Want to learn beginning fire poi (1st without fire though)!

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Want to learn beginning fire poi (1st without fire though)!

Postby Delightful » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:24 pm

Anyone recommend a set of beginning poi to use while learning to spin? I desperately want to learn enough to be in the fire conclave at my next burn (most likely 2012) which gives me plenty of time, but I am looking for tennis ball style poi on chains and thought you fine folks might have a recommendation?

TL; DR Best non-scary poi to use before launching into supervised fire poi practice? Your turn!!

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Postby TomServo » Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:32 pm

http://www.poigeek.com/


Google it. You learn faster with fire though!
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Postby The CO » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:04 am

Get 2 pairs of tube socks.

Roll one sock into a ball, insert in another sock. Repeat.

You now have practice poi that cost $.67 and can be purchased at any clothing store in bulk.

This is simplest version. Many others are out there.

@TomServo: Yes, you will learn some things faster with fire, but learning the basic mechanics of spinning before lighting up is advisable.

A general rule of thumb to follow: If you can't spin non-flaming poi/staff/any fire tool for 5 minutes continuously without hitting yourself, you are not ready to light it on fire.
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Postby lucky420 » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:18 am

I got some LED poi balls on cord...I bought them locally in Reno but you can probably google and find them. They cost me $30
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:33 am

Don't listen to a word The CO says. Remember: Safety Third. Besides, what's the worse that could happen with the untrained spinning flaming balls of fire?
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Postby Ansgard » Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:44 pm

Anyone remember those toys, you spun around your ankle? Think the end looked like a lemon. That would be fun to fire spin!
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Postby CaverX » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:45 am

I second the sock poi. Some of the most amazing spinners I know frequently use sock poi.
An alternative method:
A bit of nylon rope with a knot in one end, fancy if you want, (monkey fist?)
On the working end is another knot, and wrap that end with split dead bicycle inner tube, for as much weight as you want. Tape that wrap tight with
electrical tape. Use color tape for decoration on the weighted end.
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Postby jeskalgh » Tue Dec 28, 2010 4:41 pm

I third COs sock poi.... they are super cheap to make and the best for learning. Tennis balls/rubber balls on string work as well but are much more painful when you smack yourself in the face (and you will....alot). You can buy some pretty cool led poi too but these also will leave some nice bruises, but are a lot of fun to practice with. The led poi are closer to the weight of actual fire poi kevlar wicks too.

www.homeofpoi.com has tons of stuff they are where i got my leds and fire and they have a lot of free video tutorials too
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Postby fbcota » Mon Jan 03, 2011 5:41 pm

Ok, I started spinning in May and I spin my sock poi just about everyday. Its allot less painful learning a move with sock poi then really any other kind of poi.

However, 1 sock inside another sock is not heavy enough. You need your poi to have a little weight to them or you will never have the stamina, strength or coordination to spin fire poi.

A super easy way to make a pair of sock poi is:
Pair of long socks (find a cool pair with stripes or maybe 2 same socks that are different colors, makes learning a bit easier)
2 balloons
Rice (or whatever small grainy thing)

1. Fill the balloons with some rice. You kinda put some in, then blow in some air and repeat. You don't need allot of rice, just enough to give the poi a little heft. If you know anyone with fire poi try to match the weight of the poi.
2. Tie off the Balloons and put in the sock.
3. Tie a knot in the sock where the balloon is
4. Tie a knot at the other end to make the end of a handle.

Done, you now have sock poi. The rice doesn't hurt nearly as much as a Tennis ball and has better weight to it.

You should check out a couple websites for beginners resources.
http://www.playpoi.com Amazing resource for learning Poi. Nick Woosley makes the some of the most easy to understand poi tutorials.
http://poicommunity.com/enindex.php Another great resource. Most of the tutorials are Japanese but its run by Yuta, another of the great poi spinners.
http://www.homeofpoi.com This is a solid resource for everything you need. The tutorial section is kinda a mess though but it contains a ton of great videos.

