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Pole Dancing Grip Aids Reviewed and Rated

Pole dancing is making an impact. When we last We’ve tested the most popular pole dancing grip aids to let you know what will help you beat those sweaty hands and what will leave you slipping and sliding down the pole.

DMM chalk ball

dmm-chalk-ball
I came across this wonderful white powder (really, it’s chalk!) while shopping for a new jacket. DMM chalk balls are made specifically for rock climbers, who perhaps have an even greater need for good hand grip than we do.

And the climbers have obviously got it right – this chalk offers superb grip. Whether you’re about to perform on stage in a hot venue or are working hard to nail a new move, this chalk should guarantee you sweat-free holds and give you the grip and assurance you need.

I pole danced for a good 30 minutes without feeling the need to reapply it, so you should be able to get all the way through a performance or training session without worrying about sweaty hands.

And it’s not just suitable for hands – the chalk works well on the thighs and other parts of the body too. A ball should last you a long time as a little goes a long way, though be careful not to use too much or you’ll build up a nasty residue on your pole.

It’s not all good news: the chalk can become very sticky when mixed with water, so check your pole is clean and dry before you use it. Make sure you store the ball properly too, or it will do its best to turn your pole room into an unwanted winter wonderland. (I found this out the hard way.)

This is the best grip product I’ve used, and at just £1.99 for a ball it costs less than half that of the other products we’ve tested here. The next time you’re looking for a grip aid, try one of these.

Shopping options Snow & Rock (UK) | Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

Gorilla Gold

gorilla-gold
I’ve heard some great things about Gorilla Gold grip enhancer, and at £5.99 it’s reasonably priced too. Gorilla Gold is a small cloth impregnated with a sticky beeswax and was originally designed for tennis players with grip problems. (Apparently it works “like pine tar, but without the mess,” though we didn’t check that ourselves.)

They advise you to touch the cloth gently until you reach the desired ‘tack’ and return it to the pack for next time. Gorilla Gold suggests the cloth should last for 20-30 applications, depending on how much you use.

I really didn’t get on with Gorilla Gold. It made my hands feel extremely sticky (in a syrupy, or perhaps pine tarry, way), but it gave me very little extra grip. The first time I spun round the pole after applying it, I slipped to the ground so quickly I screamed!

The problem seems to be that the beeswax doesn’t dry at all after applying it (and I only used a tiny bit, squeezing the cloth lightly two or three times). Rather than offering additional grip, Gorilla Gold acts almost like a lubricant, helping you slide even faster down the pole. It’s probably great with the more porous grips on tennis rackets or golf clubs, but it just doesn’t work with an impregnable metal pole.

I tried again after cleaning most of it off my hands so I just had a tiny amount left on, and this time it did improve my grip a little. It feels a bit like a pole that’s been used for a while, so if you like a dirty pole then this may be a way of getting that texture quickly. (Though make sure you only use a tiny amount!)

And it does leave the pole dirty. A lot of the beeswax transferred from my hands while I was testing it, leaving a large amount of difficult-to-shift gunk on my pole that took me about five minutes to clean off.

Gorilla Gold is sticky, but not grippy. Not recommended for pole dancing.

Shopping options Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US)

Mighty Grip

mighty-grip
Mighty Grip is probably the most popular grip product in the pole dance community, and is sufficiently popular amongst polers for the company to target it specifically at pole people. Mighty Grip has also done well to get some super names like Pantera to endorse their product.

Mighty Grip is a powdered thermoplastic that comes in a tiny 7g bottle, usually priced at £4.99. So you don’t get a lot for your money, but the manufacturer stresses that a little goes a long way – I think you should get 100 applications out of it, depending on how much you use of course. To use Mighty Grip, shake a few drops of the powder on your hands, create a fist while the powder melts and you’re good to go.

The extra grip I got was excellent, particularly after I started to work up a bit of a sweat. The powder is quick to apply and clean to use, and it’s easy to slip the compact bottle into your hand bag too!

I did find that I needed to reapply the product after about 15 minutes of vigorous poling – the grip, while it lasted, was as good as the DMM chalk, but it just didn’t stay as long.

Mighty Grip leaves a slight white ‘dust’ on your hands. It’s easy to clean off, but could look a little unsightly if you’re performing for photos or HD video. As with all grip products, it left a little residue on my pole, but less than most.

