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Breaking in Cornhole Bags

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simo
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Breaking in Cornhole Bags

Postby simo » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:10 am

While this isn't super applicable to many of you, I still figured you'd get a kick out of the evolution. Plus I don't have a 3D printer (yet). Lots of cornhole bags I do have though.

For some context: modern competition bags are usually made of high performance material and double sided with different friction properties for each side. Many current fabrics in use come with a lot of 'binder' agent in the fibers from the factory which initially makes the bags feel stiff and disc-like. As the game and competition level has grown, so have the methods of 'breaking in' bags to get them to peak performance. A lot of players have 20-30 sets flowing through and don't have the time to devote 2 weeks of backyard tossing to break each set in organically. Same players can't go into a competitive match and expect to win with new bags over an even skilled opponent.

Brings us to the evolution over the past 2 years or so.

1. "Just throw em" I eluded to it above but just taking the bags out and throwing them for practice used to be the gold standard for breaking in bags. It's still the preferred method for some models that don't require much effort. You'd have to mix in a fair amount of airmail practice (direct hole shots) because the bag usually slams into the board, rim, or ground which is good for break in. This method can also add undue wear to the bags depending on the practice surface and resiliency of the fabric.

2. "Rough them up" People used all methods of agitation imaginable to "beat up" their bags and attempt to accelerate break in. From meat tenderizers to running them over with their car lol. I used to tumble sets in the dryer on no heat for 3-4 hours.

3. Wash them. Either a hand wash in the sink or pop them in with a load of laundry. Then either air dry them on a rack or no/low heat tumble in the dryer.Image

4. Boil them. It is as crazy as it sounds. I even tried it with 3 sets to mixed results. Some bags tolerate it better than others. Big ol pot of water on the stove and bring it to a boil. 1-3 mins per bag. Initially there was concern with the coloration but the sublimation process most bags are printed with occurs at 400+ degrees and so boiling water shouldn't have affected them. It was all the rage for about 6 months.

5. Conditioning. There was a small board manufacturer who came out with a product called Sac Relax. Sold little 1-2oz bottles of this solution for like $8-$10 a pop and instructed people to apply it to the bags before washing. It was eventually determined to just be hair conditioner and so now the process is wet the bags with hot water and then work in a quarter sized amount of hair conditioner to each bag. Follow that up with a wash. It's my new favorite process because I can bring a bag to game-ready in about 24hrs.

I got these last night and threw them brand new for about an hour just for fun.
Image

Then last night they got the treatment and are now ready for competition tonight!
Image

These were the previous set that also got the treatment. Soaking in the the conditioner.
Image
They went right out and went undefeated at a local gig.
Image

This particular model requires some unique maintenance. The fabric can tend to pill up with wear like a sweater does and so they get a fabric shaver taken to them to bring them back to form.
Image

I laugh at a lot of this still but then I think about it like breaking in a new softball glove or bat before gameday.
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Tyler
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Breaking in Cornhole Bags

Postby Tyler » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:23 am

These spam bots are getting very specific in their posts.

JK. I had no idea this was even something you would need to do- but I am a n00b and rocking the same handmade set I bought on eBay 10+ years ago.

In competition do the bags have to be a specific size and weight? I am surprised to hear they can have 2 different surfaces for sticking.

How many sets do you currently have? When do you decide to phase them out? Can you use bags from multiple sets during the game?

Also, that board is beautiful. Did you make or buy?

simo wrote:Source of the post Plus I don't have a 3D printer (yet)

Dont tease me
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simo
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Breaking in Cornhole Bags

Postby simo » Tue Mar 16, 2021 10:48 am

Tyler wrote:Source of the post These spam bots are getting very specific in their posts.
:lol:

Tyler wrote:Source of the postIn competition do the bags have to be a specific size and weight? I am surprised to hear they can have 2 different surfaces for sticking.

Yep.
● Length: Bags should measure 6" x 6" when laid flat - accepted tolerance is 5.75"
– 6.25". Bags over or under accepted tolerance will not pass inspection.
● Weight: Bags should weigh 16 ounces – accepted tolerance is 15.5 ounces –
16.25 ounces. Bags over or under accepted tolerance will not pass inspection.
● Thickness: Bags should measure 1.25" - accepted tolerance is 1.125" to 1.5".
Bags under or over accepted tolerance will not pass inspection.
https://mysqlvm.blob.core.windows.net/acl-docs/ACL-Bag-Policy-2020-2021.pdf

Tyler wrote:Source of the postHow many sets do you currently have? When do you decide to phase them out? Can you use bags from multiple sets during the game?

I probably have 16ish at the moment. I had probably up to 50 at the highest when back in Idaho. They get phased out as they wear out generally or if something newer comes on the market. We're in an odd spot right now as the American Cornhole League just implemented a new licensing requirement (dated stamp on the bag) so all new bags need to be stamped for ACL competition.

Can't use multiple sets in a game and cannot mix and match a set. You can absolutely swap bags between games and I do frequently adjusting to conditions, partner, and opponent.

Tyler wrote:Source of the postAlso, that board is beautiful. Did you make or buy?

That was hand made by a friend back in Idaho. It is gorgeous.
Weiveismart
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Breaking in Cornhole Bags

Postby Weiveismart » Thu Mar 18, 2021 1:03 am

What is this thing made of?it looks beautiful .
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wags83
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Breaking in Cornhole Bags

Postby wags83 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:07 am

Yeah, I don't have professional bags for my set, just one type of material. Maybe the same thing Glass mentioned since I also got them off of ebay.

If I played more, I would make a new board set. I like how the set I made turned out, but it has some water damage from when our yard flooded a few years ago.

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