Tips for Spinning a Pen
Spinning a pen is one matter, and Spinning
a pen well is another matter. What makes a distinguishable Pen
Spinner is the knowledge of the finer details. I have met a few
respectable Pen Spinners who have been able to learn tricks very
fast, yet still be able to perform the tricks under pressure.
I think some of the characteristics and actions of these good
Pen Spinners are the following:
Tip 1: Relax the hand - putting much tension
to your hand will cause the pen motion to become jerky looking.
The problem of too much tension is especially apparent in the
FingerPass tricks. Normally one would not have to make his/her
fingers really straight to perform any trick. Trying to straighten
the fingers too much will only make the hand tire quickly.
Tip 2: Watch the pen throughout all times
- Although it is said that mastery of the trick is reached when
the trick can be performed without looking, when starting to learn
a trick, it is essential to pay an eye to the hand and the pen.
This is because by watching pen with concentration, one can be
more ready to identify errors. So, trying to learn a new trick
by repeatedly executing the trick many times while doing some
other things, such as studying, or watching tv is not recommended.
Tip 3: Choose an appropriate pen - Some pens
are typically better suited for some tricks. For example, when
learning the FingerPass, a longer pen is better than a shorter
pen. Realizing which pen is more advantageous to learning which
trick will shorten learning time. If you are not too sure which
pens to use, by all means ask any Pen Spinners, or browse the
Pen section of this website.
Tip 4: Spin with a warm hand - A warmer hand
allowed greater flexibility, which in turns translates to better
pen movement in between the fingers. Relaxing the hand can allow
more blood to flow into your hands' vessels, thereby warming the
hand. If the hands stay cold for a long time, consider soaking
them in hot water, or take a hot water bath to make them warm
Tip 5: Pay attention to the finer micro techniques,
such as movement of the entire arm, or rolling the pen.
Tip 6: Put in a break in between practice
- Long duration of Pen can be hazardous to the hand's health,
not to mention that the hand would tire quickly. Of course, when
the hand is tired, the tricks performed would not appear as well
as the tricks performed with an energetic hand.
Tips for Choosing a Pen
A good tip for choosing a pen for Pen Spinning
newcomers is to find something long, because longer pens tend
to spin slower. The above is just a brief explanation on why longer
pens move slower.
Consider the formula for "Moments of
Inertia" (I = MR^2,
in which the symbol I denotes Moments of Inertia, M denotes Mass,
and R denotes Radius. Also, please consider the formula for Angular
Momentum (Angular Momentum= Iw, where
the symbol I denotes Moments of Inertia, and w denotes angular
A long pen spins slower due to the conservation
of Angular momentum. First, let us see what Translation (a.k.a.
Linear) Momentum is defined as:
p = Mv where
p denotes Momentum, M the mass, and v the velocity.
An analogous equation for Angular Momentum
is the following:
Angular Momentum = Iw where I is Moment of
Inertia, and w (greek letter omega) is the angular velocity.
Having said that Angular Momentum is "Conserved,"
we could look at the variables that are involved. For a ring-shaped
figure (When pen spins, we can consider that its motion is ring-shaped),
the equation for AngularMomentum is:
Angular Momentum = Iw = (MR^2)w --> Angular
Momentum = MwR^2
Substituting the letter I with the equation
for Moments of Inertia reveals the direct relation between the
angular momentum (the momentum of the pen in a circular motion)
and the radius of the pen, R. Angular Momentum is proportional
to twice the radius.
Holding Angular Momentum constant, an increase
in R (longer pencils) will result in a decrease in w (its angular
velocity). Note that this assumption holds if we hold the mass
of the pen, M, constant.
The decrease in w, the angular velocity,
is the reason why long pencils spin slower for pens of different
lengths but similar mass.
As for the "force applied," the
initial force can be considered as irrelevant. This is because
angular velocity will become constant when the pen reaches its
terminal velocity. (Otherwise, you would expect pens to accelerate
throughout the course of, say a ThumbAround, something which is
Anyway, since longer pens spin slower, the
movement of the pen is much more manageable with longer pens.
Thus, using long pens can avoid allow a beginner to avoid the
typical problem of pen constantly flying away from the hand.
