Walk Through: Frequently Asked Questions

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This & Thats

Hacky Shack

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This & Thats

Q: What is a footbag?
A: A footbag or more commonly known as a Hacky Sack® (Trademarked by Wham-O Inc) or Hackey Sack is a small, round, filled bag that's used to do tricks with or pass from person to person without using your hands.

Q: What is a jianzi?
A: A bird of many feathers. Call it what you will, jiànzi, kinja, ti jian, kikbo, shuttlecock, featherball.. In essence it's an Asian Hacky Sack, consisting of feathers that are fixed to a weighted object. It is a bit more difficult to control than a traditional footbag.

Q: How do you play?
A: Keepin' it simple, here are some guidelines and short descriptions on the dominant styles to get you started (It's of course all right to make ones own variations):
1st No hands - Remember hands should only be used for courtesy tosses when starting or if the bag is dropped (A lot of folks generally frown upon using anything from your fingertips up to your elbow during play)
No Sorries - No, we're not trying to turn you into a baadaas, everybody drops the hack, so don't stress, you don't have to apologise everytime.

  • Circle
    A basic circle consists of at least two players up to any number, the more players the harder it is to get a Hack. The aim is to pass the footbag to all players without letting it touch the ground, that is a "Hack". If the bag is dropped, the round starts afresh, simply pick it up and throw it to another player, so no self-serving. Once you get the hang of things you'll notice circles naturally progressing to higher hacks per round. 
  • Freestyle
    Solo play - Practice your foundation kicks, flicks and flops then learn some other nifty footbag moves or routines. Hone your skills & show the world that you can shred like a boss!
  • Freestyle Circle
    Same rules apply as to a normal circle with the exception that players attempt tricks during passes. A lot of the more advanced circles end up passing in one direction trying not to skip a player. There's no kick or trick limit before passing, but you don't want to leave your friends hanging. The circle still comes first, don't try your, soon to be signature, tripple-spin-upsidedown-onearm-jester five times in a row, you'll go from cool to cold by causing needless drops.

Q: What are some of the most basic hackeysack tricks?
A: Some of the most basic or easiest kick and stall tricks are:

  • Clipper Kick - Kick the footbag with the inside (bridge) of your foot.
  • Knock Knee - Pop the footbag with your knee or upper leg.
  • Toe Delay - Let the footbag flop or stall on the top of your foot.
  • Inside Delay - Flop or stall the footbag on the inside (bridge) of your foot.
  • Outside Delay - " " on the outside of your foot.
  • Knee Delay - " " on your knee or upper leg.
  • Forehead Delay - Use your head man.
  • Toilet Stall - Catch the bag between your thighs in a sitting position.
  • Boob Job - Catch the bag in your cleavage (Yes this trick is mostly for ladies, but can also be tried with moobs).

Q: What the hell is a flick/flop?
A: A Flick or Pop is when the footbag is kicked straight up. Incidentally someone that can easily do controlled pops is sometimes known for having a "Flickfoot".
A Flop or Stall is the ability to stop or delay the footbag, eg. on your foot, neck, shoulder or head.

Q: Do you have any beginner bag recommendations?
A: Any sand or dirt bag will work best for a beginner, they are generally slower and easier to control. Old school crochet or plastic filled bags work best in circles but have to be played in a bit. While metal or metal/sand combo footbags are fantastic for more advanced freestyle playing.

Q: What is the meaning of life?
A: 42. Sorry, but you didn't really think you'd get that here.. Just keep on keeping on!

Q: Is there an age restriction?
A: The general rule of thumb would be: If the person is past the age of unintentionally eating things and choking on them, but before the age of being in danger of dislocating a hip while standing, they should be fine. Hacky is a fun form of socialising while also accidentally doing some exercise. Depending on how enthusiastic your playing style is, you can easily utilise most of your body during a session, getting in a nice little workout without the danger of instantly turning into Vernon Koekemoer!

Q: Where did hacky originate from?
A: Co-op kick sports have cultural origins from way back, in nearly every country in the world.  The "Hack the Sack" game however, was invented in Oregon City in 1972 when two Americans, John Stalberger & Mike Marshall started kicking around a hand-made bean bag as a fun way of exercising Stalberger's knee after surgery.

Q: What other games can I play with my footbag?
A: Look into some of these games, make up your own or combine them to mix things up a bit:

