If you’ve been feeling self-conscious or hesitant in any way towards learning how to pole dance or working out in general then I understand the barrier but of insecurity and it happens to all of us.
You are definitely able to learn this fun, challenging, confidence-boosting, and sexy form of exercise without worrying about your safety if you invest in the right type of pole.
Because of the various types of dance poles available on the market, there are a ton of basic questions that everyone has when thinking about purchasing one. The main points that most people will have to consider in regards to their pole are material, colour, method of installation, storage, and portability. Women who are larger, however, tend to be more concerned about how safe their pole will be and what the pole’s weight limit is.
I’ve had a bunch of heavier women approach me with questions about whether or not a certain pole will be strong enough to support their weight, and if they should even be taking on pole dancing at all. The answer is: yes!
This article will help outline important and reliable information including the best equipment for your specific needs (whether you are heavier or not), and will hopefully help to curb any worries and fear about pole dancing that you might have.
To start, we will take a look at a few of the main considerations that plus sized pole dancers should keep in mind when shopping for their perfect pole. These factors include: the diameter and thickness of the pole, the type of material the pole is constructed out of, whether it is one piece versus a multi-piece pole, and how the pole is installed.
Dance Poles for Plus Sized Pole Dancers
We will go over each point in greater detail below:
Previously, the industry’s standard pole diameter measurement was 2 inches, or 50 mm, but now most manufacturers also carry a size smaller than this. These poles are usually 1.75 inches, or 45 mm, but I’ve recently seen poles are small as 1.5′ inches, or 40 mm on the market.
Most pole dance competitions, contests, and events now utilise the smaller pole size (1.75 inches) as their standard, and this is due to the fact that 1.75 inches seems to be a better fit for most women’s hands, and is becoming the generally preferred size option.
It is important to keep in mind, however, that the smaller the diameter of the pole, the weaker the pole will be overall.
Choosing the diameter size of your pole will largely depend on how you will use the pole (for tricks in the air, or just for dancing on the ground, for example), as well as your weight. Regardless of your intent and weight, a good rule of thumb to remember is that larger equals stronger, meaning that a pole with a thicker diameter will have a higher ‘safe weight load’.
Another thing to consider when purchasing your dance pole is the thickness of the material that the pole is made of. This is different from the diameter of the pole because the thickness refers to the ‘wall’ of the tubing, as opposed to the overall size of the circle.
Many reliable companies such as Lil Mynx or Xpole have a minimum thickness standard that they apply to all of their poles to ensure maximum, or at least as much, safety as possible. Keep in mind that poles constructed of thinner tubing will always be cheaper, but it will definitely not be as strong and won’t be able to carry as large a load as a pole made from thicker tubing.
This is something that many people overlook when buying a pole, likely because it is not completely obvious at the time, especially when you don’t have this point in mind.
Smaller women might be able to get away with a thinner walled tubing, but plus sized pole dancers should keep this factor in the front of their mind when shopping for a pole. As stated above, thinner tubing will cost less, but using thinner metals is a tactic used by manufacturers (especially those who make knockoffs) in order to cut corners and thus cut costs. If you are concerned about being as safe as possible, I highly advise you to stay away from these types of poles.
Type of Material
Alongside tubing thickness and diameter, the material the pole is made out of will also determine the pole’s overall strength. Stainless steel or alloys, for example, are much stronger than brass, so poles made of brass and other soft metals will definitely be weaker than other, stronger metals.
It is also worth noting that some brass poles that are available on the market are actually a ‘look-a-like’ and are really made of out materials like plated steel which is a stronger material than brass. Still, the longevity and durability of the brass coating is something to keep in mind as well.
You will be able to spot a ‘look-a-like’ brass pole because it will cost a lot less than a real brass pole would. Now there isn’t anything really wrong with buying the ‘fake’ brass pole, since it is likely to be stronger than the real brass poles themselves; it’s just an example of buyer responsibility! Be sure you know exactly what you’re purchasing to avoid any surprises later on. You can do this by asking specific questions to the manufacturer before making your purchase. Whether you are actually considering a brass pole or not, you should still be interested in the specifics of your pole, including what it’s constructed out of, right?
