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What is a Hacky Sack Made Out Of? Surprisingly Many Options

When I was growing up and my dad fell in love with this crazy game with a bag full of what looked like plastic pellets. This little thing would go on to bring some of the most fun we had as a family playing games while we were outside at picnics, camping, or just bored […]
Written By: Josh Koop
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Est. Reading: 6 minutes

When I was growing up and my dad fell in love with this crazy game with a bag full of what looked like plastic pellets. This little thing would go on to bring some of the most fun we had as a family playing games while we were outside at picnics, camping, or just bored of being inside.

Only recently as I have a kid have I thought back to that and started to want to learn more to introduce her to this amazing game that has no winners or losers just players having fun that got me to thinking what is a Hacky Sack made out of?

While many people may associate hack sacks and footbag with crocheted bags from the 1980s there are far more options available from manufacturers nowadays that includes Leather, Ultrasuede, even chain mail links have been used! Each of these can yield different control and movement from the others.

When you look at all the above options for an outer material you may wonder why you could plausibly ever need this many options for your hacky sack.

Well each material pairs well with a type of play, wanted roll, and internal material. This allows the footbag to be as loose or firm as the player wants and sticky or not for performing tricks with ease.

Lets start by taking a look at the most typical outside materials and then we can cover some of the more specialized versions you find on sites like Etsy or similar designer storefronts.

Crocheted Footbags

This is the quintessential circle game footbag, it is typically made from a yarn tightly woven to make sure the fillings stay inside but that they are durable and inexpensive to purchase.

This is the type that I bought for my daughter to start playing with as she plays soccer and the skills with footbag highly match to skills in control soccer players need to develop.

These are also the favorites for people looking to make their own footbag as crocheting requires only 1-2 needles, yarn, and more patience than you would think.

Leather Footbags

These are more tough and leather can be quite durable over time as yarn will break down and need to be replaced making them a good purchase for long play.

Personally I find them difficult to control and use until very much more broken in as the outer shell is much too tough versus the nice comfort of a crocheted bag.

Freestyle (Professional) Footbags

Freestyle footbags will differ from the other sports as they are focused on high performance and reliable roll and motion. They tend to be made out of fabrics that will survive less long if not treated like royalty.

Ultrasuede

These materials allow for a tighter bag that is used more within the freestyle side of footbag where you would participate alone and perform trick runs attempting to never hit the ground.

The reason why you wouldn't want to have this fabric used for a group play or circle use is due to a much higher cost along with a substantially shorter lifespan.

This works in your favor when you want a footbag which rolls less and is more controllable as you will be rapidly moving from trick to trick and knowing where the bag will stop is vitally important.

Novelty Footbag Options

Just as with any other sport or hobby there will always be options for the less serious or for those to give people who are enthralled within it. these novelties are quite funny and entertaining to use and as gifts.

Chain Mail Footbag

This would be like the dark ages style armor and is actually made of links bent together to form the circle, this leads to a different feel and bounce from the footbag.

This along with the sound makes this a very distinct and fun toy more than anything to play with and to show to others to get them interested in the sport or hobby.

Glow in the Dark

This does exactly what it says, it is a bag that allows you to continue to play at night when you can no longer see the standard footbags which means extended play time and some actually interesting video recordings!

Net Footbag

These are for the side of footbag that many, including myself, may not be aware of. This is a game similar to a volleyball or other sport where you knock it over and then need to return it.

This bag is much different and much more firm than the footbags used for freestyle, circle, and other play styles.

Footbag Panels

The final part of the outer is that they are created out of panels and these can range from 2 panel (similar to a baseball) to around 128 panels.

The more panels the footbag has the closer to staying in a circle shape it will be in almost all cases, additionally they will have different movement styles as to number of seams.

The amount of panels for many of the options you would buy online form Amazon or Etsy are typically 16, 24, or 32. The more seams you have the more chances to bust and lose the inner can happen.

Final Thoughts on What is a Hacky Sack Made Out Of

As you have read above there are many types of footbags available, each with specific benefits to a particular play style or need.

If you are playing mostly circle games, the largest section of non-freestyle players, the choice is almost unanimously going with a crochet bag for durability and longevity.

I grew up only on crochet bags and when I tried a leather one it was definitely hard to make an adjustment to and definitely needed to be broken in more prior.

I feel everyone should try out a few of the materials and find the one that fits you and feels the most comfortable, just note that each fabric has a different lifespan and cost.

Top 5 Footbags on Amazon

Prices and images pulled from the Amazon Product Advertising API on:

Here at Outdoor Diversions, we are both family guys who have learned that the best way to enjoy family outings is to be our best at all the outdoor games, sports, and activities we take part in.

Aiming to be the best and have as much fun as possible each time we step outside has been a fun and zany way to learn many things and has allowed us to learn that we like FAR more activities than our initial beliefs!
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