Help choosing juggling clubs

One of the first factors likely to affect your choice will be price. If you are buying juggling clubs as a gift for someone else or even yourself, you need to consider whether they/you are experimenting, or investing in many years of juggling to come? If you are just starting out, and are on a budget, then one piece clubs will get you juggling. If you know clubs are going to be your next big thing, skip these and put the money towards something that will last longer and feel better. Another factor will be the style of juggling which interests you. If you want to spend most of your time solo juggling or numbers juggling this will affect the clubs you choose. Equally, if you are mainly interested in club passing, you will want clubs which suit this and are compatible with most other passers. The best way to choose your first set of clubs is to go to a juggling shop, club or convention and try out as many styles as possible. If you can't do this take a look at the different categories below. Hopefully this will help you decide what you're looking for.

One or two piece clubs.

This refers to the number of parts used to make the club. One piece clubs are made from one piece of hollow molded plastic. Some one piece club are very light and are not good for juggling outdoors in wind. However, they are usually cheap and make a great introduction to club juggling if you are not so serious or are on a budget. Two piece clubs are made from a separate body and handle with a dowel through the centre. Two piece clubs will also have foam tops and knobs to protect them from drops. These will feel much more satisfying as they are better weighted and the padded handles make for much softer catches.

Wide or narrow bodied clubs.

Wide bodied clubs are very popular for performing as they make a bigger visual spectacle and tend to suit a slow relaxed fluid style. Some passer like these as they take up a lot of space and have nice slow spins They are not popular for numbers juggling (e.g. more than 4/5) as bigger bodied clubs are more likely to collide in tight patterns and the extra weight requires more effort to juggle. Narrow bodied or "European" clubs are most popular. They are (in my opinion) the most versatile all-round club as they can be used for solo, passing or numbers as well as legos and contact moves

Long or short handled clubs.

The length of the handle in proportion to the body will dictate how the club spins. Long handled clubs (like Pirouettes) will spin more slowly and a shorter handled and longer bodied (Circus) clubs will spin faster. Short handled clubs are popular for traditional circus style juggling with super fast triple, quad or even more spins juggled at very low height. Long handled clubs tend to be more popular for passing and numbers juggling Most jugglers juggle long handled clubs. If you want to have clubs which can be easily passed with 89% of other jugglers this is probably the way to go.

Molded or wrapped handle clubs.

Wrapped handles are made from thin sheets of soft plastic wrapped in a spiral around the centre dowels. This creates a very pleasant cushioned handle which absorbs most of the spin and prevents the club from slapping your hand (too much).Wrapped handles also tend to be narrower that molded and allow you to hold (and catch)more clubs in one hand. The only down side to wrapped handles is they can sometimes split and create painful sharp edges. However most good juggling shops will carry spares or can order them. Molded handle clubs tend to be very durable, lack some of the cushioning you get with the wrapped handle design, but are usually cheaper.

Decorated or undecorated clubs.

You can choose completely undecorated "Trainer" clubs, super flash full body decorations like "Glitter" or "Circus" or opt for"Euro" decoration. Trainer clubs, preferred by some who like their classic look, will stay looking relatively tidy through lots of use/abuse and you can always decorate them later if you feel like it. Full body decorations look fantastic and will make you feel like a pro even if your juggling doesn't, but they will get badly scratched if you juggle over hard surfaces. Euro style decoration is where the tip and base of the body are decorated but the centre is left plain. This has the major advantage of giving you a club which looks flash but doesn't get trashed.

All this info is based on personal experience and so is subjective. If you feel it is incomplete or inaccurate please let us know. Mail us with your ideas and opinions to Email: brighton@oddballs.co.uk