There are a variety of different types of pole dancing grip aids available on the market, including gels, liquids, powders as well as gloves, knee pads, socks, wrist supports and even leggings. Grip products are brilliant for dancers to use their hands/feet/legs/body and even on the pole. Many dancers rely upon grip aids to help them stick during practice and performance. Although widely used it can be beneficial if you don’t rely on these too heavily, although I do find that they give me some confidence when learning a new move.
There are at least 22 grip aids that I have discovered after doing a quick online search. That is crazy! That’s just the ones that you apply from a bottle/can/tub to your skin. There are wearable ones as well. I plan to grab a number of them and see if any of them are better than my preferred one.
Pole Dancing Grip Aids
Dry hands is one of my favourites, its super for sweaty palms. It works by adding grip, not so much by being tacky, but by adding “texture” to the skin. After spreading dry hands evenly and thinly on your hands and skin, resist the temptation to rub it in. Rubbing will remove the product as it is designs to sit on top of the skin. Add it straight to the pole if it is a humid day.
This is my personal favourite, I have dry skin and can’t keep myself hydrated. The issue with it is, once you have applied, spinning is almost impossible.
Itac2 is a wax based grip enhancer, it;s hypoallergenic and formulated using organic beeswax. There are different grip levels to choose from. I use level 2 (regular strength) for body and limb grip. For hand grip I vary between level 2 and 4 (extra strength). It works great on chrome and stainless steel poles.
If you dance often on chrome and stainless steel, you will love this grip aid. I find that if you mix it with dry hands you will stick like you’re a spiderman. Like most pole grips, it’s not cheap, but a little does go a long way.
It takes a bit more scrubbing to get the grip off of the pole, but you just need to use a little more pole cleaner / vodka.
We’ll shortly be taking a look at dew point, girlie grip, lupit and embrace pole grips.
What are Grip Aids?
Pole dancing grip aids are available in a variety of forms. These include powders, liquids, antiperspirants, even gloves, kneepads and wrist protectors are available. Most pole dancers rely on grip aids during their performances and practice sessions. This is because pole dancing relies on friction and grip.
Pro Grip Aids vs Anti-Grip Aids
There is an ongoing debate about whether students should use grip aids or not.
Many people are against students using grip aids because they think that it is cheating and that you won’t get stronger. Some also believe that students will become reliant on grip aids and use them in excess.
I agree with this to a point, however, our body has a natural, built-in stress response to threatening situations called the ‘fight or flight response’. When you are in a stressful or dangerous situation and experience fear and anxiety, your body goes through a number of changes:
Your heart rate may increase.
Your vision may narrow (sometimes called ‘tunnel vision’).
You may notice that your muscles become tense.
You may begin to sweat.
Your hearing may become more sensitive.
I have found that many students begin to sweat when they learn a new move, making it difficult to grip the pole, making the move scarier. If the student is wearing a grip aid it overcomes the flight and fight response and we can better grip the pole. Once the move is mastered the need for pole grip can be reduced or even eliminated.
At other times we have super dry skin as we haven’t drunk enough water to keep our body hydrated, on these occasions a grip aid would be useful.
If we have forgotten not to put moisturiser on, a quick wipe over the kin with some vodka and application of a grip aids can stop us sliding all over the place.
Where to Buy Grip Aids From?
Pole schools, specialist shops and online stores are all an excellent place to buy yours from. It can be a good idea to see if your pole school puts in a bulk order for the grip aid that you like, that way you can save on the shipping cost.
Which are the best Grip Aids?
Which is the best, depends on what you need it for. If you get sweaty during practice you need a grip aid that absorbs sweat, if you have dry skin you need a grip aid that adds moisture.
During exercise many people get sweaty, if you get sweaty you are more likely to slip down the pole. Grip aids are hugely popular with beginners and performers because the fight and flight response our bodies display when we are doing something out of our comfort zone / scared makes us sweat. Many beginners are scared of spinning, climbing or inverting on the pole – hence they get sweaty and slip.
If you are dehydrated you will have dry skin that will not stick to the pole – it’s a good idea to make sure that you drink your 2 litres of water the day of your class and the day before…..if you want to stick to that pole make sure you drink lots of fluids……your kidneys and brain will also thank you!
The climate of your country will affect the condition of your pole too. So the grip aid you choose could depend partly on where you live, happen to be dancing that week.
One grip aid might be perfect for you, but you might also find that a combination of grip aids works even better.
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