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Topic: Fakini ball size
Message: Posted by: Sindre (May 4, 2011 05:26PM)
Hello fellow magicians!

Im preparing for the Norwegian championship of magic which is in about 6 months.
Last year I used fakini golf balls. The judges said many nice things about my ball manipulation, so that's what I want to focus on. The thing is that I feel the golf balls are a bit too small. Besides I think it would look more impressive to the judges if I used bigger balls.
My concern is that the next size seems to be 2 inches, Which is about 5 cm.

Im a small person (16 years old) so Im concerned about angles while palming, and doing the finger roll, as well as placing the balls between my fingers. Is it possible to adapt to 2 inch balls in 6 months? I have the advantage that I tend to get the hang of things quickly and Im doing mostly manipulations so the dexterity is present.

What do you think?

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 4, 2011 06:09PM)
I think you will fail if you try to use the larger balls like you used the golf balls. Although, you did not tell us anything about your physical build. If you are 6'5" tall and have huge hands, then of course you could use 2" balls.

I have never seen a magician use 2" balls on stage. I have never seen a magician place all 4 balls between the fingers and have his hand spread out for display.

If your routine does not use the 4 ball display, it may work. Again, you have not given much infomation on your use during the routine.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (May 4, 2011 09:02PM)
Wmhegbli - what are you talking about? Magicians use 2" balls all the time on stage and display all four in their hand.

My suggestion - if you can afford the 2" balls, get them. You won't be disappointed. First - I would be shocked if you couldn't get it in six months. Second - buy some lacross balls wile you wait for your Fakini's - they are huge. Stick four of those between your fingers. This stretches your fingers. You get used to holding lacross balls and the 2" balls will feel small. I can roll a lacross ball pretty easily through my hand now. Third - You don't have to hold the balls out with your hand flat. Holding the four balls with your fingers in an arc allows you to hold larger balls. This still looks great on stage. Levent does this with is 2.25" balls.

You are 16, go for the big ones. Even if it takes you a couple of years, big whoop, then you will be 18... Go for it!
Message: Posted by: Sindre (May 5, 2011 04:04PM)
Okay. I think I'm gonna try the 2" balls. Even if Im small for my age but I'll give it a try.
In my act, Im gonna use the 4 ball display. Also ball rolls and juggling (moderate of course) after all, it's a magic act.
I hope to eventually be able to produce well over 4 balls without using a s##ll, as well as color changes and combinations with other items and routines.

Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (May 5, 2011 06:22PM)
I was using 1.75" balls and Levent shamed me into getting bigger ones. If you have asperations like you are describing the 2" balls are for you. That size is the professional stage magicians standard. Post a video sometime and let us see your progress.
Message: Posted by: Larry Barnowsky (May 5, 2011 07:20PM)
I would put my efforts into polishing the routine rather than upgrading to a larger size ball.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 5, 2011 07:36PM)
On 2011-05-04 22:02, Tony Thomas wrote:
Wmhegbli - what are you talking about? Magicians use 2" balls all the time on stage and display all four in their hand.
Really, name 5 magicians that use 2" Billiard Balls in their act, and hold 4 between the fingers. If you could reference a YouTube video, that would be great.

Tony, maybe you can video your routine for us.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (May 5, 2011 08:48PM)
So this is my routine... I'm using 1.75" balls here. I now do the same routine with 2" balls, but I haven't redone the video. Levent saw this and encouraged me to step up in size...


Five magicians, seriously. I guess I can't think of anyone who does multiplying balls who doesn't show all four balls at once in one hand. If you buy a set of multiplying balls that come with basic insturctions you will see the finaly will be four balls in one hand. The basic routines found in books like Bill Tar, or Tarbell show this. You and I must be talking about something different, that is why I asked what you are talking about.

The DVD's that I have learned multiplying balls from include Tim Wright, Levent, and McBride. They all do this. McBride can do 8 balls in one hand.
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (May 5, 2011 08:51PM)
On 2011-05-05 20:36, wmhegbli wrote:
Really, name 5 magicians that use 2" Billiard Balls in their act, and hold 4 between the fingers.

