(See my installation video below!)
I finally decided to get a pole of my own! I may have mentioned before that I was afraid if I had one at home I’d think of pole as exercise rather than dance and give up, so I was very hesitant. Well, I figured if I didn’t spend too much on it I wouldn’t feel too pressured either way.
I believe you get what you pay for but I also believe in solid installation and my husband, Jason, is highly qualified at that. I wanted professional grade, but was willing to consider non-standard options such as making the whole thing ourselves. Additionally, customer service and reputation matter to me so I factored that in, too.
I wanted a pole that could either spin or be static but those are quite expensive (around $350) so I also considered static-only with the thought that we might be able to make it spinny ourselves. (By which I mean my husband, not me!)
I researched it like crazy, and decided to go with Markstaar. It was $120 plus $40 shipping. They currently only offer a static pole. The other comparable poles I considered were X-Pole ($250 + $40 shipping), Platinum Stages ($150 + $45 shipping), and L’il Mynx ($239 + $45 shipping + $7.50 for non-skid pad). I did consider entirely doing it ourselves for under $100 but even if installation wasn’t too bad, the finish seemed important to me.
All of them have pros and cons and some are VERY different. For example, 1 or 4 screws to mount it to the ceiling and zero or 3 screws to mount it to the floor; or wall thickness from .083 mm to .2 mm. Also, I don’t know if Markstaar would charge to custom cut the pole to length but it’s worth asking – the other companies do custom cut it as part of the price, so you shouldn’t have to cut the pole like we did.
The kit came with the following for a 2 inch (50 mm) pole:
- Polished Stainless Steel Tubing (.05 mm) (I ordered an 8 foot – it was over!)
- Polished Stainless Steel 5″ Floor Flange
- Steel Flange w/ Steel Insert
- Polished Stainless Steel Flange Canopy
- (there were no instructions, but to me it was obvious how to attach it with bolts and screws)
Verdict: Markstaar is fine for beginners and only if you are handy.
- I’m extremely satisfied with the sturdiness of the mounting, but because it bolts to the ceiling with 4 lag bolts, you are unlikely to find a big enough joist and may have to put blocking behind the ceiling.
- I am somewhat dissatisfied with the pole wall thickness (it crushed slightly when cut and I think it shouldn’t have, and it gets quite hot if you do lots of spins though that does make it stickier). I think it would easily take 200 pounds of normal use or possibly light use for doubles. To me, secure mounting is more important than the wall thickness – I don’t think it could buckle.
- I am dissatisfied with the length. I assumed an 8′ pole which came in a kit would mean total length, not just the pole. Granted, my ceiling was a bit short but I thought it would have a little adjustability and I knew that we could cut the pole; it isn’t adjustable at all and most people don’t have the skill or inclination to cut it so I think Markstaar should indicate total final height. The thinner walls mean a hacksaw could do the job even though we used a pipe cutter.
I think this is a fine choice, though I’m not really certain I would choose it again. When the time comes for me to switch to spinny I’ll still consider modifying this one, but I’ll give much more consideration to the actual Pole companies due to custom length and wall thickness; I’ll just have to expect potentially mixed customer service and delivery.
Here’s the installation video. It’s super long because I didn’t want to cut all the parts where we’re being silly.
I hope it helps people!