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Pensacola, Fla
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PhranQ- about the Dai Vernon wand spin. Ammar's "Cups and Balls" has a good description of it, and his Mercury Wand is nicely weighted and balanced for spinning. While you can spin with the lightweight wands, a heavier one offers better control and once I learned the heavier one it was easy to do the plastic ones.

I just recently got comfortable with the spin by keeping a wand in my car and practicing in light traffic during the work commute. It really stunk at first- the darn wand would spin into the back or under the front passenger seat and I'd have to stop practicing until later that day. The GOOD thing was that having to keep my eyes on the road trained me to be able to spin while looking at other people and not worrying about what the wand was doing.

It took about a month to get comfortable, btw. If you're like me, it's just a question of practicing until you get it right. Yep, that booger is going to fall a lot at first and do all kind of unexpected things, but it gets better and better the more you spin. Just a question of time.

Some tips- the elbow and the forearm stay still. It;s the wrist and fingers that do all the work, at least it is for me. It felt very awkward at first and the movements seemed quite large, but once you get the hang of it the movements are not much bigger than drumrolling your fingers on a table with a little wrist thrown in. And at first I was happy to have one or two spins go right, but after awhile it's gotten to the point where I'm working on getting my thumb completely out of the spin after the first windup. How valuable is that- probably not much directly, but it sure is a confidence booster.
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