Renegade Juggling offers a wide range of juggling balls. Over the last 20 years, many new types of juggling balls have emerged. To help you select the juggling ball that will best meet your needs, a brief description of the various types of juggling balls we offer is provided below.
Beanbags, Vinyl Balls, PU Balls, Filled Stage Balls and Leather Balls
These are the most common juggling balls and. They are made of a vinyl (PVC) -coated cloth and filled with bird seed, millet or plastic pellets. The beanbag ball (though never made with beans) is really nice for beginning to advanced jugglers because the ball will not roll when dropped, and it will not bounce off another ball if there is a mid-air collision. This makes it easier to use, as you never need to chase dropped balls. Also, they do not make as much noise when dropped as other types of balls. This ball is the softest type of juggling ball and has a squishy feel. The beanbag ball is also made from many other types of uncoated cloth or fabric.
There is a wide variety of beanbag balls that all look essentially the same. The difference between balls is based on the quality of fabric, thread, and sewing, and all the balls in a set having the same weight. Higher quality beanbags are made from polyurethane-coated cloth. This coating is more expensive than a PVC cloth and costs 10 times more. Be careful in your selection, as low-quality copies of PU (polyurethane) cloth are now being made in China. High-quality PU cloth is only made in Japan. In general, beanbags made in China are all very low quality and sold at very low prices.
Another type of beanbag ball is a filled stage ball or MMX ball. Instead of having a cloth exterior, this ball has a molded PVC shell like a stage ball, which is filled with millet or seeds. The advantage of this ball is that the PVC shell is very durable and much stronger than the coated fabric balls, and it comes in bright colors. The disadvantage is that it is not as soft as the fabric ball and tends to roll a bit more when dropped. It is very good ball for beginners.
Leather balls are essentially the same as the beanbags or filled stage balls, the difference being the leather exterior. The advantage of this ball is that it lasts longer. It will outlast most, if not all PVC- or PU- coated cloth balls. Leather also has a very nice texture and grip that jugglers like. The disadvantage is that the balls need to be broken in (like many leather products) to become soft and round. In the case of suede balls, they also get dirty and are hard to clean.
Sil-X balls and Russian Balls
This is a relatively new type of juggling ball, which is made from a ridged to semi-ridged shell partially filled with sand, salt, micro-glass beads, or other grains. It can also be filled with liquid in the case of the Sil-X ball with has liquid silicone inside the ball.
The concept behind the Russian ball or any partially filled ball is that the filling goes to the bottom of the ball when caught. The filling moves the center of mass to the bottom of the ball. The effect of the mass being at the bottom of the ball makes it easier to balance the ball on your hand, head, neck, arms, etc. It also keeps the ball from rolling very far when dropped. The friction of the grains or liquid in the ball slows its roll.
The Russian ball effect can vary from very light to very strong. The main factor is the weight of the filling in comparison to the weight of the shell. The lighter the shell and the heavier the filling, the more of an effect you will get. This is coupled with the friction of the filling in the ball or how fast the filling goes to the bottom of the ball. Silicone would be the slowest and micro glass beads are the fastest. Lastly, the slipperiness of the ball’s inside surface can also determine how fast the grains go to the bottom of the ball. We have a wide range of Russian balls, with the main difference being how strong the Russian effect is. This Russian effect makes the ball a little easier to balance or catch in a balance, like a neck catch of foot catch.
A stage ball is a hollow ball rotationally molded out of PVC without any filling, so the total weight of the ball is made up by the balls shell. The advantage of this ball is that it is very durable, brightly colored, waterproof and costs less than many other juggling balls. The main disadvantage of a stage ball is that it will roll away from you when dropped. It can also bounce off other balls if there is a mid-air collision.
The stage ball comes in a wide variety of colors, weights and sizes. The smaller balls from 2.5 - 4 inches in diameter are for toss juggling, and the larger sizes are for dance and other single ball manipulation.
Bounce balls are made for bounce juggling, where you bounce the balls off the ground rather than tossing them in the air. Bounce balls are made in two ways – either using compressed rubber or cast silicone. In the past, compressed rubber balls where low quality and jugglers preferred silicone balls; but now with modern manufacturing, this type of ball is nearly equal in performance to the silicone ball at a much lower cost. The advantage of silicone is that is it very easy to clean (most things will not mark or stain the ball) and the colors are more vivid than a compressed rubber ball.