It will take practice to spin as fast and finely as the Tibetan woman but it didn't take long to start producing yarn on this spindle. The Tibetan woman spun off the tip with the spindle almost vertical. The shape of the whorl allows it to spin for a long time. Although the Tibetan lady sat seated on the ground, it is very comfortable spinning seated in a chair.
You can see Jo-Anne Tabachek spinnning this spindle the Tabachek's website.
Jo-Anne says it helps to have yarn built up close to the top of the shaft then the spinner can let go of the shaft and draft with both hands. This is a little different than using a Russian spindle; where one hand hangs onto the spindle all the time. When too much yarn accumulates near the tip the spinner will unwind and rewind the yarn lower down on the shaft leaving some yarn wrapped around the shaft near the tip. Jo-Anne found that a few wraps of singles near the tip gives the yarn something to hang onto when you let go of the tip. We watched the Tibetan spinner doing this on the video. Without yarn on the shaft near the tip, the spindle falls over when you let go of it. I hope my explanation is clear. These spindles might be just the thing for spinning while seated in a car, van or airplane.
The spindlitis list on Yahoo has discussed whether or not the original spindle has a notch -- opinion is divided. These have a smooth shaft, so use a half-hitch to keep the yarn on the spindle when spinning.
I would recommend spinning this in a ceramic or very smooth wooden bowl. These are about 12-14" long, the whorl is about 2 1/2" across and 1 1/2" deep. Shafts are Hickory, Ash, Elm, or Oak and similar in shape to traditional Russian spindles. Whorl woods available are Purpleheart, Walnut, Maple, and Cherry. Choose your whorl wood below the order button.
The Purpleheart whorls are heavier than other woods, making this a good weight for beginners or for plying. Maple, Walnut, and Cherry are all about 1.5-1.9 ounces, Purpleheart is about 2.2-2.5 ounces.