juggling stuff
Never Too Much Kit
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Many jugglers say “You can never have too much juggling kit.” I personally think the statement is popular only because it is secretly encouraged by a little-known cartel of all the juggling equipment vendors. It’s obvious that everybody would be perfectly happy with exactly the same type of juggling club. They are all basically the same shape and near enough the same weight. Why not just standardise them so us jugglers only need to own one set? That way there would only need to be one manufacturer who can supply clubs across the world. Prices would come down as mass production techniques kick in, so everyone would be able to afford as many as they wanted. It would make club passing less trouble too, using other people’s clubs wouldn’t be a problem.

Even make all the clubs the same colour too, so it wouldn’t matter if you picked someone else’s clubs up by mistake. Lighting for juggling shows could become more standard. Numbers juggling competitions would be a lot fairer, everyone juggling exactly the same clubs.

What do we have instead? Dozens of juggling manufacturers developing their own products, totally unique to themselves. Why don’t they agree on a popular design and stick to that? If I want to pass with someone at a convention now we have to ask around to find enough clubs the same… this person has old Spotlights, this juggler has Beard, she’s got Renegade, he has Mr Babache, those guys all have Henrys, Dube here, Todd Smiths over there… It just makes thing too complicated.

And then, just as you think you have things sorted out, the same juggling club manufacturers all make a range of different club designs! What is that all about? If I want to juggle some Beard clubs, why should I have to worry about if I mix soft handled Beach clubs, their circus trainers or the quirky looking Radical Fish? All of them are totally different yet all made by the same company. It’s the same with Henrys, should I juggle their Pirouettes or Albatross?

Renegades? Don’t even start me on them! They don’t even have standard designs of clubs. Every time you order from them you have to go though a whole load of complicated options; shape, colour, size, weight, handles, decorations, knobs, trim, etc, etc, etc. How annoying is that? No chance of ever saying “I bought some Renegade clubs,” without someone asking “What kind did you go for?”

I just want to juggle juggling clubs, forget about different sizes and shapes. I think the majority of jugglers feel the same. However, it looks like all the juggling club manufacturers are working together on a diabolical scheme to make everyone purchase multiple sets of clubs. I want to perform on stage, so I have to buy some large, flashy looking Dube club. I want to work on numbers juggling, so I have to buy small, thin Renegades. I want to do some club passing, so I have to get what all the other club passers get, Radical Fish or Pirouettes. I want to do some club swinging, so I have to buy some Todd Smith one piece. I want to run a workshop and let the whole group borrow a set of clubs each, I have to buy dozens of cheap Mr Babache clubs. I want to do a glow routine in a show, I have to fork out for some Aerotech Gloclub Pros.

I don’t like this situation but what can I do about it? Nothing. All I can do is continue to buy set after set of clubs for myself and watch all my friends buy set after set of different clubs for themselves, none of them compatible with each other. At the most, I can juggle 6 by myself, maybe pass 8 clubs on a good day. How many clubs do I own? After 10 year of juggling I now have 7 sets of clubs, 25 in total. I live in a house with two other jugglers and we have over 60 juggling clubs between us. Hundreds and hundreds of pounds worth of bits of plastic, stored in boxes, bags and cupboards all over the house, some of them hardly ever touched.

“You can never have too much juggling kit.”

That is what they WANT you to think.

© 2002 Luke Burrage