Oddballs Odd Blog

  • Gandini - '8 Songs'

    Beautiful venue for this evenings performance of '8 Songs' from the Gandini juggling group. I could go into great detail about how well choreographed the show was, how well the songs were chosen and what emotions you could read from the performers in their expressive movements and specific juggling patterns, but I won't. The entire evenings spectacle was so gripping. The group I went with consisted of fellow jugglers (myself included) and watching what could be described as basic or simplistic patterns, just fit so well. The complexity of moving around the stage and interacting with one another was intriguing. There was so many moments where the audience were in awe, yet we weren't sure if we should clap or sit there with our mouths and eyes wide open.

    The choice in venue was rather captivating. The size of the stage worked really well for all the movements without a feeling of being crowded or confined, yet the audience being close enough to look around the stage and not feel like anything was lost. That being said, there was so much to look at, in that if your eyes diverted away from the main attraction, the cast were doing things in the background in changes of body language that always interlinked back to center stage, always keeping you entertained no matter where you looked. Alongside the stage size, something that really helped set the mood for the various performances was their choice in lighting - having the spotlights cast overwhelming and powerful shadows to bring attention back, yet if you looked to the walls, you had dancing silhouettes, rather beautiful.
    The entire show was phenomenal. In every act the symmetry was beautiful. How in sync the jugglers were even with one of them having only rehearsed alongside the others for a week, astounding. That's what really stood out for me, is that with 6 jugglers, you call all be in rhythm with one another.
    To sum it all up in one word - fascinating.

    More information about Worthing Theatres 'Summer of Circus' can be found here.

  • Calling All Jugglers We Have A Competition For You!

    With this years competition in full swing, let’s have a look at last years winners for some
    inspiration. We were overwhelmed with the number of entries, and the stunning array of skills,
    tricks and imagination. It was fantastic to see such a variety of ages, abilities and personalities
    which makes our community so vibrant and fun. Here’s why we picked last year’s winners:

    The Juggler by Peter Ȧberg (Runners-up):

    The Juggler <-- Please go to JTV for iOS playback

    We love how Peter’s video expresses a diversity of talent and skills within our community. The
    video visualises the lifestyle and hidden struggles of performers. Peter becomes a storyteller to
    show us that juggling is great fun, but also gives us a real insight into the continuously long hours
    of practicing, the throbbing forearms and bruises and the drive to master that one trick which
    seams impossible. We can all relate to this video in one way or another.

    Want to learn club juggling techniques?

    As seen in the video: Juggle Dream Solo. 1PC Club - Set of three

    Juggl3ring by clp (Runners-up):

    Juggl3ring <-- Please go to JTV for iOS playback

    We love how effortlessly cool this ring-juggler handles multiple tricks on continuous flow without
    breaking a sweat. It’s a display of imaginative ideas with high levels of concentration and fluent
    motion. You can imagine the hours of practice they have done and the dedication to perfect these
    tricks. We love the creativity and uniqueness of the performance.

    Want to give ring juggling a go?

    As seen in the video: Kosmos 35cm Juggling Rings (available in different colours)

    Russian Juggling New Year Collaboration 2018 by jumpropemaster (Runners-up):

    Russian Juggling New Year Collaboration 2018 <-- Please go to JTV for iOS playback

    This video perfectly demonstrates that juggling is much more than just a skill. It is a community
    and a lifestyle. It visualises the diversity of age, abilities and backgrounds. It gives us a warm
    feeling inside showing that we are all a family that comes together with our passion for juggling.
    This video has the wow factor with the explosion of skills and performance styles, and how
    enthusiastic the youngest generations are to carry on the tradition.

    Want to give hula hooping a go?

    As seen in the video: Juggle Dream One Piece Hula Hoop (available in different colours and sizes)

    Summer tricks by ŁukaszUczkiewicz (WINNER!):

    Summer tricks <-- Please go to JTV for iOS playback

    We love seeing jugglers developing their own individual style and be able to project their
    personality into their performance. When watching Lukasz perform, we genuinely felt like we knew
    him and his passion for juggling. We were stunned by his spatial awareness and the ability to mix
    bind catches whilst behind juggling. We are continuously inspired by the next generation with their
    creativity and attitude towards juggling with enthusiasm to take it to the next level.

    Want to juggle like Lukasz?

    As seen in the video: Play MMX2 Juggling Ball - 70mm

    We hope we’ve inspired you and given you some super ideas for tricks, performance styles and
    storylines. Get your creative hat on and get juggling! We can’t wait to see your videos. See our
    previous blog post for all the competition information.

  • Juggling TV Champion Competition 2018

    Calling all jugglers and performers, this is for you!

