What's a "Devilstick"?


The Devilstick is, like balls, clubs, rings, diabolo, and cigar boxes, one of the classic juggling props. It is a wodden stick of about 65cm, wrapped in textile ribbon or some other decoration. To play the devilstick, it takes two thin wooden sticks, wrapped in silicone, called "hand sticks".

MArkus shows the basic move

Here's a short description of the basic move:

The devilstick is hit at the middle of the upper half, giving it a spin as well as an upward impulse. That makes it possible to let the stick dance in the air without ever holding it.

It is still uncertain where the devilsticks originated. It probably made its way from China to Europe about 200 years ago. The Chinese called it "hua kun", which means "flower stick", which is still the name of a prop related to the devilstick, a little shorter with frayed ends, which look like flowers when played. The name "devilstick" comes from the Greek word "diaballo" (throw), although the word "devil" is associated with it, too.[1]

Apart from the above-mentioned flowerstick, there is also the fire-devilstick. Wick is attached to both ends which can soaked in fuel and set one fire. Dangerous, but nice to look at.


Today there are devilstick players all over the world. Further development of the devilstick art was carried on mainly in Europe. Lots of new tricks and ideas saw the light of the day though collaboration on various festivals. Markus Furtner, for example, developed a show in 2001, which is played with two devilsticks, from start to finish. This simultaneous game with two sticks requires a lot of practice and concentration. The two sides of the brain have to work more or less indepentently in controlling the two body halves, which is much more difficult than it sounds. These extremely hard tricks play an elementary part in Markus Furtner's current show...

Markus Furtners Devilstick-Show

Not only new and ever harder tricks were developed, though. In 2001 at the festival in Landshut, for example, the game "Jollystick" was conceived. Here, volleyball is played with a devilstick instead of a ball!

Interested in trying out the devilstick yourself? You'll find more info at www.devilstick.de (over 60 trick animations, tips for beginners, jollystick, and much more).


[1] Todd Strong: "Devil Stick - Spielend Jonglieren (The Devil Stick Book)" Edition Aragon 1995