Tether Talk – Best Poi Tether – Reviews & Comparison
Which tether type is the best? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for! Comfort? Versatility? Tethers for tech? Fire? Let’s go over some of the options for the best poi tether and their pros and cons so you can make the best decision for your first, or next, poi set!
I’m starting with socks because we often start with sock poi. These can range from knee high stockings, to tube socks, to socks now designed specifically for poi spinners. My first pair of poi were tube socks with tennis balls inside of them. They were nice to start with because they were affordable, soft, light-medium weight, and I wasn’t ever worried about damaging them. Though on the other hand they stretched out over time and could be different lengths depending on if one was spun faster than the other. The knots at the end were not the most comfortable handles (though you can install different handles, I just had regular knots tied at the ends of mine) and they were quite ugly (I now give my students socks with cool images and patterns or just plain black). We have start somewhere though and I appreciate all the poi I’ve had ever since because I had something to compare to!
Likely the most popular of tethers as they are affordable, durable, and can even come in different colors for styling! My second set of poi, which were my first set of contact poi, I had made with black rope, which I liked a lot more than the socks. Rope is medium weight, doesn’t stretch/break down, affordable, and is good for grabbing with your hand for moves like Gunslingers. Though they are hard on your fingers then you grip past the handles, so you may develop some rashes, blisters or calluses if used often. Also, I think it’s nice to have a little bit of stretch in your tethers, which they don’t, but perhaps that’s just a personal preference.
I think pound for pound these are the best tethers for all types of poi except fire poi. Ultra tethers are slightly stretchy and soft polyester. They may come in other colors, but I have only seen black, white and grey so the options for style are not as expansive as could be. These tethers feel great on the hands and fingers, are of light-medium weight, and with some ball-bearing swivels on your handles serve great for sticking together during tricks like Air Wraps and Orbitals.
In my professional option, these are the worst of all the options. You’ll usually see these on poorly made home made poi or Spin Balls. They are super light weight, tangle easy, don’t feel good on your hands or fingers, and may wear or break due to their slenderness. I really cannot think of any pluses to them… Affordable. But more like, cheap. That’s about it.
Chain Link/Metal Tethers
Often used with your first set of fire poi, though I also have a pair of glow poi that found their way to some. Chain tethers are heavy, which I don’t care for but others may. They likely will not break down at all ever, unless they are allowed to rust or are of low quality. Please do not buy cheap quality poi from amazon or eBay; buy from professional flow shops like Sacred Flow Art (Click Here)! Chains are very hard to manage when they interact with each other and if they get tangled are challenging to untangle. Chains are also often more on the expensive side when you buy quality.
To see the chain link Monkey Fist Fire Poi pictured above, Click here!
These are epic as they are rope designed to be fire resistant; perfect for fire poi! I even had some of my students who were ready to invest in a professional set of poi get Technora tethers, with Technora handles (ball grips and ball swivels) and just interchange the poi heads for the desired practice (contact, LED and fire),
granted they may get your hands a little marked up after burning with them a few times. They are medium weight, stretch a tiny bit, feel better on skin then chain or rope but not as good as ultra tethers, and are very durable. And the name “Technora” even sounds cool; I was attracted to it when I first heard the name from another profession poi spinner (Beacon Poi Mechanic) first mentioned them to me. The only con is that they are expensive, but this may be the best poi tether if you’re going to be flowing long term.
Fire proof-ish. I have a Kevlar tether for my fire rope dart and I really like it. I have set it on fire and just like the Kevlar wicks, they hardly burn at all as long as you are flowing (well, I also use white gasoline which burns just the fumes, so the fuel choice definitely influences). Medium weight and very durable. Cons: Only one color (I believe), beige, friction will burn the skin, and it’s expensive in small quantities (if you buy a lot it gets quite affordable by the foot, but you better have a plan for it!).
That’s about it from my experience with tethers! Know another style? We would love to hear about it! Send a message or leave a comment on the YouTube video (Click Here) we made to match this blog post!
Much Love to you all,
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