable, and I put it anywhere that has a ceiling beam. Remember allyou need is structural reinforcement. I just wish I had a shorter extention piece cause my ceiling is too lpw amd and wayyyyy to higher in others.

  18. carli says:

    Im looking to buy a pole for the first time. I’ve read a few forums and most popular is xpole but its out of my budget to be honest.some people like the carmen electra spinning pole buyt ive also seen bad reviews on this…has anyone used this before? I need a pole that is removable an can hold me(12st) to do climbs & spins on :-)

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  20. Larni says:

    Hi iv just bought an xpole sport is it safe to put up on a wooden ceiling? I’m a tad worried

  21. charlene says:

    Hi, I cannot get any type of pole due to my ceilings not being suitable so I was wondering if the poles that are just attached to a mini stage are any good?

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  24. Lauren says:

    I am desperately trying to break in my 3 month old Stainless Steel pole from Platinum Stages. Is is so slippery that it is driving me nuts. Do you have any advice on how to roughen up the pole? I have tried fine sandpaper and steel wool but it isn’t helping. Thanks so much!

  25. I’m buying my first pole but i cant find any information if it will be ok to install a none permanent pile with marble floors? Will it really have a huge stain?

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  27. Msvonnnnnn says:

    My pole is too long with the extension piece on it and too short without the extension piece. Can i put something underneath to make it reach. Help! What should I do??

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  29. Danna says:

    when you buy your first pole it’s hard to decide with all the name brand and no name brand options out there.

    I personally love X Pole but not everyone can afford X Pole so they opt for no brand poles which can be very unsafe.

    Here are a couple of good options which include Free Online Pole Dancing Lessons:http://polefitnessdancing.com/pole-dance-poles/

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