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Topic: Manipulation Ball Size
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Jan 1, 2013 04:19PM)
How can one judge what the best size manip ball that one should use?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 1, 2013 11:34PM)
For what effect?

If you are going to do billiard ball manipulation, and you are really serious about it, try it with real billiard balls. I'd go for at least a 2 inch or 2 1/8 inch billiard ball.

If you are going to do the balls in the net, use a smaller ball, about 1 inch.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Jan 2, 2013 09:20AM)
It would be for Billiard Ball Manipulation...
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (Jan 2, 2013 09:34PM)
Do you have the opportunity to actually handle the diff sizes? That may be the 'best' way.
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Jan 4, 2013 03:55PM)
What size audience?
walkaround? Stage?
do you plan on using a ] ?
how many balls in the routine?
what kind of manipulations ?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Jan 4, 2013 11:25PM)
If you are going to do billiard balls, then you need to use a size that the audience will recognize as being a billiard ball. something from 2 inches to 2 1/2 inches would be legit. But you should actually use something like the Fakini balls, as they are much lighter and much easier to use.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Lyle (Jan 5, 2013 08:02AM)
I do plan on getting a set of Fakini's but wanted to figure out what size to purchase. I'll be getting "red" and they're the most expensive due to the special coloring, so I didn't want to get a size that was too big for me to handle.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Jan 5, 2013 08:48AM)
Hey Christopher,

I worked out a routine and got my Fakini sets including a flash four in 1.75 and then then decided to bump up to 2". When I did I went with a different type of ball, and I kept a set of 1.75 for street, or walk around situation.

The factors that made me bump up to 2": my size (6'4" - large hands), my application (stage), feedback from Levent that with my build I needed to go larger, & finally the fact that I found some cheaper balls that I liked which made going larger affordable.

I think 2" balls are not for everyone (consider your size), and certainly not for every application. Angles are very difficult to control with these guys, and this prohibits their use often. But, having said all that, I tried to make the best choice of size when I started with my Fakini sets and still ended up switching. Such is life... It is ultimately a personal choice, and you will do the best you can. Good luck.

Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (Jan 5, 2013 08:54AM)
This thread tells you more about the 2" balls that I purchased...
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Jan 8, 2013 01:37PM)
I learned on 1.75" Fakinis and regret that I didn't get 2" or bigger first. All balls will feel too large at the start, but you'll adapt and handle them easily.
Message: Posted by: DanielCoyne (Mar 5, 2013 02:05PM)
Not to be contrary, but...

I started with 2" fakinis and just traded down to 1 3/4 fakini golf balls. I'm a big guy but have smallish hands, and I just don't trust my ability to conceal 2" balls effectively. I'm nervous that I'm flashing to anyone not directly in front of me. I'm willing to sacrifice a quarter inch of visibility for a prop that I'm more comfortable with. Plus the lower cost makes some of the accessories more affordable like a flash four finale, shrinking golf ball set, and the giant golf ball finale. (Speaking of which, anyone know where I can pick up a giant golf ball finale? Everyone seems to be out of stock.)

I also think that unless you have a set adorned with stripes, solids and numbers, nobody associates solid colored silicone balls with billiards. Just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: Frank Simpson (Mar 5, 2013 05:25PM)
I also use 1 3/4" Fakinis. I was fortunate to be able to try out a few sizes at the shop when I bought them. My hands are actually large but I have just enough "webbing" between my fingers to keep them from being able to spread wide enough to hold the 2" balls. I agree that you want to go as large as you can, but in my case I simply [i]cannot[/i] the hold the 2" Fakinis.
Message: Posted by: elliottmagic (Mar 6, 2013 12:34AM)
I'm 14 years old, and I use 2 sets of 2 inch Fakinis in my routine. They took some getting used to but I can hadle them with ease.
Message: Posted by: DanielCoyne (Mar 6, 2013 08:52AM)
Elliot nice! I agree that it's best to use the largest size you're comfortable with after some practice.

You may want to go to a toy store and/or a sporting goods store and pick up some cheap balls of different sizes and practice a few vanishes and rolls and see what 4 of them feel like between your fingers. You can get rubber toy balls, squash balls, foam (practice) golf balls, mini tennis balls (check the dog toy section), etc.

A full routine's worth of Fakinis is an investment, so it's worth being careful about the choice.

- Daniel
Message: Posted by: dahih beik (Mar 6, 2013 09:15AM)
I have big hands and I can and did handle the 2 inch and the bigger ones but ended up with the 1,75. if you want to fool people you need not to fash they are much better for multiple production , but again if you choose to do a routine such as the wakling , (kalin) had succes with the bigger ones , so my advice is the routining will have to do with the size .
Message: Posted by: videoman (Mar 6, 2013 10:20AM)
On 2013-03-06 09:52, DanielCoyne wrote:

You may want to go to a toy store and/or a sporting goods store and pick up some cheap balls of different sizes and practice a few vanishes and rolls and see what 4 of them feel like between your fingers. You can get rubber toy balls, squash balls, foam (practice) golf balls, mini tennis balls (check the dog toy section), etc.

