g  e  n  u  i  n  e  i  d  e  a  s
  home   art and
writings biography   food   inventions search
a koosh ball spinning top

     The Koosh Ball (a registered trademark of the OddzOn Company) is basically a bundle of rubber bands cleverly (and discretely) held together by a metal ring deep in the center of the sphere. After noticing his kids' small hands couldn't easily grasp conventional balls during a game of catch, engineer Scott Stillinger came up with a better idea in 1987.

     Scott tied rubber bands together to make a ball that was easy for small fingers to hold onto. What to name the unusual toy? Listening to the "koosh" sound the ball made as it landed in his hand, the inventor realized this was the perfect name and the Koosh ball was born. (How many rubbery strands does it take to create the energy-absorbent, porcupine-look of a Koosh ball? Approximately 5,000 fibers go into each ball!)

Here's how to turn a koosh ball into a novel top. Perhaps someday if there is enough demand Koosh will offer a professionally made top.

And remember, this toy (like a pencil or any other sharp instrument) should not be thrown at other people or otherwise used as a weapon.

 Top make any ball into a top, the axle must be centered in the sphere.

    1. Buy a Koosh Pencil topper, which is penetrated by a rubber boot to hold the Koosh ball on the top of a pencil. The rubber boot goes through the center of the ball, and will ensure the top is accurately balanced. Also find a thin 2 1/2 inch long stick for the axle- a round tooth pick works well.

    2. Using a pair of pliers (be carefull!) pull out the rubber boot from the ball. You should see a hole where the boot entered the center of the koosh ball.


    3. Press the toothpick into the hole and through to the other side. Stop when the toothpick is flush with the other side of the ball. You should still have about 1" of toothpick remaining on your side.

    4. Trim the koosh rubber bands around the end of the toothpick.

    5. Spin the top! If the top wobbles on the axle, it means the toothpick was not centered. Pull the toothpick back out and reinsert again. A properly aligned axle will help the top spin for up to 15 seconds.


NOTE ADDED IN JULY 2006: A number of visitors have asked how to make their own koosh ball. The best instructions can be found in Scott Stillinger's original 1987 patent- see the PDF for images. Then, buy a generous handful of rubber bands- small, large or humongous, and assemble. You can also appropriate a bungee cord- many are filled with very fine rubber strands under the cloth cover- and mine the strands from the cord. Enjoy.

For non-commercial use only

Contact Greg Blonder by email here - Modified Genuine Ideas, LLC.