First things first- safety. Is the pole safe? Can you go upside down? Can you slide down the pole without cutting your legs or other body parts up on pieces of metal at the seams? Will the pole stay in place when you add momentum to spins? These are just a few of the many safety considerations you must take into account when making the investment to purchase a home pole.
Another factor you want to consider is customer service. Does the manufacturer offer replacement parts? Although it's not the ideal situation, sometimes even the best in the industry can ship out faulty products. It's good to know that when this happens, you're in good hands to getting a replacement with a company that stands by their products, will admit their mistakes, and will rectify the problem. A company that cares about figuring out what went wrong so they can prevent future occurrences.
The pole industry is constantly growing and evolving. You don't want to purchase just any pole. Buying a pole requires a lot of research on your end to make sure you are getting the product that will work the best for your needs. Some first time pole buyer considerations are below:
1. One piece or muti-piece?
Are you taking the pole down and moving it from room to room or bringing it to a friends? A multi-piece allows you to put up and take down the pole and store in a pole carrying case. A one piece pole is cut to the exact size your ceiling height allows with a few inch margin. These poles either stay up where you put them or store in a closet that can accommodate their size in it's entirety.
I could list all the finishes out there but this list would be long and outdated by the time I published this post. The pole industry continues to offer varieties of finishes for poles- specifically to target grip. Do you have sweaty slick hands? Do you have sticky hands? What type of climate do you live in? All these factors will affect your grip and must be taken into consideration when purchasing your pole.
How thick of a pole do you want? The industry standard is currently 45mm. Long gone are the days of 50mm poles in every studio across the United States. A good way to determine what size pole you need is to have first hand exposure at a studio of both the 45mm and 50mm poles. Some studios now offer 40mm poles. If you're unable to try out the various diameters, I would recommend the 45mm for its versatility in both hand and leg grips.
4. Resale value.
The final consideration I ALWAYS make sure to mention to my students who are buying a pole is to take into account the ability to resell the pole. Certain poles will sell faster and at a reasonable price. At the time of purchasing your pole you may never imagine the day you would decide to sell your pole. Life happens and situations prevent people from poling or other interests take over. It happens. When it does happen, it would be nice to know you can give your pole a new loving home and still feel comfortable knowing you have some extra cash too.
The Home Pole Starter Kit
You dotted all your I's and crossed all your T's. Now you're ready to make your official purchase. Out of all the poles out there on the market, I always recommend to my students to go with X-Pole. Due to all the above considerations, X-Pole manufactures and sells reliable and trustworthy products and services. My experience with the company has been very positive. I've had issues with equipment and they have taken care of all issues in a timely manner. There are two poles I will recommend to my students; the only difference is the diameter, which is purely personal preference.
Pole Recommendation #1: X-pole XPERT 45mm chrome multi-piece pole
Pole Recommendation #2: X-pole XPERT 50mm chrome multi-piece pole
ALWAYS purchase a pole from a reputable source. I have heard of poles being purchased on Amazon that are essentially dupes for X-Pole. I highly discourage anyone from taking this route. For one, SAFETY should always be your top priority. Pole fitness activities can be dangerous. You want to know your product has been developed and tested for safety. Knock off poles do not have the brand backing that supports quality control of their products. You are taking a huge risk when you opt for the pole of lesser value.
The next question I often get asked is about DVDs to help supplement workouts. Some students need a variety of learning tools. Coming to a studio for live instruction is just one form of a learning tool. DVDs are also great learning tools because they let you review material at your own pace. DVDs are also great to use when you start building routines and you're in search of moves that are outside of your frequently used go to list. Of all the DVDs out there, my favorite for beginners is the Art of Pole Series by Jamilla Deville. The Art of Pole Series consists of all the basic foundational skills all pole athletes, hobbyists, and students should be well accustomed to. A recent blog post by pole community blogger Bexiita Ackland highlights ten all time necessary pole moves that all polers should learn and master in her post "Top Ten Old School Pole Moves." The Art of Pole DVD collection includes all the mentioned skills that Bexiita writes about and is a timeless resource that will always be there as a reference during your personal pole progression.
Beginner Pole DVD Recommendations
Art of Pole Series by Jamilla Deville $79.95 USD
Other Home Pole Essentials
Other recommendations to complete your home pole kit include the following:
1. Rubbing alcohol for cleaning the pole
2. Spray bottle (to put rubbing alcohol in to spray pole rag/pole)
3. Pole rag/s. Soft wash clothes work well.
4. Crash mat. Mighty Grip sells a variety of pole specific crash mats.
5. Mirrors. You can purchase mirrors at any local Home Depot, Ikea, or Walmart. You can also find used mirrors online. Mirrors will vary based on your designated home pole space.
6. Camera and/or camera phone lenses for recording progress. (Read my camera lens April 2016 blog post for more information "Getting the Best Camera View when Recording Your Pole or Aerial Progress."
Additional Home Pole Content Resources
The online world of pole has been booming with incredible resources that offer the home poler an abundance of structured courses. I recently featured many of these resources in a blog post "Home Poling Options." Online courses offer new and updated content that evolves with the industry. Once you have learned the basics, looking into other resources can help you develop your skills in fun and unique ways. Online courses also offer a variety of workouts that supplements pole by including important conditioning and flexibility work. It's important to learn how to implement balance in your workouts and online courses cater best to students that are developed in their skill set to progress on an intermediate to advanced level.