New Boule! New boule are always a bit tricky to move on to. Your old boule have played in lots of classic games and you have played some great shots with them. The battles on the piste may have taken their toll or maybe your current boule are just right. The choice to move on to new boule is down to the player but remember the wear is a gradual thing and it maybe you have not noticed the wear may have affected the boule. At dusk when you are playing sparks can be seen sometimes when your boule land on gravel. Those sparks are tiny fragments of your boule and gravel and although they can be seen at night that process is happening every time your boule makes contact with the ground. This leads to uneven wear on the surface of the boule and loss of weight over years. Time flies by and those boule may not be as young as you think. A quick weigh and measurement can reveal the damage produced over the years. Many players think a boule is legal until the markers name and weight have worn off. This is partly true but as most new boule markings are 1 to 2mm deep you can see the amount of wear required to erase the markings will lead to imbalance and weight loss long before the markings have completely disappeared.
New boule can be a real shock to players changing from well worn boule to new boule. New boule will take a time to get to the grip they may have been used to.
The manufacturing process by Obut to produce world class boule gives the new boule a stunning finish and look. Playing on stone and gravel surfaces will wear this pristine finish slowly but surely. Many players love the worn finish this wear gives to boule. It provides a superb grip and a familiar feel when throwing the boule. This patina can take months to achieve but once you have it, the boule become reliable friends on the piste. The popular black coating on the Ton’R, CX Cou, Match+ and the Match Noir wears off during the first few months of play. The amount of wear depends on your piste surface and throwing technique. Some pistes do cause damage to boule if there are rough hard layers below the top surface. Any burrs thrown up by these pistes can be reduced by knocking your boule together at the point of the burr. Gently tapping the raised metal back in towards the boule will do the job.
Other care for boule will be the same for any other type of sports equipment. Dry them off when you have finished playing with them. Using Obut’s Boule protector and cleaner and if stored for a long time ensure they are in a dry location not subject to condensation such as the boot of a car which can be a really bad place for promoting corrosion.
So, what should you expect from your choice of boule. The latest trends in boule patterns reflect the demands from the top players. Many who choose plain boule in preference to patterned products. However being a good player can always be a bit tricky when you are laying down peering at a boule to tell who’s boule is who’s. Kick a man when he is down is hard to resist. What is the solution? Plain boule with a slight pattern? That’s the idea and with the lazer technology patterns can be very intricate. The Pattern G on the Stainless steel Obut Match 115 shouts precision engineering with its clinical lines reminding us of measurements or time ticking away. A plain boule does seem to roll straighter. The smoothness of the boule pushing away rather that reacting to stones and gravel. A new boule will always roll further and straighter but the smooth finish soon turns to that lovely grip with the fine worn texture replacing the shiny surface. This is when a smooth boule comes into its own after a few months of playing. Great grip and sure performance as it leaves the hand.
Patience, practice and play will get your boule match ready for the new season. Shown below the Soleil boule as new and worn ready to play!