How to Choose a Juggling Club
Size and Model of Renegade Clubs
The size of the clubs, for example 95-mm, 85-mm and so on, refers to the width of the club at the widest point. The most common club sizes ordered are the 85-mm, 95-mm and 105-mm models. These clubs are fundamentally the same, with only the shell being wider.
The wider the club, the more space it takes up in the juggling pattern. Wider shoulders and longer arms can accommodate a bigger club and it looks/feels better if the club is scaled to the person’s physique.
We recommend 95-mm clubs for people of average size (5’6”- 6’) . With smaller/shorter people (5’ - 5’7”), we recommend the 85-mm club. The 105-mm is for people over 6 feet tall, or performers who like a big visual size for stage looks.
The 75-mm club is a specialty club for learning to juggle 7 clubs solo or for small jugglers/kids about 4 feet tall.
The fathead is the widest-body club and is used by advanced jugglers who want a big club for visibility on stage. This club is also selected by jugglers who like the fathead’s slow spin (because of its size).
Advanced jugglers may not follow these general sizing rules since they select clubs for very specific stylistic reasons.
Ultimately, people get the same size club that they have tried previously or that their friends own.
Taped Handles and Standard Un-taped
All models of juggling clubs come with two options for handles. Renegade clubs are constructed with a flexible plastic wrapping (HDPE) around the club’s wood dowel. This plastic wrap comes in two thicknesses: 0.20” and 0.30”
The thinner plastic (0.20”) is used to make a taped handle club. The handle is wrapped around the club and then covered with (0.01”) white vinyl tape. This handle is the softer of the two options and is often preferred by beginners because the softness reduces hand pain from catching clubs.
The thicker plastic (0.30”) is used to make the standard handle (untaped). This handle is also flexible, but stiffer than the taped one. Advanced jugglers like it because it has more consistent feel under stage lighting, which is quite hot. As a result, the taped handle can get sticky. In addition, a stiffer handle is more accurate for throwing as there is not as much flex in the club’s release from your hand.
The other factor to consider when choosing a handle is that taped handles need to have the tape replaced over time. This is very easy to do, but requires maintenance. Standard handles (untaped) require no maintenance.
Black rubber is more durable, and will not show dirt. It is the best option for general use. White rubber is used by jugglers who mostly juggle indoors and do not want to get any black scuff marks on ceilings or walls. White rubber is often selected by performers who prefer the look, as white rubber shows up better against black ceilings and curtains on stage.
Decorated vs. Un-decorated Juggling Clubs
Renegade Clubs are all constructed the same and both types juggle identically. Most often the choice between decorated and undecorated is based purely on aesthetic reasons, although each type of club has its pros and cons.
Decorated clubs look very flashy when juggled, and many people prefer the look. They can also be easier to see (silver decorations) in low lighting. The decoration color options often fit better with performance costumes, stage sets and backdrops. One drawback is that the decorations and tape need to be replaced over time. Some performers feel the flashy look makes clubs harder to see in certain stage light conditions.
Undecorated clubs show only the color of the club’s body; no foil decorations are applied to the club. Advantages are that the clubs are cheaper to buy and do not require any maintenance. Drawbacks are that you do not have as many color options, and the look is rather plain.
In general the choice depends on your end use. If you are a recreational juggler who occasionally performs, decorations are not really needed. However, decorated clubs are very nice to look at and are preferred by many jugglers.
Club Handle Length (total length of club)
The club handle length is the total length of the club, from top to bottom (not the length of just the handle). Most people order standard length clubs (long handle). Traditionally clubs are called long handle even though they may differ in length. There are four key factors to consider when selecting the length of a club.
- Most club brands have the same long handle length ( about 20-20.5 inches long). If you pass or share clubs with other people, the length will be very similar and the spin of the club will be nearly the same.
- The longer the handle length, the slower the club spins. This slower spin give you more time in your pattern to juggle. As a result, juggling is easier to learn with long handle clubs.
- Most jugglers have only juggled long-handled clubs (most juggling club brands do not offer different lengths) and are very accustomed to how they feel. Switching to a shorter handle takes an adjustment period, and many jugglers do not want to attempt this.
- The length of the club should be proportional to the height of the juggler. For most adults between about 5 - 6 feet tall, a long handle club is a good length. For shorter jugglers, it is a good idea to go smaller if you do not share clubs with other jugglers., You should use a shorter club especially if you are under 5 feet tall.
Advanced jugglers often want to get shorter clubs to lower the height of their throws. A 19-inch-long club thrown with a double spin will have a lower height than a 20-incher (about 6-10 inches lower). A lower pattern height (for some people) is easier when juggling 5-7 clubs solo, as they can throw more accurately at lower heights. Advanced jugglers who like to juggle in the traditional Latin style, with very fast/low double and triple spins need a club 19” or shorter.
Points to remember:
- Shorter clubs can be juggled faster as they spin faster. This fast spin is preferred in some advanced juggling styles, both in solo juggling and club passing.
- For people 5 feet tall and under, a long-handle club is out of proportion to their body size; they would be best served with a shorter club because it is more comfortable. For children between 4 - 5 feet tall, a 19” club is the best size.
- Our range has 5 sizes of clubs and is intended for advanced jugglers who are very familiar with our clubs and want to fine tune their order.
Popular Juggling Clubs for Sale on Renegade
Most jugglers get the standard weight clubs. This weight range (225-240 grams) is basically ideal for most club juggling uses, both indoor and outdoor.
In some cases, jugglers prefer a different weight. Outdoor juggling is made easier if you have a heavier club because it is not affected by the wind so much. Lighter clubs are nice if you only juggle indoors.
Renegade clubs are made with a soft maple wood dowel. Technically, every piece of wood has a different weight, since they come from different parts of the tree or different trees. In order to make a set of juggling clubs, we select a matched set of dowels that all weigh the same (within 1-3 grams). By selecting lighter dowels, we can make lighter clubs.
In general, a club weighing 220-240 grams is a good indoor-only choice and 240-255 grams is good for outdoor. We believe that clubs under 220 grams are too light for juggling.
Other than picking your favorite color, there are a few things to consider.
- Lighter colored clubs are easier to see in low light conditions.
- People watching you juggle often cannot tell how many clubs you are juggling if they are the same color. If they are different colors, they can easily count how many clubs you a juggling.
- Light-colored clubs show dirt more, while dark-colored ones show scratches.
- Mixed colors have more of a circus/clown look than same-colored clubs.
Decoration, trim tape, and body colors
- In general do not mix club decoration colors with colored club bodies since the colors often clash. If you want different colored bodies, use silver decoration. If you want different colored decorations use white bodies.
- The trim tape on multi-colored clubs looks best if it white or black.
- Mixing club, tape and decoration colors on the same club often looks bad.
Juggling Clubs For a Gift
The safest thing to do is to order a 95-mm club (decorated or un-decorated), and use the default setting for the club options. This is the most common club ordered. You could also give us a phone call (831) 426-7343 and we would be happy to help you make a selection.
Sometimes you will be given a list describing the clubs the gift recipients want. If you cannot figure out what the list means, email or call us and we will assist you. Your gift recipient can always return the clubs for a different set, no problem.