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Topic: Billiard Balls
Message: Posted by: peter teagle (Feb 18, 2004 08:52AM)
I was wondering if there is a 'standard' size of multiplying billiard ball set that would be right for an average sized hand.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Feb 18, 2004 09:07AM)
You really have to try different sizes and find which one works best for you and your own hands. There is no one right answer to this. However, a majority of manipulator find that the 1 and 3/4 inch works quite well.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: peter teagle (Feb 18, 2004 12:28PM)
Thanks, Kyle

I've just got the Jeff McBride World Class Manipulation vol 1 and the balls he uses, Fakini, didn't look huge. He did use a bigger ball for a one ball routine and I just wondered what sizes he was using, my hands seem to be of a similar size to his. It would be an expensive mistake to buy the wrong size Fakini's!!
Message: Posted by: boltt223 (Feb 18, 2004 05:40PM)
What I did was go to the local Wal-mart and got some superballs to help determine what size would be best. Then after some experimentation with different sizes bought the Fakini's.
Message: Posted by: -The Scot- (Feb 19, 2004 02:38AM)
For the majority of the tape, Jeff used 1 3/4" billiard balls, but for the multiplying balls routine - it was a 2" set. He looked like he was struggling with the last ball though, if you ask me.

Hope this helps.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Feb 19, 2004 01:09PM)
1 and 3/4 inches has worked best for my own personal use. I would also reccomend doing what Bollt suggested by going to a toy store and checking out different bouncy balls in various sizes to see what works best for you.

kyle
Message: Posted by: peter teagle (Feb 19, 2004 01:58PM)
Thanks Kyle and Kevin that's a great help!

Kevin, I did notice the balls seemed to change size at certain points in the DVD! One thing Jeff McBride said which made me smile was that he used 'balls of all SHAPES and sizes' I just wondered what other shapes balls came in!!!

peter
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Feb 19, 2004 03:36PM)
Peter,

He may have meant the Vernet balls as they are round but have a texture to them which kind of changes the shape a bit.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: peter teagle (Feb 19, 2004 04:03PM)
Kyle

Mmmmm!! Not sure he meant it that way, I think he meant colors! Anyway, made me smile!

peter
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 19, 2004 07:01PM)
McBride was commenting on the "Sponge Multiplying Balls" when he made that statement. The sponge balls will go flat if you let them while between you fingers.
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Feb 25, 2004 06:50PM)
How much do you guys love the fakini balls?

I have a set of the old red, wooden, german-made balls. I don't care for the look of the Vernet balls I have seen at the local shop.

The red wooden balls tend to slip if I do not go through my "ritual" to get my fingers limber and properly moist. Sometimes, I'll peel an orange... gives my fingers a nice tackiness and leaves them smelling good too ;-)

They are 1-1/2" and I know I could go bigger. But the fakinis are so expensive... I am saving my allowance but also want a better set of cups... what a dilema...

So anyway, how good are the fakinis? Is it possible to get just the shell and match it with a cheaper toy store balls?

WoodRat
Message: Posted by: xxxRoyxxx (Feb 25, 2004 07:13PM)
Fakini's are the best of the best!!! I haven't done it but I guess it would be possible to match a shell with toy store balls. Anyone done this... Really, the price of the balls is well worth it and you will actually thank yourself that you spent so much money on balls!
Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (Feb 25, 2004 07:15PM)
"So anyway, how good are the fakinis? Is it possible to get just the shell and match it with a cheaper toy store balls?"