Mighty Grip is an excellent pole dancing grip aid, but it doesn’t last as long as (and costs quite a bit more than) the DMM chalk. So overall I’d choose the chalk, but I’m definitely going to keep one of these in my bag for when I go out.

Shopping options Pole Exercise (UK & world) | Mighty Grip (US & world)

Platinum Grip

platinum-grip
Claimed to be the ultimate liquid pole dance gripping solution, Platinum Stage’s grip aid comes in a small bottle filled with clear liquid that you apply to your hands or legs and allow to dry. It’s relatively new to the market, having launched in the UK just a few weeks ago.

Platinum Grip comes in 35ml or 70ml bottles, and I estimate that a 35ml bottle will last for 50-80 applications, depending on how liberally you apply it of course. It retails at $9.99 (35ml) or $15.99 (70ml) in the US and at £9.99 (70ml) in the UK.

I was impressed the Platinum Grip. It gives a very reassuring extra dose of grip on the pole and, as it’s a clear liquid, there are no white marks on your hands after it’s dried.

However, as I started to sweat, I found that a greasy substance was deposited on the pole that was quite tough to clean off, even with acetone or alcohol. I also needed to reapply it after 15-20 minutes: roughly the same as Mighty Grip, but not as long-lasting as the DMM chalk.

Despite these minor downsides, this is by far the best liquid grip aid I’ve used. It’s a very close thing between this and Mighty Grip, the other product targeted specifically at pole dancers. Mighty Grip tends to leave less residue and would be my choice – just – but if having white hands bothers you more then this is a great alternative.

Shopping options Platinum Stages (US) | Adam Jay (UK)

Liquid Chalk

liquid-chalk
Liquid chalk has been used by pole dancers as a grip aid for years. It usually comes in fairly large (250ml) bottles for £5-7, which you just pour over your hands and leave to dry before using.

Your pole grip is improved significantly with liquid chalk at first, but when you start to sweat the product turns into a rather gooey mess on your hands. And while the grip offered is good, it’s not quite as sticky as other products we’ve covered here.

There is an art to using liquid chalk effectively. Liquid chalk is made from magnesium carbonate (chalk), rosin (solid resin) and alcohol (which dissolves the resin and evaporates when applied). When properly shaken, the gluey liquid makes your hands very dry but also very white. The white has a tendency to get onto everything, and white marks on your outfit, the pole and the floor are not usually a great look.

But if left to settle, the chalk and rosin will separate in the bottle, and you can then pour some of the clear (and largely chalk-free) liquid onto your hands. This liquid is nowhere near as dry as the mixed chalky version, but I found the grip was actually slightly better.

Separating the mixture doesn’t work with all liquid chalk, so it may be impossible to avoid the white marks. Some people swear by this product and still use it today, but other grip aids offer superior grip and much less mess.

Shopping options Amazon (UK) | Amazon (US) | Kickback Sports (UK)

Vodka

Perhaps an unorthodox way to clean your pole, but vodka actually works really well, leaving the pole clean and shiny and with all of that poling gunk stripped off. You can pour a little on your hands to clean them too.

Of course it won’t improve grip beyond your natural dry hands level, but it’s a great alternative to (cleaning!)
As well as their powder, Mighty Grip sells specially-designed
pole dancing gloves. Inspired by the gloves weight lifters use, these fingerless gloves have a padded front that offers useful protection to your hands during intensive pole sessions.

The Mighty Grip gloves come in two versions: tack, for spinning poles; and non-tack, for static poles.

The non-tack gloves are designed to give you a better grip while still allowing you to spin. I found them very enjoyable to use, though as I continued to train I found my hands starting to sweat and move about a little inside the gloves. It’s important to buy the right size to limit movement as much as possible. Mighty Grip also recommends using some of their powder before you put the gloves on, and doing so did make the grip a little better.

The tack gloves are something else. Their shiny patent front gave me huge amounts of grip, no matter how difficult the move was. And boy do you notice – my hands remained on the pole long after my body had left, and moves that I was finding technically challenging became much more attainable. Spins are of course out of the question, but these gloves are great for static poses or a spinning pole.

I had the same problem with the gloves moving a little when my hands started to sweat, so this time I used the DMM chalk before putting the gloves back on. The combination worked really well and I had a great – and very productive – pole practice afterwards!

