The ball is the primary juggling object. Learning to juggle balls is the foundation of all juggling and where every aspiring juggler begins. The earliest recorded history is of Egyptian ball jugglers circa 1990 BC. The simple shape permits a variety of natural objects to be used—stones, nuts etc. Fabrics can be sewn and filled with various materials such as birdseed to make juggling beanbags. Rubber juggling balls date back to the early 20th century. Lacrosse balls with their rough resilient natural rubber composition were a standard from the beginning of early modern juggling and survive to this day. Dubé Juggling's first juggling balls sold were lacrosse balls. In the early 1980s, we invented the Stage Ball—a hollow vinyl ball with superb grip. The large sizes and bright colors caused it to be rapidly adopted by performers. The product has become a staple item for jugglers worldwide.
In 1984, Dubé became the first juggling equipment manufacturer to produce silicone balls, a product originally developed for magicians (for the multiplying billiard ball effect). The exceptional bounce, feel, satin finish and inert nature of silicone has made this the premium juggling ball of choice. Contact juggling, pioneered by Michael Moschen's crystal ball routine in the 1980s, has become a virtual industry. Dubé Juggling began selling acrylic balls as a juggling novelty item prior to the contact juggling phenomenon. Since then we have expanded to an extensive line of translucent colors, glow-in-the-dark, UV and Glitter models—all in several sizes to accomodate various types of contact juggling including multiple ball work. We also introduced the first steel Chinese balls without bells, custom made for contact juggling.
Spinning balls for various manipulation have been part of the product line for over 20 years. Ball spinning and mouthstick techniques have been part of the juggling world for some time—it is an important part of the acts of legendary jugglers like Francis Brunn and Ernst Montego.
More recently we introduced an extensive array of lighted juggling products—the first was the lighted juggling ball. The dramatic effect and audience appeal of illuminated items is universal. Electrically lighted products were even used as early as 1914. We recently introduced lighted juggling balls, followed by an entire line of lighted juggling products—Lighted Poi, Clubs, Devil Sticks and Diabolos. Unlike fire products, lighted juggling products can be used safely anywhere with dramatic effect.
In the 1980s, we developed an exercise juggling ball used for joggling and stationary juggling—the Exerball. The product has been adopted by many jugglers in a variety of ways. Some have found even learning to juggle easier with a more heavily weighted ball.
And for the juggler looking for a traditional look, renaissance fairs or other period performances, we even carry wooden balls.