Sil-X 100mm Ball for Contact Juggling Review

Last updated 12/06/08
Sil-X are now available in 100mm size. Warning, If you’re into 1 ball contact, reading this review will cost you Ten quid šŸ˜‰

Last year, most of the Ministry got 78mm Sil-X because we like to test every ball we can get our hands on. Our verdict, make it bigger and it might be something magical for 1 ball contact Juggling.
The Ministry were involved in the development of this product, and we’ve wanted to rave about it for a little while now.

This is not a review of the production ball, but of the preproduction samples, that MoM helped to develop in November 2007.

Specs

Size: 100mm, (also available as 67mm & 78mm).
Surface: The same as the regular PLAY stage balls, slightly squishy and smooth. Grippy surface, but not a tacky feel like the ‘Contact Ball’.
Weight: 100mm = 300gm (78mm = 150gm, 67mm = 110gm.)
Price: Ā£10/ā‚¬14 mark.
Bounce: Minimal.

8/10 for Isolationist contact

Has a plug, but the plug doesn’t draw a lot of attention to itself. Seam is not invisible, but not easily noticed either. The surface is smooth and shiny, which really helps with that still illusion.

10/10 for Butterflies and Arm Rolls

The liquid gives the ball more stability and more weight, allowing you to feel the movement better. also helps you to slow down a lot of moves. when transferring, the liquid allows the ball to be caught in places with minimum control much easier and control gained quicker.

10/10 for Body Contact/rolling

The lower centre of gravity means the ball is so much more stable and sticks to the body a lot better. rolls feel smoother, slower and easier. Stopping and starting the roll feels slightly different to an unfilled ball, but not much. you’ll get used to this quickly. The liquid also means that the weight is always distributed perfectly around the centre of gravity. Problems with the ball shell being thicker in certain places are made obsolete.

10/10 for Head and Feet

For foot catches, these balls make things a lot easier. The liquid centre helps the ball to stick to your foot as you catch it, but not as radically as a Russian ball or partly filled ball. There is still a bit of give, but hey, you want to learn to footcatch properly, right? For head balancing, the ball sits on your head nicely. I’ve been able to run up and down stairs, and jump quite comfortably and the ball just sits nicely in place. For headrolling, see body rolling. šŸ™‚

10/10 for Throwing and Catching

These balls will make your throws cleaner (including kick ups etc). The liquid makes the ball feel as if it just falls into your hand effortlessly. Trap catches are great, as the ball has a bit of squish to make the catch comfortable.

N/A for Multiball Contact

The 100mm Sil-X is not for Multiball Contact, it’s too big with a high friction surface. Similar to Contact Balls.

Positive:

  • Low centre of gravity, that moves freely as the ball rolls.
  • Extra weight helps you feel the ball better as it rolls.
  • Stable catches.
  • Good all rounder.
  • All the benefits of a grain filled stage ball, but with a lot more room for movement.

Negative:

  • Some balls have been reported to go off-round, slightly flat at the seams.
  • Makes some moves too easy!
  • Precise balancing (Two fingertip etc) made harder by the liquid always wanting to find a stable position.
  • Colour range consists of three colours, but at least they have a UV orange.
    šŸ˜‰

Ministry Verdict: Highly recommended

You need one of these balls, it will save you a lot of learning time. They are very forgiving to the novice contact juggler. Highly beneficial when used for training alongside a ‘contact ball’. yes we really did just score it 96% for 1 ball contact juggling.

In stock at At Oddballs, Juggling Store USA and Play Juggling
Ed and Drew

Footnote: There have been some reports of problems with leaking on some of the early production balls, we contacted play juggling who tell us they’ve got it under control and are sorting it out. We didn’t have this problem on the preproduction samples, so I guess that it is solvable. We will update as we know.
We try to make all reviews as honest and accurate as we can, they represent our opinion, and your Milage may vary, feel free to agree/disagree with us or add extra details in the comments

11 thoughts on “Sil-X 100mm Ball for Contact Juggling Review”

  1. I’ve had a good look at one of the post-production models now.

    The new plug is awesome. the same colour as the ball (exactly), but there’s still that little slot in the plug itself, which shows a tiny shadow. I’d now up the 8/10 to 9/10 on that front.

