Accessories – Juggling tools to get started

Diabolo
Diabolos are like giant offstring yo-yos. They are usually controlled by two sticks attached by a cord. Performing stunts with multiple diabolos can be truly amazing. Diabolos have a really long and rich history. They are originated from the Ancient China. The diabolos of this era were completely different. They were made out of bamboo and during play gave a whistling sound. Much later in France it quickly became a very popular toy. It was Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite skill game. Nowadays they are commonly appreciated as a true juggling accessory. The quality of their trick development became so spectacular that many beginners can find their motivation to learn this brilliant activity.

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Juggling ball
These balls might look simple in relation to a tennis ball, but there’s a huge difference! Juggling balls are typically made for juggling tricks. They are really easy to handle, because you can have them under your control while performing the most spectacular and mind-blowing tricks. The weighting of the balls are perfectly balanced so you can execute great tricks without a single effort. These and similar balls are the most commonly used ones among the jugglers. Although the tricks are always the same, sometimes the juggling objects may vary. True jugglers can juggle with almost anything: apples, knives, clubs, chainsaws(!) and even with matchsticks.

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Clubs
Juggling clubs, or simply clubs are a prop used by jugglers, as are other props such as balls or rings. A typical club is in the range of 50 centimetres long, weighs between 200 and 300 grams, is slim at the “handle” end, and has its center of balance nearer the wider “body” end. Originally clubs were used as weapons (mace). Int ancient times gladiators were not allowed to change weapons directly, so they exchanged or stole them by performing juggling tricks in order to entertain the masses. Today clubs are the object of choice for passing between jugglers. Juggling clubs are much larger than balls, so they require less accuracy to catch when thrown by another person. They are divided into three major categories: wood clubs, one-piece clubs and multi-piece clubs.

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Meteors
A skill toy of Asian origin, the Meteor consists of a rope, usually between 5 and 8 feet long, with weights attached to either end. Tricks are performed by swinging, wrapping and throwing the Meteor about the body. The Meteor originated in China in prehistorical times. It began as a bolo-like weapon made from stones and rope. Approximately 1500 years ago this hunting weapon began its transition into a performing art. The Chinese circus tradition has featured meteors which substitute for the stones such objects as brightly colored balls, glass bowls filled with colored water, and pans of roaring fire.

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Flairing bottles
Flair bartending is sometimes referred to as “extreme bartending” or contracted to “flairtending.” The word flair became popular among practitioners in the mid 1990s. “Flair” is also used as a verb, referring to any trickery used by a bartender in order to entertain guests while mixing a drink. Flair can include juggling, flipping (bottles, shakers), manipulating flaming liquors or even performing close-up magic tricks.

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Juggling plates
Plate spinning is a manipulation art where a person spins plates, bowls and other flat objects on poles, without them falling off. Plate spinning relies on the gyroscopic effect, in the same way a top stays upright while spinning. Spinning plates are sometimes gimmicked, to help keep the plates on the poles.

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Juggling knives
Knife juggling is identical to club juggling in technique, consisting of throwing the clubs/knives upwards individually and then throwing and catching in a rhythmic pattern, usually with the objects crossing from hand to hand. The knives are thrown with vertical spin, lending them stability in the air, and are typically allowed to rotate once or twice before being caught. Knife juggling can, of course, be performed with any number of objects, but the vast majority of performers use three knives. Patterns used tend to be basic, or often consist solely of a cascade, the simplest of juggling tricks. Juggling is rarely performed with sharp knives, because there is little point in increasing the risk to performer for no aesthetic benefit. Specially balanced juggling knives are used (as in picture), usually with a bevelled edge to appear sharp.

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Cigar box
Cigar boxes are popular juggling props.
Routines performed with cigar boxes include quick midair box-exchanging tricks, balancing tricks, and more. Most tricks are done with three boxes; few jugglers perform tricks with more than three boxes in their routines. Cigar boxes are usually standard elements of a gentleman juggler-style routine.
Rather than the “flowing” style of ball juggling, cigar boxes have what is often referred to as a “stop-and-start” style. This means that after the majority of tricks the boxes return to the home position and stop before the juggler starts the next trick.

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Unicycles
These human powered, direct driven single wheeled “bicycles” became very popular among freestyle bikers and jugglers as well. They are originated from the penny-farthing bicycles. Owners of these model realised that the back wheels sligthly go up in the air, so they can dispense with the frame and just ride the front wheel and handlebars. Nowadays unicycles are commonly used is sports and juggling as well. The exceptional ability to ride the unicycle enhances every single juggling trick performance, so it’s one of the greatest and most amusing show element ever.

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