A super ball is a small ball, typically made out of rubber or some sort of bouncy material. The function of the super ball is to bounce off of a surface with as much force as possible. The best super balls are good at conserving the energy spent while transforming its potential energy into kinetic energy and vice-versa. The best super balls are also often known to get stuck on school rooftops.

Perhaps the simplest, most elegant and funnest vending machine toy, the super ball was, and is, a 2 or 3 centimeter wide ball that could be bought for a dime, and later for a quarter. While some people wasted their pocket change looking for cheap plastic cars or robots or whatever the flavor of the moment toy was, the smartest kids just built up a big collection of super balls.

Super balls are one of the bounciest things I know, and due to their small size, they could richochet off of slight irregularities in seemingly smooth surfaces. And they lost very little of their momentum from friction. So once a super ball was unleashed at high speed in a confined space, it would bounce around from place to place with no discernable course for quite a while. Of course, this high energy and unpredictable course meant that they got lost or went out into traffic quite commonly. But since they were only a dime, that was okay.

For some reason, the super ball does not seem to be quite as popular in the lobbies of our nations super markets and drugstores, perhaps because it has received too much competition from Britney Spears stickers. However, tonight I was at a nickel arcade, and in return for my roommates great pitching arm, we won some tickets that we exchanged, for, amongst other things, a super ball. They are still fun to play with, although my roommate almost got in trouble by running out into traffic trying to retrieve it.

"Made from new, amazing Zectron!"

So, your regular balls are just not good enough? Not enough bounce for the ounce? Brought to you from our friends at Wham-O! Toys, the same folks who gave us the Hula Hoop and the Frisbee, it's the new, amazing Super Ball!

Developed by a chemist by the name of Norman Stingley in 1965 the Super Ball had a spring recovery rate of about 93%. The material, "Zectron", was made by combining secret compounds under extreme pressure and temperature. So what does that mean?

When dropped from an outstretched hand, the Super Ball would bounce almost the entire way back up. When thrown with a little force, this seemingly innocent little ball tried its best to defy the laws of physics. The height it attained when thrown with a great deal of force was truly incredible. Combine this was the amazing amount of friction when the correct spin was put on the ball and the thing seemed to bounce forever and in any direction.

In the winter of 1965, Super Balls were selling in the millions. This encouraged Wham-O! to market Super Mini Balls, Super Ball Golf, Super Ball Baseball and Super Ball Dice.

As we all know, all good things must come to an end. The Super Ball did have its flaws. When thrown against rough surfaces, the ball would eventually chip and become pock marked. This rendered it pretty much useless. Combine that with the fact that the product was pretty easy to copy and the knock offs were sure to come. They did and Super Ball was history... for a while.

In 1998 Wham-O! unretired the original Super Ball. Still made from the space age sounding Zectron, I'm happy to report Super Ball is alive and well. All those other so-called "super balls" pale in comparison.

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