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Frequently Asked Questions

Fire Mecca staff answer many questions on a regular basis. Below are answers to commonly asked questions. If you do not find an answer to your question here, please reach out to us in one of the many ways listed on our customer service page.

Fire Dancing Newbie Questions

What are "poi"?

Poi originated with the Maori of New Zealand, who used the art of poi in exercise. Even today, people worldwide use poi to improve their power, agility, and grace. Poi refers to the poi art form, as well as to the equipment, and it is both singular and plural (one poi, two poi, etc.). The original poi was, essentially, a ball on a flexible rope “leash” (incidentally, poi means “ball” in Maori). Today, poi dancers use a huge variety of poi leashes, ranging from thin poi cords to heavy poi chains. While balls of many kinds are still in use, modern poi dancers also use a variety of fire poi, LED poi, and practice poi attachments.

Safety is incredibly important in fire dancing. The absolute positive first step towards learning to fire dance safely is practice unlit. A lot. At Fire Mecca we recommend looking for a local group of spinners who can teach you the ins and outs of fire dancing. We also offer a wide range of instructional DVDs to help you learn.

That aside, before you light up for the first time, make sure that the environment is suited for it: Minimal dry brush or other flammable items, minimal wind, and plenty of space. Ensure you have proper safety equipment on hand, such as a fire extinguisher and water. Have someone, preferably an experienced spinner, standing by with something like a fire blanket or a damp cotton (very important) towel, ready to extinguish you should the unthinkable happen. If you have long hair, ensure it is tied back. Make sure you're also wearing natural fiber clothing.

Even with all these safety precautions, fire dancing is dangerous still. These precautions only reduce the likelyhood of serious injury in the unfortunate event that something does go wrong.

This is based off of personal preference, some really like short poi, others love long poi. A good way to gt a starting point for a begginner is to stand with your arm relaxed at your side and measure from your knuckles to your ankle. On most people this ends up between 21 and 28 inches.

Personal height has very little to do with how long a staff should be*, generally speaking the style of spinning you intend to do will influence it more. If you're looking for extremely high-speed spinning with a lot of throws and using your staff essentially as an extended baton, 3 to 4 feet should suit you. If you're looking to do contact staff, 4.5 or 5 foot is good. If you're looking for mor of a combative style with massive arcs, 5+ feet is what you will probably want.

*A new spinner will not want a staff that is longer than they are tall.

LED Newbie Questions

What are good products for someone looking to get started in LED performance art?

Here at Fire Mecca we offer a wide range of LED equipment to suit your needs.

  • For a staff spinner, the BlazeLink Contact LED Glow Staff is a great option. It's durable and light weight, and doesn't flex like many LED staffs will.
  • For a poi spinner, you can't go wrong with a simple pair of LED Glow Poi. They're a nice inexpensive option that are great for a beginner, but still look nice enough for a professional to us.
  • For a hooper, we offer the Nova LED hoop, a durable medium weight hoop that's heavy enough to learn on, but light enough to really play with. It features a built in rechargable battery, and includes the wall charger!
  • We also offer a wide range of instructional DVDs to help you learn.

In our equipment that utilizes LR43 batteries, you can expect 20-30 hours of glow from fresh batteries.

Wick Questions

Are Kevlar fire wicks reusable, or can I use them only once? If they are reusable, how long until I need to replace them?

They are reusable. How long will they last? That question is one that we cannot give a 'simple' answer. Our default answer is "about a year", however that is not a guarantee. The exact lifespan depends on how frequently you burn them, what type of fuel you use, how much you practice with your fire prop, how you store your fire prop, how you extinguish your fire prop, etc. Our experience shows that with heavy use and abuse, wicks can become unsafe for use within 3 months, however with regular use and proper care wicks can last several years.

General care tips to prolong the lifespan of your wicks:

  • Don't practice with your wicks- drops, scuffs, etc. all cause minimal damage to your wicks, that will build up over time.
  • Keep your wicks covered- not only will this protect your home or car from getting full of soot, it will also protect your wicks from being knocked around as much, and from harmful UV rays.
  • Store your wicks indoors in a clean, dry environment.
  • Extinguish your wicks with a fire blanket or damp cotton towel once most of the fuel has been consumed Near the end of the burn, the flames will start trying to consume the Kevlar, which will degrade it over time.

While some may tell you otherwise nothing special needs to be done when using wicks for the first time. It is just important that wicks be soaked thoroughly before use. "Prepping" or "curing" wicks is not necessary. We have heard a lot of tales of things you need to do the first time "to make your poi last longer". In our experience, none of these actually work. However, they're also not likely to do any damage to your poi.

The weave and Kevlar/Fiberglass blend. K1 is a linear weave with minimal fiberglass content. K2 is a box weave, with slightly higher fiberglass content. In performance the difference is minimal. Subjective observation has shown K1 to have a slightly better lifespan than K2, except for in rolled wick applications where K2 appears to have a better lifespan.

Aramid Core is a slightly more durable, denser rope. It is ideal for applications where the rope will flex a lot in use, such as fire whips or fire snakes. Fiberglass Core is a softer, more malleable rope. It is ideal for applications where you need to tie the rope very tightly, but it will not be moving once tied, such as in Monkey Fist poi.

Aerial Questions

How do I know how much aerial fabric to purchase?

For aerial practice you will want to measure from your connection point to the floor and multiply that by 2 and add a minimum of 1 to 2 yards for tying. It is better to have your fabric be a little too long than too short. You can trim down your fabric as needed but it is unsafe to splice the fabric.

Payment Questions

Why do multiple charges appear on my online credit card statement?

This happens when you attempt to place an order, but our system cannot verify your credit card information. These 'charges' are funds held in your account, by your bank, and should automatically be released back in to your account in 1-3 business days.

Shipping Questions

How can I find out if my order has shipped?

You should receive an automated email in 1-3 business days after placing your order informing you that your order has been shipped. If you do not, you can log in to your account, then click your name (between 'shopping cart' and 'log out'), at the top of the screen you will see a link that says 'Order/Billing history', click that and it will show you a list of every order you have made on that account, as well as it's present status.

Fire Mecca offers worldwide shipping. You can find the cost of shipping by adding your selection to your shopping cart and clicking "Checkout Now", you will see your shipping options and the cost. Your order will not be placed until you click the "Place Order" button.