Juggling Beanbags and Balls

If you have ever been to a juggling convention or seen a juggling routine you probably saw the jugglers performing use more than just normal juggling balls. Jugglers use all kinds of object which are called props. There are three major categories of items which are balls/beanbags, rings/plates, and clubs/sticks. Each category of props has a variety of different props in and of itself. The most popular prop category is balls/beanbags. Every jugglers has used or uses balls or beanbags to juggle. There are three major types of balls used by jugglers; stage balls, Russian style balls, and silicon balls.

Beanbags

beanbagBeanbags are added into this category because they are used the same way juggling balls are for the same patterns and tricks. There is little difference between beanbags and the normal juggling balls. Beanbags are actually the most common type of juggling ball. Beanbags are typically made from vinyl or imitation leather and are filled with various materials designed to give the beanbag its bulk. Beanbags can be bought in a variety of colors. Most jugglers prefer using beanbags that are colored with red, blue, yellow, and green sides on each section of the outer part of the beanbag. Beanbags are preferred by most jugglers because they don’t bounce of their hands, roll when dropped, are easier to catch, fairly cheap and easy to find. Beanbags are usually two to three inches in diameter but can be found in a variety of sizes to fit any juggler’s need.

Stage Balls

stage ballStage balls are generally used during juggling routines and performances; hence their name. Stage balls are hollow with an out shell typically made of rubber or plastic. Due to them being hollow, stage balls can be made bigger than beanbags without weighing more than the juggler requires. Stage balls also hold on to their shape and color better than beanbags which makes them more visually appealing to the audience. Stage balls are typically two and a half to four inches in diameter; however, smaller and larger stage balls can be purchased. The record for most balls juggled in toss juggling is ten.

Russian Style Balls

russianRussian style balls are basically stage balls and beanbags combined. Russian style balls have hard outer shells usually made of plastic or rubber and are filled with sand and other materials. Russian style balls fly through the air easier than beanbags at a more consistent rate and do not roll away when dropped like stage balls due to the weight added by the materials inside. Russian style balls come in a variety of sizes and are fairly easy to make. Russian style balls are the cheapest type of juggling ball available.

Silicone Balls

silicone ballsSilicone balls are mostly used for bounce juggling and performances. Silicone balls are made from silicone which gives them the same look as a stage ball with an easy to grip surface and makes them very bouncy. Silicone balls are also harder to scratch and easier to clean than stage balls. However, silicone balls are typically five to seven times the amount of beanbags and stage balls. Mostly professional jugglers and rich hobbyists buy and use silicone balls. The record for most balls juggled while bounce juggling is eleven.

Every juggler starts by juggling beanbags and balls. Most jugglers spend years perfecting three ball juggling patterns and tricks before moving on to using more balls or different props. A lot of jugglers improvise by using common balls that are typically used for other activities rather than juggling. These include baseballs, tennis balls, and even squeaky toy balls for dogs. There are also variations of other types of balls used by performers like juggling balls that glow in the dark. No matter what you move onto in your time juggling you will always end up juggling balls or beanbags in the beginning. Remember your roots as you begin juggling clubs, plate, sticks, and chainsaws.