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When Writing Gets Dull, Try Pen Spinning

And here we thought pens were just for writing. Turns out, there’s another use.

Pen spinning is the art, or at least hobby, of “contact juggling” with either a normal ink pen or one that’s been specially modified to make it easier to manipulate. Spinners do exactly what the name implies – rotate pens as fast as possible around, between and across their fingers and hands.

Make no mistake, this is the not the idle pen twirling you see around the office when people are bored. Check out this amazing video that shows what pen spinning looks like, courtesy of Kam at UPSB.

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Of course, this should come as no surprise. For every known object in existence, there is someone who is going to figure out how to do tricks with it. And it stands to reason, as much time as people spend with pens in their hands, someone would find a way to become insanely good at those tricks.

Pen spinning usually is done with what spinners call “mods.” These are an amalgamation of pen parts taking bodies from one kind, caps from another, tips from yet one more, and grips from still another. The most popular mod involves combining a Pentel Hybrid Gel Grip with a Pentel RSVP to create what is known among spinners as the RSVP MX.

Japanese toy company Takara Tomy Corp. has even created a specially weighted and balanced pen for pen spinners called Pen’z Gear.

As it has become more popular, pen spinning has grown into a very defined activity with universally known tricks like the Charge, the Sonic and the ThumbAround and organised communities around the world, from Japan to Switzerland.

And now, there’s an annual competition called, naturally, the World Cup. Spinners form into teams and submit videos of themselves with their pens. Their performances are judged against their competitors and the winners advance round by round to the finals.

Spinnerpeem of the Thailand Pen Spinning Community took the 2009 World Cup in May. Wait until you see the video…you’ll swear he has no bones in his hands.

We’re hoping that these pen spinners all are employed as surgeons and jet pilots and concert pianists, where their brilliant dexterity can benefit the rest of us.

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