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Psyentist
Psyentist

Pluripotent
Location: FL
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2010
Total posts: 27
Posted:I went to a music festival recently and saw many interesting variations and customizations of poi. I met a guy who used a sewn crown royal bag with marbles for a rope dart, another who used wooden handles swiveled to silk braid rope with weighted tennis balls heads.

What is most interesting is how the flow is affected by the design of the poi; materials, length, weight, size of poi.. etc. I suppose that customization is critical to the flow you are trying to achieve; and that being so, what are good flow setups and what are good tech setups?

Sadly, I only have a pair of store bought sock/balloon/rice poi and a set of monkey fists. I have a pair of flowlights on order, but I wanted to take an extra step to see if I could make myself a nice tech poi set. Any suggestions on a tech setup? Please feel free to post a picture of your gear.

Thanks!


Brainchild of the 60's
By-product of the 90's
Pioneer of the unforeseen future

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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:Most tech people I know have their poi to a length so that from where they grip it, is goes just a couple inches past their elbow. Way to short for me! I'm like of one 5 people in the whole group who uses "long" poi, well mine actually are long, as is one other person. But by "long" I mean about to their shoulder.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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liquidtrance
liquidtrance

i dream in circles...
Location: Scotland
Member Since: 29th Nov 2005
Total posts: 336
Posted:odd question, I don't think to any many performers differentiate between 'tech' or 'flow' setups-I know I don't & don't know anyone who does- people use a setup they find most comfortable and suited to their style and can demonstrate technical and flowing styles regardless of what they use.
You will no doubt adjust your poi length many times as you go through the learning process, along with head weight/handle counter-weight, materials etc.
There are certainly some moves which are only possible with certain setups (eg contact moves with contact poi, orbitals need a swivel setup, wibbles&suicides need a good counterweight balance etc) but this doesn't define a 'technical' poi setup.
I would recommend a set of contact poi as being a very versatile and accurate feeling setup to use as you progress, and stick with your socks as your learning to avoid too many bruises. Experiment with many setups over the years as you learn and your poi will evolve as you do.
It took me years of building&customising + dozens pairs of poi to settle on the design of the set which I'm still using (14months old now)and I still experiment with different setups to try out their characteristics.
Each to their own smile weavesmiley weavesmiley


even chuck norris can't pin you down if your on fire

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leospoi
leospoi

Poi explorer
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Member Since: 2nd Feb 2008
Total posts: 108
Posted:As long as your chain/sock/cord is light enough and your poi head weights more than 120g you'll have an easier time with meeting points, stalls, and geometry. Using heavier poi also drills precise timing into your muscle memory. Having poi almost the length of your arm not only looks better than half arm length but also discourages the urge to aimlessly transition from trick to trick using forced pendulums, which break up the natural movement of the poi.

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Sister Eleven
Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2009
Total posts: 1277
Posted:I tend to agree with Leo that poi tend to be all around more versatile and better behaved the more all the weight is in the head (and handle if you weight your handle at all) and as little as possible in the cord. Length and handle style is more idiosyncratic; I like throws, so I use knob handles or heavy counterweighted handles, and I prefer them to reach about half way up my upper arm so I have plenty of length for UTL and big reels, but can wrap for stalls and plane changes.

My current favorite pair is this:

Non-Https Image Link

I've recently switched out the rope for something a little thinner and lighter still. The heads are 220g each. I've changed favorite setups a lot since I started, and these have remained my favorite longest (painful though they can be).

But another good setup has been 80mm stage balls with colecord, or tennis balls filled with rice with colecord. Both less injurious than the above pair, both with practically all the weight at the head.


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liquidtrance
liquidtrance

i dream in circles...
Location: Scotland
Member Since: 29th Nov 2005
Total posts: 336
Posted:220g per head!? are you mad!!!!
i'm guarding my crotch just thinking about them


even chuck norris can't pin you down if your on fire

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Sister Eleven
Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2009
Total posts: 1277
Posted:I'm not a total poi goddess yet, but I'm at least good enough that I can practice new things and usually evade disaster tongue2 Not a setup for beginners, though, that's for sure.