    We’re hosting a contest to showcase your skills and ingenuity with a chance to win some great
    prizes. This is open for all abilities and styles of juggling. We want to celebrate the diversity and
    passion within our community and to skill-share with one another.

    It’s super simple to enter. Record a video your most fun and innovative tricks and upload them to
    Juggling TV. (Videos uploaded before the start date will not be included in the voting process).

    Use this year’s hashtag #JTVC18 to share your entry and skills with fellow performers.

    This competition lasts for the period of a year, allowing plenty of time to get creative and capture
    some exciting footage. Any video uploaded between 20th June 2018 and 30th June 2019 will be
    entered into the competition. Winners will be announced shortly after.

    We have two top secret judges with over 60 years experience of juggling and skills between them!
    The videos will be judged on several aspects including: technical skill, comedy, image quality,
    direction and storytelling as well as anything which makes your video stand out.

    Prizes:

    Our prizes have generously been donated by Oddballs who have supported JTV since day one.

    1st Prize: £1000 store voucher from oddballs.co.uk

    2nd, 3rd & 4th Prize: £300 store voucher from oddballs.co.uk

     

    No matter your experience or skill level, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  • Email Fixes Over Bank Holiday Weekend

    Update: These are working as normal now (Sunday 27th).

    We are making some changes to emails over the bank holiday weekend.

    This means you may not receive your order confirmation emails until Tuesday 29th May.

    Your orders are being processed as normal! You will just get your confirmation email about it later.

    If you create an account and use that to make an order, you will be able to confirm the details of the order in your Account Dashboard.

    We apologise for the disruption, things will be back to normal very soon.

  • New Website and early Christmas Deals!

    You may have noticed a few things have changed about Oddballs, as in everything. Someone mentioned it's 2017, so we decided to get with the times and update our website (and also update our deals!).

    Some of the things we're excited about:

    It's designed to work on all screen sizes and devices

    We've improved the layout, helping you reach the products you want

    We've improved and streamlined the checkout process (especially for Paypal users). We have plans to improve this even more.

    There's much more, and there'll be many more improvements coming in the new year.

    As with every Christmas, we have a great selection of deals for you. From ball deals, such as the 3 x Juggle Dream 'Shineys' Premium Thuds + Instant Juggler - Balls DVD, club deals like the 3x Juggle Dream Trainer Club + Oddballs Instant Club DVD + JD Club Bag or yoyo deals like the Henry Lizard + Learn how to Yoyo DVD + 10x YoYo String, we have something for everyone.

    If you have any feedback or questions about the new website, please comment below, or contact us here.

     

  • Zippos Is Coming To Town!

    Oddballs Logo
     

    Zippos Circus is coming to Hove Lawns during August
    with a special discount ticket offer
    exclusively for friends of Oddballs:

    Front View seats for £7.50. Any day, any show except first day preview. Usual price £20 Adult, £16 Child

    Simply show this email on paper or smartphone at
    the circus ticket office when purchasing.

    Tickets subject to availability - please come 30 minutes early.
    Dates and times at zippos.co.uk

    Zippos Circus, Hove Lawns, Kingsway BN3 2WW

    Friday August 25th until Sunday September 3rd


     

    For its 2017 tour, family favourite, Zippos Circus, presents Jigit! celebrating the show's sensational new equestrian and fearless acrobatic marvels.

    Zippos welcomes the thundering hooves of acrobatic 'trick' Cossack riding from Kazakhstan courtesy of the Khadikov Jigit Riders and, back by popular demand, are Zippos' 21st Century 'Jigits', the Brazilian motorbike daredevils in the Globe of Death, the legendary Lucius Team.

    Plus comic hilarity, amazing feats on the swinging trapeze, real knife throwing, and more, all presented by the world's greatest ringmaster, Norman Barrett, MBE, and his mischievous Budgerigar pals.

    Globe

    Juma

    Hula

    Tumbuktu


    Oddballs is England's oldest, dedicated Juggling Company. We are proud to support Zippos in their work in furthering the greater juggling and circus community. If you're a juggler, a circus, a school or a business, we've got the right toys to get you excited about juggling.

    View our online store here, or visit our Brighton store at

    24 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 4AL

  • Spinning Tops - Where to Start?

    The last 12 months in the skill toy world have seen an explosion in popularity in Spinning Tops, particularly in Europe. As with all great skill toys, the level of competition and sense of community has encouraged players to really push their props in to new, exciting, unexpected areas. At Oddballs we've stocked for many years the entry-level models from Duncan including the RipCord which completely removes the learning process of throwing a top - but just recently we were excited to get our hands on the Trompos Space range. These awesome Spinning Tops are manufactured in the EU by a mixed team of Pro Spinners and Designers to ensure each one is ready for complex tricks and sequences. Much like the 'Fixed' or 'Bearing' decisions that exist in Diabolos, the Trompos Space models come loaded with either 'Fixed' or 'Roller' tips.

