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Regular user
109 Posts

Profile of Eldini
Hey all,

I am learning the thumb fan and one hand close. Was wondering if it is easier to learn with a half a deck first?

I seem to have hit a wall with fluidity. It is workable but not impressive. So, I am trying to find a way to tighten it up and improve. Any other suggestions would be great!
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Inner circle
1811 Posts

Profile of Anatole
The number of cards in the fan doesn't make much of a difference. If you watch Channing Pollock's act from "European Nights"
at 2:06 into the clip he does a fan (a pressure fan) with the full deck. Note how at 2:10 into the clip the full deck fan looks like smooth concentric semi-circles.

Then at around 2:15 in the clip instead of a pressure fan, he uses a thumb fan to reverse fan only half of the deck in preparation for re-thumb fanning the other half in the normal direction in preparation for splitting the cards into two fans. The curve of the concentric semi-circles is much more jagged because the spaces between the individual cards is greater.

I would say that 90% of the success in fanning is the quality of the cards and how you prepare them. Fanning powder is of course essential. That applies for the one-hand closing of the fan as well. One tip with the closing is that I find it easier to "spin" the fan closed rather than "walking" it closed--meaning that although the fan is held by the thumb and all four fingers after it is made, when you close the fan, the thumb and forefinger are the pivot point. Once you initiate the closing that way, the momentum of the cards as they close makes them spin on the thumb and forefinger.

Another critical factor is where the bottom corner of the fan ends up. For some people, it ends up jammed into the palm. Ideally that corner should pass between the crotch of the thumb. Look again at the fan Pollock makes before splitting it into two fans. The fan is slightly more than a semi-circle.

Also, I find that the finish currently used on Bicycle cards makes them too slippery for good thumb fanning. Fanning powder will help with that. But you might also try switching to Aviator cards, which I find are more like the "air-cushioned" finish of Bikes from the 60's.

I hope this helps.

----- Sonny
----- Sonny Narvaez
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Regular user
109 Posts

Profile of Eldini
Awesome advice! Thanks.
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