Cardistry Trainers: Are They Worth It?
Everyone that’s tried cardistry before knows just how annoying it can be when you drop the cards.
And then drop them again…
In fact, if you’re interested in cardistry, it’s almost a GUARANTEE that you’ll drop the cards every time you practice. And guess what?
This can get very frustrating very fast.
In today’s post we’re going to look at a simple practical solution that uses ‘cardistry trainers’ to help you develop those ninja card skills without going crazy.
Let’s get into it…
What Are Cardistry Trainers?
Cardistry Trainers are essentially blocks of wood that act like a ‘packet’ of cards (like you would use in cardistry).
The aim of these is pretty simple; to allow you to perform elaborate cuts and packet tricks like you usually would but without worrying abut picking up cards from all over the floor when you drop them.
So, the idea is a very simple one…but do they REALLY work?
In my experience, YES, they do. Read the rest of this review for my explanation of why they work so well, or alternatively just buy a set and give them a go yourself.
Where can you buy Cardistry Trainers?
There are a few different places you can pick these up. I would recommend going through Amazon if you can, but if not you might be able to find them on eBay or perhaps an online magic store.
I was initially pretty skeptical of these. Was it really worth paying out $10 just so I didn’t need to pick up some cards every now and then?
As it turns out, the answer to that is YES.
Yes, every day of the week.
Sure, you can (and may well) manage without them, but the pure relief you feel every time you drop one of these and are able to get it back in position in mere seconds (compared to minutes) is amazing. If you’re on a REALLY tight budget or want to avoid spending money on anything other than cards themselves, I can understand why you might not want to give these a go (and if that’s you, keep reading. I have a few free alternatives you can check out). But if you have a few dollars to spare, you won’t regret picking these up.
If you’re a pretty advanced cardist, the chances are you don’t really need these. Think of them like the training wheels you might have used to help you ride a bike – they are great for beginners but not really needed further down the line. But that’s just my opinion; and since I’m not an expert cardist myself I could well be wrong on this point!
You can go with a few different material types – leather, plastic, or even wood, but the key idea behind them all is the same. The only real difference is price – the wooden blocks are more expensive, but will probably last you longer and are a higher quality.
Now, the pros and cons of using cardistry trainers..
Keeps things simple
This is the main selling point of the cardistry trainers; they’re so useful thanks to how much easier they make everything. No more spending hours playing ‘clean-up’ or losing your favorite cards down the back of the sofa. They just make your life a whole lot simpler.
Great for mobility and training ‘on the go’
Let’s say you were taking a long train ride, and you wanted to practice your cardistry while you were on the move. If you had a deck of regular cards, it probably wouldn’t make sense to use them on the train – the chances are you’d be spilling the cards all over the place and disrupting the other passengers. With cardistry trainers, you have the option to be able to practice cardistry anywhere and everywhere without worrying about making things awkward when you inevitably drop the cards – you only need to pick up one or two blocks rather than 52 individual cards.
They look pretty cool
This depends on which cardistry trainers you buy, but in my opinion, some cardistry trainers look pretty cool in their own right. Take these ‘Squids‘ for example – they have an awesome back design and I’m sure look great for use during cardistry flourishes and effects.
You aren’t going to learn any faster using these than with regular playing cards
The truth is, you’re not going to get better any faster using these than if you just used regular cards – they’re just going to make the process a whole lot smoother and less frustrating. In my opinion, that makes them worth it, but if you were under the impression that they would turn you into an expert cardist ten times faster than if you were using regular cards…that’s just not how it works.
You can make your own alternatives at home
Sure, it might be easier just to order some from Amazon, but there’s nothing stopping you creating your own cardistry trainers (for free!) at home. Here’s a few ways you can do it…
Cheap Alternatives to Cardistry Trainers
Not all of you might want to fork out some cash for these, but still want to know how you can get the benefit of using them. Here are three simple solutions that might not have occurred to you…
Alternative No.1: Elastic Bands!
This is a super simple alternative that you can assemble in a matter of minutes.
First, grab a pack of playing cards. Next, find a few strong elastic bands. Now group the cards into packets – 5 packets of 10 cards or so should work best. Simply put a couple elastic bands around each individual packet – one at the top and one at the bottom.
You’ve just created your own cardistry training blocks – the elastic bands will keep the cards clumped together and will prevent individual cards from falling and separating when the cards are dropped. Plus, the best part is that once you’ve finished, you can simply remove the elastic bands and your deck will be back to normal.
This is my No.1 pick for making your own cardistry trainers, but there is one other way…
Alternative No.2: Glue!
This one will be a bit more time-consuming, but once you’ve done it once, you’re set.
Like with the previous method, you’ll first need to gather a few packets of cards (around 5 packets of 10 cards each). Now you’ll need to apply a thin layer of glue to the back of each card. Once you’ve done so, layer the cards on top of each other (making sure they’re lined up smoothly) and press down firmly. This will bind all 10 cards in the packet together – effectively giving you a DIY cardistry trainer.
You’ll need to give this one some time to dry before it’s ready to be used – and the obvious downside is, once you’ve done this method, you won’t be able to use them like regular cards again. That’s why I usually recommend going with the previous alternative – the elastic bands (they’re quicker, and more importantly, reversible.)
(BONUS) Alternative No.3: Regular cards
I’m cheating a little bit here, but I think it’s worth mentioning. The No.1 alternative to using cardistry trainers is…using regular cards!
Sure it can be annoying to drop them, but the fact of the matter is that as you become better and better at cardistry, you’ll eventually transition from using cardistry trainers to regular cards anyway (you can’t use cardistry trainers forever) – so why not just start things out that way?
If you’re new to cardistry, I would recommend just using regular cards before you go out and buy cardistry trainers – make sure you are confident that cardistry is for you before you start investing money into the hobby.
I think cardistry trainers are a great way to make the process of learning cardistry a whole lot less stressful and a lot more fun – but you shouldn’t expect any more than that.
If you want to purchase some cardistry trainers, just click here.
If you have any questions about cardistry trainers, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you shortly!