Shoeman6 - pen spinning tutorial for twisted sonic

Shoeman6 (and friend) teaching the twisted sonic

Why bother spinning a pen around your fingers?

Pen spinning is generally not a skill you would include on a job application and it’s probably not going to challenge Xbox One or 20th Century Fox in the world of entertainment.

But, for a form of entertainment that has no commercial heft and occupies no advertising space whatsoever, it still has a surprisingly large global community.

Shoeman6 is a figurehead of the Universal Pen Spinning Board community. He lives in Missouri and is the creator of some of the best pen spinning tutorials on YouTube – the ones from which I am currently attempting to hone my limited spinning abilities.

As such, he will be our first consultant in the discussion of what makes pen spinning such a charming pastime. Here are his thoughts:

“I think the main source of enjoyment that draws pen spinners together would be a common appreciation for the work that goes into pen spinning.”

“I have always thought that it takes a special sort of person to go from the awe of seeing the impossible and turning to the toil it takes to learn how to do something which is fundamentally useless.”

“For me personally, I see other pen spinners as those who have passed this sort of ‘personality test’ if you will, and share a common driving force.”

“Of course this is more concrete in the fact that pen spinners share the common interest from which they are named – pen spinning. We will share ideas for tricks, even spin cooperatively throwing pens to each other or competing in tournaments.”

“In the city where I grew up, I met quite a few other pen spinners and we would hold gatherings where up to 20 of us would get together and spin pens. Invariably the line gets blurred and these people become friends as well.”

“In the same way, while I was in Taiwan two years ago I visited a gathering there, and with over 60 people pen spinning it served as a way to cross certain cultural and language boundaries and simply have a good time with new friends.”

“For most pen spinners though, I think pen spinning gives them a community free from any other ideas – pen spinners run the gambit of religions, races, nationalities, etc.”

“Being able to bond over something like pen spinning brings together people who might not otherwise meet.”

In upcoming blogs, I’ll chat to a few more pen spinners and hear more about how and why pen spinning brings people together. But for now, here’s Shoeman6 explaining how to decide which pen you should spin: