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~*~*~ Speed Stacks ~*~*~ After seeing these advertised on TV a couple of years ago my son asked if he could have some as all kids do, but after forgetting about them totally they weren't mentioned again and then at Christmas time me and my hubby saw them for sale in Home Bargains we grabbed 2 sets one each for our elder 2 boys. We also found packs of the mini Speed Stacks in PoundLand and bought these too for their stockings. I remembered that they looked quite fun and I knew my boys would be thrilled. Speed Stacks are basically little blue cups with holes in the bottom, they are a sport which involves special techniques in which to stack the cups at the fastest possible speed. My son had watched it being done on TV and on you tube and he was excited that he had them. The normal sized cups are much easier to handle than the small mini cups and I think these are a bit of a novelty if I am honest. We all had a go on the dining room table and where we all got a bit bored of it, my son perserved and he got quite good at it, it gave him something to do and something to concentrate on. It's quite difficult to follow exactly how to do the stacking, you have to cross your arms and grab this cup, that cup, stack, start again.... phew it's hard work! The cups are very durable and my son still uses them now, they have no chips, dents or cracks and they look as new now as they did then. I think they are great for improving a childs concentration and would recommend them as a fun hobby.
As part of a new 'brain active' initiative at my daughters school, they introduced the children to Speed Stacks. Speed stacks is a simple game which involves stacking twelve plastic cups on top of each other in different ways. The claim is that it promotes hand eye co ordination, bilateral coordination and hugely increases concentration. Here is how we got on with them. Why I bought them - My eleven year old daughter was coming home from school buzzing about this new game they were playing at school, they way she explained it was "we have to put cups on top of each other as quick as we can". To me it sounded bizarre and quite silly, so when I had a look online I was quite surprised that this 'silly' game was a being touted as a sport and there were Speed Stack championships all over the world. Over the next few weeks Sophie continued to be excited by this game and started asking if I could buy her some cups of her own so she could play the game at home. Which I did. Buying the stack - The choice of cups is quite amazing you can get mini, large, glow in the dark, sets with timers, battle kits the list goes on, however I bought her a basic set of 12 neon pink stacking cups, the cups come in a mesh carry bag so when not in use they can be stacked away neatly. This is a great feature as I am sure cups would be lost without it. Using the cups - The cups are made of a tough plastic, at the bottom of each cup is three small holes to stop them sticking together whilst in play. The inside of the cups are extra smooth to reduce friction. In the carry bag was a small leaflet explaining basic sequences of stacking and tips on how to use the cups. The most common and easiest sequence is the 3-6-3, which is a tier of 3, a tier of 6 and another tier of 3. The idea is that you start of with the cups in front of you in three stacks of 3,6 and 3. Then see how long it takes you to build the stacks and take them down. I was surprised at how much fun my daughter was having from twelve plastic cups, until I had a go then I was hooked. It was a challenge at first to get the right technique and the cups kept falling down but once I had the knack there was no stopping me. We made up games and challenges and I found myself becoming quite competitive, sadly to the point of while the kids were at school I was practicing my stacking skills so I could beat my daughter when she got home !! My husband and six year old son took an interest too and so we bought some more cups. This meant we could make bigger stacks on our own or have head to head 'stack offs' which were great fun. Are the claims true ? Well I think speed stacks definitely promote coordination, your brain and hands have to work at the same time and at high speeds. You need to concentrate to ensure your stacks do not fall and are correctly placed. However the main benefit of these are the fun factor and the major plus point of anyone can do it. My Daughters school now have a speed stack event on sports day, I think this is brilliant for any children who may not be very athletic. I am not convinced however that you can call Speed Stacking a sport, I can't imagine it appearing at the Olympics anytime soon. Where can I get them ? I bought mine from Amazon, they cost £9.99 for a set of twelve basic cups, there were many choices to choose from. I would really recommend these as a family fun game, be careful you don't get addicted though .
I orignally purcahsed the speed stacks set to obtain the stackmat timer, for which I was planning to use for speedcubing. However once I had bought it I decided that I may aswell try out the speed stacks aswell, it was easy to get into and fun aswell. The set provides a DVD explaining all about the sport of speed stacking, what you have to do and the rules etc, and it also explains a little bit about the history of speed stacking. The set also includes 12 stacking cups, a mat for stacking the cups and the timer. The cups are of a very high quality plastic (though not for drinking due to little air holes) and the mat is also of a high quality, enabling just the perfect amount of friction required for keep the cups stable. The timer is accurate to within 0.01 seconds and is easy to operate, and also provides a function for saving times in its memory. I purchased this particular set in Woolworths just before they went into administration in late 2007 so the price has come down a little, but back then I purcahsed for £27.99, I would consider this good value for money with everything provided, it can provide endless fun, especially for those with a competitive nature. Nowaday it can be purchased in most toy shops and places like Argos. This is the perfect product for a christmas gift as it isn't something that will be used only once. I would recommend
Sport stacks, or speed stacks as it is sometimes known, is something of an internet phenomenon that many of you will have seen and thought "what on earth was that?". Essentially, it involves stacking plastic cups in certain ways in order to create a pattern of 3 cups, 6 cups, then another 3 cups for example. There are several variations of stacking, and in competitions (yes, they exist!) there are different categories. The idea is to do this as fast as possible using approved cups and an approved mat and timers, which usually all come in a set together. At the moment the best deal around I have seen is the Entertainer toy shop where you can buy sets for £20, which include a mat, a timer and the set of 12 cups. Sometimes this also includes an instructional DVD (you'll need it!). You might wonder to yourself why can't you use normal cheaper cups and the reason for that is that these are specifically designed to be faster, by having holes in the bottom of them, allowing the air to pass through more freely and stack quicker. I think this price is a little steep, I would say, but as there is no other way of obtaining these official materials, there is no choice but to splash out on the kit. I have seen it available for £15 before in the same shop, but this must have been a one off promotion as it is no longer to be seen. Although it can look a bit odd when stacking these cups, and it does make an irritating noise when they fall over etc, they do improve hand eye co-ordination for instance. This is a valid skill for kids to try and improve, although one might argue that playing tennis would do something similar and would prove to be more sporty and beneficial to a child's health. Another couple of issues arising from this unique hobby are the masses of packaging that come in a box. It's somewhat wasteful and unnecessary to have so much packaging and such a gigantic box! Given that the cups need to be stacked in a certain way, be prepared to clear a large enough space at about waist height to use this kit. It's not really that much fun to do it on the floor, or in compromised conditions so it's worth making a bit of a space if you can. All in all I would say this would be a good gift for kids up to the age of 12. It's very repetitive and is something a kid will either love or hate and will either discard fairly quickly or stick at to be faster. Either way it's going to take up a lot of space and irritate you for one day with the noise and mess it creates, you have been warned!
Do you want a sport but don't want to be out in an open space for it and be able to practice your sport sitting at a table. Well speed stacks give you just this. You get 12 specially designed cup, well design is 3 holes in the bottom so they don't get stuck, and you have to stack them as fast as you can, and then stylishly take them all down again. Once you master it you can build up speed and routines, of small stacks and big ones, so that it look amazingly impossible for anyone to actually do them selves. The cups do cost a lot tho and were originally £29.99 but they have gone down in price now in shops, with the cups you also get a non slip mat to perform them on and also a big stop watch to slap your hands on to stop the time. So when you get good you can time your self. These are good, but I don't think there worth the money, get some cups and drill holes in the bottom, is my advice, then if you like it and want more, then buy some proper ones.
'Speed Stacking' as it is referred as on Dooyoo or 'Sport Stacking' as it is more commonly known is a simple game first played during the 1980's, but has only recently really taken off as a recognised sports, although many of you will still I'm sure not of heard of it. People playing 'Sport Stacking' Upstack (stacking the cups upwards) and Downstack (taking the stack down again) in a sequence, which is determined prior to the start. They race not only against other competitors, but against the clock too. The sequences I referred to change as the difficulty increases and can be pyramids of three up to ten cups. It's easier to play by yourself, but when performing at a high level it is possible to 'team stack' with a partner or even in a three, this is more common at organised competitions though. For a beginner I suppose you could try with ordinary plastic cups, but there are special cup sets you can by specifically designed for the purpose of speed stacking. These cups have small holes in the bottom to allow air to travel in and out and have a special coating to stop sticking occurring. Apparently, you can even purchase special training cups which are slightly heavier and I believe metal. This is supposed to make the competition cups appear lighter to players and therefore make them stack even faster! Cups are available in a wide variety of colours to suit your taste. I was lucky enough to witness an exhibition of speed stacking at the All England Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships a couple of years ago in one of the marquees at the bottom end of the complex, I don't quite understand the connection between speed stacking and tennis, maybe coordination, but they were there. I must say it was really impressive the speed with which the children doing the stacking were moving. Very rarely did they knock cups over and they were attracting a lot of attention from people of all ages. I haven't seen stacking sets on sale anywhere, but then I don't go into toy stores much these days! There is a website dedicated to the sport and as well as containing lots of interesting information about the sport I believe it also has an online store too where you can purchase all the equipment you need. I'm not sure as to the price of a set, but with Christmas coming up I'm sure they would make a great present. Thanks for reading, happy stacking.
I saw these year ago on an advert, and where around £25. Last year at college we had really long breaks and got bored, so I came up with the idea of getting the crappy plastic cups we use for water and stacking them up with a row of 4, 3, 2, 1. They worked quite well and we all timed each other to do it, the only problem was the cups were a little hard to part when stacking them, and crushed if you took them down too harshly. I recently bought a set from a car boot for £2.50 and found they had 3 holes in the bottom, so they don't stick. So I has a go and found they stacked up easily, but taking them down was hard and they didn't stick at all and just fell out from each other. These cups can amazingly be quite good fun, but I don't think there worth the money really, not for 12 cups, with holes in the bottom.