SUP Wars #3 – SUP vs Pole Dancing

SUP Wars #3 – SUP vs Pole Dancing

It’s that time again, when Loco stand up paddle boarding grabs two seemingly unrelated disciplines and drags them kicking and screaming into the ring.

Sit back, relax and witness the third bout in Loco’s SUP Wars series – this time featuring pole dancing!

Dancing with a pole – pic courtesy


Pole dancing, for those not aware (yeah, right!), is the act of wrapping, contorting, sliding, slithering and hanging off a metal pole – usually performed to music.

Calling on superior upper body and core strength, pole dancing is now a legitimate way to exercise where in times past, it was a discipline that was confined to nightclubs of a less than salubrious nature.

Certain moves involve wrapping your legs around a metallic shaft and hanging upside down and/or twirling and swinging off the pole in mind boggling ways. A number of A-list celebrities swear by pole dancing for keeping in shape, and who are we to argue?


If you want to pole dance then you can get hold of pole dancing ‘kits’ from a number of high street retailers.

Hmmm…it’s the red lights that bother us! – pic courtsey

For those who fancy a bit of exhibitionism then maybe hit up Spearmint Rhino for an audition – although if you’re of a big boned nature then we doubt you’ll get a look in – maybe keep your pole dancing antics for behind closed doors…?


Pole dancing can be practiced anywhere you can wrap yourself around a pole. Some gym and fitness centres now boast their own set ups with classes readily available. A number of dance studios also use pole dancing as a training tool and offer sessions to the public.

Pole dancing at the beach before your SUP session is probably ill advised though…and definitely not to be conducted in a mankini!

The synergy

Both activities rely on the enthusiast gripping hold of a cylindrical shaft. This part of the equipment is key to completing critical manoeuvres.

A number of pole dancing moves also mimic (in some ways) the actions a SUP rider will exhibit in the surf. Think kicking your legs out after exploding from a crouching ball – an action reminiscent of a thumping tail slide top turn (maybe?).

Joe wave dancing with his pole in hand – pic Loco 

Core strength is the biggy though. Both stand up paddle boarding and pole dancing rely heavily on practitioners having a strong core. SUP riders could use pole dancing as a cross over tool to enhance this and pole dancers vice versa. Variety in your training is, after all, the spice of life.

(Maybe after this article we could be set for an explosion of SUPers taking up pole dancing?).

The differences

Need we explain the differences? They’re pretty obvious! SUP happens in water, pole dancing doesn’t. Pole dancing (usually) is set to music while stand up isn’t.

Advanced pole dancers will regularly invert themselves whereas SUP riders don’t – unless they go over the falls on a big one.

The winner is…

While pole dancing is a great way to boost core fitness, in our opinion (and we would say this), it doesn’t compare to SUP.

Getting vertical off his pole – pic Tez

Hanging about on a metal pole  is a great way to amuse yourself for five minutes while paddling out in ocean swells and taking on the mite of Mother Nature will always be the best way to increase those stoke fires.

SUP wins!

Tez Plavenieks is a freelance watersports writer, journalist and content manager who produces regular blog posts, articles, features and stories for a variety of online and print outlets –