I have white Fakini 1 3/4 balls and for color changes I use the identical size silicone ball that you can get in a toy store. They fit the shell perfectly so if you just have the shell you could save some money. You will find that the casting seem on the Fakini ball is barely noticeable compared to the toy store balls. You do get better quality with the Fakini. They are worth in mind the investment.
Message: Posted by: Aperazor (Feb 26, 2004 05:24AM)
I fought the idea of getting Fakini balls for quite a while, they just seemed ridiculous in price and then heard stories of having to wait forevever to get what you want...
I only live a couple hours from House of Fakini and called them directly and they would have cost me more than ordering from a dealer.
Then a couple weeks ago I seen a set of white Fakinis with 4 colored balls on EBay with Buy It Now for $108.
It killed me to hit the button but I bought them and I don't regret it at all.
I love these things.
I still think that with the price tag they should be hand delivered by Playboy Bunnies but I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger and got them.
I sold one of my old guitar amps to do it but it had been sitting around unused to long and I still have two others.
Anyway I think they are worth having and you can still get a deal on E-bay from time to time.
Best of luck
Nick Zender
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Feb 26, 2004 08:18AM)
I have a set of white Fakini balls 1 3/4 inch in size and love them. they simply are the best billiard balls on the market and they have always worked great for me.

As others have stated, you can do color changes by buying some colored bouncy balls in the same size at your local toy store. It works pretty nice and keeps your cost down.

So are Fakini's worth the investment? In my own mind, YES!

Kyle
Message: Posted by: boltt223 (Feb 26, 2004 03:49PM)
There is no doubt that if you do billiard ball manipulation Fakini IS the way to go. My set is 1 3/4" and I have had nothing but success using them. Pay a little more and get the best.
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Feb 27, 2004 07:39PM)
OK,

Looks like I'm going down to Wal-Mart to find some cheapo balls for stretching out my grip... while I save up for the fakinis!

Anyone have some good pointers to non-gaffed routines/info?
Message: Posted by: Aperazor (Feb 27, 2004 10:21PM)
WoodRat,
The multiplying golf balls are less than $10 and they are actually great for the price and will definately help you build routines and ideas while saving up for the Fakinis.
Check them out
Nick
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (Feb 27, 2004 11:36PM)
Richard Ross and McBride tapes have none gaff routines. Be prepared to work a long time on the handling.

I have a set of Fakini Multiplying Golf Balls from 30 years ago. This is when he included the 4th ball solid ball.

You could use real golf balls, plastic practice golf balls, or superballs to practice.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Feb 28, 2004 08:35AM)
Woodrat:

I do a full 3 min routine using regular balls only. I would be more then happy to work with you on a routine and help you out.

The best way to start is by simply learning the various moves and sequences. This will build up your library and it is from this library that you can pull from to create your routine.

Take your time with it, tape your practices and wotk on the proper handling of the various moves. Do not be so eager to put a routine together just yet. That will come in time. You have to learn to walk before you can run.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Mar 3, 2004 02:45PM)
Thanks Kyle,

Of course that is good advice. I am actually interested in pointers to technique and sleights... and good sources of material to practice.

As you can guess, I already have some good *basic* sleights for concealment, production, etc... but I haven't spent much time on flourishes or any advanced handling.

Cheers,
WoodRat
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Mar 4, 2004 12:39AM)
As an aside -- Al Sharpe learned how to do multiplying Billard Balls without the gaff. One evening he was visiting the Magic Circle of London,(he is a member) and they were having one of those "grab bag nights," in which each performer or group is given a bagful of props and has to come up with a routine. Well, they gave him a bag that had some billiard balls, but no gaff. So he did his multiplying balls routine. They thought he had cheated and rung in a gaff, but he proved that he had not.
Message: Posted by: KSMagic2007 (Mar 27, 2004 07:39PM)
WoodRat, Get the Jeff McBride 3 video series titled: World CLass Manipulation:Essential slight of hand techniques with coins balls and thimbles. I bought these videos about 3 years ago and have been hooked on minipulation ever since.

KYLE
Message: Posted by: WoodRat (Mar 29, 2004 06:13PM)
Thanks everyone for the great ideas and offers.

Kyle, thank you for the offer to help. After I have a few more sleights under my belt, I may take you up on it!

Bill, the Al Sharpe routine sounds grand.

KYLE, I'll check into the vids you mentioned.

I wonder if anyone has ideas on books?