Ohh, don't spin fire before your ready, your not going to learn shit on fire. You will probably just pick up a ton of bad habits!
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Postby MisaBlue » Tue Jan 04, 2011 2:25 pm

That is cool advise, thank you!
BTW, how long should be the string?
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Postby CaverX » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:52 pm

Length is a personal preference.
Some people spin with very long poi.
Most "tech" spinners have them fairly short.
On my sock poi, with one hand I hold the weighted end, just clear of my chest. I then stretch out the length of the sock with the other hand, until my arm is nearly straight out. I pinch the sock at this point, and make a knot.
I just match the other sock to the first one.

My last set of poi chains, I made slightly long, with the intention of "choking up" for inside move. Next time I will probably just make them shorter.
I do like big circles though.
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Postby fbcota » Tue Jan 04, 2011 11:02 pm

CaverX nailed it. A little shorter then your arm works for learning. Socks are nice because if they are too long you can add another knot. Ohh, they will stretch unlike regular poi, so consider making them maybe 2-4 inches short.

Ohh, when learning Butterfly (if you are male) try placing your wrists a bit lower then most people suggest. Will save you allot of pain and suffering. And take your time with moves. Learn them slowly, both ways and make sure they are clean and you can dance with them. Also, planes, planes, planes!
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Postby MisaBlue » Wed Jan 05, 2011 6:13 am

Thnx...now just start :)
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Postby graidawg » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:22 am

learn with fire as soon as possible - having the damn things flaming just millimeters from your face/body makes for a very different experience - also a little pain when you do bash yourself makes you try harder not to do it next time!

and Dammit learn devil stix - poi are mainstream or staff or hoop or flags or well poi arnt the only option
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Postby graidawg » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:34 am

oh yea i just remeber why i was looking at this, any idea why you guys use white gas (naptha) for spinning we english use parafin which i beleive you americans call kerosine. is there any major reason we couldnt use it on the playa instead of white gas which burns much hotter and transfers from poi/staff/stix/whatever when you hit yourself and para doesn't
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Postby TomServo » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:02 am

graidawg wrote:oh yea i just remeber why i was looking at this, any idea why you guys use white gas (naptha) for spinning we english use parafin which i beleive you americans call kerosine. is there any major reason we couldnt use it on the playa instead of white gas which burns much hotter and transfers from poi/staff/stix/whatever when you hit yourself and para doesn't


One reason...and this is from personal experience....is because kerosine isn't as explosive as gasoline. Use it I'm my "flame effects" at least that's my answer.
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Postby graidawg » Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:43 am

TomServo wrote:
graidawg wrote:oh yea i just remeber why i was looking at this, any idea why you guys use white gas (naptha) for spinning we english use parafin which i beleive you americans call kerosine. is there any major reason we couldnt use it on the playa instead of white gas which burns much hotter and transfers from poi/staff/stix/whatever when you hit yourself and para doesn't


One reason...and this is from personal experience....is because kerosine isn't as explosive as gasoline. Use it I'm my "flame effects" at least that's my answer.


so parafin is good then? its what we use
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Postby Minxy » Sat Apr 02, 2011 2:38 pm

I have bought a few pair from homeofpoi.

I like the sock ones; they are shorter and lighter.

http://www.homeofpoi.com/shop/productDe ... y-Sock-Poi

However, I actually learn easier with the heavier ones that have a round ball chain and a tennis ball at the end.

http://www.homeofpoi.com/shop/productDe ... Fluffy-Poi

I also have some homemade ones that have a vinyl string and rice filled squares at the end. I like the ball chain ones the best. :)

After several years of dabbling half heartedly with my poi and being really lazy about it, I've finally started practicing in earnest. I do it every day until my arms get tired...then I rest. After a bit I pick them up and do it again...and again...and again...and again. Rinse and repeat. :D

