Frequently asked questions 

How to choose my first pair of fans ?

We find many types of fans on the market and it can be difficult to make a choice. Of course everybody have their own tastes but here are a few advices i can give you :

 

1 : Make sure the handle is 1cm or 2cm bigger than the width of your paulm

2 : Decoration and unconventional shapes add weight to the fan and gives more fragility 

3 : Moves work better with a wide angle between the spokes on the edges. 160° is ideal.

: The shorter the spokes are, the closer the flames will be from your hand so you will feel more heat

5 : The more wicks you have, the heavier the fan will be and of course... again more heat !

What should I do if my fan breaks ?

Unbreakable fans do not exist. If they hit the floor, they could get damaged, dependening on the material used the spokes could bend, unweld, break or even with time just have the wick fall off.

1 : Practice with plastic or wooden fans that handle better the tosses and drops. They are also less pricey

2 : When you buy you fans, pay attention to the shape. Russian grip fans have a very simple shape for a good reason ! Original shapes, decorations make more fragile fans that should be kept for performances per exemple.

3 : Here is a tutoriel to repair a broken wick, by the master of Russian fans, REM.

4 : Contact the manufacturer, he will probably offer you options for repairs.

Is it normal to bruise ? my hands hurt...

The hematoma is due to a repetitive impact. At each spin, the metal handle hits your skin and bones and breaks all your little blood vessels. There is also a lot of friction going on on the thin skin, this can hurt too and even rip off a bit of skin in certain areas. 

1 : Don't train too long the spinning on the hands. Set up a fairly manageable number of rotations and stop.

2 : Wear gloves

3 : The handle could use a bit of sanding, coco oil or cover it with leather.

: Don't insist on this area  ! Massage with arnica if you have bruises and if you ripped off the skin, let it heal before you spin again on it.

Do you work your flexibility ?

I personally have  good natural flexibility in my shoulders but everyone can work on their flexibility with little warm up exercises. Fans can be heavy so you want to protect your articulations !

How I don't get burned ?

Even though the wicks are small, they are often in big numbers and pretty close to the hands compared to other props (some pairs have up to 14 flames). Usually the issue comes from the heat that is hardly bearable. Even without touching the flame, the skin can feel a small burn just by long exposure to the heat.

1 : Wear gloves in coton, leather or kevlar

2 : Make wide movements, far away from the body and point the wick to the sky at least for the first minute so the flames go up.

3 : Wait towards the end of your session to try tricky moves close to your body, when the flames are smalle.

4 : Protect your hair and cover your skin with wear unflamable clothing

How should I dress for fire ?

Synthetic material are not suited for fire spinning. You should DEFINITELY not wear them. Go for cotton, jeans, leather and avoir hanging bits like ties, ruffles, fringes that could get entangled in your fan... trust me I talk from experience.

Hair should be tied and wearing a hood is practical when you want to work on moves that go behind the head.

No perfume, no hairspray, no dry shampoo... 

What are the security norms  ?

I encourage you to find a group of burners in your area or country that could give you advices on that because every country has different security norms in terms of practising and performing.