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liquidtrance
liquidtrance

i dream in circles...
Location: Scotland
Member Since: 29th Nov 2005
Total posts: 336
Posted:i'm fairly advanced with poi but accidents do happen, even Yuta could seriously injure himself with those!!
I guess being of the female persuasion removes some of the crippling danger posed, lol


even chuck norris can't pin you down if your on fire

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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:I used heavy, long poi for a while (about 250g), about 3/4 arm length.

Have gone a bit lighter now, around 120-160g. Also tend to be a bit shorter.

Made some monkeyfist practice poi which are a tad short at elbow length, but still fun.


'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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Geeza
Geeza

addict
Location: Leeds
Member Since: 14th May 2006
Total posts: 694
Posted:When you can spin poi really well, you will be able to flow with any type of tech, long or short.

Generally with shorter poi, inexperienced people will spin a lot faster, so it will be harder to control everything.

Try isolating standardglowsticks on string. Its a lot harder than isolating 200gram heads. Just isolate anything, I do it with my housekey that I carry on colecord.

Slowly you will be able to control smaller weighted item


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Psyentist
Psyentist

Pluripotent
Location: FL
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2010
Total posts: 27
Posted:Thanks everyone for the awesome insight from experience!

I think I was looking for a definitive answer that doesn't exist.
I should have known as this has proved to be the only constant of poi.. non-definitive. lol

I have already been tinkering with a few setups to achieve differentiation in technical 'difficulty' between moves. e.g I use a long pair of heavy-weighted socks to practice high beat weaves and cord with swivels for my loop, tangle and orbital work. I guess I'll continue to develop my style through experimentation with my tools. smile

Thanks again!


Brainchild of the 60's
By-product of the 90's
Pioneer of the unforeseen future

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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:No problem, and find which length suits you best before you cut your fire poi chains to length! laugh3 No shame in a little extra dangling from your handle tongue2 I rocked that for a good time.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Didgeridude
Didgeridude

Object Manipulationist, Chain Maille Artisan, Didgeridoo Performer and Teacher
Location: On the Road, Gypsie Style
Member Since: 15th Jun 2007
Total posts: 37
Posted:Ive noticed a quite schism in the poi world occurring between Tech and Flow spinners. No one is really talking about it, but there seems to be a distinct split in the disciplines of poi.
As a Poi maker, i get asked for alot of different poi setups and lengths (as well as counter weight size and weight). One thing ive noticed as stated by others, is Techies will almost always prefer much shorter chains than the slower flow spinners. Now ive seen alot of slow very controlled tech, going from stall to precise stall and pendulums.
The biggest thing i see is with the Techies, while the skill is through the roof, it looks so robotical and mechanized.
Trick -trick -trick - 90degree turn -trick -90 degree turn -trick etc. The poi is doing awesome stuff, but the controller, not so much. Very much lacking in expressive movements and dance.
Now theres nothing wrong with that at all, infact most of the new spinners on the scene are going full on tech. so its kinda the next level, in a way. But my heart lies with the other.
The Flowbies. I am a flowbe. I prefer my poi fairly long, and enjoy the moving meditation and being absorbed in the circles within circles. So i like my poi to be from thumb joint to armpit. It makes you have to move your body move and makes the dance movements easier to find and explore, instead of having to move only to not get hit by the poi or to set up for the next trick.
Another difference is that the techies tend to be wrapped up and arms twisted in unnatural positions with things like straight jackets and 7 beat weaves and such.
Its all preference, really, and the way i see it, shorter poi will ultimately constrict your overall performance cause its easy to make longer poi shorter, but vise versa? i dont see that happening...


I do not have a Soul, . . . I AM a Soul.
I Have a body.

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Psyentist
Psyentist

Pluripotent
Location: FL
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2010
Total posts: 27
Posted:I like the way you seperate the idea of tech from flow in degrees of movement. There are certainly some very talented spinners that are soley interested in manipulation over flow. Ultimately however, I am seeking a merger of sorts towards free movement. My current plan is to run through the gammut of setups to initiate myself to certain technical concepts and 'flowt' those skills into dance and rhythm. I am building different types of poi all the time and constantly trying new things with different weights and lengths. Who knows... maybe I'll end up like G in a few years haha. Thanks for your input! smile

Brainchild of the 60's
By-product of the 90's
Pioneer of the unforeseen future

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Smurf24029
Smurf24029

Poi Master Smurf
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Member Since: 5th Sep 2009
Total posts: 343
Posted:Depending on what I'm spinning its different. My short flowlights I like to spin faster and techier, and my super long and heavy socks (I have a pair with 3 tennis balls in each end and a pair with 3" sil-x implosion balls in them) I spin slower, I can;t really describe it as a flow set and a tech set though because my style is always gunna be techy but I'm always trying to move. When I have short poi in my hands though there a lot more stalls and single hand wraps.

