PhilomelSILVER Member
39 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

I am a beginner who has been learning for almost a month, spending at least a couple of hours practicing each day. So far I can do small circles, big circles, shoulder reels, hip reels, and the forwards 3-beat weave. It's very tempting to just jump ahead and learn more tricks, but after reading the kind of things people say on this forum, I've decided that it will be better in the long run if I concentrate on perfecting what I already know.

I think that my clockwise shoulder reels are very good and are spinning solidly in the wall planes as they are meant to. However, my counter-clockwise shoulder reels and hip reels in general are awful. They are all over the place if viewed from the side, and I'm becoming rather frustrated with them.

I assume that the best way to remedy this is to just drill each hand on its own, and then drill both hands together, until they become smoother. But I was wondering if anyone else has any advice or tips on plane control as far as reels are concerned. It will be much appreciated if anyone can shed some light on this.

Forgive me if posts have been made about this topic already, I did a search but couldn't find much.

In the meantime, I have four exams next week and should really stop procrastinating and go and study, but poi is so addictive!

RicheeBRONZE Member
HOP librarian
1,841 posts
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Clockwise and counter-clockwise shoulder reels are two parts. From this parts you can complete turn. Try to turn with them. It also shows you the wheel plane part of turn.



blu_valleySILVER Member
fluffy mess
197 posts
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom

It also helps if you can see yourself in a mirror, then you can adjust your hand bit by bit until you are happy with your planes. Youll normally find thay a very small adjustment changes your plane completely.

"I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day,and if you can source your own life from its presence.." - Oriah Mountain Dreamer

oliSILVER Member
not with cactus
2,052 posts
Location: bristol/ southern eastern devon, United Kingdom

dont get to bogged down in drilling stuff i reckon. id just go and learn more tricks, and id also try and come up with tricks that you havnt seen before, and before to long youll find your basics stuff gets better by itself just out of nessessity...

Me train running low on soul coal
They push+pull tactics are driving me loco
They shouldn't do that no no no

RevBRONZE Member
Bastard Newbie Messiah
1,269 posts
Location: Apparently lost in my ego, USA


learn all you can.. good control takes time... and good control will develop primarily out of doing more stuff in weird places and weird ways.. not drilling the same moves over and over.. drilling moves teaches you those mvoes.. drilling lots of different types of things drills spinning on the whole.. moves dont always go perfect and you need to be able to perfectly execute a move regardless of how flawed it enters/exits and whathave you.. you want people not to bea ble to notice where the mistakes are.. regardless of whether you do..

More useless information courtesy of Rev...
Confusing the masses, one post at a time...
"Obviously, you're not a golfer.."- The Dude
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PhilomelSILVER Member
39 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Thanks for the advice, guys. My counter-clockwise shoulder reels have improved a lot with practice, and now it’s mainly just the hip reels that are giving me grief – the planes are still very sloppy. I’ve moved on to learning new things like the butterfly formations and backwards 3-beat weave which are lots of fun.

Another thing I’ve been having trouble with is spinning reels in split time (with both poi going in the same direction). I understand the concept of split time and can do it with basic small circles and 3-beat weaves. But whenever I try to do shoulder reels in split time, it just doesn’t work!

As Kahn’s book suggests, I start spinning some shoulder reels, then once they are behind my head, I bring the inwards hand in front slightly earlier. Apparently this is supposed to put the reels into split time. The book says to make sure that both poi dip in front before either dips behind – so you’re meant to be going “back, back, forward, forward” or something along those lines.

My partner says that I manage to do the reels in split time for a few seconds, but then they either fall back into parallel time or this weird ‘quarter time’ sort of thing. I can’t even tell if I’m doing them in split time or not because they spin fairly fast even when I’m trying to go slower and it’s hard to concentrate on them.

Has anyone got any tips about rhythm or anything that would help with this? Or perhaps even a video that demonstrates split time shoulder reels so I can see what they're meant to look like?

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