1 post

I have recently taken an interest in this poi stuff and am considering buying my first set. But what to choose?!

I really like the daytime/"fabric" poi and I've seen variations of it on different websites. Some have the comet-looking double tails, others look like a bunch of colorful ribbons and some are scarf-like. Are there many major differences among these besides their appearance? What would you recommend to a beginner? What materials are considered quality and what are considered "cheap?"

Thanks for your help. =)

Miss Sadie

MuckySILVER Member
Rum-Swilling Combustioneer
227 posts
Location: Macungie, PA, USA

I can't speak for any commercial product, since all of my poi - actually, all of my juggling equipment anyway - is homemade, but there are some big differences. In general, the sock/cone poi will feel different from chain/string poi (there's more wind resistance, so they'll go slower, or feel like it). Poi with tails look great, and can also add wind resistance depending on the material, but make some types of moves more difficult. Handles are a big difference too... Loop handles feel different from ball handles (I prefer the latter). I'd say it's best to have a selection; different poi are better for different things.

Sock poi are simple enough that you can make your own just to try out with very little effort. My favorite pair, that I always keep in my bag, is nothing more than tights with tennis balls, cost me nothing, as I already had both, and took about a minute to make once I decided on the length.

Eventually I'd like to get some fabric poi with non-stretchy fabric, but I guess that's for a day when I have some money! smile

Bouncing Baby Pipe!

astonSILVER Member
Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
4,061 posts
Location: South Africa

Sock poi are easier to sort unintentional tangles out and are nice and grippy, so they hyperloop and do other tangles more easily.

If you mess up with chain or string, it is a lot harder to just untangle. (I found it so at least)

That said, I started with chains with a bean bag on the end. So your mileage may vary.

Try a few and see what feels good. It helps if you can try someone else's. Most people are pretty cool about that.

'We're all mad here. I'm mad, you're mad." [said the Cat.]
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice.
"You must be," said the Cat, "Or you wouldn't have come here."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures In Wonderland

489 posts
Location: Perth

I don't think you really need to buy anything until you want to perform...

My first poi were tennis balls with a rope through them.. ahh, i remember the blisters now...
So these were my 'string/chain' poi. very easy to make!! You need a knife, or drill. and some rope!

Then for ages I used a pair of knee high rainbow socks with my Footy socks balled up inside them. Very soft!!

And now I have cone poi from my wonderful partner.

So I would suggest you don't buy anything yet, keep it simple and maybe have one type of each until you decide which you prefer.

Hope this helps! smile

DurbsBRONZE Member
Classically British
5,688 posts
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England


Quick answer - try a few different people's see what you like.

Longer answer:
Tails - look nice, tangle more than socks, at an advanced level make some tricks harder.

Cones - Look ok, easier to untangle

Socks - Cheap to make, stretchy (which make them slightly harder to control).

With both cones and socks, you can choose the weighting in the end - though bought ones tend to be "about right" anyway.

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

GeezaGOLD Member
694 posts
Location: Leeds, United Kingdom

Id go with a set of hyperloop sock poi from hyperloop.co.uk

I think stretchy socks are terrible because you dont want springyness when starting out.

Either hyperloops or order a few metres of colecord and attatch some fluffy heads on. you dont really need handles, just make a loop with the cord at the top

72 posts
Location: Salisbury

my favourite Poi making method is

1. get a stripey sock (it HAS to be stripey...)

2. decide on a length and remember the sock will stretch

3. turn sock inside out, sew a 'smile' across the sock with the points of the 'smile facing up towards the top of the sock (do this at the length you want your sock to be)

4. cut the small sock off of the big sock

5. fill the small sock with lentils, or mung beans (my favourite because they are round, wrap around to make bean filled 'ball'

6. turn the long bit of sock the right way out, place small 'sock' ball into the top, tie a knot

7, swing round head

this means you get a nicely weighted, washable, cheap sock poi which doesnt hurt at all when you hit yourself (tennis balls sting and are a rubbish weight)

pyromania pixie power!

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