Fly High
Spin Hard
Don't Stop

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Logan Kearsley
member
Location: UT
Member Since: 31st Aug 2010
Total posts: 5
Posted:Originally Posted By: PsyentistI like the way you seperate the idea of tech from flow in degrees of movement. There are certainly some very talented spinners that are soley interested in manipulation over flow. Ultimately however, I am seeking a merger of sorts towards free movement.Tech & Flow are definitely synergistic aspects of poi. Learning more technical skills, after all, is directly equivalent to being capable of moving in more ways. Thus, any technical patterns you can perfect to the point of being able to execute unconsciously expands your freedom of movement, contributing to flow.
One does have to recognize that fact, though, in order to actually use the two aspects in harmony, rather than one at a time, or just one exclusively.


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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:Without flow we are just highly skilled tree trunks. Which I actually see more often than I should.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Logan Kearsley
member
Location: UT
Member Since: 31st Aug 2010
Total posts: 5
Posted:Originally Posted By: SpinnerofDetroitWithout flow we are just highly skilled tree trunks. Which I actually see more often than I should. There is, however, something good to be said for an isolating sort of style- learning to spin with the minimal required movements, and keeping the rest of your body isolated and still. Watching someone who can do that well and has very fine control is definitely distinct from watching someone who just doesn't know how to move.
Again, it's a style/technique that probably shouldn't be used all the time, but if you *can* do it, it majorly expands your movement options.


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Sister Eleven
Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2009
Total posts: 1277
Posted:Originally Posted By: SpinnerofDetroitWithout flow we are just highly skilled tree trunks. Which I actually see more often than I should.

In defense of techies, most I know (myself included) spin primarily with the conception of poi as a puzzle; the relationship emphasized is between self and prop, rather than between self and audience. Performance is usually an afterthought. So that tech spinners look dumb may be true, but it may be beside the point.


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liquidtrance
liquidtrance

i dream in circles...
Location: Scotland
Member Since: 29th Nov 2005
Total posts: 336
Posted:i agree that movement does benefit a performers flow but even some 'tree stance' spinning can look awesome if well executed and incorporated to a routine, to name just a couple poiboy and ronin incorporate the odd section of tech tree stance to their routines while they are doing some really advanced stuff and it works well, i see some spinners who spend their whole time moving and twisting their body in the effort to find flow but all that happens is their movement looks forced and unobjective. some of the best performances i've seen are a solid mixture of nice body movement along with some 'treestance' tech to punctuate the spin

even chuck norris can't pin you down if your on fire

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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:I'll admit I plant myself often and it's something I try not to do too much. It has it's places in spinning, but what I see too much is that making up someone's entire routine or spinning session. And those people also tend to use poi that are so short that you can't even see the patters they're making because the petals or whatever pattern it's making either just plain doesn't show (especially antispin) or it gets engulfed in flames and it just looks like the poi slowed down for a second. I'm sure you know what I mean. Like when people have shorter poi, but they're just too short. It would be like someone of my stature (6' 1" or about 2m I think) using poi that are only a little more than a foot long. Like dude I can't tell what you're doing laugh3

Just to reiterate, the rooted position has good uses in a lot of things, but should not be your entire session because it get's old real fast unless it's something like a tech blog. And also movement looks really awkward when you can't do it well which is why people need to practice it! I've had people just like no it looks so awkward and give up then they ask how I do it or something along those lines and I'm like omg PRACTICE IT! Sorry if my venting into this thread is a little more than expected but 1. I'm very straight forward and 2. If I don't vent it somewhere I'll probably piss them off by venting it in their face laugh3


The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Didgeridude
Didgeridude

Object Manipulationist, Chain Maille Artisan, Didgeridoo Performer and Teacher
Location: On the Road, Gypsie Style
Member Since: 15th Jun 2007
Total posts: 37
Posted:good to see such input from both sides. smile

I do not have a Soul, . . . I AM a Soul.
I Have a body.