  • Air Time
    Best played by two players. Each player starts by passing the footbag with one kick, then with the second kick, up to a preditermined number (depending on skill level, usually five).  When the target is reached, the footbag is passed in decending kicks, back to one.
  • Basse
    An old Norwegian game where a player defends his/her circle of about 1.5m drawn 40cm apart. 4-8 Players, playing against eachother aiming to land the Basse inside an opponent's circle an agreed upon number of times "dots"  to eleminate them.
  • Buce
    An Australian non-contact game. A player kicks the footbag from one team member to another across a "field" to score a goal in a small container, usually a bin, pot or box.
  • Elimination / Death / Two to Boot
    Best played by atleast 5 people. Set a kick limit/charges (normally two or three). If the limit is reached (whether by one player, or collectively), then you try to kick the bag at a person in the circle. If they're hit and they can't recover the bag, they're eliminated.
    • Variations:
    • Battle / War/ Triplets - When the kick limit is reached everyone tries to catch the footbag, whoever catches the footbag, throws it at one of the players who then either dodges or catches it. If the footbag hits a player they're eliminated, but if caught, the player who threw the bag is eliminated.
    • Shark - When the kick limit is reached a player catches the footbag and yell's: "shark". All other players must stay where they are and can only move one foot once, to reposition himself/herself (It is reccomended to use that move to dodge). The "shark" then throws the footbag at any player. If a player is pegged, he/she is eliminated.
    • Slaps / Kill - Once the charge is reached, the hack is slapped at someone. If a player is hit by said slapped hack, he/she is eliminated. If the player recovers the footbag after being hit, or if any other player kicks it, they are saved and may attempt another "kill".
  • Horse / Word / Copy Cat
    The same as the skateboarding game "Skate", great for improving freestyle play. A player performs any freestyle move, then passes the footbag to the next player who attempts to do the same trick. If he/she succeeds to perform the trick, that player performs a different trick, and passes the bag on. If a player fails to do the trick, they get a letter from the chosen word e.g. the "H" in "Horse", then passes the bag on to the next player who chooses a new trick. Once a player gets all the letters of the word they are out.
  • It / The X / The B!tch
    Best played in a circle of atleast three. If a player drops the footbag, he/she becomes the X, they stay the X until another player messes up. A serve by the X, should be caught, if it's played, then the player who kicked it becomes the X. If the X messes up again, he/she gets a strike & is no longer the X. Three strikes and you're out!
  • Kick Back
    Kick the footbag against a wall, best played with firmer or crocheted footbags. Can be played alone or with others.
  • Knockout
    Players are eliminated from the circle by failure to hit the footbag, the aim is still to keep the circle going though. If the bag lands in a player's "pizza slice", that player is eliminated. If the footbag lands way out of range, the player who kicked it is eliminated.
  • Numbers / Ladder
    A circle elimination game where the player who starts, kicks the footbag once, the next player kicks it twice etc. If the footbag is dropped, the player gets one more chance, if the player fails again, the footbag is passed to the next player. If he/she achieves the required number of kicks the previous player is out.
    • Variation:
    • Number Catch - Works on a scoring system, played to a certain score or time. A player attempts as many kicks possible then catches the footbag for the points to count, if the bag is dropped the points are subtracted.
  • Plot Hacky
    Hybrid of Red Dot and The Monkey, where the monkey is replaced by a beverage or alcoholic beverage, if you so choose and are of legal age (Plot Etiquette usually calls for either a quart or box wine). Instead of abusing your footbag by throwing it at the offender, he/she has  to take a sip of the beverage.  If the footbag hits "the monkey", the player that last kicked it has to take a sip.
  • Stripes
      Is a contact circle game and not necessarily one of our favourites. Players hack normally, if a player drops the footbag "whiffs", the other players are allowed to hit him/her until he/she picks up the footbag. If someone self serves or catches the footbag with their hand, everyone in the circle is allowed to punch him/her. (Please don't kill your friends, remember it's just a game mmkay! Rather just give a few irritating pokes than a punch in the eye).
    • Variation:
    • Red Dot - The footbag is thrown at the offender from a few meters away, when any of the following acts transpire: Self-Serve, Hogging, Catching, Slapping, Window/Shibobo (footbag passes between a opening created by a limb), Bad Serve, Abuse (Steps on, Scrapes or kicks the footbag to hard/far).  Again, it's just a game, don't maime your friends, don't throw for the face or "sensitive areas", the offender is also allowed to cover them.
  • The Monkey
    Play in a normal circle, with the addition of a monkey (player) that stands in the centre of the circle. If the monkey kicks/intercepts the footbag, the player who last kicked the footbag is the new monkey!


Hacky Shack

Q: How can I get my hands on a footbag?
A: Easy Peasy, buy online, right here at The Hacky Shack.
Feel free to Contact Us, as an alternative to ordering through the website.
Check out the Order Info page for more details!

Q: I want another colour/model & can't find it!?
A: Don't stress, give us a shout & we'll try and sort you out!

Q: How long before I get my stuff?
A: Depending on when the payment is received, we try to send out orders the same day or at the latest the next working day. Once you received your tracking number, it's just a matter of time, ordinary parcels normally average 3-5 working days.
(Take a look at the Order Info page for the available shipping options.)

Q: I added a product review and rating but it's not showing, what's up?
A: Keepin' it clean - All reviews are first checked by our magical moderator guy to ensure that it does not contain anything PG13. If you weren't naughty, it will show up after a little while.

Q: Do you ship internationally?
A: Nope - Though we are a registered exporter, we're currently only shipping locally in South Africa.

Q: Where is your store, can I collect my stuff?
A: Cyberspace - We are shipping from Bloemfontein, in the centre of SA, but we are not arranging any pickups for orders at this stage.


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