Waboba is an outdoor toy and sporting goods brand based in Stockholm, Sweden and with offices in Guangzhou, China and Atlanta, Georgia. Waboba is the creator of balls that bounce on water. Even though Waboba's products began with "the ball that bounces on water" in 2005, it has since expanded to introduce a range of accessories and land items. The slogan used in advertising is Keep Life Fun. The name Waboba is a registered trademark and the balls are internationally patented.

Waboba Ball 7a
The 2008 edition of the ball


Even though Waboba is short for WAter BOuncing BAll, the name is specific to the brand and its products only.


All balls can bounce on water when thrown at a shallow angle with sufficient speed to hydroplane.

This was the principle employed by WW2-period British inventor Barnes Wallace when he developed the "bouncing bomb" used in the famous "Dam Busters" raid against the Ruhr District dams.[1] He had been inspired by the story of a technique historically used by the British navy that bounced spherical canon balls off the ocean surface to achieve accurate hits against enemy ships. Wallace worked out the physics by bouncing marbles, steel spheres, and various sizes and shapes of balls across a pond and then a long trough before progressing to larger-scale experiments. Even solid steel balls would bounce across water.[2] Ordinary tennis balls or any other plastic balls can skip on water if thrown at a low angle at a fast speed.[3][4]

In Sweden in the early 1980s, inventor Jan Von Heland got the idea of commercialising something that skips on water after throwing a Frisbee upside down and noticing it skims the surface of water much like skipping a rock. Over the years, he began to test different shapes, materials, and compositions until he discovered in 2002 that a ball could bounce more efficiently than other balls on water if it was soft and had a Lycra covering which enables easy flow separation at the hydrodynamic stagnation point.[5] In 2004, Jan created the commercial concept for marketing balls that bounce on water multiple times with little effort, and eventually patented what has become the Waboba Ball.[6]

The patent reveals prior art in commercialised water skipping balls such as the "skidderball" and other patent claimants.[7]

However, Waboba PR marketing efforts that suggested the waboba was the first ball to bounce on water, and the reluctance of online media to fact-check the spurious claims, led to articles incorrectly claiming uniqueness.[8]

The ball is made of different types of polyurethane covered in Lycra, allowing it to bounce on water and float.[5] Its patented design and durability gives Waboba its quality. To bounce the ball on the water, one must throw like skipping a rock. The ball bounces high on the water in between players when thrown at the right angle (overhand) with the right force. The ball does not bounce well on land.[5]

In 2005, the Waboba Ball in widespread advertising made the false claim to be the first ball to bounce on water, a claim easily debunked by history and by simply throwing a tennis ball the same way and seeing that they easily bounce on water, and introduced it to the market where it was succeeded by the Waboba Extreme.

To date, there are six different types of Waboba balls (Pro, Extreme, Surf, Blast, Big Kahuna, and Fetch) as well as several land items and accessories.

Geographical spread

The Waboba Ball was first introduced in Sweden in 2005, where it was sold for two years before it was introduced to new markets in Europe, United States, and Australia in the summer of 2007. In summer 2008, Waboba entered markets in Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom. During the fall of 2008 and spring 2009, Waboba was introduced in Brazil, China, Singapore, Kuwait, Dubai, Germany, Portugal, Scandinavia, France, Spain, and Cyprus. By 2013, Waboba was sold in all European countries and all continents except Antarctica.[9]


Water Bouncing Balls

  • Pro - engineered for athletic control and accuracy in the lake or ocean.
  • Extreme - bounces fast, far, and high in the lake or ocean.
  • Surf, for beginners. It is soft and easy to handle in the lake or ocean.
  • Big Kahuna, the biggest and most versatile Waboba ball for all water environments - lakes, oceans, and pools.
  • Blast, engineered for pool play.
  • Fetch, water-retrieval ball for dogs [9]

Water accessories

  • Catch - neoprene glove paired with the Waboba Pro for water play.
  • Waboba Lacrosse - in 2014, Waboba partnered with STX to release water lacrosse using FiddleSTX and a Waboba Extreme ball.[9]

Land items

  • Moon - super high-bouncing land ball
  • Street - unusual shape gives it an unpredictable bounce
  • Flyer - an oversized shuttlecock that lets you hit it with your hands, knees, feet, or rackets.[9]


  • Special Needs Approved by AblePlay [10]
  • Dr. Toy Best Toy for Vacation [11]
  • Gold Award, Family Review Center [12]
  • Moon Ball 2013 Toy of the Year Award winner by Creative Child Magazine [13]

The game

Waboba Play 25 - Small
Two people playing Waboba

Official match game

The object of the 4v4 game is to bounce the Waboba Pro on the water in order to pass to team members and score points by bouncing the ball into a goal.