Tips for Choosing a Trick to Start With
Choosing which trick to try out first, or
choosing which trick to try next after your have learned a trick
is never easy. Although I would prefer that there be a definite
answer to questions such as "which trick would be easiest
to learn", such questions are, nonetheless, still very difficult
to answer. This is because different spinners have their own pace
of learning, not to mention that some spinners would learn a particular
trick faster than the others.
Because of the difficulty in choosing a particular
trick to start, the Pen Spinning community has developed a short
list of tricks and other techniques for beginners.
Beginners are recommended to try the following
set of tricks, called the "Fundamental Tricks". The
Fundamental Tricks group contains 4 unique tricks, namely the
ThumbAround, Sonic, Charge, and FingerPass. These tricks are named
as such because it is believed that in the process of learning
these tricks, a Pen Spinner could learn and practice the most
important techniques in Pen Spinning. It is also believed that
full understanding of the Fundamental Tricks will benefit a Pen
Spinner's Learning of the more advanced tricks in Pen Spinning.
In a recent poll held at the Universal Pen
Spinning Board which asks for members' opinions about the hardest
trick of the Fundamental Tricks, the charge came out on top. The
results are as shown (as of time of the writing)
22% [ 49 ]
24% [ 54 ]
12% [ 27 ]
41% [ 92 ]
Total Votes: 222
This result is somewhat surprising, because
on the surface, the Charge looks easier to perform than a Sonic
(since the pen doesn't move from fingers to fingers in a Charge),
yet, the this trick is considered the hardest by far. Several
years ago, many considered the ThumbAround Normal to be the toughest
of the tricks; however, with the emergence of detailed internet
tutorials/sites on tricks such as ThumbAround, and Sonic, what
used to take several weeks to learn could now, in some cases,
be learned in a matter of days.
In the past, I would have suggested others
to learn the ThumbAround last, since I had regarded this trick
to be the most difficult to perform properly. However, now, I
would probably suggest that one should try in the following sequence:
ThumbAround --> (Sonic or Charge) -->
Assuming that the new Pen Spinner have access
to ThumbAround tutorials, this trick should take the least amount
of time to learn. As for Sonics and Charges, I personally believe
that learning whichever first would not affect the learning of
the other, since the underlying techniques are similar. For the
Fingerpass, although I think the techniques in the FingerPass
is more visible than any other three Fundamentals, this trick
is harder to create smoothness, and could become a source of frustration
of new Pen Spinners.
All in all, the learning sequence as stated
above should allow one to learn Pen Spinning in a quick, and enjoyable
way, with less chance of getting stuck learning a new trick.
Tips for Becoming a Pen Spinning Promoter(ethical
Since the purpose of this site is to introduce
everyone about this artistic sport of Pen Spinning, I hope those
who have decided to take up this sport can further introduce it
to others who might not be aware of it yet. One way of obtaining
the interests of others is to become a wiser Pen Spinning promoter
that can probably be described by the following qualities:
Being able to abstain from practicing new
trick in public setting - During the course of practicing a new
trick, the pen may fall onto the floor or table many times. When
practicing in a public setting, the noise from falling of the
pen may be very irritating to the surrounding people. Unfortunately
it seems like that the very few people who make lots of noises
(from the drop of pen) are giving Pen Spinner a bad image to the
non-Pen Spinning public.
Be able to abstain from spinning when the motion of pen might
distract others - This is exceptionally important to keep in mind
during exam times.
Being able to abstain from spinning when
others request to stop - Being able to do this would get yourself
out of many potential conflicts. Sometimes, inability to do this
may lead to the banning of Pen Spinning in classrooms, or schools.
Being able to abstain from boasting about
"How good I am etc." but instead introducing the artistic
values of Pen Spinning - The people who boast about their self-acclaimed
Pen Spinning skills are not really Pen Spinners. Rather, these
people are probably just another example of minds conquered by
self-arrogance. In my opinion, true Pen Spinners are those who
perform Pen Spinning with the primary purpose of conveying it
as an artistic sport.
Being able to realize when is the time to spin and when is the
time not to spin
Being able to recognize who will not become
an ethical spinner - This is perhaps the most important, yet hardest
quality to possess. It is not very advisable to introduce Pen
Spinning to those who would spin without considerating others
beside them. Some of these people might choose to spin at will,
and force annoying noises upon others. I suspect that these people
would only be detrimental to the growth of Pen Spinning as a whole,
and subsequently give Pen Spinning a bad reputation.