    When we were testing these balls, we were able to choose how much liquid we put inside. I think there’s too much in the released version. makes it too slow, and prone to stop rolling, which does make your technique a bit off when you pick up a regular ball. We had the liquid at somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 full. this made the centre of gravity even lower, the ball lighter and more sensitive to your controlling movements, and less likely to stop mid roll due to lack of momentum. This can easily be fixed though, just pour some away. As to how that will affect the seal/leaking factor afterwards, I can’t be sure having not actually tried that yet.

  2. I just got an Sil-X ball. How do you let the liquid out? I called the Jugglingstore.com and they suggested I ask. Mine doesn’t have a plug, it looks as though you could put a nipple in it (like you’d use to inflate a basket ball/soccer ball.

  3. I am trying to decide between this, and the Play Contact Ball (100 mm and 260 g). I am a beginner at this, and am trying to figure out what would be best to learn on, to eventually progress to acrylic. From this review, it seems that the Sil-X is pretty slow as shipped. I’d rather not make any modifications to it after I get it. As manufactured, is this better or worse than the Contact Balls?

  4. hey, i think this may be normal, but I’m a bit worried still. i know that there is liquid in the ball, but are you suppose to be able to hear it in there if you shake it? and is the ball suppose to be soft enough that you can “squeeze” it, like a new tennis ball almost. i’m just concerned.thank you. oh, and just since I’m asking questions, I also have a 78mm acrylic contact juggling ball, which I’ve scratched… is there a way to remove those? 0.o i have heard there is a repair kit for it, but I’m not sure how trusted that it…

  5. Hi chris. I’m pretty sure the liquid inside a Sil-x is normal, but i’m not too familiar with them.
    As for the acrylic, try polishing it with a soft cloth and toothpaste and elbow grease šŸ˜‰

  6. Personaly i dont think they are very nice for contact balls. Saying that i juggle with the 78mm version, and thus do all my contact with them too now. But i much prefer to use a normal stage ball for pure contact, barbache preferably. True they are slower, but i think the liquid distorts the rolling movement. I find i can make much cleaner body rolls with a normal ball. Although the sil-x work very nice for staying on one point, especially if thrown there. And ball on head is definitely easier with them,plus they make all the “i” patterns or other patterns that require very fast placements much easier to do.

    So looking at the points you gave for all the different categories, i agree with them all, except i would give a 7 for bodyrolling.

  7. I ordered a Sil-X 100mm from jugglingstore.com. It is just about perfect. Very heavy and very grippy; which can make some isolation moves difficult if you are just starting out (like me). The juggling store shipped it quick (it came in three days) but there was a problem. I called them and they solved my problem in about 8 minutes. -I worked retail management for 5 years and never provided service that good- You may have to wait for the juggling store to get the 100mm Sil-X in stock, but it is a great alternative to currency calculators and $30.00 shipping fees!

  8. I have an orange 100mm Sil-X, which arrived with several scuffs and little nicks in the rubber. Is this normal, such as a manufacturing artifact? Is there a way I can polish this Sil-x to make those scuffs less prominent. I am afraid to use anything abrasive. Overall, I really love this ball. I have been CJing for about 2 months now and this ball makes it so much easier to learn.

  9. I have an orange Sil-X a little over a year now.
    I haven’t used it in 3-4 month, and when I took it out of the closet, where it was stored along with my tools, I’ve noticed that it leaked. I have no way of telling how much silicone leaked, but I was quite upset. I tried taking the plug out and putting it back in and I’ll hope that will stop the leakage. If not I’ll have to seal the plug permanently with super glue or something similar.
    As to the ball itself, it was very useful for me as a beginner. Weight adds more control and when you drop it, and I dropped it a lot, it didn’t make much noise. As I love to practice around midnight that really helps with keeping good relationship with neighbors downstairs.
    (Same goes for all breakable objects (and pets, kids and other family members) in the room you practice, I also have an acrylic and almost broke several bottles of wine with it, missed it by a couple of mm)
    I couldn’t get any luck with body rolling, but as I mentioned before, I’m a beginner and probably doing something wrong.
    I would definitely recommend it for a beginner and would give it the highest ratings if it were not for the leakage problem. (But if you’re dedicated and dexterous you’ll probably be proficient enough for an acrylic before Sil-X leaks on you.)

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