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Forums > Technical Discussion > Buying Poi for the first time

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Runemist34
SILVER Member since Oct 2010

Runemist34

stranger
Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 17
Posted:Hey everyone!
I haven't posted much on here, and I haven't done a lot of spinning...and I think I know why.
My latest pair of poi are made from knee socks and tennis balls. I'm a student with a $0 budget, usually, so this kind of had to do for a while. However, they feel totally different from my last pair of poi that I gave away! They feel...squishy. The fabric expands, you see, when I spin, and so it's hard to really get a good connection and understand where the ends are.
This brings up an interesting problem when, suddenly, I have money over the christmas holidays and think "I'd really like to get some 'real' poi!"
I'm not adverse to making my own, especially since I'm a beginner. I'm not afraid of The Home Depot, and I'll make my own poi if that's what will get me more bang for my buck.
But if I want to buy them, how do I know which to choose? Are the fluffy poi too light, so I can't really swing them well? Are the sock poi sold here stretchy? Can I change the handles on them if I want to (I prefer to just hold them, or have ball handles)? Would you say I should wait before I buy them, since I'm such a beginner and have motivational issues (thus not wasting my money)?

Also, what do you think: DVD, or get lessons online? There's about a million lessons, but there are also some good DVDs.

Thanks!


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Jameth
GOLD Member since May 2008

Jameth

enthusiast
Location: NSW

Total posts: 378
Posted:The fluffy poi are really light - I operated on mine to add lead weights, they're still too light for most tech stuff so you'll outgrow them quickly.

The sock poi are made out of lycra and pretty stretchy - some think that's a good thing, I don't like them myself.

Do you want them to glow / be on fire or are you after practice poi? You can of course practice with fireheads (covered with sox) or led poi but I prefer not to to avoid damage to myself and the poi. The other thing to keep in mind is that if you keep on with poi you'll probably want some with swivels fairly soon.

If you want fabric poi and to avoid stretch I'd suggest cone poi (that's what fabric poi made of non-stretch fabric are called).

HOP have a collection, with various types of handles here:

http://www.homeofpoi.com/shop/listcats/Shop-for-Fabric-Poi
br>
I like single loop handles with minimal metal I got the all fabric cone poi (in different colours) and added swivels myself for practice - I got them empty and use uncooked rice in a balloon as the weight (95g because that's what my crystal poi weight, even that's a bit light). The ball handles might suit you.

Be aware those cone poi will not take the led balls, although if you can sew it'd be fairly easy to adapt the design to have a bigger base to take led balls if you want too (white nylon fabric or similar).

IMO for fabric poi if you have the time and the skillz you'll get more bang for your buck if you make them yourself, but having a pair to base your pattern on will save some stuffing around - it depends on how much time and how little money...

wrt lessons - since you're short on cash and assuming you have ready access to the net I'd take the online stuff as far as you can first. If you get beyond that then consider a DVD.


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Runemist34
SILVER Member since Oct 2010

Runemist34

stranger
Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 17
Posted:Thanks Jameth!
I am, indeed, looking for practice poi...I'm nowhere near the skill level yet to have fancy stuff tongue2 My goal one day is to have fire poi and spin them.
I'm wondering about this swivel thing...I've been spinning a bit (I don't have many moves under my belt, granted) and I don't know why swivels are wanted! Is there something I'm missing?
I see on the website that there are cone poi with ball handles (which have swivels) that sound good. I assume I could switch those handles out onto other poi I may get, eventually.
I could probably make them myself, they don't look particularly hard...so, I suppose that's one thing I didn't consider. If I were to do that, what kind of swivels should I be looking for, if I want to attach them to the poi?
Thanks for the help smile I appreciate it!


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SpinnerofDetroit
GOLD Member since Oct 2009

SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA

Total posts: 2280
Posted:Most people like swivels on the top and bottom. I personally just have them on the top on my main fire poi now, but wouldn't mind a bottom swivel if someone was to weld it on (I'm picky). If you have chains you ESPECIALLY want at least 1 swivel. If you do things like hyperloops and orbitals you MUST have one at the handle, if you can't even do them yet, I would suggest sticking that swivel on the bottom if you're only using one. That way when the poi head gets hit it doesn't twist the hell out of your chain which really fucks you over, the top swivel will do that too, but when it's on the bottom, you can shorten them while spinning and still have that be true. I only have one on top because, especially when they're shortened, I pretty much don't hit myself and don't twist up the chain just from spinning, I don't know why that second one is, because I used to do that constantly when I was using it.

