Poi Fuel Resources & Price Comparison
Fire dancing needs fire to kick off, just as fire needs some fuel to keep it going. Not just any fuel though – don’t go and pick up the first available – you need the right one. Each of the types comes with the set of features of their own, and it is essential for any fire spinner (or eater, for that matter) to get intimately familiar with their fuels.
No, this isn’t a fuel, but it’s something you should always keep in mind whenever near it. We’ve already covered the safety tips elsewhere so won’t go into that now, but it’s good to have the word ‘safety’ echoing in your ears from the start. Now to the fuels.
It’s the cheapest and one of the most available fuels out there. Its cheapness comes at a cost, though, for kerosene leaves a lot of smoke and residue behind it. The low flash point of this fuel makes it rather easy to enflame, the flames that last about 5 minutes. It’s a good choice for beginners, especially if they don’t mind the sticky toys that come with it. And smoke.
Kerosene’s got a bit of an identity problem; the name is not uniform in all countries. So you’ll get different things if you buy ‘kerosene’ in different countries. It’s called paraffin in the U.K., whereas in U.S. the name paraffin stands for our next fuel.
Thanks to the courtesy of its high flash point, lamp oil is somewhat more difficult to ignite. But once the flames take off, the fuel will keep them on for a long time. The problem with lamp oil is that when it spills on the ground, it won’t evaporate, making the dancing surface all slippery and, to an extent, slightly more dangerous. The flames are bluish in color and can give out a lot of smoke unless you can get hold of some highly purified lamp oil. It is also expensive.
White gas burns the cleanest, and also the shortest. In addition to being fairly affordable, it leaves nothing behind; no residue and odors to worry about. The flames are very hot, quick, and impressive enough even during the daylight. Lightning up almost instantly, white gas requires your utmost attention when storing and flashbacks are concerned. It also catches the clothes very easily, so you need to be extremely careful with this one. But that magnificent initial ignition is, to my mind, worth your extra attention.
Mix ‘em Up
Nobody said that you have to use only one type of fuel. Fixing yourself a fuel cocktail has the inherent benefit of deciding exactly what you want out of the flame. The ratio of mixing may vary depending on your needs and preferences. If you’re mixing white gas and lamp oil for instance, putting more gas will give you that brightness but also flashback risks, whie deciding for more oil will make the flames last, if not make the toys a bit sticky.
Note that no fuel is perfect. Nor is every mix possible. The important thing with them is to experiment a bit, and by doing so to find out what works best for you.