The 101 on Gripping Aids
Which grip is right for you?!
There are many different grip aids out there when it comes to pole and aerials. The ones I will be focusing on are the ones I carry in the studio, mainly for pole.
1. DRY HANDS
Dry hands is one of the most common gripping aids you will find that majority of people use. It goes on like a liquid chalk and if too much is used it will leave your hands white. You really don’t want to use too much, no more than a dime size or else you may find you will leave residue on the pole. This can actually cause more slipping. Depending on the person, you may use it up to 2-3 times during an hour long class. It does what it’s suppose to do. It does not block sweat, it simply just dries the area out. Some people use it on other areas of the body if they are finding that they are exceptionally sweaty but 99% of the time it is used JUST for your hands to ensure a good grip on the pole. 1 bottle goes a long way.
2. DEW POINT
Here we are talking about the complete opposite of dry hands. Dew point was created for those who can’t reach their desired perspiration. The name is perfect for what it is. When using other contact points other than your hands, such as your shins, knee pits, or thighs to name a few… it is ideal that your skin is “dewy” to literally stick to the pole. Dew Point comes in 3 different levels as a spray on: light, medium, ultra. In Canada, our skin is much more dry in the winter and sometimes impossible to reach a good natural dew point, therefore I sell it during the winter month’s. This is a grip for all other body parts however, you would want to avoid putting it on your hands!
3. MIGHTY GRIP OR X-GRIP
In the picture I show X-Grip which is now discontinued. However, Mighty Grip is the same powdered formula. This is another option for your hands or exceptionally sweaty people. I find it “tacks up” nicely if your hands feel wet or if your knee pits are too slippery. I also feel that there isn’t much transfer onto the pole. Your hands may feel a bit sticky directly after use. You also do not need much of this to get a good grip.
This is the newest grip I have decided to carry. In my personal opinion, I am not a good knee pit person so I LOVE this gripping aid for areas such as that. I don’t like it on my hands however. It comes in a beeswax towelette which is clever. Some students even apply it directly on the pole. It seems fairly easy to clean off the pole compared to other beeswax formulas. A lot of other studios ban the brand I-Tac as it is near impossible to get off of the poles, this is much lighter. The towelette is quite large and will last for about 6 weeks. The towel will look grayish in colour after too much use.
5. GLOVES AND OTHER TRAINING AIDS
There are other brands I did not mention, but I do want to talk about other factors. If you have exhausted all of the grips above, there are other solutions such as an antiperspirant for your hands or the Mighty Grip gloves. If you simply just can’t get a grip, you can try wearing Mighty Grips snug fitting gloves with a tack material sewn to the palm of the hands. They come in all different sizes and a few colours to choose from. We typically use them for hoop but people use them for pole as well. Mighty Grip also sells the anklets and other training aids as well, such as thigh and arm protectors along with knee pads. At first I disagreed with these types of training aids because you want to get your body to adapt to pole. However, if these items can help overcome some pain so you can work your muscles and achieve technique, then in the long run this is more beneficial.
6. OTHER POINTS TO CONSIDER
Finally, always clean your pole frequently with water and/or alcohol of at least 90%. Different pole materials will also affect your grip… Brass being most absorbent of oils in the skin. We have stainless steel and chrome poles which vary for each person in regards to grip. Diameter will affect your grip as well. 45mm is your average diameter which is fairly easy to hold onto. On that note, hand and forearm strength WILL affect your overall grip. If you are a beginner, this will take time to develop so try to stay patient as this will come and soon you will be able to stay up on the pole longer! <3
Keep calm and pole on my friends!