A flexible, articulable column having a central cable tensioning member with a series of ball and socket members strung on the cable forming articulable joints. Each socket member has at least one conical opening with internal teeth engagable with a ball which is made of an elastomeric polymer. When the cable is tensioned, the sockets move toward each other and the balls are indented by the teeth of the socket. The column thus becomes rigid. Releasing the tension returns the column to the flexible state.