I remember the first time my dad brought out his crocheted bag home and introduced us to the game that transfixed me. I would pick it up and roll it around in my hand and try to figure out what was inside and it took years for that first one to finally break and show the building blocks to give it shape.
So what is inside a Hacky Sack? For most footbags there are far more than one type of materials that are used to make the roll and flex just right. These can include beans, plastic beads, sand, metal, and many more fills as each of these can help control and move around which can help freestyle and other games.
So why are there so many different options and fills available for your footbag or "Hacky Sack"? Well for some this is just about helping to drop the cost you would need to pay to purchase a footbag.
For others though the filler used can make a large difference in the feel, roll, stability, and catch-ability that is a focus on the game.
When you start looking into what is contained inside that comfy outer material you get a large volume of items that have been used.
From the super inexpensive like popcorn seeds to more expensive materials they all share some commonality.
They are all able to maintain their shape and form while being impacted repeatedly along with being able to not leak and fall out of their outer container.
This ensures hours of play without needing to figure out how to refill the shell again or to replace the bag. Lets take a look at what is inside a Hacky Sack.
One of the better consistency fills that is very predictable on how the bag will react when they hit the foot and body, this helps you be able to manage freestyle better and more effectively.
Sand is also probably one of the top choices for stalling and stallabilty, or the ability to bring the bag to a complete stop on your foot or other location with reliability and replicatability.
Dirt is naturally paired with the sand bags in most cases as the mixture makes for a very good feel and stall rate and leads to more enjoyable play.
The only issues which you can have with sand and dirt is the loss of fill over time, though this can be fixed by periodic refills can extend their lives for play, don't just buy another one!
This could be things like BBs and pellets that are very solid and will have a very tough feeling on the foot on play, this will also be typically paired with another filler to keep the overall weight down as metal like BBs can start to get heavy fast.
Steel helps you adjust and can kind of fill the role between the two worlds as the heavyness can help you stall more successfully and they tend to have more pop since they are more solid and larger fill unlike sand and dirt that just adjusts to your foot.
This plastic filling is one of the most common ways to fill the less expensive footbags you find in stores, this is due to being super light and firm while having a long life and being very inexpensive to purchase.
Plastic filled footbags are generally better to hold their shape when played due to them being much more full in their overall fill levels.
The benefits to this full and round profile makes your bag much easier and simpler to kick straight up and this consistency to pop up will help ensure your able to play for ages.
These can be one of the best overall fills as you can use multiple choices of fills that have different properties that will grant you better ability to know how it will roll, or move for tricks and games.
The most typically mixed fill would be sand and dirt that is the best of both worlds in giving some relaxation to the shape and better control on the foot.
So if there is a huge range in what is added into the fill for a footbag or Hacky Sack is there a "common" weight that a bag should be at to be "legal" for games or use? How much does a Hacky Sack weigh with filling?
Almost all created footbags will weigh around the same as each will deviate some, the average footbags will typically weigh somewhere in the range of 40 to 65 grams. Much of this depends on the quality of the cover fabric and type of filler along with the volume of specific filler.
A Hacky Sack that weight less than this 40 grams becomes too light and unremarkable in play, if you end up going much over 65 grams it actually becomes heavy on your foot and tricks begin to fail and legs tire faster.
Finding that there are many options on the fill for your footbag can help you when you are trying to find the right bag for you, maybe you like a lighter bag or possibly you love heavier.
Knowing what is used to fill them can give you the best chance to get a perfect match to be successful long term.
In the end each filler lends some changes to the performance that a footbag will provide and if you have issues with performance than you may need to change up your choice in outside fabric or inner materials.
There are definitely some options that should be used more frequently based on the games you play or if you are primarily a freestyler, make sure you choose your bag based on your play not on price alone.
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