Levent (2.25")
Mark Kalin
Arthur Trace
Farrell Dillon
David Zirbel
Message: Posted by: Darkwing (May 5, 2011 09:33PM)
On 2011-05-05 21:51, Donal Chayce wrote:
On 2011-05-05 20:36, wmhegbli wrote:
Really, name 5 magicians that use 2" Billiard Balls in their act, and hold 4 between the fingers.

Levent (2.25")
Mark Kalin
Arthur Trace
Farrell Dillon
David Zirbel
Roy Benson
Denny Haney
Jeff McBride
Alan Wakeling (5 Balls)
Arthur Buckley
Message: Posted by: John T. Sheets (May 6, 2011 03:01AM)
I use 2" balls and do the 4 ball display. I will work on a video when I get time.
Message: Posted by: MichaelOzMagic (May 6, 2011 06:25AM)
I use 2" balls and do the 4 ball display too. Plus I'm only 15.
Message: Posted by: Peter Pitchford (May 6, 2011 02:44PM)
Peter Pitchford
Message: Posted by: Donal Chayce (May 6, 2011 04:34PM)
On 2011-05-06 15:44, Peter Pitchford wrote:
Peter Pitchford
LOL...I had originally included you in my list, but when looking at a couple of online clips for confirmation I couldn't be certain that that the balls you use are actually 2" (or greater) in diameter. Good to know!
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (May 6, 2011 06:10PM)
Mine are 2" Fakinis. There is a video on my w/site, but it doesn't include my full routine.
I do hold all four in one hand.

Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 13, 2011 08:57AM)
This is what I am talking about when displaying 4 balls in one hand.

No curved fingers cramped all up. I have Romaine's DVD, when he stood there pounding the balls between his fingers, I thought that did not look good. I have seen him in person and fighting to hold the balls is not good theater. That is my opinion and you are all welcome to yours of course.
Message: Posted by: Brad Jeffers (May 14, 2011 04:44PM)
Romaine uses 2.25" balls, and began his career useing 2.5".
Message: Posted by: FŠbio DeRose (May 14, 2011 04:48PM)
There is a good friend of mine who is a masterful ball manipulator. He can not only hold 4 2" balls, but also roll them. He does not have videos of his act on the web, though.

He will likely be at FISM next year.
On 2011-05-05 20:36, wmhegbli wrote:
On 2011-05-04 22:02, Tony Thomas wrote:
Wmhegbli - what are you talking about? Magicians use 2" balls all the time on stage and display all four in their hand.
Really, name 5 magicians that use 2" Billiard Balls in their act, and hold 4 between the fingers. If you could reference a YouTube video, that would be great.

Tony, maybe you can video your routine for us.
Message: Posted by: Sindre (May 16, 2011 02:30AM)
I have ordered a set of 2" balls from Stevens.
When I get started, I'll let you know how it goes :)


Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (May 16, 2011 07:01PM)
Whatever happens, Sindre, have fun with them.

Message: Posted by: Sindre (May 17, 2011 05:28PM)
Thank you :)

Posted: May 19, 2011 3:26am
(Quote wmhegbli:)
Who cares about the ball size? These guys do, that is who!

They care about the size of the ball over good looking magic.

I can't find a web site for Fujisawa Mayuko. I cannot believe she does not have a web site with all her talent. I was hoping to marry her for the secret to her fantastic billiard ball routine. Just my luck, again!

Please let me tell you that I absolutely do not care about the size of the ball over good looking magic! How do you know? You have not met me. You donít know me so well that you can state my opinions.
Iím not saying that my opinion is that everyone should work with the biggest billiards possible. But personally, I feel that 2Ē billiards are more appropriate for me. One of the reasons is that Iíve gotten comments at the end of the show where some in the back of the venue, did not see what was going on.