WoodRat
Message: Posted by: EddyRay (Mar 29, 2004 06:35PM)
Books-

Now you see it, now you don't
It is full of sleights for balls, cards, coins and various other types of props. There is a second volume of this book also.

Tim Wright has a nice video also on multiplying balls, however the McBride series as Kyle mentioned are superb.
Message: Posted by: Ronin (Mar 30, 2004 11:26AM)
Woodrat,

One of my favorite resources is Richard Kaufman's "Balls! Lessons in Sidearm Snookery"--it has a couple of non-gimmick routines, and a good number of moves I haven't seen elsewhere. His thinking on using the gimmick in a more subtle manner is excellent.

The book is out of print (in fact, it was the very first book Kaufman ever published), but I do see it around here and there.

I also started studying the Alan Wakeling routine from "The Magic of Alan Wakeling" by Jim Steinmeyer. It uses a four balls and gimmick set, but again, the routine and use of the gimmick are quite elegant.

I use Fakinis, and love them. However, given your financial choice (balls or cups), I'll throw out this thought: I used to use a 1 inch wooden set and loved 'em. A few years ago, I got the Fakinis, and I love 'em. But as I use them, I think from time to time how the old masters (Cardini, Buckingham, Devant, Hermann, etc.) used wooden or ivory balls and seemed to fine. With that idea in my head, I have a feeling that one day I'll start working with wooden ones again (although they're not so cheap, either).

One last option for cheaper balls: I remember seeing a post on the Café about a year ago, where a user suggested taking wooden balls, spraying on some adhesive, then rolling them in fine craft sand. Let dry, and then paint. I haven't tried it myself, but it could be good way of making a set of wood balls with a good grip.
Message: Posted by: Lee Brown (Apr 4, 2004 03:44AM)
Frank Garcia had a very large set of Fakini balls. I think they were 2 1/4 inch balls. He did a very nice act with them.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Apr 4, 2004 08:04AM)
It is best to try out different sizes and determine what fits your hand the best and what is most comfortable for you. I think a lot of people use the 1 3/4 size more then anything else.

Kyle
Message: Posted by: alibaba (Sep 12, 2009 11:59PM)
As for books, Hugard's Magic Manual has a chapter on "Magic With Balls" with extensive and very well-written descriptions of the the ball moves, productions, fluorishes, vanishes etc. along with pointers beginning and finishing up billiard ball multiplication routines.
Message: Posted by: maxzve (Sep 25, 2009 03:01PM)
I just tried to order fakini balls from Denny & Lee and got a message that they where out of stock :-(
They sent me a mail and told me that they will be back in the mid-october. That's a very long waiting sometimes...Isn't it strange that so popular balls is out of stock? It was the 1 and 3/4" I ordered, white.

For the moment I use 2" german wooden balls and it seems that I have to keep on with them for a while. No place here in Sweden sells the fakinis, only the gorilla grip. I have used the gorilla grip balls and I don't think that the shell is so slippery that some people says.
Message: Posted by: Christopher Rinaldi (Sep 25, 2009 05:19PM)
What about Vernet balls? They have some pretty cool gimmick balls to go with the original silver balls. I've looked into 'em and the prices are pretty fair at some online shops, the balls have a special grip texture and are nearly unbreakable from what the ads state.
Message: Posted by: videoman (Sep 27, 2009 02:24AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-25 16:01, maxzve wrote:
I just tried to order fakini balls from Denny & Lee and got a message that they where out of stock :-(
They sent me a mail and told me that they will be back in the mid-october. That's a very long waiting sometimes...Isn't it strange that so popular balls is out of stock? It was the 1 and 3/4" I ordered, white.

