Aroundsquare’s Pozvonok Chetki are our take on the classic perekidnye chetki or flipping beads (перекидные четки) otherwise known as “Russian prison beads”. They are designed for flipping, much like a balisong or a set of begleri, and with practice, a wide variety of tricks and combinations can be performed. But as the name suggests, these beads have a unique back story.
Our first entry into this new product category is the "Pozvonok", meaning "spine" in Russian, which is a nod to the roots, as well as descriptor of the form factor. The structure of these beads gives an articulated length which can be flipped in a linear manner, but still has enough flexibility that it doesn't feel rigid along other planes. The simple structure is one that is common in Russian chetki, but our materials give a fresh look and feel to the classic. The slightly weighted ends provide a familiar feel for begleri players, while the overall play experience is dramatically different.
Flipping chetki has elements in common with short game begleri, komboloi manipulation, and and balisong or butterfly knife flipping, and moves from all three can be incorporated into your flow. Although weighted ends are reasonably common in Russian chetki, they are not the standard. Many sets have extended light ends, manipulated with a very quick flipping style. For players wanting to get a taste of both styles, each set of Pozvonoks will include a few additional beads that will allow you to slightly extend the length of your chetki, and also, to swap in lighter ends to give a different feel to the game. Note that stringing these up takes a minute, and they are intended to be played at a fixed length.
The Pozvonoks are available in three options, each featuring titanium accents for optimal weight. There will be Burmese Rosewood and Black Rosewood options, each with ten sections, and a Hainan Venus Aloe option, with slightly longer beads in a nine section setup. The weight and length of each is similar. They ship setup with 8mm titanium micro bosses, and 15mm lil bosses at either end, and include as extras, one additional 8mm beads and two additional wooden beads, allowing you to extend by one section, along with two 11.8mm micro bosses if you decide to swap out the ends. Because of the number of beads involved, and the labour involved in the setup, these are fairly pricy as an initial offering. We are exploring options for more budget friendly models as well as we begin to expand this new product category.
For more information, visit our chetki product page, or check out the videos below to see our chetki in action!