But she had a fantastic act. And she had found the ball size that suits her, like Mr. Murphy said.

(Quote: Harry Murphy):
Well then Bill they seem to miss the point entirely. I guess there is still a school of though that believes that the props are the magic.
Also, please donít accuse me of believing that the props are the magic. Thatís the opposite of what I think

Iím not writing this to argue. Just to clarify that what was written here is NOT true when it has to do with me.

The reason Iím saying me, and not the others in the thread I started, is that I do not want to say things about others that I donít know anything about. It makes me sad, and takes my motivation away when people do this to me.


Best wishes,
Sindre Rian
Message: Posted by: yin_howe (May 19, 2011 03:23AM)
Chill man... chill..
Message: Posted by: Sindre (May 19, 2011 03:29AM)
I'm not angry ;) I just don't want people to believe things about me that's not true. That's all.

Message: Posted by: Harry Murphy (May 19, 2011 06:00AM)
Point taken. If the shoe does not fit don't wear it, if the shoe fits wear it. To some bigger is better, to others it about proportion. The smoothness of handling, the rhythm, beauty, and magic is a discussion that is separate from the props. My point is that the props in and of themselves do not make the magic. They may facilitate the magic or even get in the way of the magic.

If I was this young person getting ready for an important competition in six months (not two years), I would find a smooth white ball about the size I was already used to using. The change from golf ball style to smooth style would be a very easy transition. I probably wouldnít go dramatically larger.

Clearly, if there was a shop with an assortment of ball sizes Iíd try my routine with a number of different sizes and go with the oneís that worked with only a little additional effort.

I have seen a number of performers in real world, paid performances and Iíll say some of the best Iíve seen didnít use large balls. That is not to say that none used large (greater than 2Ē) balls. The beauty of the routine had less to do with the size of the ball than the artist. A few (Levantís for example) look more magical and beautiful with the huge balls used.

In the day I performed using a set of snooker balls with a shell made from another snooker ball. Today, given age and arthritis I canít work with those heavy and cumbersome balls.

It is horses for courses I guess.
Message: Posted by: Tony Thomas (May 21, 2011 09:10PM)
I never saw this thread as contrasting the value of ball size vs. good loooking magic. That is a silly contrast.

This is a thread about a young man, who is obviously aspiring to great things with his magic... entering Norwegien Championship Competitions and all. He wanted to upgrade from his golf balls to either 1.75" smooth balls or 2". He got a variety of feedback on both sides, which is what the Cafť is all about.

For me, I first purchased fakini golf balls. Then I wanted to upgrade and was in a quandry over this very same issue. What size should I upgrade to. I decided to go with 1.75". I laid down a lot of money, bought extra balls, color changes, and a flash four. About a year later, I was wishing I had gone larger. So, now I have refitted myself with 2". I think this is a common story, and I bet Sindre will be able to make his 2" routine look great.

Have fun Sindre and good luck...
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (May 22, 2011 11:06AM)
I've loved the MBB since I was a kid, and have played with various sizes and types over the years, even to making a few sets "from raw parts." I was getting really comfortable years ago with the German 45mm ones, so then I decided to try the 50mm ones (2"), but between the size of my hands and the surface finish, it didn't work all that well. You guys got me interested again, so I ordered a set of the Fakini 2" ones and so far I have no problem with them; the surface finish is great and I can hold four without my hand looking like Bela Lugosi's in "Dracula."

We'll see what happens... :)
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 22, 2011 12:40PM)
On 2011-05-22 12:06, George Ledo wrote:
... I can hold four without my hand looking like Bela Lugosi's in "Dracula."


The children of the night... what beautiful magic they make!
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (May 22, 2011 01:01PM)
Another Dracula fan!
Message: Posted by: Bill Hegbli (May 22, 2011 01:04PM)
You mean like this.
Message: Posted by: Dave Scribner (May 22, 2011 02:59PM)
From the audience's point of view, I don't think it matters whether you can hold you hand flat out with the balls inbetween the fingers or not. You're producing balls one way or another and placing them between the fingers for display. If your fingers are bent slightly at the end, so what. If the audience is going to say "what a terrible display, look at his fingers" then you're not performing the effect properly.