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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:That's what's wonderful about this forum smile Also I learned on Saturday where all that crunched in short poi spinning really kind of comes into play. At crowed ass raves. I'm sure some of you know from my videos how much space I take up and how not well it fits in a crowed area laugh3 I smacked a decent amount of people with my new flowpoi duo *thumbs up*

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:*thumbs down*

Part of spinning is to do so safely.

Of course, when you get idiots who walk into bright lights, that is tricky, but you still need to make the effort.


'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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Psyentist
Psyentist

Pluripotent
Location: FL
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2010
Total posts: 27
Posted:Much agreed! I know that all lengths of poi, kinds of moves, and modes of movement have their place in poi; however, I think the zenith of style lies within each spinner. Different spinners spin differently and for different reasons. I am most interested in the path of least resistance towards a cumulative understanding of all poi.
EDITED_BY: Psyentist (1298910150)


Brainchild of the 60's
By-product of the 90's
Pioneer of the unforeseen future

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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:Yeah my main problem is drugged out idiots that feel the need to bump my shoulder on there way by. Like WTF DUDE! You can literally move over 1ft to the left and there's lot's of space. But they insist on walking into the circle all the spinners eventually made expecting god knows what like they'll just walk right thorough or something. But most of them I think realized they were like wait, what? Because they'd turn and realize they walked into the path of a glowing tube and signaled their sorryness. Not a single person that I hit or I saw anyone hit was like HEY DUDE WTF I WAS PLANNING ON WALKING THERE! WHY DIDN'T YOU MOVE?

And believe me I made room when I could, I'm not really thumbsupping the smacking people, more the whole me receiving a flowpoi duo thing laugh3


The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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Sister Eleven
Sister Eleven

owner of the group property
Location: Seattle, WA
Member Since: 3rd Aug 2009
Total posts: 1277
Posted:I've been in large venues during the opening act with my flowlights on full blast and an additional 10 foot clearance beyond my extension radius, and people will *still* walk right into my lights. I refuse to try to move in such cases because they're censored morons if they get hit...

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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:^^^ exactly what I mean. Like we had a LED hooper, and multiple poi spinners in a circle and they just walk right through everybody.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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aston
aston

Unofficial Chairperson of Squirrel Defense League
Location: South Africa
Member Since: 2nd Dec 2007
Total posts: 4061
Posted:Originally Posted By: Sister ElevenI've been in large venues during the opening act with my flowlights on full blast and an additional 10 foot clearance beyond my extension radius, and people will *still* walk right into my lights. I refuse to try to move in such cases because they're censored morons if they get hit...

Yeah. This is what I meant as well.

SoD: Fair enough.

OP: For what it is worth, most of my poi are a little longer than elbow length.


'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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SpinnerofDetroit
SpinnerofDetroit

All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
Location: Trenton, MI, USA
Member Since: 25th Oct 2009
Total posts: 2280
Posted:Oh apparently someone walked right into our LED hooper AND stepped on her damn hoop. If I saw that I would've slapped the guy.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin

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brenonfire413
brenonfire413

Fire Spinner Exarch
Location: New Orleans, LA United States
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2009
Total posts: 514
Posted:On topic

I practice with the same setup that I perform with. Same handles and chains, the heads are kevlar that have not been used. They are the same weight as my performance heads. Can't stand practicing with sock poi.
The Tulsa fire community is very small so people tend to stand out. With such a small pool of talent, there's more of a possibility of work but the standard is often lacking in either flow or tech aspects. I'm barely competent with spinning and I'm one of the better ones in both of those aspects
I'm apparently the only person in town who utilizes throws and one handed work into my routine. My poi are short comparatively with handles that are small monkey fists. This is balanced by the weight of the heads. Most everyone I've seen utilizes smaller monkey fist's or Cathedrals, whereas I use the largest Fire Mecca Moonblazes.

Off Topic:
I used to feel bad about hitting people that get too close. Now if there is plenty of room to move around me then it's all on that person if somebody gets hit. I'm more than willing to clear out an area when I'm glowsticking, double stacked flowlights have a nice heft to them. A few spinners right next to each other can make a nice open spot quickly so all the glowstickers can get a few minutes to show off.


"Are you sure it's safe to drink bleach?"
"Yes, bleach is 90% water, we are 90% water, therefore: we are bleach."
-Nathan Explosion, Metalocalypse

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