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 Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: MattMaan 
Date:   04-03-02 16:21

Okay, as a relative newbie who's just looking to graduate from lacrosse balls, what's the best buy out there? What size, exactly, would one suggest I get; what type of ball would be best for a newcomer?

I know that the clear acrylics are widely regarded as the staple tool of CJers, but I'm just curious if there's something better for someone just starting out.

Thanks for the help...

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 Re: Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: Chico 
Date:   04-03-02 17:06

Hey Matt :)

Welp, everyone has their own opinion on what the best ball is for a beginner. My personal reccomendation would be a 3" acrylic if you're going to be doing single ball rolling work, or if you're going for multi ball stuff, some 2.75"s Many people seem to gravitate torward 2.5" acrylics for palmspinning, but I've been using 2.75" for a while, and havent found too many people that couldn't handle palm spinning with them, plus they are a bit easier to use for rolling than 2.5"s. Also, you might want to check out Rich's recently submitted essay on ball theory in the essay section. Again you'll get quite a few varied respones to this (common) question, but there is my 2 cents.

Chico The Showoff
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 Re: Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: ICU812 
Date:   04-03-02 17:06

If you're gonna be practicing over concrete (and you should in fact practice everywhere), you're going drop your ball. And after about 10 or so drops, your ball (provided it's acrylic) will be pretty ugly. In my opnion that's ok. That's why you got it in the first place. And this way, when time comes to get a real snazy ball, you'll be used to the feel of acrylic. If I were you I'd get a 3" polycarb from Infinite Illusions. It's pretty cheap, pretty standard size, and it's technically clear (they're called Standard Acrylics). I also went out and bought a 2.75" silicone, which was pretty expensive but a hell of a lot of fun. It should be noted that if you drop or launch a silicone in a public area you are likely to have to break into an all out sprint to recover it.

Go with a cheap acrylic, when you get it in the mail, take a look at how nice it looks, then, step outside over a ruff hard surface like a sidewalk and drop your ball. This will leave a pretty nasty looking mark on your ball. But otherwise you'll never want to practice over concrete out of fear of dropping it. YOU WILL drop it, and not being able to practice anywhere you want will slow your learning down. Eventually you're gonna want a couple more balls in different sizes for palmspinning and other assorted tricks, at which point dropping $100 for some really clear acrylics at Eng. Labs is a pretty good deal (they have the cheapest really clear acrylics).

Best of luck,


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
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 Re: Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: Aaron A. Gitzen 
Date:   04-03-02 17:14

Like Chico said it depends on what you are going to do. I think that for most people 2.75 is a good size to begin palmspinning with.

For body rolling I would buy three balls. I would by 2 three inch acryllics, from anywhere really Renegade, Dube, II and I would also buy a large size stage ball from Dube. Why three? Take one of the acryllics and put it in your sock drawer out of direct sunlight, save it for performances. Take the other one and start practicing with it, but be careful because initially you are going to be flinging it around pretty good and it could break something. For instance I wouldn't cj in front of a computer screen with an acryllic ball, if you are just starting out. There is just too much potential to break stuff as acryllic balls are quite heavy. So for daily use, cjing in confined spaces, in front of the TV in your parents china shop, I suggest the stage ball as your everyday anywhere ball. You can carry it with you all the time, it won't break anything, won't burn your house down.

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just dont' want to be there when it happens."
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 Re: Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: Ryan (mellors) 
Date:   04-03-02 17:36

I would suggest a nice shiny stage ball in your favorite color from dube or bobache. If you have a juggling shop in your area, it might save you the trouble of ordering online.

Now, palmspinning is difficult with stage balls, and if that is what you want to learn I would invest in acrylics, but I find that learning the butterfly and other body rolling tricks is easier with a stageball.

as for size, try a 3" or even a 3.5". If you can get to a shop, you have the advantage of trying out different balls and seeing which one feels most comfortable.
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 Re: Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: Robin Spehar 
Date:   04-03-02 20:51

I agree with everyone-- I say an assortment is good. I'd buy a cheap acrylic (3" or 2.75" ), 3 x 72mm babache stage balls (you might as well have 3 since these are very good toss balls), a 3" babache, a 4" babache and a dube 3.5". If you want to try spinning I'd recommend buying 4 cheap 2.75" acrylics. This is a heap of props and is already in the 100+ dollar area. You could get away with one of the above to learn rolling (if it's a sphere it can be moved). If you were looking for just one prop to learn with I'd go with a 3.5" stage ball.
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 Wacko Balls by Rich
Author: Rich Shumaker 
Date:   04-03-02 23:43

So I am getting another essay together. It is taking time to prepare facts and what not. So I appologize it is not ready for you before you have to order new balls.

Before I get into my Wacky recomendations I will say this. Buy Contact Juggling balls when you go out but not at Juggling stores. If we all used the same clear acrylic balls that would be boring. If we all used the same stage balls that would be boring. I find CJ balls everywhere I go anymore. The dollar store is a great place. So is the pet store. Most of these are not show balls but practice balls. But of course I did find 2 sets of great show balls at Pier One. A set of Marble striped balls 2.5" in size and a 3" silver electroplated brass ball. So look when you are out for balls. They will almost always be cheaper than a juggling supply store. They will also set you apart from other people.

For the 50 dollar range.
2 sets of chinese excercise balls in 2 sizes Small(about 10 dollars) and XL(12 dollars). 1 dog toy tennis ball 4"(4 bucks) get them at the pet store. Rubber dog chew toy 3"(4 bucks) again the pet store. Damn 50 dollars doesn't go far these days. But you have 8 balls for spinning. 2 balls for rolling. I would recomend spending another 50 dollars on showy balls like the 73mm chinese excercise ball from Dube or Or you could go with the standard acrylic. I like acrylics a lot I also like silicones but both are expensive. I would match the dog toy size with the acrylic if you can. Get either a 3" or 4" acrylic.

I like excercise balls for begining to spin. They are cheap, you can get them with and without chimes and they are reflective. Stage balls are fine but I find them a little light and I have always had a hard time finding a juggling shop. I like to buy stuff in person when I can. And yes I do own stage balls. Great for body rolling all day long.

Good Luck finding some new balls.

Rich Shumaker
The Other Contact Juggler
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 Re: Wacko Balls by Rich
Author: ICU812 
Date:   04-03-02 23:47

I bought a set of pool balls (16 of em) for about $60. They are my palmspinning stunt doubles for the time being.


"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
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 Re: Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: MattMaan 
Date:   04-04-02 05:47

Man, thanks for the help guys!

Only catch is, now that I've got the facts, the decision is probably harder than if I'd just stuck with being ignorant!!
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 Re: Time to buy some REAL balls...
Author: Robin Spehar 
Date:   04-04-02 09:10

Take the plunge. Buy one 3" acrylic and start rolling-- you'll figure out where to go from there. Long live the 3" acrylic! I just love them.
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