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HashiKun
BRONZE Member since Nov 2010

stranger
Location: South Florida, USA

Total posts: 7
Posted:So i just recently started watching fire dancing videos and i have to say i am definitely obsessed. I really want to start fire dancing and i decided the first thing i would learn is a staff... The only thing is I don't know what kind of staff i should buy... Any help?

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:most importantly get one that you are comfortable spinning, not to heavy and not too light. It should be straight with the wicks providing a comfotable weight at the ends and a grip you like.

If you want to do fast spinning / twirling you will want a lighter stick than if you want to do serious contact. As you progress the weight will become less of an issue but when you are learning a heavier stick flattens out some of the bumps and bounces you get when you're not quite smooth enough doing contact.
Likewise a very heavy staff used for spinning will increase your risk of injury both muscular, joint and being smacked in the face!

I normally use a concentrate firestaff from firetoys, they are relatively heavy and stay straight but the longer they are the more flex the staff has (like a plastic rod) this can be a pain when learning as it can make the stick bouncey but does mean no matter how often you drop it it will probably stay straight. it comes with a silicone grip (which some don't like) which is really sticky on dry skin but if you sweat a lot or get damp can be a little slippery (for beginners I suggest tennis racket grip or neoprene) you can always cut off and change your grip on any staff you get.

I would suggest initially just making yourself a practice stick to learn basic moves whilst keeping your budget down.

A broom handle with either tennis racket grip or a clean washed and split inner tube wound round for grip (really sticky) mostly in the middle but it can go all the way to the ends if you want.

then to add weight to the ends I suggest getting another inner tube and wrapping it around and around the end neatly so you make a thick couple of inch cylinder of rubber and stapleing and taping it in place when the wewight feels comfortable. Make sure you use roughly the same amount on each end and that it comes about the same distance down because you want the centre of gravity for the staff to be the middle of the stick.

if you make your own practice stick like that for a few bucks you can practice some of the beginner moves and get good enough with a staff so that when you get a fire stick you don't ruin the kevlar at the ends with constant drops (and practice on grass where possible to protect your wicks / ends)

I'd stick with a cheap staff to start with and get the basic spins with (forward and backwards figure of 8 and changing hands etc) then when you know how you want to develop (you may want to go straight into double staffs without worrying about contact) you can think about getting a better stick(s).


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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HashiKun
BRONZE Member since Nov 2010

stranger
Location: South Florida, USA

Total posts: 7
Posted:Thanks for the advice. I was actually going to have one of my friends that does colorguard teach me how to spin and get some of the basics and stuff like that out of the way and then order a staff. Firetoys looks really cool but i live in the states so i'm unsure if i'm able to order stuff from them. and what exactly do you mean by contact?

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richii


richii

Stick spinner
Location: Brighton, England

Total posts: 43
Posted:Contact staff is the skill of rolling a fire staff around your body without touching it with your hands. If there are any shops around where you live that sell circus equiptment then i would recomend going in and trying out the staffs in there to see what feels nice for you. I know that the firetoys aluminium staff is a very popular staff with people starting out and i would highly recommend them as a great starting staff although there abilty for contact is limited.

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Kayleigh_Dunne
SILVER Member since Jun 2011

Kayleigh_Dunne

Always Learning
Location: Hampshire, England

Total posts: 14
Posted:sorry to kill your thread but i need some urgent advice on staff sizes - my guidline was ground to shoulder height but not exactly sure what that is off the top of my head im 5'4 but everywhere (other than here) does mostly 4foot or 5foot sizes i get the impression 4foot would be tooooo small and 5foot possibly too long? i buy from here frequently but the postage for a staff to the uk is the cost of the staff! so i need to look elsewhere i think. please advise on sizes if i bought from here i probably would have chose the 4'7 size. should i go for 5foot then?


xXx Kayleigh xXx

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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:I recommend a 140cm staff if you get a 5 foot it will make behind the back passes a bit tricky as ends may hit the floor.

Suggest as you are in UK you speak to Firetoys they often make their own kit so could possibly knock one up for you although they have a good range of medium length sticks they do standard 4 foot and a big burner that is 4.5 foot (137.5cm) but big ends may make fast spinning tricky

http://www.firetoys.co.uk/juggling/aluminium_fire_staffs.html
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Alternatively get some metal pipe and wooden dowel, cut to desired length and get some kevlar (no more than 50cm per wick needed) wrap the ends drill through and fix with screws ensuring ends are flush using counter sunk washers so no sharp edges and grip with tennis racquet grip.

Ideally get a broom handle and keep cutting off short lengths until it feels good and doesn't hit the ground when you pass behind your back then measure and get a staff that length - Ta Da


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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Adam_Keaney
BRONZE Member since Sep 2011

stranger
Location: England (UK)

Total posts: 1
Posted:I am also looking into building a practice staff. I'm sure I can figure out the correct lengths for both contact and spinning (dowel is cheap enough to experiment with anyway) but I am concerned about the ideal width of the staff.

The contact staff DVD that I have http://www.homeofpoi.com/shop/productDetails/DVD-Contact-Staff
is also available bundled with a 20mm thick staff but in the videos it suggests that this might be too thin for contact?

I was also considering buying a flowtoys contact staff woodcore handle http://www.flowtoys.com/product.php?productid=107&cat=54&page=1
to create collapsible staffs for ease of transportation but again the site is unclear on the widths of the tubes.

If anyone knows the widths of the tubes or has any experience in building a collapsible staff any information would be appreciated.


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Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:20mm should be thick enough.

I would neer use collapsable as points of weakness mean the staff may not be perfectly straight and thats what's needed for contact. Just get a big ol' staff bag or didgerdoo or fishing bag to carry them around.

Tube width is not normally a major issue, if in need drop the site a mail to ask, most are normally pretty helpful and can give you the specifics you need if you explain why you want them.


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

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sarahanne83


stranger
Location: Charleston, SC

Total posts: 1
Posted:hi. so i just started spinning and my boyfriend made me a staff. i am 5'5 and its almost as tall as me and its kinda heavy. it a wooden dowel rod. i was just wondering if i need to make a shorter, thinner staff. i am doing well with it so far, but it just makes me super sore when i practice bc it takes alot of force to spin that thing. anyways. let me know what u think.

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:Lighter isn't always better. But it hurts less when (sorry if) you hit yourself!

A good judge to me is if it feels comfortable when you start using it (before you get tired).

If so, the final check is to make sure it doesn't hit the ground a lot, while you are still holding it. If so, a short one would be best.

IMHO... old


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