Also if you're ever to get LED poi, get Flowtoys!!! It will cost you more in the short run, but you won't have to spend $5 million in replacements. And I do highly suggest their batteries and charger so you don't spend a ton in batteries like everyone else I know with them grin Or just get Oggz, but I have to go to work now I hope I was of help.


The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:Just put more weight into your socks, man. Tennis balls are way too light for anything 100-150g of rice in a balloon in each one.

hug

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Sister Eleven
GOLD Member since Aug 2009

Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1277
Posted:If I were going to buy some, I'd probably buy something like HoP's pendulum poi. Ball grips, good weight, look good... Cone poi with sacks of lentils are also good, and more customizable as far as weight. Not to mention softer. As far as home-made stuff I like, pendulum poi are pretty easy to make, and if you use doubled Colecord instead of rope the weight distribution is a little better.

I'm really averse to anything stretchy, in general.


p|.q|r:|::s|.s|s:|:.s|q.|:p|s.|.p|s

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SpinnerofDetroit
GOLD Member since Oct 2009

SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA

Total posts: 2280
Posted:I agree with Sister, especially the stretchy thing. I hate stretchy poi. I refuse to use them unless they're the only thing available and I really want to poi.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Runemist34
SILVER Member since Oct 2010

Runemist34

stranger
Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 17
Posted:SpinnerofDetroit: Thank you for the explanation! I will have to look into some swivels eventually, though I'm not at hyperloops and things yet!

Mother_Natures_Son: Ahem, I'm a girl >_>
Haha, sorry, I figured I'd point it out. I didn't think of putting more weight in my socks! I suppose that was a bit of a silly thing, but...I also am a little worried about the amount that I hit myself already...more weight would hurt!

Sister Eleven: I have looked at the pendulum poi! But, as above, I'm worried about hitting myself, and they look kind of...hard tongue2 If I wanted to make them, how would you suggest doing the ball handles?
And yes, I'm finding I'm not enjoying the stretchy ones either Oo;


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Jameth
GOLD Member since May 2008

Jameth

enthusiast
Location: NSW

Total posts: 378
Posted:wrt sort of swivels: heavy duty fishing swivels, specifically shark swivels. If I'm making my own poi I get the swivels from my local fishing shop (we have shark fishing off shore and I'm a k from the coast), but most poisters seem to get them from HOP. HOP sells them in 2 sizes - get the bigger ones, #10:

http://www.homeofpoi.com/shop/productDetails/No-10-Ball-Bearing-Swivel
br>
For practice IMO you'd be best off with cone poi and something forgiving as a weight - uncooked rice or lentils would both work, and hurt less than hitting yourself with a hard object and of course are completely customisable wrt weight.

I suggest you think seriously about getting yourself some led poi - they're much more fun and help see what you're doing in a window or somesuch anytime from dusk onwards. SoD is right about flowtoys being the best affordable ones from the point of view of resilience and cost to run, but even the crystal poi are significantly harder than the led ball poi. You might be able to get them locally (my National Geographic shop has some fairly basic led ball poi) if you're not getting anything else from HOP. I suggest you get ones with attachment points for cord - you can use those in a sock / cone or on the cords whereas the ones that come in socks without attachment points can only be used in socks.

If you are getting premade poi from HOP I suggest you also get a couple of meters of colecord, some quicklinks and at least 2 swivels from the componentry section, they'll let you make more toys yourself and shouldn't increase the postage costs.


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Mother_Natures_Son
SILVER Member since Aug 2007

Mother_Natures_Son

Rampant whirler.
Location: Geelong, Victoria, Australia!

