Grip aids

June 11, 2011 at 3:00 am Leave a comment

If you search for information about grip aids on the internet, you will find some helpful recommendations and product reviews; however, you might also come across a few warnings against the use of grip aids, especially from those who think that using them is a form of “cheating.”

I think this is total hogwash.

Yes, you should practice building up the strength of your grip without relying on “grip-enhancing” products.  However, those of us with sweaty hands know that sometimes it doesn’t matter how strong your grip is – if your hands are wet, they will not stick to the pole – period.  And if you can’t stick to the pole, you’ll have difficulty learning the very moves that will build the strength needed to improve your grip.  Plus, slippery hands simply aren’t safe.

Grip-enhancing products come in various forms and they all work in different ways.  I’ve compiled a list of several options below, most of which I have tried myself and some of which I have only heard about through other dancers.  The categories are not hard-and-fast and sometimes certain products work best when combined.  This is by no means a comprehensive list of all of the grip aids available, but hopefully it will at least get you started.  Just remember that the best way to know whether a product will work for you is to try it out yourself.

For Sweaty Hands

Tite Grip Antiperspirant – take note: this is an antiperspirant.  When used alone it may not enhance grip, but it does prevent your hands from sweating as much and it works well underneath other grip aids.  It doesn’t take long to dry and it may feel slightly tacky at first, but the tackiness quickly disappears and your hands are left dry.  Tite Grip has a slight odor – spearmint leaf oil and alcohol are included in the ingredients.  The smell kind of reminds me of being at the dentist.

Prince Grip Plus – non-sticky, quick-drying, gel-like consistency, claims to repel moisture.  It has a light scent that is not unpleasant. It does show up on your skin as a white film, but it washes off with soap and water and personally this doesn’t bother me.  Prince Grip Plus is my preferred grip aid at the moment and I often use it in conjunction with Tite Grip.

Dry Hands – non-sticky, claims to repel water and perspiration.  The bottle is small and fits easily into your bag.  Be careful when dispensing Dry Hands; the product is very thin and pours out easily.  Also, although the product claims to leave “no powdery mess,” it probably won’t be invisible on your skin (but it is less visible than Prince Grip).  A lot of people I know like Dry Hands, but it wears off of my hands almost immediately.  I’m keeping the bottle as back-up but otherwise I wouldn’t rely on it.  I like Prince Grip better – it does the same thing as Dry Hands but seems to last longer for me.

GRRRIP Plus Lotion – claims to “create a moisture barrier that still allows the skin to breathe.”  I have not used this one myself, but I’ve heard that the lotion is very similar to Dry Hands.  Grrrip Plus also comes in a spray, but the lotion seems to be more effective for some people.

For Dry Hands

Mighty Grip Powder – claims to provide non-slip grip.  The bottle is small but yields about 150 applications.  One application is supposed to last one hour.  Mighty grip, unlike the grip aids above, is not a lotion; it is a light, heat-activated powder that leaves no visible residue on your skin.  It generally does not work for people with sweaty hands, so I didn’t have any luck with this product no matter how I applied it.  I gave it to a friend and it seemed to work for her.

iTAC2 Level 2 – claims to provide long-lasting, water-repellent grip.  ITac has different levels and Level 2 is recommended for pole dancing, but there’s nothing wrong with trying a different level to suit your needs.  This product is made of organic beeswax and will not leave any white residue on your skin.  On the ITac website it says that this product is “great for sweaty hands,” but it didn’t work for me and only seemed to make my hands more slippery.

Gorilla Gold Grip – a towel impregnated with grip solution that you can pat on to your hands, body, or pole.  Gorilla Gold Grip repels moisture and is not supposed to leave your skin sticky.  When I tried it, I found it to be sticky and difficult to wash off – yet it only seemed to make my hands more slippery on the pole.  I wouldn’t recommend it to someone with sweaty hands.

Corn Huskers Lotion – oil-free, heavy duty hand treatment for dry hands.  May leave a mildly sticky residue on skin.  I haven’t tried this one myself, but it is probably best to apply this a couple hours before getting on the pole.

For the Body

Pole Physics Lotion – NOT a grip aid, but I’d thought I’d include it anyway.  Claims to “enhance your skin’s natural ability to hold to the pole.”

Dew Point Pole – also not technically a grip aid, but claims to moisturize without being slippery.

A Word on Cleaning the Pole

You may already know that alcohol, acetone, and vinegar are great for cleaning and maintaining your pole.  Lately I have heard a lot about vinegar also being a godsend for sweaty hands.  Personally, I’ve tried alcohol and I’ve tried vinegar, and neither seem to work better than the other.  What I do use is Windex.  I know that glass cleaner probably isn’t the best choice since it can leave deposits on the pole and make the surface even more slippery over time, but for some reason it has worked the best for me so far.

I encourage you to experiment with your own combination of antiperspirants, grip aids, lotions and cleaners.  You’ll never know until you try them out for yourself!

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Entry filed under: Pole Gear, Product Reviews. Tags: , , , , , .

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