An important note about choosing your pole:
I receive many questions about which pole is "best". Having used and owned a large variety of poles, in my professional opinion, the best poles are "pressure mounted" at BOTH ends or permanent mounted at the top and pressure mounted at the base. The only thing just as safe is a permanently installed pole.
Some poles are "spring loaded" at one end or both ends. These are built on the same concept as a tension shower curtain rod. You expand the pole slightly higher than your ceiling and then you squeeze it into place between the ceiling and floor. We all know how well shower curtain rods stay up…do you want to trust your safety on something like that?
Another important consideration is customer service. All poles have potential problems, or maybe you are confused about how to put your pole up or care for it. Consider the company's reputation for customer support and service. An improperly installed pole is not only unsafe but can permanently damage your pole.
Buying your first pole?
Follow the above link to learn about the characteristics of pole finishes and diameters and how they affect pole use for tricks and dancing. Keep in mind that there is no one correct answer. Some students have learned first on a spinning pole and others in a static. Some dancers love brass and others prefer chrome or stainless. A larger diameter is hard to grip with your hands but provides better surface area for leg holds.
All the choices can be confusing! Keeping in mind that opinions vary among experienced pole dancers and instructors, but the growing trend seems to be that most commonly a 45mm or 1.75 inch diameter chrome or stainless pole is recommended for beginners and most beginners learn on static not spinning as spinning requires more upper body and core strength to hold onto when the pole is in motion.
Placement of your pole:
Different ceilings will accommodate some poles and not others.
A removable pole must have a flat (non-vaulted) and secure ceiling. These poles are installed with a high amount of tension between the floor and the ceiling to hold it securely in place, so you must also be able to locate the joists in the ceiling to make sure your ceiling will be strong enough to take that tension without damage. Install your pole directly UNDER one joist or spanning two joists (depending on how close your ceiling joists are) for the best support – not between them.
If you have a concrete ceiling, you do not need to locate the joist but you can place your pole anywhere on the ceiling.
Ceiling height will affect your choice as well. Some portable poles advertise that they will go up to 12 feet high but some will not. They may require the purchase of extra extensions so check the base height of the pole as well as the availability of extensions if you have a high ceiling. Ceilings higher than 12 feet will usually require a permanent or semi-permanent type of pole.
The higher the pole the more it will flex. All poles will flex slightly with use. Some permanent poles can be fitted with steel liners to reinforce them for increased stability. In my opinion a removable, pressure-mounted pole should not be used on ceilings over 11 feet high.
Steel liners or extra thickness poles are always best used on ceilings above 11 feet…if your pole flexes it becomes shorter and therefore is not as stable and can come down during use.
If you have a vaulted ceiling, you will need to find a permanent or semi-permanent pole which installs with a special vaulted ceiling adapter.
Space around the pole should be a MINIMUM diameter equal to the reach of your outstretched arms. In other words you should be able to hold on to the pole with one hand, and be able to walk around the pole with the opposite arm fully extended without encumbrance – so approximately 6 feet open space on all sides of the pole. More room is better for full leg swings, but this is the absolute minimum.
Do your homework and know the features of the pole you are considering purchasing!