If you’re a beginner poi spinner, this article will teach you the fundamental skills required to use LED poi balls.
With so many techniques to learn, entering the world of poi for the first time can be daunting. It can be difficult to find a good starting point, and it’s not always clear when you’ve made progress. That’s why we here at UltraPoi want to highlight five essential beginner poi tricks recommended by DrexFactor, who you can support on Patreon if you enjoy his tutorials.
By practicing these five tricks, you’ll gain control of your poi and see clear progress, which will encourage you to continue learning.
For each of the following beginner poi tricks, we recommend using our LED Poi Sets. UltraPoi LED Poi sets are designed for the type of spinning we discuss, so without them, you may get lost. Another note: If you find yourself struggling to achieve one of the following tricks, don’t skip ahead. Each trick builds upon the last, so it’s to your benefit that you learn them in order.
Here are the five best beginner poi tricks you should be practicing, in order from least difficult to most difficult.
Reel turns teach you plane control and how to move your body in relation to the plane on which your poi are spinning. An easy way to see this is to turn your body in a circle while spinning your poi through the air. You’ll quickly notice how the position of your poi changes as the position of your body changes. Reel turns will teach you how to maintain control over your poi, even when your body is turning. Here’s how…
Butterflies are an effective move for learning wall planes, a technique that relies on your ability to spin poi along a path that is perpendicular to your body. Basically, imagine there’s a wall in front of you, and try to spin your poi parallel to that wall while keeping them an equal distance from it. By practicing butterflies, you’ll also improve your motor skills, since you have to prevent the poi from hitting one another (or you) while spinning them in opposite directions.
This beginner poi technique is best learned one piece at a time:
Windmills will solidify your plane control ability, which you should have learned from practicing reel turns and butterflies. It also introduces a new, more complex technique known as “split time, same direction”. This technique is performed by spinning the poi in the same direction, but at offset times. In other words, your two poi will follow identical paths, but cross the same point along that path at different times, appearing to chase one another.
Another technique you’ll learn by practicing windmills is level changing. Up until now, the beginner poi tricks you learned were performed between your hip and shoulder level, positioning your arms at a natural and comfortable height. Windmills, on the other hand, are performed above your shoulders, which requires more effort on your part.
To learn windmills, we recommend watching the video linked at the start of this subsection. The same goes for the following two tricks, since they are a bit too complicated to describe, and are best understood visually.
Stalls are executed by stopping your poi’s momentum in midair. They’re primarily used to transition between distinct tricks by changing the speed and direction of one or both of your poi. If you’re transitioning between two tricks wherein the speed and direction of your poi are similar, executing a stall may not be necessary.
For beginners, down stalls and bottom stalls are the most important to learn. Down stalls involve dropping the poi out of the air while maintaining control of the leash. Bottom stalls require a slightly different method, which feels like you’re swinging your poi across your knees, rather than dropping it.
Weaves involve spinning your poi on parallel planes in the direction you’re facing, split time, same direction. Keep them close, but not so close that they touch, and move your arms from one hip to the other, back and forth while maintaining momentum. Waistraps is a move you can add to the weaves, which involves performing weaves while twisting your body 180 degrees, bringing the poi with you. Turn back and forth as you perform the weaves.
Performing weaves, in combination with waistraps, won’t teach you any fundamental skills like the previous four moves we discussed. Instead, this beginner poi trick incorporates the skills you’ve learned up to this point in one complex and challenging technique. Weaves/waistraps, in this sense, is a test, an opportunity for you to prove to yourself that you’re capable of applying the fundamentals to perform an eye-catching trick.
Once you can perform weaves/waistraps consistently, you’ll be on your way to more advanced techniques in no time.
These five beginner poi tricks will teach you the most important skills you need to spin with confidence. So, practice them. Master them. Combine them into a single, elegant performance, using stalls as transitions when necessary. Learn these fundamentals of poi spinning, so that you can take your abilities to the next level.