Described as a cross between ultimate frisbee and water polo, the official match game is a team water sport played with the Pro ball that bounces on water. Teams consist of 3 field players, a goalkeeper and 2 substitutes. The winner of the game is the team that scores the most goals. The object of the game is to pass the ball with at least one bounce on water between team members in order to score goals. No direct passes allowed. There are no offside rules so teams have the ability to spread players across the game field, facilitating long, uninterrupted passes.[14]

Ultimate Waboba

Use any Waboba ball. Each team, a minimum of 2 players per team, passes the Waboba to each other to complete a round. A team gets 1 point when each team member has caught the ball without interruption from the opposing team. A pass must bounce on the water before being caught. First team to 3 points wins. Passes have to be made within 5 seconds after receiving the ball. No holding players allowed.[14]


An elastic ball that bounces on water, the Waboba water balls flatten like a pancake when they hits the water surface, increasing its lift and propelling it upward. When it hits the water at a shallow angle, it too creates a bowl-shaped depression. But because it is soft, the ball flattens into a disc-shape when it hits the surface and this allows it to aquaplane efficiently across the surface. And the angle of the bowl-shaped depression causes it to launch into the air where the ball regains its shape, making it look as if it has bounced. The process is remarkably similar to the way stones skip across water, even though they are denser than the liquid. A shallow impact with the water surface creates a bowl-shaped depression that launches the stone into the air as it leaves.[15]

Naval use

Researchers with the U.S. Navy's University Laboratory Initiative have been studying the mechanics and elasticity of the Waboba balls. The military branch is interested in how elasticity affects motion in water.[16]


  1. ^ "bouncing bomb". YouTube. 5 April 2009. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  2. ^ National Physical Laboratory (27 August 2009). "Barnes Wallis Experiment Slow Motion Video". YouTube. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  3. ^ "YouTube". Youtube.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  4. ^ r00stercom (15 June 2007). "Do Tennis Balls Skip On Water? (JTE Short Edition)". YouTube. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b c "Ball that bounces on water is summer craze". Telegraph.co.uk. 1 August 2008. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Ball suitable for water games". Google.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Water-skimming sport ball for use in competitive water play". Google.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  8. ^ "The Waboba Ball - it bounces on water". Gizmag.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  9. ^ a b c d Waboba. "Waboba". Waboba. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-04. Retrieved 2014-07-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Dr.Toy The Best Advice on Childrens Products". Drtoy.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  12. ^ Center, Family Review. "Family Review Center is proud to announce that Waboba Balls have won the GOLD Award!". PRLog. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Creative Child". Creativechild.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-08-08. Retrieved 2014-07-31.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Like Stones, Why Some Balls Bounce On Water". Technologyreview.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  16. ^ "US Navy Toys With Physics of Bouncy Balls". Livescience.com. Retrieved 9 November 2017.

External links


Kī-o-rahi is a ball sport played in New Zealand with a small round ball called a 'kī'. It is a fast-paced game incorporating skills similar to rugby union, netball and touch. Two teams of seven players play on a circular field divided into zones, and score points by touching the 'pou' (boundary markers) and hitting a central 'tupu' or target. The game is played with varying rules (e.g. number of people, size of field, tag ripping rules etc.) depending on the geographic area it is played in. A process called Tatu, before the game, determines which rules the two teams will use.

In 2005 kī-o-rahi was chosen to represent New Zealand by global fast-food chain McDonald's as part of its 'Passport to Play' programme to teach physical play activities in 31,000 American schools.

The programme will give instruction in 15 ethnic games to seven million primary school children.The New Zealand kī-o-rahi representative organisation, Kī-o-Rahi Akotanga Iho, formed with men's and women's national teams, completed a 14 match tour of Europe in September and October 2010. The men's team included 22-test All Black veteran Wayne Shelford who led the team to a 57–10 test win against Kī-o-Rahi Dieppe Organisation, the French Kī-o-Rahi federation.

