How to Perform Poi Windmills at Any Skill Level

poi windmills

Poi windmills are one of the most useful tricks flow artists can learn, regardless of their skill level. For beginners especially, poi windmills teach fundamental skills that carry over to many other tricks. And for intermediate level spinners, poi windmills help to hone their existing skills, some of which may be underdeveloped.

We’ll delve into three important skills you can expect to learn by practicing poi windmills in the next section of this article. After that, we’ll detail how to do poi windmills one step at a time, so that you can follow along in your training. Lastly, we’ll recommend a versatile contact poi set that’s great for performing poi windmills, particularly if you’re new to poi. 

If you’ve been spinning for a while now, you may want to browse our varied collection of poi balls and other flow toys. 

SKILLS YOU’LL GAIN BY PRACTICING POI WINDMILLS

In addition to gaining a cool new trick, by practicing poi windmills, you’ll also gain useful skills for improving your spinning abilities in general. The most important of these skills include plane control, split time same direction, and level changing.

PLANE CONTROL

Planes are imaginary, flat surfaces on which your poi spin. They’re used to orient your poi during spins, so that they don’t collide or tangle.

An easy way to visualize a poi plane at home is to stand in front of a wall and try spinning your poi in a circle, parallel to the wall. To avoid hitting the wall with your poi head, you will need to exercise control over your poi as you spin it in a flat circle. This is called plane control. 

Poi windmills teach you plane control by forcing you to orient your two poi on specific planes in order to avoid tangling their tethers. They also require you to quickly switch directions with your poi while keeping them aligned on their respective planes.  

SPLIT TIME SAME DIRECTION

Another valuable skill that poi windmills teach you is “split time, same direction” spinning. As the name suggests, this technique involves spinning two poi in the same direction (i.e. clockwise and parallel to one another), but at split (or offset) intervals. In other words, the heads of the two poi will cross the same point at different times as they spin, as if one poi is chasing the other. 

Split time, same direction spinning opens the door for you to perform various other tricks besides poi windmills, such as poi flowers and body tracers. The more you practice these moves, the better your hand eye coordination will become, and the more tricks you can add to your arsenal. 

LEVEL CHANGING

Level changing should be easy on paper, but it can be difficult for beginners. To change levels, you can either bend your knees or raise your hands to adjust the height at which your poi are being spun. This makes your performance more dynamic and fun to watch. 

Most beginner poi tricks are performed at a similar level: Between your hips and shoulders, because this height places your hands and knees in a comfortable, neutral position. If you’re a  beginner, this means your level changing ability is likely undertrained. 

Poi windmills are a great trick for beginners to learn level changing, since they challenge you to raise your hands above your shoulders mid-spin. To increase the difficulty further, you can also change levels by bending your knees. Both are worth practicing, and poi windmills are a great trick to do so with.

POI WINDMILLS TUTORIAL 

Poi windmills can sound more complicated than they look. As such, it’s easiest to learn them by watching a tutorial video. After you’ve seen poi windmills demonstrated, return to this article for reference. The following information about how to do poi windmills is intended to guide you step by step in practicing the trick.

STEP BY STEP GUIDE

  1. Begin by spinning your two poi forward in a wheel plane, split time, same direction (review the previous section for a refresher on this technique) with your hands positioned along the sides of your ears.
  2. While spinning, wait for the poi in your left hand to swing downward past your chest. Then, follow it with your body, keeping your hands close to your ears as you twist your waist 180 degrees to face the opposite direction. Bring both your poi with you as you rotate, allowing them to continue spinning in split time, same direction, but now in reverse. 
  3. Once the poi in your right hand points upward, twist 180 degrees back to the direction you were facing at the beginning. Bring your poi with you, once again holding your hands near your ears.
  4. Now, start counting beats, or the number of times your poi completes a rotation. After 3 beats, change directions. Practice until you get used to counting 3 beats, then start counting 2. Then just 1 beat to finally achieve a proper windmill.

As you can see, poi windmills aren’t very complicated. They mainly consist of two turns, and use split time, same direction rotation to seamlessly transition between them. 

BEST POI SETS FOR PERFORMING WINDMILLS

To take advantage of the skills you’ve learned, you need a high quality poi set. Poi windmills can be performed at any skill level, but they are especially beneficial for beginner and intermediate level spinners to practice. Considering this, we recommend you use a versatile, beginner-friendly set of contact poi to perform poi windmills. 

Ultra Poi’s Orb LED Contact Poi is uniquely spherical in shape, allowing performers to roll them across their body for smooth transitions between moves. They’re also very durable, capable of withstanding impacts with solid surfaces, like walls and floors. In the instance that they collide with you, the round poi heads of the orb poi won’t hurt as much as other types of poi with more jagged edges. Seeing as how we’re discussing an LED poi set, it’s worth noting that the spherical shape of the orb poi heads also creates more consistent-looking light trails from different angles. 

Before you commit to the orb poi, be sure to check out our full collection of poi balls and other flow toys, as well as their many accessories and upgrades. With so many options to choose from, you’ll have a blast building the perfect poi set for your spinning needs.


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