The Art of Pen Spinning

Interesting topic of the day – pen spinning!

You may have heard of this, but if not, please allow us enlighten you.

Some of us here at Artsavingsclub are compulsive fidgeters.  While stress balls and fidget toys have their place in the world, we work with art supplies all day every day, so it’s only natural that we find a way to keep our hands occupied with them… And we aren’t referring to drawing or writing.

Birthed in Japan, the art of pen spinning has gained immense popularity in that region, leading to professional competitions and events around the topic.  The second wave of popularity hit Russia, with an abundance of teenagers who have made it their goal to reach the same skill level as the Japanese pros.  It has also lead to fairly extensive DIY pen modifications to aid in learning the techniques through creating a weighted, balanced, and extended pen.  These ‘mods’ often involve the deconstruction and reassembly of a few different pens, so as to create a single elitist Frankenstein device, perfect for spinning tricks!

We’ve found that the Sakura Gelly Roll pens with a pen cap on each end is a pretty good start.  It’s slightly longer than the average pen, and placing a cap on each end will help to distribute the weight evenly, but we digress.

All things considered, it sounds pretty bizarre right?  Well, let’s just say that we’re quite sure the trend won’t catch on as much in South Africa as it has in Japan, but it sure is fun, and always a conversation starter.

Three of the primary tricks can be learned fairly quickly and easily: the Charge, Sonic, and Thumbaround.  Detailed tutorials on these tricks can be found on YouTube along with a variety of more advanced tricks and combos.  For me personally, as the writer of this article, I learned the Thumbaround from a friend in high school, before I knew that pen spinning was even a thing.  It has gotten to a point where holding a pen without spinning it almost feels foreign to me.

Now, you may not plan on being the next pen spinning champion, but we urge you to check out this mesmerising video of two elitist pen spinners – it definitely had us wanting to learn a few tricks!

YouTube video

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