Do You Have Big Balls or Small For Joggling?
For serious joggling, you should have a variety juggling balls. Each set has a specific purpose in terms of training. Here are just a few examples.
Racing juggling balls
The juggling balls or bean bags you use for racing should be light enough so they don’t tire out your arms but heavy enough so they aren’t blown wildly away by the wind. They also need to be water resistant. It helps too if they don’t get sticky or slippery easily . This is of concern because during a running race you’ll be drinking Gatorade or other sports drink and the juggling balls can get drenched. Finally, your racing joggling balls should be a bright, solid color that contrasts with your shirt. This will make it easier for the crowds to see the juggling pattern. The yellow 12 panel Dodeca Gballz work perfectly for this. They are about 100 g each (a quarter pound).
Big juggling balls
This summer I won a set of 6 juggling balls from Higgins Brothers. They are a nice set but twice the size of my Gballz and 4 times as heavy. If you want to get a serious workout for your arms and shoulders, go joggling with these babies. On a catch, they hit your hands so hard you can feel it reverberate in your wrists, elbows and shoulders. The bigger balls are also easier to see so they could work well if you’re doing a casually paced 5K. Of course, the larger size makes it more likely they’ll collide mid-flight so be careful.
Small juggling balls
Before I got my Gballz, I had a set of nylon/cloth small balls about 1.5 inch wide. These things are like juggling walnuts. They work particularly well for running & juggling when your arms are tired or you want to do sprints, tempos runs, and strides. These smaller balls also work best for the 5-ball jogglers out there. Smaller balls makes it less likely that they’ll hit each other. They’re also perfect for the traveling joggler as they don’t take up much room.
Soggy juggling balls
My first set of juggling bean bags were a cute cube set that came from the good folks at Juggle Bug. Ever since they’ve had a special place in my heart. For years I joggled with a cube set similar to the ones in the picture over there. They are too light, don’t land in your hand easily, soak up water too easily and fly erratically in a 10 mph wind. For joggling, they are just not that good…but I still use them. Why? These babies are great for foul weather joggling. I don’t care if they get wet or muddy or salt-soaked. The durability of the Juggle Bug cube is unmatched.
A few juggling ball notes
Going from the different juggling ball sizes takes a little getting used to. However, it’s a great way to mix up your joggling and keep it a fresh challenge. If you don’t have more than one set, go get some more balls now. What are you waiting for? It’s Christmas time! Start buying.
So JYAJ community, what kind of balls do you have?
BIG balls of course! (You crack me up Perry)
Ok, I’ve been juggling for 25+ years, so I have LOTS of experience with different kinds of JUGGLING balls. Here’s what I currently have.
For my occasional joggles, I currently use some Mr. Babache beanbags I got about 8 years ago. They are a bit on the big and heavy side, but they are what I have that I don’t care about abusing. Basically a vinyl coated spandex ball. See them available at Serious Juggling. These were my main juggling balls before my Gball purchase last year.
For regular juggling, I have 10 Gballz Premiere II, that I guess Greg stopped making because of fabric failures, mine are OK so far.
For EXCERSIZE, I have 5 Tennis balls that have been packed with Pennies (98 per if I remember correctly). Do 200+ catches of 5 balls with them and your arms are done.
I also have 5 Todd Smith Silicone balls that I use for bounce juggling,
3 Sets (9 Balls) of water filled tennis balls for Tennis Ball and Can routines (don’t know what that is, see this video)
The old prop trunk in the garage has at least 2 sets of Klutz cubes, a set of Jugglebug Rubber Balls, 5 Florecent Orange Softballs, and a set of old Lacross balls.
Cue the AC/DC tune…
I started out with big balls, a “lightweight” set of Exerballs from Dubé. In hindsight, I have no idea how I joggled an entire marathon with these.
My next set were Higgins Brothers 130g beanbags and they served me well for my 2:57 marathon. I still use these for non-joggling juggling and they’ve been very dependable, especially since I’ve joggling thousands of miles with them and smashed them against street signs and off buildings and such as I run.
I then switched to the smaller Higgins Bros. beanbags for the 1:55 30K and was really sold on smaller balls for longer joggling races.
Finally, Sport Juggling Co. gave me a set of 90 g Sportballs, which are my “racing balls.” Hey, I’ve got racing shoes, why not racing balls? The Ultraleather makes them so easy to catch. I set the 2:50 marathon record with these.
And that’s the story of my balls, from big to small.