I bonk myself in the head, the boob, the leg...A LOT. I am not giving up this time!
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Postby kubikub » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:15 pm

Homeofpoi is an excellent resource for poi sets, but I would always recommend starting off with DIY sock poi. They have some good tutorials there too, and on youtube.
As far as I know, a lot of spinners prefer white gas because it burns cleaner and doesn't degrade your poi heads as much as kerosene does.
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Postby Dustdevil » Sun Apr 03, 2011 4:23 pm

White gas is no where near as explosive as gasoline. Naptha or white gas is what is used in Coleman stoves. Naptha is a parafin based material. I expect in the near future to see more and more of another parafin fluid known as Isopar. It looks like Isopar G will be the standard in the future as it is relatively clean burning and its' molecular base will allow colorants to work well when mixed with the fluid. I believe I read that the flame projectors used by the Trans Siberian Orchestra now use Isopar.
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Postby The CO » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:15 pm

Dustdevil wrote:I believe I read that the flame projectors used by the Trans Siberian Orchestra now use Isopar.


Well, the last 2 Decembers I worked a TSO show they used only propane & dry pyro. In fact, in 20+ years working live concerts I've never seen liquid fuel pyro on stage. In film work, yes. Stages, no.

My assumption is that any unburned gas will rise, whereas unburned liquid is gravities bitch & will fall to the ground, possibly on performers, sets, electronics, roadies & audience. (listed in order of importance to the promoter)


As to white gas vs. kerosene/para as fuel, it's a matter of personal preference, and in some places also of regulations. There is also the factor of what type of wicks you are using, as some degrade faster in different fuels. (most hybrid wicks are recommended straight white gas) Kerosene produces a brighter, longer burning flame, but at the cost of a much blacker, sootier smoke. Kero is preferred by some for mixing additives to color the flame. White gas burns at a slightly lower temp, has a slightly shorter burn time, but makes a "cleaner"smoke. Some folks have used zippo fluid, tiki lamp oil, even everclear.

My personal preference is 70-80% white gas, 20-30% non-scented lamp oil. The lamp oil (paraffin-based, similar to kerosene) extends the burn time, while limiting the sooty smoke.

Check your wicks, follow manufacturers advice, and experiment a bit to find what works for you.
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Postby graidawg » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:06 pm

thank you you've answered my questions, though another advantage of parafin (kerosine) is if you get it on youit doesn't burn straight away whereas naptha does.
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Postby Drawingablank » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:23 pm

I am still fairly new to poi, and although I'm no expert here are some insights:

Heavier poi can be spun slowly more easily. They are easier to practice new moves with but hurt way more when you nail yourself in the nads.

I use a heavy set of sock poi for some practice (with a scale these can be made to the same weight as the fire poi you plan to use). For extended practicing I use a lighter set from home of poi (corded fluffy poi).

I try to spend at least half my spinning practice time with my eyes closed - I find that having to visualize the actual location / spatial relationship of the spinning poi in my mind just makes things come together faster - your mileage may vary.

Playpoi is a great site and Nick probably has the best videos out there.
Home of poi also has an extensive video collection but they are user submitted an in general have a lower production quality than Nick's.
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Postby The CO » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:11 am

graidawg wrote:...if you get it on you it doesn't burn straight away whereas naptha does.


Could you clarify what you mean there? Liquid fuel will transfer between wicking substances no matter what, and in proper conditions, you will be on fire. (such as smacking yourself with a lit wick; fuel transfers from the wick to skin/clothing, and if @ appropriate concentration-FIRE!).

ALL liquid fuels will do this. You should never assume that one is safer than any other; they are all dangerous. Assume the worst, hope for the best, and don't wear sythetics or fringe!


My favorite question: "Don't you get burned doing that?"

Well, if you play with fire...Dumbass.
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Postby graidawg » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:25 am

The CO wrote:
graidawg wrote:...if you get it on you it doesn't burn straight away whereas naptha does.


