Chalk balls are small cotton balls made from magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) which are filled with normal magnesium carbonate powder. The powder content of a chalk ball is made from magnesium carbonate which enables athletes, gymnasts, and weightlifters to improve friction and grip.
Chalk balls are made of a permeable fabric filled with loose chalk, and they walk exactly like ordinary loose chalk powder. During the process of manufacturing, a non-chunky, cleaner chunk of chalk is put in their balls to enable the users to rub it on their fingers.
The exciting news about chalk balls is that it is one climbing accessory that you don’t make too much analysis for and your preference rules. You can decide to pick chalk by how it feels when you touch it, and chalk bags by its color.
This article provides an insight into the types of chalk balls, their sizes, and also ways to apply them.
How To Apply A Chalk Ball
The most convenient and easiest way of applying chalk balls is to remove the ball out of the chalk bag and tap it onto your hands. A few particles of the chalk will be released on your palm.
Then, rub your palms together to enable them to touch all the parts of your hand to make your hands stay dryer.
Types Of Chalk Balls
There are two types of chalk balls available in the market. They are:
- Refillable chalk socks
- Non-refillable chalk balls.
Before you buy any of the above-mentioned types of chalk balls, bear in mind that if you decide to buy refillable socks, you need to fill them with a finer grind of chalk. You can do this by purchasing fine chalk or grinding it up a little before adding it to the sock.
Also, note that one disadvantage of refillable chalk socks is that filling them is messy and you still have to deal with the mess that comes with traditional chalk. In essence, the non-refillable type of chalk balls is easier to use with less stress.
Sizes Of Chalk Balls
Generally, chalk balls come in varying sizes that range from 40 grams mini balls to behemoths that are over 120 grams. There is no one-size-fits-all in chalk balls, hence, you have to choose the size that works best for you.
When purchasing chalk balls, you have to consider your chalk bag and buy one that fits into it. You need to note that it’s easier to carry smaller chalk balls in chalk bags than carrying one large ball in a chalk bucket.
When you want to buy a chalk ball, always remember that the smaller ones are a better choice for most climbers, and they are also easy to handle or carry.
Things To Consider Before Choosing A Chalk Ball
Before you choose the chalk ball to use in your gymnastics or climbing journey, there are a few things you need to know and check.
- Different forms of chalk and the one that is OK for you.
- How do you plan to carry the chalk ball?
- What you will carry the chalk ball in.
The main differences in chalk exist in its different forms. Some of them are:
Block chalk is pure chalk but in a big hunk. One good thing about this type of chalk is that you can easily crush it the way you prefer, and transporting it is also less messy.
This type of chalk contains both pure chalk and chalk with drying agents. It is very convenient to use because it is already grounded for you. Simply pour it into a chalk ball or bag and embark on your journey with ease.
This type of chalk came about due to the rising concerns about polluting rock surfaces that are visible. It contains a colorless drying agent, and it’s accepted and allowed for use in climbing areas or gyms where the use of traditional chalk is prohibited.
Ensure that you wash your hands after using this chalk because it is sensitive to the eyes.
This type of chalk is blended with alcohol during production. After rubbing this chalk/alcohol blend on your hands, the alcohol will dry very fast leaving a chalk residue on your hands.
Another advantage of this liquid chalk is that it keeps both the chalk marks and chalk dust to the barest minimum.
Why Rub A Chalk Ball?
The reason for using chalk balls depends mostly on the environment, and the purpose it’s been used for.
Away from the old usage of loose chalk powder in gyms, chalk balls are now used as a recommended alternative because it helps to keep the gym clean and free from dust.
Although chalk balls will not reduce the chalk dust in gyms the way banning chalk powder altogether or switching to liquid chalk will do, it is still more suitable to use.
To make use of chalk ball in a proper way, do the following:
1. Put the chalk ball in a chalk bag
One of the best ways to use a chalk ball properly is by purchasing a chalk bag and putting your chalk ball inside it. If you have a lot of chalk balls, you can buy a chalk bucket and use it.
Whenever you’re in the gym and the need to use a chalk ball arises, you can remove the ball from the bag or bucket and roll the ball in your hands. Do not put chalk balls on the gym floor or mats.
2. Use chalk balls on your fingers alone
If you are a climber and wish to use chalk balls, always remember that chalk balls are best used for the fingers alone, and not the rock. Sometimes, it’s tempting to dry rock using chalk balls on wet days, but please, resist the temptation.
If the weather conditions of the rock you are climbing aren’t favorable, please choose a different climb or pick another day to come back. Ugly-looking chalk-bleached rock scars will form on the rock if you dab it with chalk balls.
Pros Of Using A Chalk Ball
- Unlike loose chalk, chalk balls prevent the chalk particles from spilling.
- Chalk balls don’t create clouds.
- Additionally, a chalk bag will help you to minimize chalk dust and waste.
I would say that dipping your hand inside your chalk bag or rubbing the chalk ball on your palms is simply the best way to make use of a chalk ball.
Doing this will enable you to have a firm grip of rocks or gym equipment without moisture, depending on what you want to use the chalk ball for.