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Posted: So I was poking through the HOP store and now I'm seeing so many options for chains! There are these new oval-link chains that look very nice, but I wonder how they're better than ball-chain. And then there's this pair of chains for US$47!
So, how do people like leather handles? I use nylon and find that I chafe a bit. Is leather any better? Is it more durable?
Any comments on the chain type?
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella
Posted: I have no idea on the new oval link chains. They appear similar to regular dog chain in my opinion, which I am not a fan of so I probably won't ever try. I like that the ball chain rotates nicely and in that way is more fliexible to me as I don't tangle as easily.
As far as handles, I am not a fan of the nylon variety. They were rather rough on my fingers. I've had the same pair of leather handles for several years (the only reason I have ever made a new set is for another set of poi). Mine are homemade with leather I bought from the local craft store for 6 bucks - which was enough to make 2 sets of handles. I've seen some break over time but that was more due to poor treatment of them than anything else. Of course, there are those people that just seem to go through handles quickly - I am not one of them, and I used to practice quite often. Leather grips haven't chaffed my fingers nearly as bad as the nylon ones. They do have a breaking in period though, at least for decent leather.
Posted: I realized that the really expensive chains were stainless. THAT explains why they're so cotton-pickin' expensive. Then again, they're probably the last pair you'll ever need to buy. You can leave them soaking in salt water and they'll be fine.
Having said that, I have NPS (Nickle-Plated Steel) ball chains that have lasted 2 years and are still fine (I inspect regularly as it looks silly when a flaming poi head flies into a tree, paper recycling bin, or other less-than-optimal place for a flaming object). I'm sure they'll need to be replaced eventually, but I don't think it justifies the cost for the stainless. Just don't leave them out in the rain (which ruins your fire or electrical heads, anyway) and give them the occasional Coca-Cola soak to de-rust them.
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella
Posted: The chain vs ballchain arguement has been done, it really depends on your wicks and spinning style. In my opinion your wicks will break off at the worst time. (mine did)
I use leather grips. I have not used nylon, but I'd assume leather to be easier on your hands once you break them in. if your breaking in new leather grips put vegetable oil on them. Another benefit to not using nylon is if by chance you get fuel on your grips and they catch fire you don't have to pick melted nylon out of your hands.
Posted: I used to use leather - and never had any problem with them except for stretch. But I can't keep my mouth shut about my newfound love - my tubular nylon webbing handles. Not just a single layer of nylon - they are actually sewn in the shape of a tube - so there's no sharp edge rubbing my hand - just a smooth fold. I cut them about 8 inches and bang a grommet in each end for a perfect single loop. You can get the stuff at rock climbing/camping/outdoorsy equipment stores - 1 inch tubular rock climbing webbing.
As for strength, this is the stuff rock climbers use for safety, so it should hold a flaming wick.
Posted: The tubular webbing is probably spectra and nylon. It is way more strength than you would need for spinning fire which is nice. The only problem is it isn't even fire resistant. Be very careful not to get any fuel on them or get them close to flame. Otherwise the strength goes from 100 times that of steel to butter.
Posted: thanks for the heads up ... I guess sticks o' butter would make bad handles.
i've always found the biggest problem with my handles (leather, kevlar, nylon) is that they fall into the fuel ... and the simple solution is to just not let them sit in the bucket if there's more than one fire performer around. I know "duh!" right? But for the longest time I just took it as a given that my handles would get gross. I know better now.
Posted: hey there lightning, did you get thick leather or is it thin and soft, i cant imagine that the hard leather i'm thinking of would be too easy onthe skin, i would think you would get blisters, i had made some handles myself for my poi because i didn't like the ones that came with them, i've even seen some videos where people have balls on the end that they hold on to.......i'm trying to find something that's super comfortable and works for me most of the possitions for the handles aren't for me