    Fixed Tips lend themselves to more traditional tricks that involve having the Top shoot along the string when an appropriate string wrap is performed. These are sometimes referred to as 'String Traveller' Tricks. Learning this technique is only possible with a Fixed Tip Top - It could be a 'Necklace' Trick you want to learn or even the 'Cable Car'. For the beginner Spinner we recommend the Saturno Xtreme. It's a robust, aerodynamic shape that has great balance and will allow the thrower to develop their trick range. It includes everything you need to get started and the string and launcher can be easily stored inside the Top when not in use.

    Roller Tip Models not only allow the Top to spin for significantly longer, allowing even longer, crazier tricks sequences - they also make lasso and palm catching tricks much easier. In fact, we've seen the Trompos Pros perform the yo-yo trick 'Gyro Flop' with a Roller Tip Spinning Top. Using this type of Top does mean that 'String Traveller' tricks are no longer possible however, so it is a trade-off and you may want to think carefully about what style of tricks you want to learn. An Oddballs favourite in the Roller Tip department is the Jupiter - it's over-sized but has incredible balance and an internal weight mechanism which allows players to alter the centre of gravity - useful for certain tricks or playing styles!

    The learning curve with Spinning Tops is straight forward - however, Players do need to learn how to launch their tops first! Initially, this can be a little tricky - but there loads of resources on YouTube and Juggling.tv that explain the correct string wrapping technique and throw - A little perseverance and you'll have the world of Spinning Top Tricks at your finger tips!

  • Camvention

    What a day!

    Once oddballs had set up and the convention started, the large sports hall came alive with so much varied talent from tightrope walking to 7 club juggling. Gazing across the room to see so many props flying through the air and patterns was mesmerising. As always the reception we had was lovely and everyone was super friendly, collectively sharing the love of the world of circus. We had the opportunity to help teach people new tricks and be dazzled by others abilities throughout the day.

    Wow, this show was definitely one of the best I've seen. The compère Maarten willy Wils from Belgium was brilliant, his humour was on point and had many engaging jokes and never a dull moment while he was on stage. We were treated to a beautifully elegant and athletic hoop performance by Elina from Finland which incorporated very controlled handstands and gymnastic moves with technical hooping tricks to amaze.
    Ieuan evens performed his stunning ring act displaying some flowing balancing tricks and manipulations followed by a neat 7 ring flash to finish.
    We had Lili and Kenny perform an amazing acro balance and gymnastic style routine which was very well choreographed and impressed with every leap, tumble and bound.
    Ben and Fred brought a creative guitar and club juggling duet which not only demonstrated some highly skilled patterns by Frederike but also brought comedy with interaction from Ben while playing his guitar.

    The Camvention organisers not only made this convention happen but found time to work on a mesmerising ball and club passing act which was very creative and thoroughly enjoyable to watch with the whole stage alive with some very talented jugglers.
    To end this fabulous show of delightfulness we had an incredible diabolo routine which worked body popping and diabolo together to create an intense robotic creation that added isolation to make our minds play tricks. Guilluame karpowicz had us in awe and we found his skill and creations highly entertaining.

    Overall this convention had us buzzing and wanting to share and explore everything that we saw. What a great bunch of incredible individuals ever pushing their skill levels in the props we all love.

    Zak

  • Juggling clubs, meetings and jams

    Juggling Clubs

    All over the world, tucked away in village halls, bustled into squash courts and, weather permitting, on greens and parks, you might just find something very special. In venues with good ceiling height for the jugglers, good width for the hoopers and sometimes an outdoor safe space for the fire spinners you may be lucky enough to stumble across a weekly juggling club. Jugglers, spinners, unicyclists, hoopers and so on and so on all come together in towns, cities and villages to learn, practice, socialise and have an whole abundance of fun with like minded people.

     

    So, who are juggling clubs for? Who can go?

     

    EVERYONE!!!! From complete beginner to professional. From juggler to cigar box specialist. People who make a living from spinning poi and people to fancy trying diabolo for the first time.

     

    Complete beginners can go?

     

    Yes, most definitely. If you fancy learning a circus skill, going to your local circus club is probably the best way to learn. There is no replacement for learning from an other person.

     

    So how does it work?

     

    It’s quite simple really. You turn up. There is normally some equipment you can use. See someone doing something you find impressive? Ask them to teach you! In the end, they got to where their high standard because someone taught them.

     

    But I can learn so much from youtube at home. Why should I go out of my way when I have the whole of the internet to teach me?