- Daniel

That's exactly what I did because of the large investment required for Fakini's. I found various toy and craft balls made of both rubber and wood in 2" and 1.75". My hands are not large so the 2" was tough but I felt I could eventually adjust to it and the added size really made a difference in the overall look, I mean it just looked so much more amazing!

However, make sure you consider not only handling the balls and holding them between your fingers but concealing them as well. That is VERY important. I finally ordered a set of 2" Fakini's along with a couple extra balls and an additional shell which I needed for my routine. When I received them I discovered the dealer had accidentally sent the extra balls in 2 1/8" size so I got a chance to try those and they were definitely too big for my hands, now way could I adjust to that size. He gladly corrected the error but it did allow me to know that 2" was the max for me.

So for someone to blanketly suggest as other posters have that you should you only consider using balls 2 to 2.5" is very poor advice IMHO. Nobody except magicians have any idea in this day and age that you are supposedly using billiard balls.

Find a nearby toy store, sporting goods store, and hobby or craft store (such as Michael's) and bring a tape measure and pick up various sizes. Then give the various sizes a good try and see what you are capable of handling. Your fingers will adjust and stretch somewhat up to a point, but if they are just too big you will always be uncomfortable with them, and manipulating objects that you are uncomfortable with is not going to produce the results you want. Not to mention that you will likely be flashing like crazy.

As a side note I recently started using a set of the 2" soft squeezable balls sold in red on eBay for under 12 bucks and have grown to love them. They're not perfect and may not be suitable for the routine you want to do, but for me they really fit the bill. Now I just have to get my mind around leaving my expensive Fakini's (in which I have invested a small fortune) in the drawer and using these cheapo balls instead. Mentally, it is difficult for me to do that!!! But the audience just wants to see good magic and could care less, right?
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Mar 6, 2013 11:27AM)
When This question was asked back in March 2011 at
I commented:
-----begin quote-----
Chapter 18 of Routined Manipulation Part II is titled "Modern Billiard Ball Manipulation" and is quite possibly the single best introduction to billiard ball manipulation ever written. There is a section titled "The Type and Size of Balls to Use" and it provides a "rule of thumb" (although probably in this case a more apt metaphor might be a "rule of fingers") for determining what size ball to use. Ganson says (page 95): "The rule should be the balls should be as large as the performer can manage comfortably." He then gives "a good test' for determining what "comfortable" size to use, although the test requires that you have access to a brick-and-mortar magic shop where you can go in and actually experiment with different size balls.
-----end quote-----

I would recommend you get Ganson's book if you don't already have it. It is as good a reference book for billiard ball manipulation as you can find.

If you don't have a magic shop that carries manipulation balls, you might be able to find high bounce balls of various sizes at a toy store.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: soleil (Mar 6, 2013 02:40PM)
Ok, I have a lot of experience with both 2 inch and 1 inch 75. I do the Wakeling routine and even though I can palm and manipulate easely the 2 inch balls I have some flashes (in videos and remarks). It is great to use the big balls but I will suggest use them in only very large settings. For most venues the 1 inch 75 Fakinis are perfect.
Message: Posted by: Anatole (Mar 6, 2013 10:27PM)
I think Henry Hay recommended using larger balls for practice. That way when you used the smaller diameter balls in performance, you could manipulate them effortlessly.

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
Message: Posted by: tecumilic (Jul 25, 2018 07:26AM)
Is moving up 0.1 inch (1/2 cm) a big difference in handling?
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Jul 25, 2018 09:26AM)
[quote]On Jul 25, 2018, tecumilic wrote:
Is moving up 0.1 inch (1/2 cm) a big difference in handling? [/quote]

It depends what your body's fingers can handle. You don't want to cripple your hands, or perform the needed moves looking like you are fumbling. In other words, will it look effortless or like you are struggling. How tall are you, that has a lot of do with what ball size you can handle. In other words large hands with long fingers.
Message: Posted by: tecumilic (Jul 25, 2018 11:23AM)
I am 172.5 inches. I have small skinny hands. I made a 1.7inch ball up by tightly taping around a pingis ball until it reached 1.7 inches in diameter. I did the mark wilson test and I could perform thr entire mark wilson routine using 1.7 inch balls. Size vise I am pretty confident that I can handle the balls atleast for the basic moves for the Bond Lee moves I do not know. When it comes to weight I have no idea. Since I'm used to pingis balls.
Message: Posted by: danaruns (Jul 31, 2018 01:30PM)
What's the "Mark Wilson test?" Mark is a dear friend of mine, but I'm not familiar with that.
Message: Posted by: tecumilic (Aug 1, 2018 01:33PM)
I just called it that. But in the Complete Course Mark teaches a billiard ball routine and says that the largest possible ball that you can perform the following routine whith is the right size to use. He then teaches a billiard ball routine. He said something along the lines of this it seems to me to be a good test to know what size to use.