First question we always ask - are you doing classes?
Most polers end up being more comfortable buying a pole thst they are familiar with. If they use 45mm stainless in their studio, they buy it for home, or if they are used to skinny 38/40 brass, they stick with that - its a familiarity thing!
However there are reasons to try different finishes, and its not always cost! Here are our thoughts on different pole finishes & hopefully it helps you choose your ideal pole finish (and width)!
1. What are you using it for?
a. If its comp training - research the comps you're entering. Overseas the international standard for comps is 45mm stainless or chrome. In Australia, many state & regional comps are run on 45mm, but several national comps are run on 40/38mm brass. This is because the competition organisers like that width & finish, not because that width or finish is superior - remember there are pros and cons to all widths & finishes. Many Sporting / pole fitness comps use stainless. Research your comps before you buy!!
b. If you are using your pole at home only to replicate what you do in class - go for a pole that closely resembles the ones you know and are familiar with. If you can't afford brass, consider Powder-coated. If you cant afford stainless go for chrome. We'll cover more on the finishes in a minute. But stick with the width you are used to. Your teacher will know what it is & wont mind you asking :)
c. If training to get stronger is your objective, then we would suggest a DIFFERENT finish to the poles you use at class. Why? ...because mixing up your training, different widths & finishes will make you more adaptable, and will help train different muscles (and the same muscles in slightly different ways). Once you master a move on any width, any finish - that is true skill... Australia's best polers can perform on just about anything. If that's your goal, then mix up your training. Frustrating at first, but keep the end game in sight.
2. Where are you located?
If you live in a coastal, humid area, or a cold area where your pole will be subject to condensation, sea air or other non-metal friendly environments - consider a brass or a stainless pole.
Brass is a more porous metal and handles sweat the best. In saying that, Stainless is one of the most popular poles in humid areas. Less likely to tarnish, easy to clean, and great for building leg /arm wrist strength.
If you do live in an area where your bike, your taps, your cars rust up - don't go for chrome. Poles aren't made of magic, choose your metal wisely & you want your investment to last you your pole lifetime. boom boom.. "pole" life...get it? :P
3. Do you have metal allergies or get skin sensitivity issues?
Easy - go for stainless, or silicone.
Chrome & powder-coating are our value for money finishes. They are a coating/electroplating only, unlike our stainless and our brass which are solid tubes not skins. Coloured poles & chrome poles are a great choice for those starting out, as it's not as big an outlay of cash. You can always start on one of these & change or add in a different finish pole later on :)
Stainless and silicone are the next price range up
Brass is your premium finish - it handles sweat the best & is a more traditional pole finish. If it ever gets too 'gunked up' with pole grip product or your friends' spray-tan (doh), you can strip it back to a factory finish using a cutting compound from super cheap auto. It's an investment, a bigger initial outlay, but brass stands the test of time as a premium finish.
High grip: Silicone is so grippy you need to use clothes - great for kids/a family pole or the body shy - or people with pervy flatmates & need to keep their clothes on. It is also great for perfecting that sit or hold, without worrying about grip.
Because brass is the most porous it offers the best grip of traditional (bare metal) finishes.
Powder-coated oddly offers great grip when its clean, but it is more slippery (as its not v porous) when its not clean, or if you're sweating lots. If you cant afford brass, and are happy to clean your pole more often, then Powder-coat is a great option for you.
Medium Grip: Stainless & Chrome (our X-POLE stainless I should say), are equivalent in grip. These two finishes are so alike in look and grip that its near impossible to tell them apart. This is when you look at your budget, your location (as above), any skin allergies and if you are likely to need a more hard-wearing finish (in which case stainless will suit you better as its not a coating). If you learn on stainless but cant afford one, look at chrome as a good option for you.
NEW NEW NEW - we now have white poles - for that scandi look lol - if you're into always having the latest 'new' then this is your pole.
If you are after the most popular pole globally - it is and always has been the 45mm chrome. Why? because its what was around when we first launched, and so many people have them across the world that the percentages of blog posts out here are likely to be skewed, as more people have chrome overall. Its what people are familiar with & unfortunately now the finish that all the counterfeit & copycat poles have copied, which is now giving chrome a bad name.
X-POLE chrome has been around for 13 years + and it's tried and tested & by far our biggest seller. The number one selling pole world-wide.
Lastly width. Either go for what you train on as per 1b above, or as per 1c to get stronger, change the width so you're training on different poles on different days.
If you still don't know, or want to double check the width - we recommend rolling a piece of a4 paper lengthwise and measuring across the top (40 or 45mm), then tape it and have a play with it. This will help you work out the overall width you are comfy with (for your hand size).
More questions on any of this? Ask us! :)
02 95892645 or email firstname.lastname@example.org