There are quite a few good reasons to use a pole dance crash mat.
Check out the video below...this is somewhat funny but can be a dangerous thing resulting in bad, even tragic injury):
Crash mats are designed to absorb some of the shock from a fall, not all. Care should be taken and strength built , proper technique learned and all safety precautions heeded. You should review all of the safety musts for pole dancing and always use a spotter and a thick, quality mat when learning inversions and new aerial tricks.
Mats come in several different thicknesses, some portable, others not so portable; they also come in round and square shapes to fit around your pole.
Here is the one that I purchased online. I love the color and the durability. It is thick, I can walk on it with my heels - though I wouldn't recommend doing that all of the time (?). I do that when I need to try a move in heels and want that protection there. Having this handy friend has allowed me more confidence to try things I may not have tried on my own without a spotter in my home pole studio.
I have fallen on it and boy did it save some skin and save me from some hurt! I am happy with it and bought it from Gym Mats Direct.
Mats cost anywhere from $150 to $300 depending on the thickness, area covered and manufacturer. You can find them online through websites such as The Pole Dancing Shop (click on the image below) or Sensual Fitness Classes who have a wide selection to choose from.
There is also another mat that comes in 9' diameter and 14" thick created for serious aerial artists! This is manufactured by Poleexercise (UK).
All of their Lulu mats come with a surface firm enough to walk on and also designed for use with heels. The foam is also designed dually with a softer underside if you are practicing drops (for a gentler landing!)