Okay, by no stretch of the imagination am I an expert on the X-pole, but by merit of the fact that I own one, I often get asked this by my fellow pole addicts at Bobbi’s: “How does your X-pole compare to the poles at the studio?’
In fact, on average.. someone new will unfailingly ask me this about every 2 weeks or so. And I always try to answer as well as I can, because I know that once you’re bitten by the pole bug, you start dreaming about buying your own pole!
My own pole was bought for me as an early birthday present in July last year by my husband. I love you, baby!!! (yes, that was for both my husband and my pole)
Back then, X-pole had just started making their famous pole in brass and it was only available via the X-pole Australia website.
So why did I choose to buy an X-pole in the first place?
I could have bought a 38mm, brass, permanent pole from Bobbi’s Pole Studio where I take my classes, and have the exact same pole to use at home, but I would have had to drill it into my floor and ceiling. And at the time, Bobbi hadn’t yet released Bobbi’s portable pole, or I might have got that instead. And since I’d already learned on a static X-pole before, I decided to go with that.
If I’m not wrong, Bobbi’s studios use permanent Pussycat poles. As mentioned, they’re 38mm in diameter, brass, and permanently-spinning poles. My X-pole (and if you didn’t already know, his name is Sir Lancelot) is 45mm, also brass, and can be adjusted to both spin and static mode. I keep it on spin though, just cos that’s what I’m used to.
Now, X-poles also makes their brass X-pert in 40mm which is a lot closer to 38mm and which should make things a no-brainer for most Bobbi’s girls.
When I first heard that it was available, I had a teeny moment of regret for not waiting until the slimmer version was released. But I still think it was a good decision for me to get a 45mm, because most studios still use 45mm or even 50mm chrome poles. And apparently when pole first got popular, the 45mm didn’t even exist and everyone had to learn on 50mm chrome which is really hard. (I’ve tried)
But just in case you still want to know what the main differences are between a 45mm brass X-pert vs 38mm brass Pussycat pole, here it is:
#1. The wider grip
It’s just 7mm between 38 and 45, but I can still feel the difference. A wider pole requires firmer hand grip and generally more upper body strength for spins and anything you lift into using your arms. I find chair spins and aerial inverts in particular are more challenging on my 45mm as compared to doing them on a 38mm.
But on the same note, leg grips become easier. At the studio, I still struggle to grip the 38mm firmly enough between my thighs for a straight-leg layback (aka Crossed Ankle Release) but I can do it quite easily at home on my 45mm. So I’d say it’s a pretty fair trade.
Though I haven’t tried the 40mm yet, (but I will very, very soon cos Po.lita just bought hers!) I suspect that the grip variation will be a lot less obvious with just 2mm difference. I’ll let you know what the 40mm X-pole is like is once I try hers!
#2. The brass finish
Well here’s my typically girly, non-technical observation: The studio poles have a more golden-coppery colour, while my X-pole has a slightly more greenish-yellow tinge to it. Does that say something about the different percentages of nickel vs alloy in them? I have no idea!
But I can tell you that when I’m at the air-conditioned studio, I need loads of shaving gel on my skin and dry hands on my palms even after getting fully warmed up, to confidently stick to my pole. Whereas in my non-air-conditioned living room, after warming up properly I don’t need either one to do the same tricks as I do at the studio. But… If I’m not completely warm, my pole at home feels slightly slippery and so I’m forced to do a proper warm up or I can barely climb without some sliding.
In terms of just the feel, I find my X-pole feels just a tad smoother and more slippery to the touch than the poles at the studio. But that could also be due to various reasons too, like the fact that the studio poles are a) older and b) used so much more often that they are c) more or less constantly covered in shaving gel residue or whichever other form of grip product the girls use, despite being regularly wiped down.
Does that help you at all? Probably not! But this is as much as I can give you right now.. Sorry!
#3. The spin
The X-pole spins way slower than the ones at Bobbi’s. I find it more a good thing than a bad one because I don’t have to deal with the crazy dizziness that I sometimes suffer from when I pull in to the pole too quickly, especially when I’m upside down. Perhaps that means that a performance on the spinning X-pole might look just slightly less impressive, but for now I’m happy to practice without too much potential nausea involved.
Anyway, if you live in Singapore and want to buy an X-pole too, Groove studio sells them in chrome, and just started selling brass too. The new brass 40mm costs $825, not including $40 for delivery, and $80 for installation.
If you have any other questions regarding the 45mm brass, just shoot and I’ll try my best to answer coherently.
Hope it helps, and happy poling!