And while I'm not in the same league as all those mentioned above, I also use the 2" balls all the time and have for years. They show up much better on stage. The key is practice. You have to condition your fingers to accept the size. I learned by forcing the balls between my fingers while watching TV at night and just held them there as long as I could. Repeating that every night over and over loosened up my fingers and now it comes as second nature. I've gotten so used to the 2" size that if I try the routine with smaller balls, I almost drop them.
Message: Posted by: Mark Ross (May 22, 2011 05:47PM)
Alan Wakeling thought of the right hand simply as a rack to display the balls. The appearances were happening in his left hand.

Message: Posted by: George Ledo (May 22, 2011 06:23PM)
On 2011-05-22 14:04, wmhegbli wrote:
You mean like this.
Well, Bela's hand was quite a bit more dramatic, but this guy certainly doesn't look comfortable. :)
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (May 22, 2011 07:52PM)
On 2011-05-22 19:23, George Ledo wrote:
On 2011-05-22 14:04, wmhegbli wrote:
You mean like this.
Well, Bela's hand was quite a bit more dramatic, but this guy certainly doesn't look comfortable. :)

I think that photo was a video capture shot of the girl from Japan... and to be honest, I don't think I've ever seen anyone more comfortable with a set of multiplying billiard balls. :)
Message: Posted by: George Ledo (May 22, 2011 08:16PM)
Michael, I believe you're right... now that I went and saw the clip. She does look totally comfortable with them. Fantastic job. It's interesting how those white balls look so much more dramatic than the red ones. Ahhh, inspiration...
Message: Posted by: FŠbio DeRose (May 23, 2011 11:13AM)
White looks moe elegant. For some reason I think red balls just scream "MAGIC SHOOOOOP".
Message: Posted by: Sindre (May 24, 2011 04:25PM)
I also think that white is very elegant.
One other theory is that the white balls reflect more light, which makes them look more dominating.


(My fakinis arrived in Norway today. Now I just have to wait for the customs to charge me more money. I cant wait. For the balls that is, not the extra charge)

Posted: May 28, 2011 7:16pm
I recieved the fakinis today, and I love them!

It's no problem at all to do the finger rolling and the Alexander ball roll. Also the finger display was ok to do.
I started playing with them, and before I knew it, 3 1/2 hours had passed.
I'll try to post a video when I have a routine.

Message: Posted by: Juniper587 (Jul 15, 2011 04:15AM)
Billiard Balls; in my opinion, should not be performed with anything smaller than 2". I started with 1 3/4's and at first they were a stretch, but I moved on. I went to 2's - 2 1/8's and now 2 1/4's. I have got to the point where I think the 2 1/4" might be slightly large (only for the one ball moves) however, with the right cover I am confident I will be able to get them to work. To train my hands to get used to them I bought actual billiard balls and used them for a week, the balls then felt as light as a feather. I personally can't see any reason why someone won't use 2" balls (when you use 2 1/4, 2" look tiny and you can do any move!!!).

To put this in perspective I have small hands e.g. my middle finger is 8.5cm (3 1/4") and my hand is only 3 1/2" wide at it's widest point.

Levent's DVD sums it up best, stop settling and push yourself. Its the biggest balls you can handle............... after months of practise.

Message: Posted by: Bapu (Jul 19, 2011 11:43AM)
On 2011-05-23 12:13, FŠbio DeRose wrote:
White looks moe elegant. For some reason I think red balls just scream "MAGIC SHOOOOOP".

I use Fakini whites, but if they came in a true red I would get those, because for me, red just screams "snooker ball" which is what I WISH I could use! I'll admit though, white shows up better from a distance.
Message: Posted by: Bapu (Jul 19, 2011 11:59AM)

If you can afford to, consider getting a set of both (GASP!) the 2" and the 1.75" balls.

