It's not called Hacky Sack anymore! - the Footbag thread

I’ve been enjoying playing footbag lately. You might be thinking “Hey, whats this ‘footbag’?. I thought it was called hacky sack!” Actually “Hacky Sack” is a brand name - a really crappy brand name at that. The sport is called Footbag. Things have changed, a lot. Footbag is no longer viewed as a game for burnt out stoners.

Footbag is primarily an European game. You will probably not see anyone playing it America unless you actively seek it out. Parts of Canada are big into it as well.

Now, where to start? “Hacky Sack” typically involved a group of guys standing in a circle attempting to keep the bag up in the air while passing it back and forth. If everyone kicks the bag it’s called a “hack”. For many years, this was enough for people - just kicking the bag around.

Others started getting more skillfull and inventive and found ways to “stall” (catch) the bag on various surfaces on their feet. Once you have enough control to catch the bag you can start doing cool things like bringing your legs over or around the bag. You can start stalling from behind your back, or spinning your body in-between hits. Once you get better you can string these moves into combos. There are infinite combinations of what you can do and it’s very rewarding to land a move you’ve spent days on.

I think footbag requires the perfect combination of athletic ability, dexterity, timing, and flexibility. It’s a very tiring game because you’re constantly jumping around on both feet - doing some strange looking dance. The focal point of this dance is the footbag, gracefully moving up and down while always keeping your movements in check.

Most importantly, footbag is FUN. I recommend it to everyone. Does anyone here play?

Here are some movies, see what you’ve been missing!

The best footbag player in the world - from the Czech Republic: Vasek Kloud - 30 second routine - his 1st place routine (with music!)


Ooh, I do! We call it “Hack” and it’s not very rare around here. (Wisconsin, USA) Though it is still kind of stereo-typed to the stoner group. I’m not very good at it. I can never make my friends play it for more than 15 minutes or so. They get bored or tired. I need to find some people to play it with. I’m too shy to just walk up to people playing and ask to join. It is a great cardio excersize, stamina is key.

Hackey sack or footbag or whatever you want to call it is but a trifle compared to the Southeast Asian sport of sepak takraw.

Check out the related sport of chinlone from Myanmar:

Eh, refering to it as footbag rather than hack sack doesn’t make it anymore of a legit sport. This takes me back to when my friend started getting into yo-yo’s and started calling yo-yo-ing (?) a sport. He even bought a Duncan video which walked you through the various tricks step by step. In his defense, he’s actually rather good at it. Then he never stopped talking about it, so we didn’t remain friends for much longer.

Anyway, my brother and his buddies use to play hacky sack alot. I always wanted to join in but I have zero hand-eye-coordination. Seriously, I’m amazed that I’ve gotten thus far in life without impaling one of my eyes with a fork.

I think footbag and yo-yo’s are kind of like juggling. I sure as hell can’t do it and it’s pretty awesome to watch, though at the end of the day, no one cares. =\

I call it ‘hack’ as well, because most people will think i’m weird/arrogant for calling it ‘footbag’. And you’re right, 15 minutes is the magical amount of time most people can play before they’re tired. This is the reason I most always play by myself - its the best way to learn.

Nahhhhh. Sepak takraw looks pretty cool but its nothing like footbag at all. By the looks of it, you can’t even stall their ball, not that you’d want to

Sepak takraw is to volleyball as footbag is to juggling. Whos gonna compare volleyball to juggling?

You’re in luck! You don’t use your hands :stuck_out_tongue:

Says Duke, who had a Hacky Sack until his dog got it.


there used to be two distinct kinds of footbags.

One was the “sipa sipa” with the crocheted exterior. These were considerably easier to stall.

The other was the leather/suede type thing which were tighter and more difficult to stall – they didn’t form a flat surface.

When you see these guy so these sick stall, are they using the more difficult ones?

I used to play a lot. I even had these little “training” balls that were sort of like a little racquet ball. When you got done playing with one of those, using a regular footbag was like moving in slow motion.

The best footbag player in the world - from the Czech Republic: Vasek Kloud - his 1st place routine (with music!)

That guy looks like he has fire ants in his shoes. He’s good though.

Not for the last 25 years or so.

Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes is passing out hacky sacks, called “Footy Buddy” in their cereal now. They’re promoted as trainers for soccer footwork.

I used to play once in a while. In college, it was usually with a beer in one hand – for balance, you know. When I worked as a painter, one of my buddies and I would play during our breaks. I was never great, but I got to be passable. The hack we used was leather, but it stretched a fair amount over the summer and got easier to stall. My best was a stall on the bridge of my nose from a (desperation) kick that was a good 20 feet high.

Me and my buddies used to play daily in high school, and I’ve played on and off throughout college. I’m so-so, I can keep the hack under control and do some tricks and stalls. I still use the term hackey sack even though I know footbag is the “official” term because it gets the idea across quickly and “hack” is such a catchy shorthand (either the verb or the noun.)