Top 5 Footbag tips from someone who knows

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

  • Courtesy of Jorden Moir

    Courtesy of Jorden Moir

Written by Jorden Moir

Editor’s Note: Last Fall, first-year Math student Jorden Moir won an accolade that had nothing to do with equations or Venn diagrams. We took his footbag Frankfurt Germany and came home with 2006 Freestyle Shred 30 World Champion title. Secure in the knowledge of his expertise as one of the five best footbag competitors in the world; Jorden now offers Cannon readers his Top 5 footbag tips.

1) Educate yourself on the sport of footbag.

Isn’t it called Hacky Sack? Are there competitions? Where/when was it invented? What are some World Records? Get the answers to these questions and more on the FAQ page of footbag’s largest online resource, www.footbag.org

2) Know the etiquette for kicking a footbag in a circle.

Here is a quick set of rules to consider for your next circle:

  • When picking up the dropped bag, always give an underhand courtesy toss to another player. Resist kicking it yourself – this is ‘self-serving’ and is very bad etiquette!
  • Don’t use your hands when the footbag is in play. This is FOOTbag -- using hands is against the rules!
  • If you kick the footbag outside of the circle (it happens) avoid looking at others. Take the rep and grab it yourself.
  • If you are using a bag that someone cares about, always pick up the bag using your hands. DO NOT TOE SCRAPE THE BAG (scraping the bag against the ground so it rolls onto your foot). This can tear holes in the material, rendering it useless. (This is especially true for Jorden’s $30 footbags!)

3) Find some shoes that will help you improve.

Does it really matter what type of shoe you wear? The answer is – YES! Certain shoes work much better than others. Here is a lowdown of what to look for in a good footbag shoe:

  • Winter boots are often comfortable – but they don’t make the grade. Go for a lighter shoe to avoid moving in slow motion.
  • Avoid leather shoes – it’s a slippery material. Stalling using leather without perfect technique will likely cause the bag to simply roll off the foot.
  • The common type of kick is the inside (instep) kick. To make it pop straight up, the inside of the foot needs to be parallel to the ground – so you’ll want lots of ankle flexibility. Find a shoe that is Low Cut rather than high top. Now there won’t be any restriction to your ankle movement. Kick away!

4) When you’re ready, get a quality footbag.

There are 2 main stores that sell footbags: dollar stores and hemp shops. Unfortunately, most of these bags are horrible quality. Learning with these is like trying to walk with your feet tied together – possible, but frustrating. The best footbags are smaller, softer, and either sand or metal-filled. Your best bet is buying from the Internet. The price range is $5 all the way up to 30 bucks.

My advice is to check out www.worldfootbag.com. For good deals on beginner bags, I recommend the Mr. Sandbag ($7), Mr. Sandbag Facile ($8), or Sandblaster ($10).

Of course, for most of you this isn’t an option. If you can only get something local, go for a medium-sized, heavy, 3 / 4 full crocheted (woven style) bag.

5) Enough chit-chat. Time for some tricks!

So you have a mean jester. That’s great -- but did you know there are literally thousands of tricks? So what exactly can be done?

A good place to start is watching some serious freestyle in action. Note: the “Jorden Moir Xmas” is my most recent video.

Feel lost? No worries. Here are some basics to get you started.

Also, I have a new instructional DVD available! It covers all of the basics and includes many special features. It’s on sale for $10 in the Classifieds, under Sports Equipment.

If you have any questions at all or are interested in a free lesson, contact me at .

Good luck -- and have fun!

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