Every Pole Dancers Must Have...But Where To Start?
Grip Aids, why do we need them and where do we start?How many times do you get super pumped about Pole training, only to suffer an hour of nothing but slipping and sliding? We’ve all been there and know just how heart breaking it can be. But it doesn’t have to be! Knowing what causes the slide, which grip products can help, and which fix works best for you, can completely change the way you train.
Why is this even a problem?
So, what is it that makes us slide down those poles like butter on toast? Well, the answer can be quite complicated.
In the beginning when you first start your pole journey (and I am talking your first 6 months to even a year) The constant sliding down the pole is mainly due to the lack of strength in our hands and fingers as we are training our bodies to hold on for dear life to a 45mm piece of metal! It doesn't matter how much grip aid you apply, if the strength isn't there you will slide down the pole. You need to give your self patience and time to grow this strength, not only in your hands but in your core and upper body and view grip aid as a support and not the be all and end all to your grip issues. The more you train and dance the stronger you will get. Check out this great blog from Love Pole Kisses with more nuggets of info on grip strength and some safe grip strengthening exercises (as remember our hands are a muscle in the body as well so need to be warmed up and looked after!).
Once we have given our strength time grow, we may find that we just need a little help to help reduce the fear of death from falling off the pole or minimise the frustration that comes from extremely sweaty hands. More often than not there are multiple factors that affect grip, including environment and the condition of your body.
Often, the biggest issue is climate. With the ever-popular chrome and stainless steel poles, for most of us a warm pole is a sticky pole. If your studio or training place is cold and dry, warming up the pole can be quite difficult, resulting in a frustrating training session. But we walk a fine line: a studio that is too hot or humid can result in excess sweat building up and creating a slick coating on the pole. Climate can also mess with the natural grip from our skin, too much sweat, too dry, it can be lucky dip how your grip will be on any given day. Hence the need to build that upper body strength to take the pressure off out hands! I have extremely dry skin in both summer and winter, so a cold pole is the WORST thing in the world. I make sure my skin is moisturised everyday with a pole friendly moisturiser. For me Pole Physics is a gift from the Pole Gods to keep my aligator skin at bay! I then make sure when I warm up and are training I am in constant contact with the pole, creating lots of friction and making it nice and warm and grippy!!
Sweat, of course, is a major problem for many of us. Excessive sweating, or even just a normal amount of sweat, can wreak havoc on a training session. When we are a beginner or learning a new move or about to hit the stage, the body will naturally sweat more recking havoc with your grip! Reach for a microfibre cloth and give your hands and pole a wipe. Keep it clean with meths and if all else fails then maybe each for some grip aid.
Grip aids to the rescue
If you are new to the pole scene, the grip aid options can be overwhelming! I am constantly getting asked "which one works the best". Unfortunately, we all have different skin types and in some cases it is a case of trail and error. Generally all grip aids work in different ways and no two are EXACTLY the same. There are different types of grip products to tackle different issues, so the right grip aid for your pole bestie may do nothing for you.
However, in saying that it doesn't mean we can't make a few pointers abour different grips out there. The main issue that we all want tackled is excessive sweating. If you need something to stop excessive sweating, try an anti-perspirant like Tite Grip I or Dry Hands (if you can get it!!). Another option is our chalk based product, Petzl which will also tackle sweat on palms and other grip points and Tite Grip II for less excessive sweating. With Dry Hands being so scare, we have some new products on the market, Pole Grip and Enviro Grip. The feedback on both these products has been great! We are also trialling Better Grip, and we hope to have this hitting our website soon! For those Polers who have drier skin (like me), a layer of ‘tack’ can combat the slip n’ slide. Dew Point, Hydro Attack (which is all natural and vegan friendly) and iTac are all contact point body grips and perfect for this issue. For your hands, Mighty Grip is a ground down resin in a powder form that is heat activated and perfect for your hands. The on top of all of that, lets not forget the AMAZING Dancing Dust grip products that make you sparkle while you fly around the pole! Check out our full Grip Range here!
My fav’s and a little trick of the trade
I have to stress, grip problems are very personal and the solutions work differently for everyone. You might have to try a few products before you find your favourite. You may also find what works in the summer is less effective in the colder months. Don’t give up, though, a little experimentation can lead you to the perfect solution. For me, I get a little sweaty on my hands in summer months, and I definately like poling in spring more than any other months as my skin and hands dry right out. Dry Hands is my go to hand grip which I switch up with my Lupit Grip Pad (resin based ) and Enviro Grip, for my body, I am Hydro Attack fan along with Tite Grip II depending on the climate and how dry my skin is. For my absolute worst case scenarios, I pull out the iTac (or pole glue ha ha ha). For those of you are super sweaty on your hands, we have stumbled upon the combination of Tite Grip I and Dry Hands together, which from the feedback is an awesome combo. The Tite Grip minimises the perspiration allowing the Dry Hands to stay on longer and provide the grip you need.
Still not sure where to start?
As you can see, there are many of ways to fight the slippery slide but like most things when it comes to pole dancing there is no easy fix. The first focus should be on strength building and from there see what support you need. The bonus with pole grip aids is we have so many to choose from, you will eventually find what works for you. We have posted a little table below, which summarises a few and there are lots of reviews out there, so if all else fails and you are still not sure where to start, hit Google then hit the PGNZ website to get what you need!!!
- PoleGearNZ Admin