The Worlds Leading Designers of High Quality Handmade Footbags & Juggling Balls
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Sometimes sand filled footbags develop "leakage" problems.This can occur for several reasons;
When leakage occurs in the middle of the seem, it usually indicates a missed stitch. The stitches on a Dirtbag are very close together and sometimes one might be missed. If this happens to your Dirtbag, e-mail us and we can discuss a possible replacement.
Breakage of thread can occur. If this happens to your Dirtbag and its not more than 6 months old, e-mail us for a possible replacement.
Leakage can occur in the corners of a well "broken in" Dirtbag.This occurs because when the Dirtbag is kicked all of the stress radiates to the corners. If this happens you can use rubber cement and a toothpick to seal the corners. Remember, a little dab will do, do not flood coat the corners and never use super glue, rubber cement only.
What we call a "blow-out" can occasionally occur when the middle of the cover material (not in the seams) frays and comes apart. This happens once or twice in a blue moon, but when its your dirtbag, it just ain't right. If this happens to you within the first 6 months, e-mail us for a possible replacement.
Prior to the founding of Flying Clipper I used to live in a small farming town by the name of Tangent. I would come every Saturday to the Eugene Saturday Market to kick with a circle that was there every Saturday. I used my toes a lot when I kicked. A friend (Gary Baker) saw me coming to the circle one Saturday and said “Oh look, here comes those toes from Tangent”. I told him, “Don’t call me that Gary, it might stick.”
Of course the name stuck and that is how I became Toes back in 1979. All of the folks in that Eugene Saturday Market circle became my good friends. Along with Reed Gray, my future business partner at Flying Clipper, there was of course Gary Baker who became my best friend, Will Winget aka Star Cloud, Jack Schoolcraft aka Mirkan and Steve Amundson aka Birdman. The energy was always high and they always welcomed those “Toes from Tangent.”
Incidentally I co-invented a 14 panel footbag with my partner Reed Gray in 1983 and we named it the Tangent. Those early days were about trying to invent a better footbag than the Hacky Sack which tended not to be round. Out of that early circle of friends came the first multi panel footbag (a footbag with more than two piece construction) the 12 panel Soc Sac (Rick Steinmetz/Reed Gray) and that footbag design opened the door to all new footbag designs that followed.
A Footbag Golf Story For The Ages
I played professional footbag for 20 years, retiring in 1998 from footbag golf. I had already given up competition in freestyle and net and footbag golf was the last footbag event that I played competitively. I have won more than a few tournaments. As anyone who has played footbag golf knows and for those of you who do not, the golf holes are above ground and have the dimensions of 18” round and 18” high. The holes are cone shaped with a tray at the bottom for roll up puts from outside of a 30 foot putting circle. In my years of playing footbag golf I learned the wisdom of the roll up and would most often position my approach shots to land at about 30 feet so that I could have a “two for one” option of making it into the basket or rolling up into the bottom tray. I worked hard on my 30 foot puts in practice and in my best days I could hit 7 of 10 shots from 30 feet. Most went into the basket but about 25% of them would land in the roll up tray.
I also manufacture footbags and on one of my visits overseas for production, my hosts would go regular ball golfing everyday at about 4:00 p.m.. They would play on a private course owned and operated by the local military. It was a 9 hole course. Being left handed and never once playing regular ball golf, I tagged along with my hosts from hole to hole on their round. When they would finish putting and go to the next tee, I would pull out my three putters that I always carried around in my pocket and take a few quick puts before catching up with my friends at the next green. I did this all the way around the course. When we all reached the final hole and as my friends finished their putting, they were greeting by an Army Major who ran the golf course. I saw them pointing at me and lifting their legs as they described to the Major that I played a different kind of golf. They wanted me to demonstrate. Now I knew that I had not made one putt on any of the eight previous holes I putted but I took out my three beauties and focused on the lie. Remember this is not an 18” round, 18” high footbag golf hole. This is a standard ball golf hole. I determined about a one foot break to the left and downhill from my spot at about 30 feet above and to the right of the hole. I lined up my first attempt and it rolled with a perfect break down the hill and into the cup. They all clapped. I line up my second putt and rolled it to a near perfect putt missing off to the right by 6”. Big sigh from the crowd. I line up my third putt and rolled another perfect break right into the cup to a rousing ovation. I do not tell this story often because when I do, it sounds to whacky to be believable. This story is true and is the one thing in footbag golf I remember best of all, even in the face of my last tournament where I made two “holes in one” in 18 holes at the Western Regional Tourney at Stanford University.
Jim Toes Fitzgerald
Rhys Thomas has been performing since the 1970s and Flying Clipper has been in his prop bag since then. Most recently Rhys performed in Abu Dhabi using our new Tossaball Phat Tyre 32 juggle balls. Thanks a bunch Rhys for your support.
Most of our footbags are made using state of the art synthetic suede. Synthetic suede is strong but very soft. Care must be taken to insure a long life for your footbag. Limit play on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete. These types of abrasive surfaces will wear out even the strongest footbag. Always bend over to pick up your footbag. Using your foot to pick it up may cause undue stress. Wash your footbag to keep grit from building up on the fabric. Washing your footbag regularly will help to make your footbag last much longer than our three month guaranty.
This is straight from the heart folks, I have handmade more than 50,000 footbags in my sewing career and traveled the world for promotion and manufacturing carrying my favorite footbag where ever I would go. I always took care that no one mistreat my footbag and my footbags would last me several years. If you have a problem, and problems do occur, please trust us here at Flying Clipper to make sure you are a satisfied customer.
–Jim “Toes” Fitzgerald