fire staff
We wrote this detailed guide to help you figure out the best fire staff set up for you based on frequently asked questions.
The recommandations below mostly rely on your spinning style and aspirations. Happy reading!
(P.S.: you can scroll down for the TLDR recap version)

What size should you get?

To answer this question, first take a moment to think about what style of spinning you intend to use this staff for:

Spinning

Mostly hand manipulation of the staff in a fast spinning motion. Spinning also includes isolations and throws.

Sizing: We recommand a staff on the shorter side. The measure from the ground to your chest (think nipple height) is a good starting point, you can add or remove a few inches from there according to your preferences. The shorter the staff, the lighter it is which allows it to spin faster. A longer staff will make it harder to achieve clean isolations.

Contact

Aims to use as little hands as possible. The staff rolls on the body in a slow and smooth motion, rolling on the back of the hands, arms, shoulders, neck, back, even legs and feet!

Sizing: A longer staff is ideal (the shorter the harder). With one end on the ground, the other end should arrive somewhere between your shoulder and your nose. For beginners, we recommand going for the nose measurement as it will makes things a little easier for you.

If you want to mix a bit of both styles, you can compromise, but we still recommand basing most of your decision on the main style you intend practicing. A longer staff will still be spinnable, just as a shorter staff won’t keep you from doing contact, they’ll just make it a bit harder.

Tubing diameter & material

The tubing diameter influences the speed at which the staff rolls and its weight.

Side note: The size of the tubing is measured before adding the grip, therefore the final thickness is a tad larger (add 1/8″).

Spinning

The lighter the staff, the faster you can spin it with minimal effort.

First off, lets start by saying all our tubing options are on the light side of the scale. Carbon fiber is one of the lightest material used in the industry, and aluminium 7075 is stronger than other types of aluminium, so can be manufactured with thinner walls, which makes it the lightest of all aluminium used for props! So no matter your decision, you are on the right track.

That being said, for spinning, we base our recommandation on different factors: budget, goals and comfort.

Carbon fiber is the strongest option of all, it is a material that wont bend. This material is more expensive up front, but will last you a lifetime if cared for properly, so a really good option if you plan on using your staff a lot, for travelling, or have long term goals. We offer two size options; 5/8″ and 3/4″. 5/8″ is slightly lighter, and can be more comfortable to hold for smaller hands.

Aluminium on the other side can bend if a big impact happens (someone walks on it, it gets caught in the car door,  etc.). BUT our staffs are made of the strongest aluminium available on the market, 7075, which is aerospace grade. This aluminium is definitively stronger/more resistant than standard aluminium, so it is a pretty solid option, its also more affordable than carbon fiber. We currently only offer 3/4″ diameter which is a standard staff size.

Contact

A small tubing diameter needs to accomplish more rotations to travel the same distance as a larger diameter, therefore it is slower.

We recommand a smaller tubing diameter which is ideal for contact tricks that roll on the body. Since the staff travels slower, it will give you more time to react and adjust your position accordingly. We offer 5/8″ carbon fiber tubing (our favorite option for contact), as well as 3/4″ tubing in carbon fiber or aluminium 7075.

There is a common misconception that contact staffs need to be heavy, but in reality all they need is good weight distribution. Your staff should be well balanced and carry the majority of its weight in the extremities to optimise momentum. Smaller diameter = lighter tubing. Proportionally, big heavy wicks could be paired to a heavier tubing and still provide a good momentum, but heavy staffs also have harder impacts (not the most comfortable thing to practice with!). Keep in mind these recommandations don’t account for personnal preferences; some people prefer heavy staffs nonetheless because thats what they are used to! Truth is, you’ll get accustomed to whatever staff you use to practice. Anyways, all our tubing options are on the light side, so don’t worry to much about it!

Carbon fiber is the strongest option, it is a material that wont bend, which is great for contact staffs which need to keep straight to roll properly. This material is more expensive up front, but will last you a lifetime if used right, so a really good option if you plan on using your staff a lot, for travelling, or have long term goals.

Aluminium on the other side can bend if a big impact happens (someone walks on it, it gets caught in the car door,  etc.). BUT our staffs are made of the strongest aluminium available on the market, 7075, which is aerospace grade. This aluminium is definitively stronger/more resistant than standard aluminium, so it is a pretty solid option, its also more affordable than carbon fiber.