Both gloves come in a variety of colours and sizes from XS to L, so you should be able to find a pair that suits both your hands and your style. :) They’re priced at £10.99, which is significantly more than the other grip aids, but then it’s a different sort of product (and hopefully one that should last for years, not months).

The non-tack gloves offer a similar level of stick to the best grip aids we’ve reviewed here. The tack gloves offer vastly more grip than any other aid we’ve looked at, though of course their extreme stickiness does limit how widely you can use them.

These gloves aren’t a replacement for other grip aids: they (obviously) only cover the hands and work best in combination with another grip aid, but they do offer padding to protect the hands and, in the case of the tack gloves, huge grip. Recommended.

Non-tack shopping options Pole Exercise (UK & world) | Mighty Grip (US & world)
Tack shopping options Pole Exercise (UK & world) | Mighty Grip (US & world)

Pole health warning: don’t use these products

I know we’ve just spent a whole post talking about how great they are, and grip products can be a life saver if you’re really struggling with a move, have an important performance or just fancy an impromptu pole jam with friends.

But I strongly recommend only using them for those special occasions and not for general pole training. It’s important to build your confidence, strength and trick repertoire the natural way, or you may end up unable to perform without them.

Over to you

Do you use these grip products? What do you think? Do you prefer something else instead? I’d love to know – tell me about it in the comments!.

25 Responses to “Pole Dancing Grip Aids Reviewed and Rated”

  1. What about Dry Hands vs. Platinum Grip? I have used Mighty grip and dry hands before and am very much looking forward to trying Platinum Grip. What are your thoughts as to which one is better until i get mine and can test for myself?

  2. @Donna We have some Dry Hands on order – let you know as soon as we can!

  3. I’m tempted to buy the Mighty Grip gloves but I’m a little dubious about it as I don’t want to rely on them. I’ve heard about Power balls, and was wondering if you have tried them for strengthening grip the natural way? Are they worth the purchase?

  4. @ Sharon You’re right to not want to rely on them, but they are super for those really sweaty moments! The power ball is a wonderful invention, I’ve used one for many years and it really helps build natural strength in the wrist. We are actually writing a blog at the moment on all the wrist building and hand grip aids which offer the ‘natural’ solution to sweaty hands.

  5. I’ve used the Gorilla Grip with quite good success, I found it was nice & sticky both on hands & legs as I seem to have the opposite problem of not enough moisture on my skin sometimes! I think that this was the same reason I didn’t get on as well with mighty grip, it was a bit like putting talc on my hands as there wasn’t enough sweat to make it tacky. I also use Nomis fingerless gloves for really difficult moves, ie shoulder-mounts, & find they work even better if the leather palms are kept slightly damp as the manufacturer mentions.

  6. @ Sarah, thank you for your feedback – your totally right, I think how you react to these products depends on your natural sweat production on low levels. If your a ‘dry’ person like yourself, then sticky is good – I must fall into the ‘wet’ bracket as I couldn’t get on with it. I should suggest it to a medic to do a paper on the subject, as we have proven it obviously has an effect! I haven’t heard of Nomis fingerless gloves, I shall check them out!

  7. As a long term professional pole dancer & now teacher I get my students to pole dance the natural way, but for those that really struggle I suggest an old dancer trick of spraying a little 24hr anti-perspirant deodrant on the hands as this helps dry hands from excess sweat :)
    I also only use anti-bacterial/baby wipes to wipe the pole & then a micro fibre cloth to dry excess wetness :)

  8. I just got a portable pole (not attached to ceiling) and the problem I am having is how slippery my pole is. I don’t know what to use. I am not a pole dancer, I am just starting out and I can’t grip the pole at all. What do you think is going on? Am I not strong enough yet or do I need a product?

  9. @ PoleGem, super tip – thank you – micro fibre clothes are super too I’ve used them before and they are great at really giving the pole a good clean without leaving any residue.

    @ Tiffany – First off all poles comes with a coating on them from the manufacturer to protect them in transit and during the production of the poles. Give your pole a really really good clean with either acetone, alcohol or window cleaner. Then see how your pole feels. It might be a combination of lack of strength to begin with and this coating. I’d avoid using products until you’ve built up your strength and then really really need to use them – otherwise you’ll never be able to pole without any products and they can become a bit of a pacifier! But make sure you clean your pole well at the start of each practice and throughout your training session. Start slowly to build up your strength and you’ll soon find your grip and practice improve in no time! Out of interest what pole do you have?

