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Forums > Other Toys > Good folding fire fans for a beginner? Found a few...

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FireMachina
newbie
Location: Dallas, TX
Member Since: 6th Aug 2008
Total posts: 6
Posted:Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I have been spinning fire poi for about 4 years and recently I have been completely obsessed with fire fans.



Ive viewed many videos and I definitely know I want a pair of folding fans for my first pair. (and i'm aware of the limits folding fans have) I have found a few online and I am finding myself quite torn (and some what lost as to what to do)- seeing as I am a beginner and dont know which fans would be best for me.



I'm seriously considering purchasing the Bearclaw folding fans but some say that 1lb per fan can get quite heavy. Now Bearclaw does sell a lighter fan (at 10 oz per fan) would you suggest a lighter fan for a beginner or would it be best to go ahead and purchase the heavier fan? (seeing as they are rather expensive)



Do you think someone could tell me the pros and cons of a heavier fan vs. a lighter folding fan?



Here are the 3 different fire fans I am looking (with the fans specs and pics)



(and I really apologize, but this site wont let me direct link to the fans, I hope not many mind if I just post the fan specs and links to photos of them-I'm really sorry!)



**Bearclaw (the ones i'm really wanting)



"Our new folding fan is a new order of fire tool. In it's closed state, it's a large torch. But in the flick of a wrist, it roars open to a full semi-circle with 5 large wicks.



Like the Chinese fighting fan, this heavy brass delight is meant for slow-style fan work with about 3 minutes of fire. It opens with a loud voice used in Kung Fu as a distraction technique. It's solid struts and Pre-ox silk will insure durability at any temperature. It even creates a healthy breeze. Fans shown in 'right hand' configuration, which is the default, though 'left-hand' fans can be requested. Pairs come with one right-hand and one left-hand, unless specifically requested othewise.



At over a pound each, these can be a little heavy for some, so we have also developed the "silver and gold" version. The S&G fans substitute some of the brass struts for aluminum ones. The result is about half the weight lost (10 oz), a softer voice, and a little lower cost.



Sold individually."



URL to picture of the fans: http://www.bearclawmfg.com/catalog/popup_image.php/pID/161?osCsid=574fc0514926bc71cadaeb04cdf2898e





**A custom-ish pair from a texas fire dancer named Sage:



"Custom fire fans are 18" long and 32" across when open. Fan blades are stainless steel and are collapsible and spring-loaded. When dry, weigh is 10.4 ounces.



Fire fans can be ordered through Sage for $200 plus shipping and insurance."



URL to photo of the fans: http://www.earthbirdmusic.com/Sage/wp-content/uploads/2008/04/p1010004.JPG





**And then there is this pair from Firetoys.uk:



"The lightweight aluminium folding fan is an adaptation of the original folding fans after extensive customer feedback. They are now lighter and have slightly smaller wicks.



They are made by Gora in Hungary. The 5 burners have a smaller flame size and burn time than the rigid fans but they are much more portable a lot less cumbersome and far easier to refuel.



Each section of the fan is joined to the next by a leather strap stopping the fan from opening too far when flicked open. The silicone finger guards add protection but users must be aware that it is possible to squash fingers between sections if not familiar with the prop (this problem is much lessoned in this updated model).



Weight: 325g each



Length: 50cm



Max open Span: 85cm"



URL to pic of the fans: http://www.firetoys.co.uk/juggling/info_go_fan_blk.html



These are the cheap-er of the bunch, but I must admit, I dont really care for this pair. I'm only listing it due to the fact that looks may be deceptive and they could actually be good fans.





I really apologize for such a long post with so many questions. I actually have to make my decision in the next day or two due to the fact I may not have the funds after that point. Afraid if I wait much longer, sources from the unknown ether will some how zap away my extra cash. tongue







I appreciate any help you guys may give and I'm looking forward to some good replies!



Thanks so much!

EDITED_BY: FireMachina (1217948680)


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FireMachina
newbie
Location: Dallas, TX
Member Since: 6th Aug 2008
Total posts: 6
Posted:Oh, I forgot to add, I am rather small. 5'4 and about 95-100lbs. Will this be a problem with the heavier fans? I do plan to one day purchase a set welded pair so I can flip and spin them, but I really hope my small size wont hinder anything with either the fixed or the folding fans.

Anyone know?


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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:Option 1) I would say that the fabric can light up. Just recently I have seen a performance group (using exactly this stuff) 'accidentally' burning it. I know it's usually not burning and fire retardant but I've seen it burn - just mentioning.

Option 2) looks a bit heavy, the tubes are not protected where the fingers hold them and the handle looks rather uncomfortable.

