With so many prop variations available, it’s hard to know which one is right for you. We’ve put together this handy size guide to help make that decision process a little easier.
It’s important to remember that this is a guide only. Everyone is different, and what works for one person may not work for someone else, and that is perfectly ok!
This guide is a great place to get started, but we do recommend playing with different sizes and styles of prop to work out which ones best fit you and your wonderfully unique style.
To be able to manipulate the buugeng without additional difficulty, they need to be short enough that your arms and torso don’t easily get in the way.
A general rule of thumb is, if you’re holding the handle of the buugeng, the tip of the blade should reach roughly the midpoint between your elbow and armpit. If the tip reaches your armpit, you may struggle to execute some moves that require clearance distance to be spun under the arms.
When starting out, it’s easier to control lighter buugeng. Because buugeng require a lot of finger and wrist work, a heavier set will tire your hands out much quicker.
The most common sizes for diabolo are between 10-12cm. For those new to diabolo, its recommended to start with one close to 10cm. You’ll be able to do most tricks with this size. The 10cm size is also better for multi-diabolo tricks as they’re small enough to fit two on a single string.
A lighter diabolo can sometimes be more difficult to balance than a heavier one but is generally easier on the arms which means you can practice for longer without getting tired. Modern diabolos rely more on the axels for balance than the weight.
There are two size categories to consider with fans. The size of the ring, or the grip, and the size of the fans themselves.
- There are two main ring types – large, a.k.a. Russian grip, and small, a.k.a. Doodle grip.
- The Russian grip ring should be large enough that you can fit your palm inside it. Russian grip fans are most common with more dance based fan spinning.
- The Doodle grip ring is smaller, often only fitting one or two fingers inside. Doddle grip fans are popular with technical style spinners as they allow for easier creation of geometric patterns.
- A general rule of thumb for people new to fans is that the length of the fan should not exceed the length of your forearm.
- The length should be measured from the centre of the ring/grip to the tip of the fan.
- If the fans are too long, it can become difficult to handle them and to execute some moves.
- If the fans are too short, you will lose momentum and much of the beautiful visuals that come with fans.
The total weight of your fan is a less important factor to consider than the weight distribution. For more flowy, dance style spinning, it’s generally easier if the weight is distributed towards the wicks. For more technical spinning, having the weight near the handle is more ideal.
What you plan on doing with your hoop will help to determine the best size to go for. A larger hoop is generally easier to learn with. For those new to hoop, it’s recommended that when standing the hoop vertically on the ground, it should reach about 5cm above your belly button.
There are a huge range of weights available with hoops, and again, the best weight for you will be determined by what you plan on doing with your hoop.
- Fitness hoops generally have a little weight on them, making them easier to hoop with and an excellent way to keep fit.
- Dance hoops are generally a little lighter and are fantastic for incorporating more dance and flow into your hooping.
- Resistance hoops are often bigger and heavier, making them another excellent choice for fitness.
You can check out our full hoop article here.
There isn’t really a collective guide to sizing iso sticks. Because they’re so small in comparison to most other props, their size doesn’t matter as much as it would with double staff, for example.
Iso sticks are generally a lightweight prop due to their smaller size. Having a little extra weight on the ends of your iso sticks will help with executing isolations.
JUGGLING – BALLS
The most important thing to consider when selecting your juggling ball size is the size of your hand and how many balls you want to juggle. New jugglers usually start with three balls and need to be able to easily hold two balls in one hand. The larger the ball, the harder it is to make an accurate throw. Generally, 60-65mm diameter is a good starting point.
Approximately 120g is the average weight of a juggling ball. Some people prefer them lighter, while others prefer heavier. A heavier ball will be easier to throw more accurately and provides clearer feedback on where the ball is in your hand.
JUGGLING – CLUBS
Most clubs will be about 50cm in length. It’s important when selecting your club size that it’s proportionate to your height – for most adults, this standard size will be fine. For shorter adults and children, going with a shorter length club is recommended. It’s important to remember that the longer a club is, the slower it will spin.
Most clubs will weigh between 220-255g. The recommended range for most club juggling is about 225-240g. A heavier club will be more suitable for outdoor juggling as its less likely to be blown off balance by the wind.
JUGGLING – CONTACT
The larger your contact ball is, the more surface area there is which makes it much easier for those just starting out. For most people, this is a 100mm diameter ball, although for children or people with smaller hands, 85-90mm might work better.
It’s much easier to learn contact juggling with a heavier ball. It’s recommended to start out with something heavier than about 250g, but no heavier than 500g as this can cause tendon damage for beginners.
JUGGLING – RINGS
A standard size juggling ring will be about 3mm thick and 32cm diameter. You can find both larger and smaller rings, although anything smaller becomes more difficult to juggle with.
The average weight of a juggling ring will be about 120g. As these rings are being caught on their thin edge, a heavier ring can hurt when you catch it.
JUGGLING – STICKS (devil sticks/flower sticks)
There is quite a range of sizes available with juggling sticks, and both the size of the baton/flower stick and the hand/control sticks is important.
- The longer the stick is, the slower it will rotate, giving you more time to follow it and to predict where it will land.
- The thicker the diameter, the more surface area there is to play with. Thicker sticks are excellent for contact sticking.
- These are shorter than the baton.
- It’s generally recommended to choose a size approximately the length of your arm, including your hand.
A lighter baton will spin much faster than a heavier baton, making it more difficult to learn. Generally, plastic sticks and sticks with tapered ends are much lighter than wooden ones, or those with the 'flower' tassel ends.
