Girl ..."Get A Grip"

I just can't seem to get a grip...

My hands are sweaty! So very sweaty and it has nothing to do with being new to pole or not having enough strength or being scared (which by the way are all totally legitimate issues) - I just have tiny little hands that like to sweat when grasping a pole. I am always goofing around with and collecting multiple grip products so when Platinum Stages asked me to test their grip product I said BY ALL MEANS YES! Time to do some comparing and see what really works for me.

There are a slew of grip products on the market and I think it's really important for everyone to realize that what might work for one person might not be right for the next. That being said these results are what worked for me.  1st off lets start with the constants in all of these tests - ME! Here are my stats:

  • Female
  • 160 pounds
  • 5ft 3 inches
  • normally moist/sweaty hands
  • dry leg skin
  • African-American (this is important because not only am I Black - but I am vain and honestly I don't want to look like an ashy mess if i can help it!)
  • hand size - small
  • years poling - since 2005
  • spinning move level - low intermediate , climbing level - intermediate, invert - yes, aerial invert - hit or miss (much more miss lately), strength level - high.
  • SONG DANCED TO..."STICKY HONEY"  by Juliette And the Licks - see below

ITEMS REVIEWED:

  • Metolius's ECO BALL - bought
  • PRINCE GRIP PLUS - bought
  • DRY HANDS - bought
  • PLATINUM GRIP - given to test
  • ITAC2 - LEVEL 4 - won a bunch in a contest
  • CRAMER FIRM GRIP - bought
  • MIGHTY GRIP POLE GLOVES W/TACK - bought

Here are my results:

Eco Ball - Made by Metolius this ball contains an alternative to chalk which is highly absorbent. Non-toxic and a drying agent that absorbs sweat. I had high hopes for this product as so many people love it.

  • DRYING FACTOR - It dried up my hands for a bit but then when they got sweaty again they turned pasty. Didn't even bother to try it on my body.
  • TACK FACTOR - None - other than the fact that my hands were temporarily dry.
  • LASTING FACTOR - Lasted for about 15 minutes before I needed to reapply.
  • COST- $ super cheap! 4-5.00 everywhere I looked and can buy online and at REI stores.
  • EASE OF REMOVAL FROM BODY & POLE - easy - soap and water did the trick.
  • EASE OF USE - technically easy - you just pat your hands on the ball but...
  • MESS FACTOR - HIGH got the powder/chalk substance all over me, the pole and the table it was sitting on.
  • BLACK GIRL ASHY SKIN FACTOR :( :( It started out okay - a light powder film but in the end it turned ugly and I looked like I had a disease .

END RESULT...while I found it to be decent on drying of the hands - initially,  there was no added grip or tackiness with this product. The major problem I had with it is that it was a hot mess - got everywhere and all over me/pole & the studio.  It wasn't better than any of the other products and really wasn't for me - it might however work really well for someone with slightly less sweaty hands and lighter skin!

Prince Grip Plus - This is a quick-drying gel-ish drying product made by Prince (the tennis peeps) and comes in a hard tube/jar.

  • DRYING FACTOR - It was okay but see lasting factor....
  • TACK FACTOR - None - other than the fact that my hands were temporarily dry.
  • LASTING FACTOR -  Had to reapply ever 5 minutes or so - not great for super sweaty hands
  • COST - $ cheap I have seen it online for about 6.00 and it is available at a lot of sports stores which is nice.
  • EASE OF REMOVAL FROM BODY & POLE - Easy - it came off with soap and water with little work.
  • EASE OF USE - Semi easy - sometimes the bottle got a little jammed up with build up.
  • MESS FACTOR - Not really messy.
  • BLACK GIRL ASHY SKIN FACTOR - EH - I had high hopes as it is kind of a gel like product but in the end it dried white on me and looked  messy on my skin - therefore if I was to use it, it would be a "hand only solution"

END RESULT...while I found it to be decent on drying of the hands there was no added grip or tackiness with this product. The problem I had with it is that I had to re apply it roughly every 5 minutes and it left a white film on myself and the pole. It wasn't better than any of the other products and really wasn't for me. The nice thing about this is it can be easily found in multiple stores and in a pinch isn't a bad product - I will keep it around for emergencies but not seek it out.

Dry Hands – My usual go to product is a non-sticky white/clear-ish liquid you apply to your hands to repel water and perspiration. Comes in a small plastic jar.

  • DRYING FACTOR - It works really well on my hands - it is however too drying on my body. If I use it a lot it tends to over dry my hands so I try not to use it two days in a row.
  • TACK FACTOR - While Dry Hands says it has no tack factor I find that whenever I use it, it really helps with tack - this might be due to the fact that it stops my sweating so much but it is a definite plus!
  • LASTING FACTOR -  Normally I have to  reapply ever 20 minutes or so.
  • COST - $$  relatively cheap I have seen it online for about 7-10.00
  • EASE OF REMOVAL FROM BODY & POLE - Easy - it came off with soap and water.
  • EASE OF USE - Easy - just a dime size works well.
  • MESS FACTOR - Not really messy.
  • BLACK GIRL ASHY SKIN FACTOR - Neutral - Wish I could say it doesn't leave noticeable a film on me - but it does. Dries white on me but it isn't nearly as bad as some of the others.