For the moment I use 2" german wooden balls and it seems that I have to keep on with them for a while. No place here in Sweden sells the fakinis, only the gorilla grip. I have used the gorilla grip balls and I don't think that the shell is so slippery that some people says.
[/quote]

Since you currently use 2" wooden balls I would get the 2" Fakini's if I were you. IMHO, the 2" appear so much larger than the 1 3/4". It just makes the trick so much more effective and amazing. In fact, I would love to be able to use the 2 1/4" size as they appear enormous, but they are just just too large for me to handle. When it comes to BB routines, the old adage is true...bigger is BETTER.
Message: Posted by: maxzve (Sep 27, 2009 09:01AM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-27 03:24, videoman wrote:
[quote]
Since you currently use 2" wooden balls I would get the 2" Fakini's if I were you. IMHO, the 2" appear so much larger than the 1 3/4". It just makes the trick so much more effective and amazing. In fact, I would love to be able to use the 2 1/4" size as they appear enormous, but they are just just too large for me to handle. When it comes to BB routines, the old adage is true...bigger is BETTER.
[/quote]

Yes, I agree with bigger is better. I think that training can compensate lack of handsize (...and english is not my first language). The ability to spread your fingers is one thing, but not the only thing. Strength helps when the balls begin to slip and will increase your controll over the balls. I think that SilverFoxx had some exercise ideas in a post somewhere. Maybe I will try the 2 1/4" fakinis. But it's the double price (nearly).
Message: Posted by: videoman (Sep 28, 2009 03:18PM)
[quote]
Yes, I agree with bigger is better. I think that training can compensate lack of handsize (...and english is not my first language). The ability to spread your fingers is one thing, but not the only thing. Strength helps when the balls begin to slip and will increase your controll over the balls. I think that SilverFoxx had some exercise ideas in a post somewhere. Maybe I will try the 2 1/4" fakinis. But it's the double price (nearly).
[/quote]

But keep in mind that it is not only being able to hold the 4 balls between your fingers where size is a factor. The other problem using large balls is the angles start to get really bad when palming them if you have smaller hands. You have to consider all the angles that are involved during your routine and what venues you wish to perform in. I can hold four 2 1/4" balls between my fingers but I cannot conceal one ball in my hand very well. What if you need to conceal 2 balls in your hand during your routine, could you do that? Those are considerations as well.

Bill
Message: Posted by: maxzve (Sep 28, 2009 06:06PM)
[quote]
On 2009-09-28 16:18, videoman wrote:

But keep in mind that it is not only being able to hold the 4 balls between your fingers where size is a factor. The other problem using large balls is the angles start to get really bad when palming them if you have smaller hands. You have to consider all the angles that are involved during your routine and what venues you wish to perform in. I can hold four 2 1/4" balls between my fingers but I cannot conceal one ball in my hand very well. What if you need to conceal 2 balls in your hand during your routine, could you do that? Those are considerations as well.

Bill
[/quote]

Yes, that's right. And yes, I can conceal 2 balls (2"). But it's risky and I don't do that in my routine. But also there it helps with training the muscles in your hand and also the forearm muscles. Of course you cant train up a bigger handsize but the training will give a feel that you can place the ball(or balls) in more than just one place in your palm. The area for classic palming will feel bigger (and also safer). I don't know if that will be enough for you to handle bigger balls. Training the muscles in my palm made it possible to handle four thimbles (palm them in a line from the thumbpalming and down).
Message: Posted by: Oliver Ross (Sep 30, 2009 03:23AM)
Hello everybody,

I've found something very interesting written in a german magic book, one of their bibles in magic.
Concerning the Billard Balls the writer and magician explaines how to find the right and best size of Billard Balls for the size of your own hands.
Here the way how to do and what he writes :

The minimum diameter of the balls is 40mm, but they can always be larger.
To find the right size of balls for your own hands you hold the four balls in your hand.
Maybe a little bit difficult in the beginning, but the hand will get the habbit.
Now you take away with your other hand the ball which you were holding between your for - and middle finger.
Now You move your middle finger in the inside of your hand, in the manner that your middle finger tip can touch the middle of your thumb.
Having done this, you stretch your fingers out again.
If no ball (of the three) is falling out of your hand, try the same thing again with larger balls.
The largest balls that permit the correct and fluent movement of this excercise are the right size for your hands.

Well, try this out and tell us if it works for you.

Oliver.