Option 3) Knowing Gora and his equipment I would say it's way to go.

Your size and weight doesn't quite matter - it's your strength that makes the difference. If you're a 'petite' with lots of power then do what you like but if your petite and not 100% athletic, then you might want to opt for lighter fans.

The new ones Gora is making are lighter... He's here on the EJC right now, PM me if you want direct contact to him.

ubblove and ubbidea

wink


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:My fan style heavily emphasises throws/acrobatics - i need reliable, comfortable, strong handles. The innovation of a folding mechniasm would be nice, but IMO it should not come at the cost of comfortable grip - some of those handles would feel diabolical on my fingers, particularly given the added weight.

have fun at the ejc, firetom!


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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FireTom
Stargazer

Member Since: 20th Sep 2003
Total posts: 6650
Posted:bounce I do bounce I do biggrin

The folding mechanism usually compromises on the comfort of the grip. It's sad but so far nobody has really conquered the challenge. Point being that firefans are bigger, more heavy and more dangerous than regular fans, therefore it's obvious that you want to stick your fingers through...

Collapsible fans often ARE diabolical to the fingers - some more, some less. shrug

Need more inspiration ubbidea


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:i have seen great folding fans with a comfortable grip, however the dude that made them doesn't produce them commercially. It's possible to smooth out the grip however I'd prolly need his consent to divulge more.

Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted: Written by :FireMachina



Bearclaw folding fans ... heavy...slow-style fan work... opens with a loud voice... durability at any temperature... ...distraction...It even creates a healthy breeze.





yeah all that sounds like a 'distraction' from the fact these look unusable for anything but standing around going 'wow look at me I'm holding something on fire" which is interesting for about 10 seconds. What do you do for the next 2:50 minutes? They don't appear to have anything to help you grip them at all. Durability at any temperature? you can use them all year round rolleyes ubblol



Sage's look like they are made by someone who does something with her equipment other than posing! Spring loaded? THAT sounds interesting, being able to open them at any angle?


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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LazyAngel
LazyAngel

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Cambridge UK
Member Since: 29th Jul 2004
Total posts: 2895
Posted:I have to say I love the way sage's fans look and the fact they have a ring grip on them

having used the bottom fans, I can testify that they are pretty light and easy to use: basically you use the stumpy spine to hold on to the fan with your ring and little fingers - this means you have your thumb index and middle fingers free to grip the fans in the open or closed position, which you change between by flicking your wrist.

I hope that made sense smile


Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

'Be the change you want to see in the world around you' - Ghandi

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:The most interesting stuff I ever see with fans involves spinning them.. ring grip essential. Though being able to flick them open and shut easily sounds like a good trick too. In any case the bearthings look very limited and boring

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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bender
still can't believe it's not butter
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Member Since: 14th Nov 2001
Total posts: 6979
Posted:sage's set looks great -particularly with the opening mechanism- however shape is not re-inforced by welded metal, so it would wobble alot more than a fully welded set, also it would wobble worse still if you put like 3" wicks on em.

personally, i believe that technical throws with fans be a such a special sight - a wobbly set of fans would make that unnecessarily more challenging.

When get more time I will write a photo review of a few Fire Art folding fans that we managed to play with at confest.

ps fans rocks.


Laugh Often, Smile Much, Post lolcats Always

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:the way Ozzie fire boys do fans rocks biggrin hug

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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FireMachina
newbie
Location: Dallas, TX
Member Since: 6th Aug 2008
Total posts: 6
Posted:I took all of your wonderful advice you have given me and Ive decided to go with Goras fans. After thinking on it, I agree, the Bear Claw really do look like something more for theatrics, rather than performance. The 'fire retardant' cloth in between does concern me. Echos are awesome, but a bit expensive for a beginner. Thankfully, when I am ready, she lives in my state and not too terribly far from me, so I could work with her closely on a nice custom pair-when i'm ready.

Thanks guys!


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FireMachina
newbie
Location: Dallas, TX
Member Since: 6th Aug 2008
Total posts: 6
Posted:I got my fans the other day....jeebus, they are huge! Its almost hard for my little hands to grip between the spokes, also I'm a bit concerned about the length of the spokes. They seem almost too long and would make it very difficult to do things like the weave. The wicks dont touch my body, but its very close and i'm not sure that the outcome would be that wonderful if I lit them up at that length.

I did purchase these from Gora, and other than the spokes seeming too long and the span of the fan being too wide, they seem just fine. Does anyone think if I contacted Gora and told him the problems I'm having, do you think he would allow me to ship them back to Hungry and have the length of the spokes and the span adjusted for someone of my tiny size?

Thanks guys!


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