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I have been juggling with Thuds for years now. They are for many jugglers the staple prop in their arsenal, right beside the flaming torches and razor sharp knives.
Thuds are made of 4 coloured panels of vinyl covered material, containing about 120g of seed. The material is elastic so they squash nicely in your hand making them easy to catch and control. They come in a variety of sizes from tiny to huge 1kg monsters, but the standard size is a little smaller than a tennis ball. Young children may find them a little large so the smaller version may be more appropriate. They generally cost around £2-3 each depending on where you buy them.
These are widely used amongst jugglers for a reason. They are a good weight for comfortably juggling anywhere from 3 to 5 balls for extended periods of time without getting worn out. It is possible (with a bit of practise) to juggle 7 of these, although I prefer to use something smaller and lighter when attempting this many. They good for passing between jugglers as well and because they're soft won't cause injury when they hit you/someone else accidentally.
A set of thuds will last for several years if you treat them nicely. I've had a couple of sets now and whilst I've never had one burst on me the vinyl covering will eventually start to crack and peel. When this happens the ball starts to loose it shape. This can be avoided or at least delayed by not dropping the balls onto concrete. Better still never drop them at all. Having juggled near a swimming pool I'm can confirm that these balls do float, although I'm sure if you leave them in the pool long enough you'll be diving to the bottom of the deep end to get them.
I would warn everyone that if you give these to teenage boys they will, with complete certainty, end up throwing them at each other.
You really can't go too far wrong with a set of these. They remove any excuses that other inferior balls might offer, so you won't be able to blame any shortcomings in your juggling skill on the balls!
You can learn to juggle with any type of ball, even tennis balls, but using correctly weighted balls will really help you to learn as your hand will instinctively grip the ball as it lands in your hand and the ball will not bounce out of your hand like it would with tennis balls. These balls are also quite hardy and though I have been through many of them, they last quite long and can take quite a bashing before wearing out.
You can buy cheaper balls, but these are much better value for money as they will last longer and are much nicer to juggle with.
For seasoned jugglers, these balls are great. They may not be as flashy as some balls can be, but if you get through a lot of balls like me, these provide a good, hardy ball at a lower cost than some of the fancier juggling balls.
For some reason the yellow part of these balls seems to wear a lot quicker than the other colours. After a while you will find the yellow flaking off to show the material underneath. You can still use the ball when this happens though and the balls last quite a while before that happens.
Those who have taken up the fantastic activity of juggling or even beginners will be concerned about their balls. Choosing the right weight, size and feel of ball is crucial to success. There comes a time when tennis balls filled with sand just aren't keeping up with your improving ability to juggle. Investing in dedicated juggling balls is a good move that will reap in the rewards.
I received a set of thud juggling balls for my birthday. I didn't actually choose them so I had no idea what to make of the product. Each ball has a PVC shell containing seeds to give them form and weight. Each ball is made by hand and bears a very nice looking colour scheme. The balls are typically of 2 colours, however a single colour can be requested. Black with a colour just makes them look really cool for me which was a pleasant surprise since most juggling balls I have seen have consisted of all light colours. The white stitching neatly joins the 4 panels together with a tight fit and adds a nice glossy design to each ball.
Each ball sits nicely in an adult sized palm. They are not too big that a child could not use them, nor too small to have difficulty in catching. If you have never juggled before then it might be quite surprising how heavy the balls can be. They weigh about the same as a standard television remote? If 120g doesn't give you an idea then that is the best I can do. I like how weighted these balls are, it lets me know that the ball is definitely in my hand. It also lets you know you've failed to keep the balls in the air by delivering a large THUD noise to your ears. Unfortunately these balls can make quite a bit of noise when they hit the ground. Numerous amounts of time I have been told to stop juggling by my parents since they can hear it downstairs. The material of the balls allows for easy catching. They don't tend to slip from your fingers due to its slightly grippy PVC outer shell. The balls are soft and are squishable but will still retain their shape in the air.
I've been using the same 3 balls for 2 years now. They have been through a lot of dropping, wear and tear over the years. My brother even stands on, or plays football with them at times! The worst that has happened is that the outer coating has begin to peel off. It just dampens the aesthetics of the balls but they have been an excellent purchase. None of the stitching has come undone so I still use them daily with no problem. Their durability has been so good that I've never had to buy different juggling balls yet. For as little as £3 per ball you won't be stretching the wallet for hours of enjoyment. I plan to buy some more soon, not to replace my current set, but to add to them as I learn to juggle more.
My main concern really is just when they hit the ground. Learning tricks will inevitably have many drops. Not only do they make quite a loud noise for a soft juggling ball, they like to hide! I've found myself looking for half an hour for the juggling ball that managed to roll an unexpectedly large distance under that object that you looked under, but couldn't see 20 minutes ago.
Despite the minor disadvantages of noise and difficult to find after dropping, these juggling balls are of high quality. I started out juggling on these balls so I recommend anyone else to do the same, or even if you are an amateur looking for new balls.