     

    Good question. I guess the only truthful way to answer is to try to explain what juggling clubs have meant to me.

     

     

     

    Many moons ago, (year 2002 or so), I tiptoed nervously into my first juggling club as a then young tween. From that very instant I was greeted with love and encouragement. Large plastic clubs were thrust into my small hands which swiftly clattered to the ground. Diabolos made their first tentative spins. “Throw throw-catch catch” was said again, and again, and again………….

     

    Before I knew it, I belonged. We were going out for chips, doing small performances around town, even making the pilgrimage to the famous London Oddballs! We were a band of miss matched men and women of all ages and ability that shared a simple joy. We believed that circus was a very good thing.

     

    Once, a social was thrown for this university juggling club. (my very first time seeing what a convention could be like). The late great Ben Beever came down to perform, in the most “juggler” of ways, a list like demonstration of very difficult tricks. He then took the time to teach me to pass.

     

    With this merry few, I traveled all over The UK and Europe. We taught and performed. There was always room for one more.

     

    In every juggling club, convention and get together of jugglers that I’ve been to over the years, I’ve found this same beating heart. This urgency to pass our skills on. This free and loving sence of “one of us”. I’ve walked into a squash court or on a village green and found people like me. Restless souls like I. Brothers that say “I KNOW I could get just a few more throws….”, sisters that say “I’m getting this trick really clean now! Now how can I make it harder…..”.

     

    Friends that will drop everything to teach you.

     

    Nothing can ever replace the magic of circus people coming together.

     

    Now go find your local club!

    http://www.jugglingedge.com/clublistings.php

     

    See you there,
    Jimi

  • So. I had a Yoyo back in the 1990’s. What’s changed?

    So. I had a Yoyo back in the 1990’s. What’s changed? Can I still “walk the dog”?

     

    Oh, the 90’s. A time of pokemon cards, pogs, cereal chosen primarily based on the free toy, Art Attack, and yoyos. Yes, the yoyo craze. Playgrounds full of kids violently swinging “around the world”, getting all digits involved in an unforgiving tangle in a “rock the baby” and ever escalating arguments on who can throw the longest sleeper. An adolescence brought to you by Duncan, Yomega and Henry's.

     

    So, What’s changed?

     

    Everything.

     

    The leap in technology in creating yoyo has been vast. In the 90’s we were playing with a pedal go cart, in the mid 2000’s we were playing with f1 cars, today we are playing with space rockets, so to speak. World record sleepers went from a few mins to nearly half an hour.

     

    And fancy yoyos means fancy tricks. The new common style among pros and hobbyist alike is “unresponsive” yoyoing. Which means that you have to do a special trick to make it return to your hand, opening up fleets of new tricks and styles.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8pmieoAi4I

    But that all still the same principle of finger-attached-to-string-attached to-yoyo. Nothing else has changed, right?

     

    Like I said, everything changed.

     

    Over the last 2 decades, new bewildering and mystifying styles of play have come about.

     

    Think 1 “unresponsive” is just on challenging enough for you? Try 2 unresponsive yoyos, one in each hand. Also known as 3A.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRLXwPeA9W4

     

    Think having the yoyo attached to your finger is soooooooooo 90’s? 5A is for you! Instead of the string attached to your finger, it is attached to a counterweight, allowing for it to easily be released and swung/thrown.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rg17FtXw8Q0

     

    Do you feel that having the yoyo attached to the end of the string is just too restrictive? 4A is just what you need! In a similar style to diabolo, the yoyo is not attached to the string at all, allowing it to be thrown and caught again on the sting.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy8BDmCUmX8

     

    Now that your mind is well and truly blown, I can hear you ask, “how do I get back into it?”

     

    Well, first you’re gonna need a yoyo.

    If you’re fingers still remember how to throw a sleeper, I suggest the Infinity Blaze.

    http://www.oddballs.co.uk/infinity-blaze-yoyo-p-3951.html

     

    Out of the box, you’ll be able to throw a good long sleeper and do all those awesome tricks you remember. Flags, stars, cat's cradle, rock the baby etc. But here’s the jazz: this one comes with a 2nd wider bearing. So you can modify this yoyo to become Unresponsive and learn all these swanky new fangled modern tricks like slacks, whips and rejections.

     

    You’ll need to learn to “bind” the yoyo (the mentioned special trick.) Good news! Youtube was invented since the 90’s. Youtube will be your friend and mentor as you progress.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0wnN4blxII

     

    “But, Can I still still walk the dog!!??” I hear you ask.

     

    Yes. And do it with a titanium yoyo, it will spark.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GLfNBkkmTc

    Enjoy.

    Jimi

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