  10. Thank you for your response. I will deffinately try that. I just wasn’t sure what to use to clean my pole since its stainless steel and I don’t want to damage it. I bought my pole from platinum stages. It has a large “star” base and a 7′ pole that can be extended. It was expensive only cause it is portable and I didn’t have a permenant place to put it. I was unhappy with their shipping methods and wish I would have just taken first to understand what to do on a pole because pole dancing is DEFINATELY more difficult than I thought :-)

  11. Hey Tiffany – we just reviewed the Star Pole in our blog! Its a great stage and it will last you a lifetime – but what happened with the shipping? Pole dancing is very difficult, but the great thing about it is that every new move you learn you get a great feeling of satisfaction and excitement – I’m still totally addicted even after 9 years! Buy some DVDs and watch them at home, get your friends round to play and don’t try to run before you can walk – loads of people fall into the trap of watching hard stuff and then wondering why they can’t do it! Start bit by bit, little by little and soon you’ll be hanging upside down by your inner thighs in no time at all :-)

  12. The shipping took 2 months because they are already on a delayed shipping of 4 weeks due backorders and on top of that they switched my order from fed ex to ups and it was this whole big hasstle with the holiday and I was too excited so I was getting impatient :-) And before I got the pole I watched you tube video’s to learn some moves. I do need dvd’s …. BEGINNER dvds . I know I can do it, I didn’t know I was that out of shape until the day after pulling all my muscles in my arms and muscles I didn’t know I had! lol

  13. Oh dear – sounds like you had a terrible time – but at least the pole is finally with you and its safe and sound! Our DVD 1 is really good for beginners as it has lots of strength training and basic moves, our DVD 2 has lots more, plus stretching and routines (from easy to advanced) – there are some other super DVDs out in the market, but just don’t be tempted to do a really hard move before you’ve got a good base – yes it does expose muscles in the body that people never knew existed – its such a super duper workout! Anyway good luck with it all, and stay in touch – if you ever need any help or advice check our site, or email me – good luck! And safe happy poling xxx

  14. @Tiffany.
    I hear this time & time again from my students & some even only last 1 class because they thought it was easy, but now give full respect to use dancers because of the pure strength & ability pole dancing takes, if u really want to do it tho then stick at it…just not literally lol
    Pole dancing is like any exercise if u put in the time u get results, lets face it u wouldn’t go in a gym & go straight to the big weights wud u lol u’d start at the lower end.
    Its difficult to begin with & certain things have to be right, I once did a documentory for granada tv & had to pole dance with 4 very hot lights just feet away from me & had to spin at the bottom of the pole inces from the floor so they cud get the shot, which with hot lights on u is not easy at all.
    The pole needs to be the right temperature, too hot & u slip, too cold & u stick to it lik u wud if u licked an ice lolly lol
    I also fined some of my students perspire more than others, put ur hand on the pole for a few seconds take it away & see if u can see ur finger tips inprint on the pole & then fade, if so its ur sweat thats makin u slip & so u need some chalk etc.
    Also do u moisturise? or fake tan? If so this could be ur problem holding on.
    & if its non of the above it could be how ur holding the pole or ur grip. I use the term pulling & pushing alot in my classes, pull with the top hand push with the other, this locks u on the pole & with vertical stuff, makin sure u have no gaps between the pole & skin is vital, plus using 1 part of the body as a anchor, usually ur foot, which is stronger than u think :)
    & as weird as it sounds ur left side is actually ur strongest so hav confidence in it & most importantly …urself :)
    Hand grips & stress balls r great to improve ur grip or just get bk on that pole & giving it another go time & time again :)
    I taught myself over 10 years ago by watching “striptease” & “dancing at the blue iguana”
    at first i didn’t want to throw myself but then i thought well if Demi Moore can learn in just 2 months from watching a stripper then so can i :)
    Good luck Tiffanyx

  15. @Tiffany.
    Almost forgot.
    There are lots of different chalks out there so do a little research first, i personally use the DMM chalk balls as i find even some of my most strugglin pole students luv this stuff :) But they may not work for u so don’t be dis-heartened if it doesn’t just try something else :)

  16. Great post, really tempted by the gloves.

    At the moment I’m not using any grip aids. I have a brand new chrome pole and it is so slidey, especially when warm. I use a bit of cheap soap and water which cleans it very well and makes it stick but only for a few minutes, it’s back to slidey again. I have also found my skin is extremely slippy, I am really struggling to train and do inverts as I am sliding right off the pole. I do not use any moisturizers, just cheap soap to try and scrub the slippery skin off. I do have a natural tan from my holiday, maybe its the damaged cells?

