New Boules, Please!

Gareth with new boules

Gareth with new boules

Wimbledon is here again and the cry on the terrain is ”New boules, please!” Several players have recently acquired new sets of boules. Here, Gareth tells us why he chose a new set.

Gareth with new boules

Gareth with new boules

Gareth has recently bought a set of new boules and talks about his new set of boules and why he chose them.

What boules are you using? Make, model, size, weight.
Integrale ITR3, 77mm, 700grams.
Why did you choose those particular boules? 
I wanted the biggest boules for my hands – I find that with a larger boule, there are less options as to how you can hold the boule (this may be particular to me, and the difference is very subtle, but enough to make me feel more confident), and this in the end helps to produce a more consistent release, which is the area I have most trouble with.
Otherwise – they require little looking after and have good rebound characteristics – good for shooting with, and again the diameter helps with this. 

What is your initial impression?
Ooops – these boules are expensive and they may be too big!!! However, after a couple of days playing with the new boules, and also realising there was no way Ray would take them back from me, they started to feel more normal, they definitely felt better in my hand and there is no doubt the size helps with the shooting.  

What boules were you using?
Integrale ITR3, 75mm, 700grams.

Why did you change?
Purley for the feel in my hand, I loved the 75mm, there was nothing wrong with them, but I noticed that I was starting to endlessly play with the grip, and this would in turn mean the release felt inconsistent – it almost felt like I was getting the ‘yips’. With the 77mm, I can only just get my fingers round the boule (with the fingers together, and not spread apart – important for me), and the boule has to sit right in the centre of my palm too. 
My philosophy with boule (like a golf swing or a darts throw) is that you want to develop a metronomic action, and so I am constantly trying to make every part of the throw/swing the same, every time – right from the set up, the grip, the aim, the swing, the release and finally the follow through. 

Do you always play with the same boules or do you change? e.g. pointer, middle, shooter, different terrains, etc.
At the moment, I only use the 77mm. 
Gareth's new boules

Gareth’s new boules

Gareth, thank you very much for talking to us about your new boules – they certainly seem to be working for you!

Did you know? ITR3 are (were) Intégrale’s top-of-the-range, low-bounce, low-rebound, semi-soft, stainless steel boules. La Boule Intégrale, France’s oldest boules manufacturers, went into liquidation at the beginning of the year. Although the assets of the company have been bought, its future at the time of writing seems unknown.

Report by Ray Ager.

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One Response to New Boules, Please!

  1. Stevie says:

    Good post .. its amazing how fanatical us Petanque players are about our boules ! I am just sizing up my own set as I don’t have my own just yet. With thanks to gareth I am getting an idea of what would suit me. I would advise not to rush in and buy any old set. Try a few weights and sizes out and use own intuition.
    Piste be with you all ..

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