With levi wands, there are three size considerations. The length and diameter of the wand, and the length of the string.
- The average length of levi wands ranges from 70-75cm. You can find them longer or shorter than this, but most fit within this range.
- Shorter wands are excellent for baton style spinning as they allow for more clearance room between the wand and your body.
- Longer wands have more surface area so are more recommended for contact wanding.
- The average diameter of levi wands ranges from about 10-18mm. You can find them thicker or thinner, but most fit within this range.
- LED wands are usually thicker as they have the electrical components to house. A thicker wand will move slower, and because there is more surface area, the wand can sometimes be more prone to catching the string.
- Thinner wands will move quicker, and are often easier to keep vertical as they collide with the string less.
- Most people tend to start with a short string wand as it’s relatively easy to pick up and there are heaps of tricks you can do with short string.
- Short string wands need swivels to minimise tangles and are idea for contact wanding.
- Long string wands don’t usually have swivels and they give you more anchor options (where the wand is attached to your body).
- Long string opens up more moves, but also opens up more tangles in your string.
A lighter levi wand will work best for flowy, dance style wanding with the illusion of the wand floating, while a heavier wand will be best for contact style wanding.
The most important factor in the weighting of a levi wand is to ensure that it has just a little more weight at the bottom of the wand. This will help it maintain its vertical position when spinning.
There are typically 3 categories of poi length available. Short, long, and standard poi.
- Short poi are great for faster spinning and moves like the buzzsaw, but are not so great for contact moves. The shorter length gives you less time between rotations and also means there’s less chance they’ll come in contact with your body.
- Long poi are fantastic for contact moves and juggling. The longer length gives you more time between rotations so they’re great for slower spinning styles.
- Standard poi are the most common length and are recommended for those just starting out. The general consensus is that you should choose a length no longer than your arm (from the centre of your palm to your armpit).
The more resistance there is when spinning your poi, the slower they will go and the more control you will have. A heavier head will spin slower than a lighter head which can be very helpful in learning control, although too heavy and it becomes tricky to maintain momentum.
If you find your poi are spinning too fast and you’re having trouble controlling them, you can add a tail which will help to slow it down – they also look super cool too!
If your rope is too short, it can make it difficult to execute some moves, especially more complicated wraps. If your rope is too long, it can create too much slack – the dart becomes difficult to maintain control of, meaning you'll get tangled easier. You’ll also likely hit the head on the ground more often, shortening the life of your dart head.
The best overall length to start with is found by measuring your wingspan (fingertip-fingertip, with arms outstretched), then add the distance from your shoulder to the ground. Most rope darts can be shortened without needing to cut the tether (rope), by simply adding an extra loop or two around the wrist.
The overall length of the rope dart itself is usually measured from the tip of the dart head to the point where the rope connects to the wrist.
The ideal weight for your dart will depend on what style of spinning you want to do. If you’re after a more martial arts style, a lighter head will give you the ability to spin your dart faster. If you’re more into the flowy, dance style, a heavier head will slow your dart down.
The more resistance there is when your dart is flying through the air, the slower it will go and the more control you will have. A heavier head will spin slower than a lighter head which can be very helpful in learning control, although too heavy and it becomes tricky to maintain momentum.
If you find your dart is spinning too fast and you’re having trouble controlling it, you can add a tail which will help to slow it down – they look awesome too!
STAFF – CONTACT
The general recommendation to find your contact staff size is to measure from the ground to somewhere between your chin and eyes (slightly longer than a spin staff). A shorter staff is better for faster movements, and a longer staff is better for a slower, smoother flow.
The weight of a contact staff will be more than that of a spin staff. The additional weight slows the staff down and makes staying in control and maintaining contact with your body easier.
STAFF – DOUBLE
There is much debate when it comes to sizing double staff. The length of your staff will be determined by the style of spinning you want to do. Some people prefer longer doubles, similar to using two full sized staffs, while others prefer shorter, more baton style doubles.
When first starting out with double staff, it’s recommended to choose a length just under twice the length of your arm. This means that when you’re holding the staff in the centre, the ends should be able to fit between your torso and your arm.
Having a set of doubles with a little extra weight on the ends will help with maintaining momentum. Less weight will make throws and juggling easier, while more weight will make it easier to execute contact moves with your doubles.
STAFF – DRAGON
The general recommendation to find your dragon staff size is to measure from the ground to your nose (or anywhere between your eyes and your chin).
A dragon closer to chin length will allow you to switch planes and execute certain moves easier, but you run a higher chance of the spokes colliding with your head. A dragon closer to eye length will give you a bit more freedom with your movements, although you may find the spokes hitting the ground more often.
The most important thing when it comes to the weight of your dragon is that the ends are equally weighted, and the same distance from the centre of the staff. It’s also important to ensure the spokes are centred to give you a nice, smooth roll.
STAFF – SPIN
The general recommendation to find your spin staff size is to measure from the ground to your shoulder/chest height (slightly shorter than a contact staff). A shorter staff is better for faster movements, and a longer staff is better for a slower, smoother flow.
The weight of a spin staff will be less than that of a contact staff. Spin style is usually fast and often involves throws, and quick direction changes. These moves are easier to execute with a lighter staff. Most traditional bo-staffs don’t have any additional weights at the ends.
You can also add tails to the ends of a staff if you want to add some resistance and slow it down.
We hope that this guide helps when deciding which size prop is right for you. Remember, what works for someone else may not work for you, so play around with different sizes and styles of prop to find the one that fits you best.
If you have any questions or suggestions around sizing, please feel free to get in touch.