As an answer to my previous thread bout what bals to buy, I've just finished making up a set of "russian" balls. They're actually canadian, but hey.
Started off with a set of cheap cold-weather street hockey balls, "winwell" brand, chosen because - well - it's what the local hockey supplier had in stock, Ø65mm, 50g each. Cost me €3,50 each over the counter, you can pick them up for a bit less online. Sliced them open with a Stanley knife blade (other cutting tools are available) and added 45g of salt, glued them up with some PVC adhesive and then taped the edges together until the glue set. They're flexible PVC, the adhesive (which is pvc dissolved in acetone to produce a gel) effectively welds them shut. This means the ability to tweak the weights is "limited", but I don't think I really need that anyway. The only worry I have is that, as the seal is (or should be) hermetic, they might collapse at lower altitudes (I live at 900m).
First impressions? I like them. Need to avoid spinning them as you throw, but they "plant" really nicely in the hand. Size is about right, and they're lighter than I'm used to for beanbags.
Fun fact: that's the kind of ball that Gabrielle Foran (undisputed women's distance joggling champion) uses. I'm not sure if she used the same sealing method as you, but I /think/ hers are also air-tight, and she hasn't had problems with them in a variety of locations. Mind you, we're at ~333 m.
OK, with a bit more play time, here goes.
I like the surface finish. this is down to the actual balls I used, but they're sort of velvety, and quite grippy. Markings and excess PVC glue came off nicely with some acetone, leaving them pretty smooth. I buggered up the joint on one of them, leaving a noticeable edge, but it's not a major issue.
For numbers, they're pretty nice to juggle. If you put any spin on them, they tend to wobble and crash the pattern, I think this will eventually lead to more consistent throws. Weight is about right for 5 or 7 ball, 92g per ball. This weight wasn't chosen, I was going for 100g but mis-measured the first one I did. woopsie-doodles. I can flash 7, which I feel is pretty good after 20 years with no practice.
They're not overly suited to 3 ball stuff, I think. Maybe because my 3 ball juggling involves a lot of movement, I suspect that this puts them off-balance at the point I make the throw.
I was expecting them to be better at body traps. Any sideways movement, however, tends to make them wobble off-balance and I can't catch that yet, I guess I'm naturally correcting for something with a fixed centre of gravity. I'm dropping arm and head catches every time, head catches seem to roll off the back of my head - overcorrecting, I guess. On the other limb termination, however, vertically dropped foot catches feel very much within reach.
What's very nice is that they don't tend to roll away. Or if they do, they roll around in a circle, then stop suddenly.
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