Aside plated steel (like chrome), stainless steel, and brass, colored poles made from powder coated steel are also available on the market and are aesthetically pleasing! Lil Mynx has these types of poles available in a number of colors, as well as in both rotating and static types. As stated above, since the pole is constructed from steel, it will be much stronger than brass as well!
It is important to remember that each material has its benefits and disadvantages, and that everyone will have their personal preferences. Plus sized pole dancers, however, will have to think a little bit harder about which type of pole to purchase, with extra consideration put on the properties of each material available, especially if you’re concerned about the safety and overall weight limit of the pole that they eventually choose.
One Piece versus Multi-Piece
A general rule to always keep in mind is that the more ‘breaks’ such as seams and joints that a pole has, the weaker the overall makeup of the pole will be. This boils down to basic science, as solid structures that are not segmented will have greater structural integrity and will therefore be stronger than a structure that is made up of a bunch of pieces. Basically, a one piece pole will always be stronger than a pole made of multiple pieces.
There are other factors to consider, still. The longer (or higher) the pole, for example, the weaker, so an 8 foot pole made of multiple pieces might actually be stronger than a 10 foot, one piece pole, though this also depends on other things including the type of material the pole is constructed out of, the thickness of the tube, and the number of breaks.
Also consider the way you put the multi-piece poles together: a multi-piece pole with joints that must be screwed together will definitely be stronger than another pole that slides or snaps together.
As you can probably tell, this process is more complicated and there are more things to consider than you might have originally thought.
This point refers to how your pole will remain vertical. The safest and most secure installation method will always be to permanently mount the pole via screws into your floor and ceiling joists because it will be able to endure a much heavier weight load. On the opposite side of the spectrum, a friction fit pole will be the least secure and will therefore have a much lower weight limit.
Your friction fit pole will always be less secure and less safe than a permanently mounted pole, regardless of the material, tubing thickness, and diameter, because of the way it is installed; there is just more room for the pole to move around instead of staying put.
More Factors to Consider
While the five factors above are the most important points to consider when purchasing a dance pole, there are some other things you might want to consider, especially if you are plus sized.
If you are set on purchasing a pole with a smaller diameter but want to be as safe as you can be, it is possible to have it reinforced, though only with a permanently mounted pole. Reinforcements are a great idea, not only if you are purchasing a smaller diameter pole, but also if your pole is longer than most.
To reinforce a pole, a solid steel rod that is a little bit smaller than the diameter of your pole is put inside the hollow tube before installing it to provide more strength and stability. Reinforcements are something you can inquire about to the manufacturer; just keep in mind that they might not be able to provide it for you due to unavailability or prohibitive shipping costs as it will be much heavier than the pole itself. If this is the case, you can purchase solid tubing from a local hardware or metal supply store to install yourself before putting the whole thing up.
Ease of Installation
Yet another thing for plus sized pole dancers to keep in mind is whether they will be able to install their pole on their own or not. It’s not that I am implying in any way that you are not as strong as other women (it is likely the opposite!), it’s just that being plus sized often means associated problems such as joint or lower back issues which can prevent you from assembling and installing your pole properly.
Something to consider is that a permanent pole will only need installing one time with minimal maintenance afterwards, while friction fit or removable types of poles will need more upkeep such as checking for tightness (which will involve ladders) and being able to adjust and tighten screws.
So What’s the Best Pole for Plus Sized Dancers?
As you could probably tell from reading this article, there is no one right answer; it very much depends on your weight, and your personal needs and preferences. This will involve consider the advantages and disadvantages of each type of pole.
It might seem like a lot, but don’t be discouraged! With some time, knowing what you want, and a lot of research, I guarantee you will be able to find the perfect pole for this amazing sport!