A question I get asked regularly is what are the best counterweights for Poi handles? So I thought I would talk though all the different options so that you can make up your mind what you think is the best option for you.
Firstly I am going to explain a little bit about the different weight ratio because different spinners like different weights. Equal weight ratio is one option this is mainly used by glow stickers but a metor or numb chucks are basically equal weighted head and handle poi. Throws with equal weighted poi tend to be pretty small arched throws which are extremely quick a sort snappy throw which is perfect if you have two different coloured glow sticks/flowlights at each end of a rope and you want to switch the colour. Alternatively you could go for a 1:2 ratio weighted poi, this is the ratio that I personally prefer, this ratio is best use if you are linking a lot of throws together and you need a consistent controlled arch when you throw. Final you could have 1:3 ratio or a bit less which is best if you want to do a lot of contact moves or want to really isolate your throws (H.O.P pendulum poi for instance). Put simply the more weight the quicker the handle will come round and the smaller the throwing arch the less weight the slow the handle will come around and the arch the poi goes through will be a lot bigger.
Secondly I’m going to talk through all the different weights you can use for your handles
Juggling club handles – PX3 club handles are the most widely used club handle due to their range of colours. These are great for someone wanting to use a lighter handle. They can be attached to pretty much any type of poi and are great for contact poi. On the down side they only weigh about 10 grams which is pretty light
Wooden balls with swivels – These are becoming quite old school as other better product come on the market. They are very easy to add to any set of poi but I would recommend not to use them as they have no give in them so can easily bouncy out of your hand and if they hit your inside knuckles over and over when practicing the can begin to hurt.
Silicone handles – (Thinking in circles recommendation) These are fairly new and have been designed specifically for poi you can get them from home of poi with either a swivel or without. I use these handles and I think that they are fantastic as they are similar to the juggling handles but are heavier and have a much nicer feel to them, the best handles for poi in my opinion. Click here to buy them
PomGrip handles – These are made by LanternSmith and are really awesome if you like lighter handles(16 grams), they are a great size and are really soft too. They also have some glow one with are awesome. Click here to buy them.
Filled Balloons – using rice inside balloons is quite popular but I feel that this makes the handles quite large. I put plasticine (which is modelling clay) inside a water balloon which makes for a better sized handle. I use a ratio of 1:2 so my head weighs 100 grams and the plasticine inside the balloon weighs 50 grams. This is the major benefit of using these handles you can be extremely exact about how much they weigh. On the down side they can only really be used in sock poi or cone poi.
Furniture or walking stick rubber foot – these make excellent handles you put a hole through the middle of the round surface and then add washers inside the foot to make the handle your desired weight then attach it to the length of your poi. I have these handles on a set of fire poi. The downside to these handles they are not the most attractive of handles.
Squash/racket balls – they are basically the same but a racket ball is a bit bigger and it depends on the size of your hands. Using a skate bearing and some washers on the end of your poi and push it into a small hole in the ball this creates a really nice handle. However you have to be a bit DIY minded.
Radical Fish club ends – These are becoming more popular. Keith Marshal accidentally order these once and love them so much that he started using them with his long poi. These handles are now preferred by a number of the long poi / 3 poi juggling crew; as they are lighter with a bigger diameter. Click here to check them out.
Monkey vs Snake Paracord Handles – These handles have become very popular for fire poi handles and they look very attractive if tied right. Click here on Brian Perez’s awesome tutorial on how to tie them.
Bouncy balls – If you drill a hole through a bouncy ball this too will create a really nice handle with a nice weight to them and you can make your poi look quirky with a really interesting bouncy ball again you have to be a bit DIY minded to make these. Also some people cut these in half and add them to the end of a sock or tube poi.
Glow stick/ Flowlights – as I mentioned earlier these are brilliant for colour changing and general glow poi handles. A nice set up is having a single flowlight at one end and a flowlight duo at the other. The downside to these being the shape of the handles
Hopefully this has help you to decide which counterweight is best for you