Rob Stone on European Clubs

I have no connection with Beard, Henrys or Spotlight (in fact i juggle Spotlight Europeans, Henry's Nightflights and Beard Photons, Europeans and Practice) but think they all make good stuff. Of the other manufacturers they are either very cheap (eg FLARE) and not particularly great or I haven't played with them (eg AJA)

The low level of the pound makes the foreign clubs expensive (esp Henrys) here, may not be the same where you are.

Beard Clubs

Made in picturesque Hebden Brisge in sunny West Yorkshire in an old mill high on a hill side, well worth a visit.

Beard Beach 8.95 each
heavyweight beginner's club lots of padding big black handles hard plastic bodies in bold colours. Ok for workshops and to learn with but too heavy and uncomfortable for long duration. Handles not great for passing too soft and wide) Not very robust as clubs go. Good value though.
Beard Practice Deluxe. 12 each long/short handles(not seen)
very popular foam padded white handled club. bright colours. OK spin quite heavy. excellent to learn with, ok to pass for tricks and easy on the hands. better put together than the beach, will last longer, problem with handles (discolouration - not structural) seems to have been sorted. Nice club to turn to when your hands are trashed.
European (Circus with diff decorations):13.50 each long/short handles(not seen)
Very slender european style (thin body) long handled club with large white knobs which i dislike. Elegant looking club with fairly slow spin good for passing and tricks. Air cushioned handled (ie layer of plastic around the dowel) is very thin (good for kids to hold) but comfortable. Decorated in deep blue, green red silver shiny metallic stuff. I like the look of these clubs and they juggle really well. I have heard that with a thin dowel they break but H (Mr Beard) will mend them for free, (not much use in oz) I haven't seen (or heard from anyone) any evidence of the breakage.
Beard Performance. 18 each but I think no longer made.
Long handled with solid deep coloured bodies(like ruby red, bit boring in decoration). I have heard people rave about these for passing with, meant to be really good but I thought they were nothing special. Nice club well made but i would not sell my granny for one.
Beard Radical Fish 19.50 each
The dogs bollocks (as some people say) for numbers. These are new designed (very confusing ad campaign claiming to be from Oz but then denied) clubs long THIN handles with a capital THIN. 2 weights (light and very light! 210g 180g) one for indoors the other for somewhere else. Slowish spin a bit misleading, you expect them to be faster - well i did! They are very strange shape (i like the look of them -some don't). No idea about durability but it shows Beard are investing thought into juggling equipment.
Beard Photons: 19.50 each
They also do Photon luminous club for glow in the dark and UV work which is similar to the european shape weight but not quite! It is fully luminous (body and handle) and glows REALLY bright. It is comfortable to juggle with and good for passing. The handles (being solid) do not glow as bright as the bodies which is a shame. It is lovely and bloody expensive. You can get a luminous radical fish as well.
Beard Street Pro Torch: 17.50
Very close to a copy of the Henrys Nightflight but with an extra bit on the bulb. Nice looking torch with replaceable rubber shock absorber. Don't look quite as well put together as the Henrys but no evidence to suppose they're not. They are nice weight and spin but I still prefer my Henrys. They come with metallic decorations.

Spotlight Clubs

Spotlight Clubs are made in Amsterdam by Dave Marshant,(aka Dave Spotlight) Prices as of Jan 1993 for each club in pounds sterling.

Spotlight 1 piece: 6.50 (coloured 7.50) 180g
Many peoples first club, well balanced for the price with an adequate spin (i never tried triples but doubles were ok). Big knobs which are ok for swinging so I'm told. All white (new version with coloured body available I'm told). Can be decorated with standard Spotlight Decorations.The down side is you need to replace your hands every couple of weeks as these hurt. Maybe you get used to it, or wear cycling gloves, but they always hurt me. One solution is to wrap squash racquet grips (the squidy ones not toweling) on the handles, affects the balance a bit but saves on surgery. Almost indestructible. I'd say like a poor mans european version of the Dubé airflight.
Spotlight European: 16.00 (long or short handles) 240g
The standard club used in many clubs! Medium weight and spin Recently revamped with much softer bodies and handles making them gentle on the hands and head. Heavy enough for outdoor use but not too tiring. Millions of groovy decorations available cheap. Spares easily available. I use the long handles versions and am well pleased with them. Short handled version are ok, a bit faster that's all.
Spotlight Eurolight: 16.00 long or short handles 220g
As above except 20g lighter. What I'd probably buy if I had to replace all my Spotlight Euros. Same good spin and comfortable handles and soft bodies but just a bit lighter to make 4 or more easier. Blow around a lot more in the wind.
Spotlight Rainbow: 13.50 Long handles. 220
A new air cushioned club with coloured bodies and white handles nice spin. Reputedly flouresc, but I've not seen it. The plastic body feels a bit different to the european/rainbow but thats the only difference I can see. There may be internal structural differences. Not sure why there is such a price difference.
Spotlight Torches. 17.50 235g
Meant to have approx same spin/weight as a european. Didn't feel like it to me! These have got a strange bulb on the shaft to prevent burning the handles. Have seen them juggled very nicely, but not by me!

Henrys Clubs

Made in Germany- sorry don't know much else.

I don't know the full range of Henry's Clubs and decorations so i'll just detail the ones I have had a chance to play/pass with. Henrys are well known for the quality of their clubs, but that doesn't guarantee you'll like them!

Henrys Delphin: 11.95 208g.
A beginner's club which I found hard on the hands but with and adequate spin. Lots of colours, also available in luminous as the Luna (not seen, 15 pounds)
Henrys Circus (and Trainer) 17.50 215g
Standard Henrys club, long handles (the Trainer has no metallic stripe decorations) coloured bodies . This club is great if you like firm handles, and a fast spin (i don't!)
Henrys Albatross. 22.00 225g
A Nice big fat wide bodied club, takes up lots of air. A slower club than most of the Henrys so I like it better! Nice in passing patterns because of the size. Thin handles are firm but not hard. Lots of colours, and circus decorations as well.
Henrys Pirouette 23.95 210g
IMHO their nicest club. Long Long handles which are firm (almost hard!) with a small narrow body. A very traditional pretty looking club. Fast, flippy spin which doesn't take very much effort. Good for passing, but the handles hurt if you miscatch. Doesn't suit me but i still like to juggle them - expensive though.

Rob Stone on European Clubs / Juggling Information Service /
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