Poi handle design brainstorm!Sun, October 7, 2007 - 8:53 PM
1. Adjustable weight: Base weight no more than 1/3rd your lightest wick's dry weight. Gives the user ultimate weight ratio control, and allows you to make ONE solution for many.
2. Durable! When you toss a lot you drop a lot.
3. Simple, uniform, ergonomic shape. NOT TOO BIG! Tear-drop or egg is best. Sphere is good. When you make a less than perfect catch it should naturally settle into a good grip. Should promote multiple holds, ie like the handles on clubs for swinging.
4. Should pad or cushion impact on the hand... or more importantly your head if you mess up. Foam rubber, silicone, bouncy ball, etc. Something more forgiving than a golf ball or metal.
5. Should be BRIGHT and visible. Short of LED illumination you should be able to see it to catch when spinning fire at night and tossing. Fluorescent (like a mini tennis ball) or highly reflective like juggling club tape?
6. Should have a sampo swivel as the connection point. This makes a smooth pivot point as close as is comfortable to your hand hold. Minimize the CACHUNCK of extra connectors! Think about how you would attach a rigid bar to the same handle and make it spin as smooth as possible.
Does any one have anything to add or discuss? any design and material suggestions. The aim is something commercially viable for Flama Aeterna to provide tho the community.
Rovo, Lucas, Cway, BHS, Baz, Tim, Dances With Chris, anyone else: ideas?
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|that seems pretty exhaustive, the adjustable weight thing is something that most people's designs don't take into account but i feel is the most important as well. perhaps a design with a screw in the middle that you could add washers too and then tighten down, with a firm but pliable grip around it? like say a silicone wrapped mini tennis ball cut in two with a bolt epoxied to it and then say taped together? I don't know much about constructing stuff so that's probably a bad idea.|
|hey Jon I know we have spoken about silicon stress balls before but I was just thinking what about shaped Memory foam in some sort of sock bag? I don't know enough about performance time for reshaping but i think that would satisfy most of your criteria, with the possible exception of weight and should be more easily available at bulk prices. good luck and i'm looking forward to seeing this thing finally made ;)|
aaahh...this has been my project all summer, and durability has been my hang up. what i was doing was this: i cut a foam practice golf ball in half, and hollowed it out with an exacto knife, roughly to the shape and size of a 1 oz lead fishing sinker. lead sinkers have recently disappeared from the market(thankfully), and have been replaced by stainless steel, which is no where near as heavy for its size as lead, unfortunately. i then ran through and wrapped around the weight with ss wire, and used that to attach to the connector(not sure what to call it) that usually connects a quick link to ball chain. then i glued the ball together and wrapped the whole thing in self-adhesive plumbers tape.
the problems i encountered: the glue, if not allowed to dry completely before wrapping, will never dry, and they pull apart. even if the glue dries, they tend to pull out eventually, especially if you hold the handles when spinning off. the weight inside needs to be anchored better, somehow. the tape is fairly durable, but dipping the whole handle in latex would be better. the foam conforms slightly to your grip, a plus, and the swivel sticking out of the ball allows for easy grip changes. perhaps pouring in molten lead, into the hollowed ball with an anchored swivel in place?
That sounds pretty solid. Now this is interesting as well. I met someone at burning man who had glowing handles for his fire poi. They were heavy enough to be solid counterweights and felt like they were made of plexiglass or some similar durable material. They were cylindrical and about 1.5 to 2 inches long, basically like a tiny, heavy, durable glowstick. He told me he got them at flamma aetera but I couldn't find them anywhere on the website. Is this perhaps an earlier prototype of what you're talking about? The guy was tallish and skinny and had this crazy drunken master spinning style. He did a lot of glowstringing style wraps and some cool tosses. All the while rolling around and acting crazy. I think he was from LA. So maybe somebody knows him and what's up with his sweet handles but they sound like what you're talking about (except of course the smooth shape and softer material.)
Technical details though: I totally agree with the part about them not being to big. I made my handles from mini tennisball dog toys. I just poked holes in both sides, filled it with pennies to get the 1/3 ratio, then put a loop of rope through it and stopped it on one side with a knot and a washer. They've treated me amazingly well except that they're too big and they're not professional looking enough to sell. The brightness is not necessary but it is damn helpful. I'd make it glow if you can... I think you're really onto something and I'd love to hear more as you continue to develop them.
Also, how do you plan to make the weight adjustable?
I feel like size is the most important thing - weight is something that you can get used to - you can do most tosses w/o counterweight, and for stuff like wibbles, you can do them so long as there is SOME counterweight, it's just getting used to the weight, and learning the balance point.
Cway's handles are a bit too large for me. My golf balls are small enough for me to be able to do hand to hand transfers, although smaller could be better for general catching. BUT! there are some moves where the largerish size is important, snags being the first that come to mind. Because the chain that you use on your fire poi is not going to flex as much a sock poi, there definately needs to be a sizable amount for the chain to catch on for snags to work. Cway's work for this, when I tried tim's there were a bit too small for it and would easily slip out of the snag.
The light idea is a bit of a conflict for me. It would be soOOo helpful, yet I almost feel like it's cheating. Plus, having something glowing moving a round coul distract from the fire and the spinning, particularly in performances. But then again, so can dropping you poi. grr.
And finally, while padding would probably be a lot nicer... LIFE IS PAIIINN. POI IS PAAAINNNNNN. ahem.... Meh, think of how many tosses I do - I've only given myself one split lip and maybe 2 or 3 welts - that's not bad!
|Oh, and I have started a discussion with chad about this stuff too - you can see the thread in the copperhead fire tribe.|
Checking In1st, Cway, what you saw were GLO-TOOBs. We still sell them, but really only to those in-the-know. They weren't terrific sellers because they were around $27-30 each (whereas LED balls are half as much). They are promoted as "indestructible", though, and carry a lifetime warranty. If you are interested in knowing more, let me know.
2nd, who has used the T-Concepts T-shaped handle? I've heard one vote that the shape is not ideal, and one that the flight through the air is chaotic (not crazy, just random due to assymmetry). Perhaps this is exacerbated by the "floating weights"? Anyone see pros concerning the way they do theirs? Concerning adjustability, do you guys see weights floating around as a problem? Would fixing the weight in place be a bonus or a necessity?
Lastly, I did some prototyping this past weekend, and I think we have a winner, but it looks like Jon is going to review it first. Jon, could you post back here when you have had a chance to play with them?
It's nice to see you guys in one place hashing things like this out. :)
In the case of weights in the T shape (where the tube is tangent to the curve your toss makes), sliding around is probably chaotic. BUT if the direction of the tube they are in is inline with the poi body (normal to the curve), then I think they pretty immediately lock in to the bottom of the tube thanks to "centrifugal force" (which of course doesn't exist, but for simplicity's sake...).
If you are going with this vertical tube design, I'd like to explore the possibility of molding an egg or teardrop sleeve out of silicon that can be slid over the tube and affixed.
And of course I'll post the resulting tests (playing my ass off).
Drunken Master LA poi guy = me :)Hi!
Hi Cway! I'm the guy you saw with the glow tube handles. matt forwarded the conversation to me, and I really enjoyed catching your description of me here. :)
the glow tubes definitely are not indestructible, and the small connectors themselves make it really hard to put anything strong enough between the glow tubes and the chains to actually have glow tubes that you can hold... I'd be really curious to see a better solution
|I'll be testing the adjustable weight prototype. Maybe next we can brainstorm an LED version that is better. We could consult Dervish Brad, as he is a professional lighting designer... And he is familliar with molding silicon and acrylic.|