Shelford's kī-o-rahi test jersey made him the first kī-o-rahi/rugby double international for NZ. The women's team coached by Andrea Cameron (Head of PE at Tikipunga High School) also won by 33–0. These were the first historic test matches between NZ and France.

List of ball games

This is a list of ball games which are popular games or sports involving some type of ball or similar object. Ball sports are not sports in the true sense, but are instead considered to be games. These ball games can be grouped by the general objective of the game, sometimes indicating a common origin either of a game itself or of its basic idea:

Bat-and-ball games, such as cricket and baseball.

Racquet and ball games, such as tennis, squash, racquetball and ball badminton.

Hand and ball-striking games, such as various handball codes, rebound handball and 4 square.

Goal games, such as forms of hockey (except ice hockey which uses a hockey puck), basketball and all forms of football or lacrosse.

Net games, such as volleyball and sepak.

List of sports

The following is a list of sports/games, divided by category.

According to the World Sports Encyclopedia (2003), there are 8,000 indigenous sports and sporting games.

Quidditch (sport)

Quidditch is a sport of two teams of seven players each mounted on broomsticks played on a hockey rink-sized pitch. It is based on a fictional game of the same name invented by author J. K. Rowling, which is featured in the Harry Potter series of novels and related media.[3] The game is also sometimes referred to as muggle quidditch to distinguish it from the fictional game, which involves magical elements such as flying broomsticks and enchanted balls. In the Harry Potter universe, a "muggle" is a person without the power to use magic.

The pitch is rectangular with rounded corners 55 meters (60 yards) by 33 meters (36 yards) with three hoops of varying heights at either end.[4] The sport was created in 2005 and is therefore still quite young. However, quidditch is played around the world and actively growing.[5] The ultimate goal is to have more points than the other team by the time the snitch, a tennis ball inside a long sock hanging from the shorts of an impartial official dressed in yellow, is caught. Rules of the sport are governed by the International Quidditch Association, or the IQA, and events are sanctioned by either the IQA or that nation's governing body.

To score points, chasers or keepers must get the quaffle, a slightly deflated volleyball, into one of three of the opposing hoops which scores the team 10 points.[6] To impede the quaffle from advancing down the pitch, chasers and keepers are able to tackle opposing chasers and keepers at the same time as beaters using their bludgers—dodgeballs—to take out opposing players. Once a player is hit by an opposing bludger, that player must dismount their broom, drop any ball being held, and return to and touch their hoops before being allowed back into play.[7] The game is ended once the snitch is caught by one of the seekers, awarding that team 30 points.[8]A team consists of minimum seven (maximum 21) players, of which six are always on the pitch, those being the three chasers, one keeper, and two beaters. Besides the seeker who is off-pitch, the six players are required to abide by the gender rule, which states that a team may have a maximum of four players who identify as the same gender, making quidditch one of the few sports that not only offers a co-ed environment but an open community to those who do not identify with the gender binary.[10] Matches or games often run about 30 to 40 minutes but tend to be subject to varying lengths of time due to the unpredictable nature of the snitch catch. If the score at the end of the match including the 30 point snitch catch is tied (such that the team that caught the snitch was 30 points behind the other), the game moves to overtime where the snitch is constrained to the pitch's dimensions and the game ends after five minutes or when the snitch is legally caught.

Water Golf

Water Golf is a golf-like game played on the water surface in a defined water court, using a floating waterbag as the golf ball. The game of water golf observes similar rules and scoring to the game of golf. Players throw or use a club to launch a waterbag at a buoy or fixed floating marker. Depending on the waterway, there are a number of variations on the game. Water Golf is an all ages game played alone or in groups. It can include waterbag launching devices referred to as clubs. The game can start on land and progress to the water and back to land. All water-crafts can be used such as kayaks, rafts, and noodles.


Waterballs are water toys that are played on the water surface with players interacting with the water toy and the water in any number of play patterns. Generally players throw waterballs at varying speeds across the water and air at varying angles to get the desired skip pattern. Play is generally between players and play patterns can involve a variety of apparatus and equipment, such as special pools with goals and watercourts.

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