I realize that this may be a costly proposition for you, but you seem serious about ball manipulation, so you might consider it.

You can practice with the 2" first, then switch to the 1.75", which will seem much easier by comparison. Then compete with whatever you feel confident with.

The Fakinis hold their value well, so if you end up selling one set or the other you should not be out much money.

Maybe someone here in the forum has a set of one or the other that they would like to sell.

I bought an older set of 2" rubber balls on the big auction site for not much money. They are actually great, but a bit slippery compared to fakinis. The sh***s are huge! I practice with them as well as my 1.75" fakinis. After using them I think that I may indeed be able to go for a set of 2" fakinis too. My point here being, if you can get your hands on any kind of 2" ball to practice with do so...that can help you decide on the best size for you.
Message: Posted by: tecumilic (Jan 7, 2019 08:08AM)
For anyone else reading this looking to go up in size in my opinion if you can classic palm the ball and put 4 balls between your fingers then that ball is the right size for some routines. If you want to do crazy shimada 1 to 4 moves then the smaller sizes are probably the right size unless you are a GIANT. Most routines that I have seen really only use the classic palm grip to conceal,produce,vanish. The palm I mean id where you pinch the ball,like the classic palm you do whith coins.

I bought the 1.7 bond lee balls and after a while I started to thinck that they looked small in my hands so I experimented whith larger balls. I picked up some dekorative balls that I found in my house they measure about 2.25 and I can classic palm that ball and hold 4 balls between my fingers but I cannot hold the balls very comfortably even though it is possible so 2 inch balls are probably the right size for me. My hands are small I have skinny fingers buy kind of long fingers and my hand is a bit wider then 7 centimeters straight across the palm from the webbing of the thumb straight down. So this gives me a cover that is a little more than 2cm bigger then the ball to cover the ball and it works even though angles are difficult. Whith the dekorative balls I have that are about 2.25 I could pull it of I am going to go for 2 inch bond lee balls becuse otherwise I would have to buy and track down fakini balls and that would be too expensive.
Message: Posted by: Link774 (Jan 8, 2019 09:15AM)
I'm new to billiard balls and went for the 1.7 inch bond lee ball since it looked like the 2's were out of stock and I was eager to get started. Also, I'm thinking the angles would be a bit better with smaller balls. I may switch to 2 at some point if I want a bit more visibility.
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Jan 11, 2019 06:37PM)
Work slow and they will be seen just fine. Specific color can make a difference, too. Be sure you have maximum contrast with the background (which includes yourself).

Nice hat.
Message: Posted by: Dick Oslund (Jan 12, 2019 03:06AM)
I began with IRELAND "golf" balls in 1947, doing the John Booth routine from his book, "Marvels of Mystery". (The routine was PRACTICAL! --no "droppers".)

When my friend, Frank Radtke, produced his "Fakinis", I bought one of his first sets.

I have since dropped (about 1970) the "xxxing" balls, and developed "Percy's Perpetual Balls". Bill Williston's "Penetrating Ball Thru Silk", and, Karrell Fox's "Ballomatic" into an almost 5 minute routine that has served well for almost 50 years.

I wear a black shirt and my balls are white. NO ONE has ever complained about visibility. I've worked audiences of 2,000, a "few" times, over the past 50 years!!!
Message: Posted by: Link774 (Jan 14, 2019 01:30PM)
Thanks for the tips, guys! I'll be performing for around 150, so I guess visibility should be OK since folks aren't too far away. I wear a tux with a white shirt (like my avatar), so I'll have to keep an eye on that. The stage background is a live band, and but it should be fairly dark behind me overall.
Message: Posted by: kcbeave (May 26, 2019 07:22AM)
I recently bought a set of Bond Lee's and even though the set is very nice and grippy, the special part is very thick. I have never seen a set of Fakini M balls but I have seen the Fakini M Golf Balls and the piece with them is about half the thickness of the Bond Lee set.