If you add a new hacky sack to your play you will already have experienced that new bags often can be quite tough and not very pliable. This leads to issues with control and being able to stall reliably until the fabric starts to relax and the footbag is fully broken in.
How do you break in a Hacky Sack? Breaking in a hacky sack requires crushing and moving the outer fabrics around as many of the fabrics can be very tough and inflexible when first assembled. You want to get the material somewhat broken down and loosened which will also flatten the seams allowing better rolls and stalls.
That is the simplest method to break in a hacky sack but maybe the better thing to understand is what your purpose is with breaking in the hacky sack and why a quick break in versus a proper break in can give you a longer footbag lifespan.
When you purchase a new bag they will have just been filled and stored in a box and the outer material will typically be pretty tightly stretched.
This is just what normal fabric is like as the manufacturers obviously want them to look as shiny and new as they possibly can to get more sales, this is just not good for play.
Breaking in the footbag helps you to get a more responsive pop and a easier to predict stall, both which favor players looking to perform tricks more reliably.
This will depend a lot based on the actual footbag purchased as many fabrics can handle abuse better than others are.
Disclaimer: We have not tested a lot of different brands but these steps are generally effective and safe
The standard way to fully break in your footbag is to take it and knead it with your hands to start loosening the fabric, you can include kicking in this kneading process but control may not be to expectations.
As this break in occurs you will begin to gain more control for stalls and more op in kicks as you get the fabrics loosened.
For synthetic materials, like synthetic suede or other facile fabrics, you need to treat them kindly as the material is easy to wear and break.
For these you will want to knead very softly and you just are aiming to not stretch the fabric too much so they don't crack or break.
Additionally with many bags you can add in water and this helps the fabrics to relax more, so people will take and get them wet under a faucet before kneading them to help the fabrics relax even sooner. The issue with this is then you need to wait and let the bag dry out instead of playing.
As this break in period is finished you will begin to have a better time being able to pull off stalls with your footbags as they will settle faster and move less.
You can choose to roll and crush the footbag to get the material stretching out which is the traditional way to break them in, under foot rolled on a surface thats preferably non-abrasive.
Additionally the fill may just be over filled from the machine and contain no space inside the hacky sack which can make it really difficult to roll well, this would mean opening the seam a crack to let out material.
There are additional ways people online have used which could be incredibly faster but are always possible to destroy the hacky sack at the same time. The most common way is that people place them behind their car tires and roll their car back and forth over the footbag.
While this can work I can see if exploding your bag also if you aren't able to apply pressure in a balanced way which could cost you a hacky sack.
Instead focus on making a purchase of a more relaxed bag, as many you will purchase online will already be at least a little broken in.
Many feel that their footbags will last forever but they do have a distinct lifespan which is highly related to their use and the break in is what sets the table for this lifespan.
As you break them in you are damaging the material on purpose to get them to a better playability and to become "perfect" for you to use and to pull off tricks and group play.
Over time though they start to fail, this can be from the fabrics starting to crack and fail, seams starting to break and the fill beginning to be lost which causes the bag to be useless.
After this you then start fresh again with a new bag and the cycle starts again!
Taking the time to properly and fully break in your footbag will make a big difference when you go to play with it. I have been very frustrated when I tried to play with a hacky sack that hadn't been broken in as it pops funny and is almost un-stallable.
This shouldn't take you but 10 minutes of rough rolling and stretching and this will get you to playing with a prepared footbag that will be more reliable in how it performs.
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