Wicks

We offer two styles of wicks; kevlar rolls (made of flat kevlar) and braided kevlar. It comes down to personnal preferences, so here we listed their pros and cons!

Roll

Pro: easy maintenance and easy to replace. The kevlar is screwed in place so you just need a drill to replace it. The flat kevlar also usually have a second life when you flip it over.

Cons: Shorter burn time compared to braided wicks.

We offer two sizes of roll wicks, the larger size is heavier but will also retain more fuel, which means longer burn time. The larger surface area also means larger flames, so keep all that in mind when making your choice!

Braided

Pros: First, they look awesome. Also, the center is made of a highly absorbant material that allows more fuel absorption, which paired with the tight braiding results in a slightly longer burn time.

Cons: Hard to replace by yourself at home, would require special tools to cut through the braiding. Options would be to send your staff back to us for maintenance, or finding someone equiped with strong scissors or X-acto knife to remove the kevlar. You could then replace them with regular roll wicks.

A bit of advice to help your wicks last longer:

  1. If you notice the kevlar fraying, cut the frays and apply a bit of PVA glue to seal the “wound”, let dry. PVA glue (which you should easily find in hardware stores) hardens with heat! If you let the frays get out of control they will keep unraveling and damage your wicks further. Be careful not going overboard with the white glue, apply only where needed as it makes the kevlar impervius.
  2. Protect your wicks when you carry your staff around or practice without fire. You can use something as simple as baby socks (you can find some at the dollar store!), you just want something that will wrap tightly around them to protect the kevlar from premature wear. Kevlar is sensitive to water, UV and abrasion, so keep it safe and it will live a happy life.
  3. Extinguish your wicks whenever the flames become smaller and blueish, that means the fuel have been consumed and the kevlar is taking the hit.

Which grip is the best?

spinning

We feel like our silicone grip option is the best choice for this purpose, as the most durable option. Spinning implies a lot of rubbing against the same area, where the hand grabs the staff repeatedly while giving it a twisting motion. This material also offers a nice grip, and is easy to clean. The only downside is silicone can become a bit slippery under wet conditions.

Contact

Gravity grip is our favorite grip for contact purposes. Its grippiness combined to its cushy texture makes it really comfortable and performant in this context, as well as more forgiving when you are practicing rolls. The micro-textured surface area is tacky and less slippery under wet condition when compared to regular silicone. Its wear resistance is lower and it will need to be replaced after some time, but the good news is that it is easily replacable as it comes with an adhesive backing so you don’t need to mess around with glue.

Our silicone grip still makes a great option for contact if you prefer it’s longevity over Gravity Grip’s.

TLDR

Here’s a short recap with all the essential details.

spinning

Size: Measure from ground to chest (about nipple height).

Tubing diameter & material:

  1. Carbon fiber is more expensive up front but won’t bend = long term investment. Available in 5/8″ diameter for smaller hands or if you prefer a lighter staff (which allows you to spin a bit faster), or 3/4″ (pretty standard size).
  2. Aluminium can possibly bend upon strong impact, but 7075 aluminium is the strongest on the market. Available only in 3/4″.

Wicks: It’s a personnal preference! Braided wicks look dope and have a slightly longer burn time, but are harder to replace. Rolls are easy to replace and cheaper.

Grip: Silicone grip for durability.

Contact

Size: Measure from the ground to your shoulder, and from the ground to your nose. Anything in that range is good but keep in mind that shorter staff = harder for contact, so go with the longer measurement if you are a beginner.

Tubing diameter & material: A smaller diameter rolls slower (takes more time to go from point A to point B) so it makes it easier for contact. Carbon fiber 5/8″ is our favorite option. 3/4″ carbon fiber or 3/4″ aluminium 7075 are also available (pretty standard size). Carbon fiber is more expensive up front but won’t bend = long term investment. Aluminium can possibly bend upon strong impact, but 7075 aluminium is the strongest on the market.

Wicks: It’s a personnal preference! Braided wicks look dope and have a slightly longer burn time, but are harder to replace. Rolls are easy to replace and cheaper.

Grip: Gravity grip is our favorite option because of its grippiness and comfort, but silicone grip is also a good option because of its durability.