Could you clarify what you mean there? Liquid fuel will transfer between wicking substances no matter what, and in proper conditions, you will be on fire. (such as smacking yourself with a lit wick; fuel transfers from the wick to skin/clothing, and if @ appropriate concentration-FIRE!).

ALL liquid fuels will do this. You should never assume that one is safer than any other; they are all dangerous. Assume the worst, hope for the best, and don't wear sythetics or fringe!


My favorite question: "Don't you get burned doing that?"

Well, if you play with fire...Dumbass.


the besy way to explain it is pour parafin over your hands then put in on fire- takes afew seconds before you go 'ow thats hot'
naptha it's instant 'ow fuck fuck fuck put it out'

and yea safety third. jeez i dont think i have ever played with fire entirely sober.
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Postby The CO » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:50 am

Ah, flash point/ignition point. That makes more sense.
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Postby graidawg » Fri Apr 08, 2011 12:17 am

The CO wrote:Ah, flash point/ignition point. That makes more sense.


it does? i dont know the technical points i just like knowing if im on fire how long i have before i start to melt. and if i can make it part of the show.
also is kerosine cheaper than white gas, and where can i buy it, i dnt think bringing parafin from the uk is a viable plan.
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Postby AntiM » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:31 am

For the Utah conclave, we use white gas exclusively, as it is cleaner. Easier for us too, we just hit the big box stores camping section. Some of the performers don't like kerosene on their toys, ever, and having more than one fuel type during a performance is awkward. We have upwards of 40 folks spinning all at once, so catering to individual mix preferences is impractical.

Breathers bring their own fuels and we keep them well apart from the toys' fuel station.

And there's a reason we have fire safety on standby with damp (not wet) towels, spinning without a safety is kinda "you deserved that". Just carry a towel and hand it to an onlooker. Voila, safety.
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Postby graidawg » Fri Apr 08, 2011 4:55 am

AntiM wrote:For the Utah conclave, we use white gas exclusively, as it is cleaner. Easier for us too, we just hit the big box stores camping section. Some of the performers don't like kerosene on their toys, ever, and having more than one fuel type during a performance is awkward. We have upwards of 40 folks spinning all at once, so catering to individual mix preferences is impractical.

Breathers bring their own fuels and we keep them well apart from the toys' fuel station.

And there's a reason we have fire safety on standby with damp (not wet) towels, spinning without a safety is kinda "you deserved that". Just carry a towel and hand it to an onlooker. Voila, safety.


Yea you have safety because you stuff that hurts when you get it on you!
besides a little fire never hurt nobody jeez anyone would think it was dangerous or something.
Have i mentioned i'm thinking of being the safety officer for the english spinners?
anyway lets burn stuff!
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Postby AntiM » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:23 am

graidawg wrote:
AntiM wrote:For the Utah conclave, we use white gas exclusively, as it is cleaner. Easier for us too, we just hit the big box stores camping section. Some of the performers don't like kerosene on their toys, ever, and having more than one fuel type during a performance is awkward. We have upwards of 40 folks spinning all at once, so catering to individual mix preferences is impractical.

Breathers bring their own fuels and we keep them well apart from the toys' fuel station.

And there's a reason we have fire safety on standby with damp (not wet) towels, spinning without a safety is kinda "you deserved that". Just carry a towel and hand it to an onlooker. Voila, safety.


Yea you have safety because you stuff that hurts when you get it on you!
besides a little fire never hurt nobody jeez anyone would think it was dangerous or something.
Have i mentioned i'm thinking of being the safety officer for the english spinners?
anyway lets burn stuff!


If they think their conclave is going to get in, and you can commit to it, go for it. Being in the Great Circle is something wonderful and different.

Do they think they have a chance? Too many conclaves this year, all must submit auditions, even the most established groups.
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