Total posts: 2418
Posted:The girls I know use 100g of rice in each sock. If you get the 15 inch balloons then the rice has PLENTY of room to move and will actually hurt you LESS because the rice will displace, rather than just hitting you.

hug

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Sister Eleven
GOLD Member since Aug 2009

Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1277
Posted:Originally Posted By: Runemist34
Sister Eleven: I have looked at the pendulum poi! But, as above, I'm worried about hitting myself, and they look kind of...hard tongue2 If I wanted to make them, how would you suggest doing the ball handles?
And yes, I'm finding I'm not enjoying the stretchy ones either Oo;

They hurt more than socks/cone poi filled with bean bags, but not by that much. They've got a bit of give to them, and a wide surface area, so they're startling but unlikely to injure you. For the handles, if you make your own, I just drill a hole through some PX3 handles (sold here on HoP) with a 3/8" bit, thread through the rope, and tie an overhand or figure of eight knot. The tricky part is getting the rope into the stage ball; there are a couple of ways I've seen to do this, and neither of them I'm entirely satisfied with. I do, however, recommend against the yellow MB stage balls, because they're the only ones I've had problems with tearing open over time.

If you want the ball handles but something softer, you could probably buy cone poi and a pair of PX3 handles, drill the hole in the knobs as above, thread through the cone poi handles and tie a chunky knot in them. That way you'd have the softer head but still a nice knobby grip.


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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:S11: My method was to drill two holes (one opposite the other). The bigger one allows a knot to be pulled through and the other prevents it.

'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

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Runemist34
SILVER Member since Oct 2010

Runemist34

stranger
Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 17
Posted:Jameth: Thanks! It's always good to know more about these things, and I didn't know you could buy them individually, so that's pretty awesome. I also live on the coast, so I might see if I can track some down around here...but HoP seems to have a pretty good price, too!

Mother_Natures_Son: Thank you for the info! I hadn't thought of it that way, but yes, I could see that being a lot softer than, say, a tennis ball (which is what I'm using).

S11 and Aston: Thank you smile I'll keep my eye open and see what I end up with for plans for making my poi, and I'll see how that works for me, too! I appreciate the ideas!


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Calibud
GOLD Member since Nov 2010

Calibud

φωτιά
Location: St. Louis

Total posts: 49
Posted:Tough thing to shop for, especially if you are the only spinner you know or you have never got to try other types of poi. I bought a string pair and hated them for my first ones. Went back to balls and socks.

So bored with that and finding that i almost would never spin I came here and bought the medium fire/led set (with socks on the side). I like em, especially the socks, they are good for indoors and the LED poi dont have a scratch on them. The fire ones are just as cool (I wish those balls on the chains were just a little smaller)

I am investing in some cone poi with wooden ball handles, probably the way to go if you don't like stretchy.


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*UltraPoi*
GOLD Member since Feb 2007

*UltraPoi*

Ultrapoi.com
Location: Texas, USA

Total posts: 49
Posted:I like a pair of sock poi I got from a shop online called Eriks Poi Toys like 4 years ago that are great quality. They dont stretch and they are nice for tech poi. Come in a long length and you just wrap them up to your preffered size.

Eriks Sock Poi


<br />Ultra Poi, LLC<br />Member

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aston
SILVER Member since Dec 2007

aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa

Total posts: 4061
Posted:My favourite poi are still some knee high school socks with 130g of red sugar beans in them. smile

'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

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Sister Eleven
GOLD Member since Aug 2009

Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA

Total posts: 1277
Posted:I've considered that, but it offends my aesthetic sense the most. I will probably try it some time, though.

(This was responding to Aston after my last post)

EDITED_BY: Sister Eleven (1292974465)


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Runemist34
SILVER Member since Oct 2010

Runemist34

stranger
Location: BC, Canada

Total posts: 17
Posted:Calibud: I have been seriously thinking about cone poi with wooden handles. Unfortunately, any of the spinners I know make their own, or live in another town where I cannot get to their poi.

*Ultrapoi*: Erm, forgive me...what's "tech poi"? Also, thank you for the link!


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SpinnerofDetroit
GOLD Member since Oct 2009

SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA

Total posts: 2280
Posted:Tech poi is what happens when someone really good at poi get's really bored one day and decided to mindfuck anyone that tries to understand what they just did.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Calibud
GOLD Member since Nov 2010

Calibud

φωτιά
Location: St. Louis

Total posts: 49
Posted:I made my first sock and fire poi..

Long story short, I came here.


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sbenge
GOLD Member since May 2008

sbenge

oddball
Location: Wellington

Total posts: 20
Posted:I highly recommend full size balloons filled with small amounts of water it gives you a great weight and its pretty dam hard to hurt yourself with. Also due to the fact that they aren't extremely full the balloon actually is surprisingly tough. (though do stay away from rose bushes while spinning with them.)

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