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This is the second in a series of articles that includes our top recommendations, along with helpful tips, to help those new to poi find the set that's right for them. If you missed the first instalment, you can read about Classic Poi variations here. Sock poi are some of the most popular poi that we sell here at Firetoys, they are usually weighted with soft juggling balls (water balloons can be used and are great fun for summer workshops), and you can make them as heavy or as light as you like by using heavier or smaller juggling balls to suit your preference. Sock poi are reasonably priced and fairly easy to make at home if you're on a tight budget. Their streamlined, simple design allows you to perform more advanced moves like wraps, hyper spins, and orbitals that are almost impossible with lightweight tail poi.
We currently stock a selection of different types of sock poi, Erik's tube poi both with and without swivel handles, and Home Of Poi's empty sock poi which we sell with a variety of weight options.
Home Of Poi sock poi are great and come in a wide range of UV colours, they are 58cm (22.8in) in length and the fabric is super stretchy as they are made of high-grade nylon spandex. This material can make it tricky to adjust the length or add handles. Should you wish to, you could customise them with ball handles for tricks that are difficult to do with tail poi or finger loop handles, like throws and wrist wraps, and swivels can be easily attached at the handle as well, for super smooth orbitals and isolations. The best thing about these poi is that you can use our glow balls as weights, making them multi-purpose - great for both practice and glow performances
Erik's tube poi come in two fluorescent colours, Orange and Yellow. They come either with or without double finger loop handles and swivels, which connect the handles to the poi with a small quick link, so they can be easily removed should you wish to. If you opt for a set without swivel handles, they have no handles attached, just like the ones from Home Of Poi. The most noticeable difference between these and the H.O.P design is the material. The Erik's poi are also nylon, but it's super soft, durable, and doesn't stretch in movement, making them much more predictable to use and customize.
Flag Poi (also known as Angel Wings) are a variation of tail poi which have a more impressive visual effect, particularly under UV Blacklight. Their wide fabric creates a winged effect which is beautiful, and they are weighted along the edge to help maintain the flag's shape when spun, but the size can be difficult to deal with at first. Moves like butterfly and chase the sun are especially effective with these poi, but they do depend upon good timing and plane control, because of this we recommend them for intermediate poi spinners, rather than beginners.
Contact Poi (also known as pendulum poi) are used for very different styles of movement commonly known as "contact poi" or "tech poi". If you're an intermediate spinner that's comfortable with weaves, reels, flowers, and isolations, then moving on to contact poi might be your next challenge. The weighted ball handle helps with control, throws, wrist wraps, and gunslinger moves, while the large round heads can be balanced on the body and are great for branching out to three poi juggling. These moves can be quite complicated and, though the heads aren't too hard, they will hurt more than socks or tail poi heads. We wouldn't recommend contact poi for children or beginners unless the body rolling and throwing aspects of tech poi are particularly interesting to you.