END RESULT...It is one of my favorites and works really well on my hands! It is however very drying - try not to use it too much. The only real problem I have with it is that it doesn't work on my body and still leaves a white film on me but otherwise I like its drying and lasting power.

Platinum Grip – Is clear liquid you apply to your hands to repel water and increase grip. Comes in a plastic jar.

  • DRYING FACTOR - Dries my hands really well but does not over dry them like Dry Hands therefore I can actually use it more often, doesn't really work on my body.
  • TACK FACTOR - Added some tack factor although not as much a Dry Hands.
  • LASTING FACTOR -  Normally I have to  reapply ever 15 minutes or so.
  • COST - $$  relatively cheap 9.95 on their website.
  • EASE OF REMOVAL FROM BODY & POLE - Easy - it came off with soap and water.
  • EASE OF USE - Easy - just a dime size works well.
  • MESS FACTOR - Not really messy.
  • BLACK GIRL ASHY SKIN FACTOR - :) :)   This is one of 3 products that didn't actually show up on me!!!

END RESULT...I like it a lot. It is one of my favorites. It has good drying power and gives me a little tack. Lasting power for me is a little less than Dry Hands but it is a little less harsh on my hands as well (and it smelled good). The only real problem I have with it is that it doesn't work on my body but I like its drying and lasting power + it doesn't show on my skin!

iTAC2 Level 4 -I won a bunch of this in a contest so I had a few levels to test but decided - since I am so slippery to just test level 4 .iTac2 is a grip product that comes in a 45g jar and is a paste substance made of organic beeswax.

  • DRYING FACTOR - None for me. I had to use it when my hands were very dry. My hands almost immediately turned extremely slippery on the pole after my first spin, it's kind of like it liquified. It did however work BRILLIANTLY on my legs and body, probably due to the fact that those areas on me are so dry.
  • TACK FACTOR - Made my hands worse - made my body much better!
  • LASTING FACTOR -  on my body I re-applied after 35 minutes - but in all fairness those areas had less contact with the pole than my hands.
  • COST - $$$$ but a little goes a long way 19.95 on their website and Amazon.
  • EASE OF REMOVAL FROM BODY & POLE - Medium - it came off with soap and water but I had to put some elbow grease into it.
  • EASE OF USE - Easy - just a dime size works well.
  • MESS FACTOR - Not really messy.
  • BLACK GIRL ASHY SKIN FACTOR - :) :)   This is one of 3 products that didn't actually show up on me!!!

END RESULT...Mixed - It absolutely doesn't work on my hands BUT it really helped on my legs and body and therefore it's a staple in my pole bag.

Cramer Firm Grip  - A spray rosin formula this provides excellent "tack." for Pole/Lyra/Silks

  • DRYING FACTOR - None.
  • TACK FACTOR - AMAZING! Even works if hands are slightly wet.
  • LASTING FACTOR -  Great - on my hands I only used once in an hour!
  • COST - $$ relatively cheap 8.00 - 15.99 all over online & can find at Sports Chalet stores which is convenient.
  • EASE OF REMOVAL FROM BODY & POLE - Hard - this is rosin based and leaves a LOT of residue on hands and items (will not come off pole with just water and soap).
  • EASE OF USE - Easy - just spray a little on your hands.
  • MESS FACTOR - Hard to get off poles. Leaves a sticky residue on silks.
  • BLACK GIRL ASHY SKIN FACTOR - :) :)   This is one of 3 products that didn't actually show up on me!!!

END RESULT...I love this stuff for Lyra/Pole (working on tricks) and Silks. It does not work for spinning pole tricks - it is too sticky. I live in it for silks.

Mighty Grip Pole Gloves w/tack–  I added this one in just for the hell of it - plus it gave me an excuse to buy the gloves. I purchased the fingerless gloves with tack in a pink medium - too cute!

  • DRYING FACTOR - None.
  • TACK FACTOR - AMAZING!
  • LASTING FACTOR -  NA
  • COST - at 16.95 I think they are a pretty good deal.
  • EASE OF REMOVAL FROM BODY & POLE - NA I will say I did have a hard time getting them off my hands lol
  • EASE OF USE - Easy - they are gloves
  • MESS FACTOR - None
  • BLACK GIRL ASHY SKIN FACTOR - NA

END RESULT...I really liked the gloves, they worked well for me when practicing. I tried a few spins with them and even letting up my grip I couldn't spin - but that was to be expected. The only thing was they were a little tricky to get off because I wanted them tight as to not have slippage. That being said I couldn't go from trick to spin easily but who cares - these gloves really did the trick when I used them for aerial stuff - plus they are PINK!

The one thing I really took away from all of this is that while no one item is perfect there are a whole bunch that work in certain situations. For me the best combo I found was...

For regular practices and dancing - Dry Hands or Platinum Grip (hands) / iTac2 (body)

For hard trick practices Cramer Firm Grip Or Mighty Grip Gloves

*** and as an added extra for the moments where you don't have any grip in your bag and you are at - say a party and there happens to be a pole - a quick spray of hair spray on your hands (the cheaper the better) or a squirt of shaving cream (not gel)  or some vodka on your hands to clear any oils (although I would rather DRINK the vodka) can work in a pinch too.

Enjoy!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8KAEPTdlRA]