    I totally agree not to use these grip aids all the time, however I just can’t seem to get any grip what so ever. I am tempted by the gloves and the DDM chalk but I don’t want to cheat!

  17. Hey there, I’ve recently gotten into the art of pole dancing, though I’ve been a fan for years. I have a permanant Pole installed in my home now and I’m slowly building up strength. I’ve even bought Platinum grip but as adivse by this site, I’m doing my best not to use it. Though I’ve noticed my grip is getting stronger it seems my finger tips are getting “rawer”. Is there any thing I’m doing wrong that would becausing this? I didn’t come across any other complaints of it so I’m feeling like it’s me… any advice would be great!! Thanks!

  18. @ Spaz – Blisters on the finger tips is normal, it just means ur putting in good practice time & yay for u :)
    Blisters & calosis on the hands is normal, the blisters should go soon enough as ur fingers get used to it but any calosis will remain for the rest of ur pole life :) & to be honest aren’t a bad thing they help toughen hand for grip & are a reminder that you are a true poler :)
    When the blisters get too much rest till the next day or you’ll just be in too much pain.
    Happy poleing

  19. @Kelly – Chrome isn’t the best grip but tends to be peoples choice of pole, having said that TG is suppose to be the best & to be honest i think it’s crap & I’ve been polin for over 10 years.
    Warm poles just as much as cold poles are not great for practice & if u perspire on the hands which by the sound of it thats prob ur problem.
    Nearly everyone can’t grip pole to bein because of problems with hands perspirin & to be honest its normal coz your putting ur hands through something they have never done before, ur literally giving them a workout of all workouts, don’t giv up tho your hands will get used to it eventually, use a bt of chalk if u feel u need it, just don’t use too much or you’ll literally stick to the pole lol seen it many a time with my students.
    I’d try not go down the glove route purely coz you’ll rely on them & never go bk to natural polein.
    Try my tip about sprayin a bit of deodrant on the hand 2, this should dry hands out more naturally :)
    Good luck & happy poelin

  20. Great review! very helpful x

  21. I have decided against all “grip-aids”. When I first bought my pole, I did throw in a 4 oz bottle of Platnuim grip but even after the second time using it, I really disliked the quick build up on my pole… So I’ve just gone without anything, making sure my hands are washed and dried well, and using alcohol wipes to clean my pole before and after every use… it really seems to have been the best for me. Hope all you Ladies and Gents are enjoying your pole as much as I am!

  22. Do you know where to buy “Dry Hands” in Europe?

  23. Hi there,

    Firstly, thanks for the great product reviews!!! They were very helpful!!! I just need a little more information on grip aids for people like me who have sweaty palms!

    Apparently it’s a diagnosed condition and people like me get sweaty palms regardless of what we’re doing or if it’s cold or hot. Yes it’s very annoying!!! In this situation then, what is the best grip aid? Ive tried the gloves but like you said, the tack ones stick a little TOO well and I find my hands stuck in the pole despite the rest of my body slipping…

    Please help!!! I just bought a chrome 45mm x-pole and Im extremely frustrated at not being able to do many moves before I find myself slipping off the pole!!!

    Thank you!!!

    T

  24. I work at Sephora and just happened across a product the other day that made me immediately think of my pole girls! It’s a hand drying pad from dermadoctor that helps with hyperhydrosis. It may be worth a shot for you.

  25. i own the mighty grip tack gloves, at first i thought they were fab for tricks ….but after about a month…. bearing in mind i only train for an hour a week and not all that time is used wearing the gloves, they have split on the palms and finger holes, i would say they had not been worn more than 2 hours in total so a bit of a let down think i need to find a new option

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