Help and Support
- Q :How to choose your ideal competition boule?
- R :
Note that, to enjoy pétanque, it is easier to play with a boule that suits the shape and size of your hand.
Step 1 - The diameter of your boule
The shape and size of your hand and the length of your fingers determine the exact diameter that best suits you.
Pointers prefer boules of small diameter, to make it more difficult for opposing shooters to strike them.
Shooters prefer boules of large diameter, to give them a larger striking surface.
The most common diameters are :
• for men: 74 - 75 mm
• for women: 72 - 73 mm
Step 2 - The weight of your boule
Pointers prefer a weight between 710-730gr because a heavy boule “stops” faster.
Shooters prefer a weight between 680-700gr, because, with a lighter boule, less effort is required, and so the shot is more precise
The most common weights :
• for men: 700 g - 730 g
• for women: 680 g - 710 g
Step 3 – The quality of steel of your boule
Obut boules are 100% steel, and there are 2 different qualities of steel.
Solid stainless steel:
- - top range product
- generally provides a softer, smoother “feel”
- - requires occasional maintenance
Coated carbon steel :
- - generally provides a rougher “feel” and more “grip”
- has a chrome or black coating, which gradually becomes thinner as the boule is used and rubs against the ground
- requires regular maintenance to prevent rusting
Step 4 - The hardness of your boule
According to the chosen steel and its hardness, the boule will have a radically different behaviour, which can adapt to all types of ground, different ways of playing, and the position played by the player in a team (i.e., "pointer", "milieu" [the all-rounder “middle” player in a team], or “shooter”).
“Hardness +” boules
Exclusive new Obut technology!
“Hardness +” boules were created by using steel with high internal resilience and a tempering (or quenching) process that is unique in the world, thereby greatly reducing the “internal resonance effect” in the boule.
The extra hard (or "Hardness +") boule has an extraordinary capacity for absorbing shocks, particularly on very hard ground, when pointing with a "plombé" ("plumbed" or "high lobbed") trajectory, and it has minimum rebound after making a direct hit by a "plein fer" stun shot.
It has the playing behaviour of a very soft boule, while having a level of wear comparable to a traditional "half-soft" boule.
The “Hardness +” boule brings out the best in attacking play on difficult ground by good petanque players, both pointers and shooters.
Considered the most adaptable of boules, for both “shooting” and “pointing” on all playing surfaces, they combine the best performance with limited marking of their surface.
It is the ideal boule for "milieu" players [all-rounder “middle” players in a team] and for playing jeu provençal.
“Soft” boules and “very soft” boules
The softer a boule is (with hardness around but never less than 110kg/mm2 or 35 HRC), the less it bounces on hard ground, and the less it “recoils” when making a “carreau” lobbed stun shot (which is a big advantage when playing).
But it is more easily marked by impacts.
A hard boule is marked very little by impacts, but it bounces more on hard ground and recoils more when striking another boule. It is suitable for beginners or for playing on soft and sandy ground.
To obtain a more precise answer, we recommend you to perform a simulation with our “How to choose your boule” module.
- - top range product
- Q :How often should I maintain my pétanque boules?
- R :
• If you chose solid stainless steel for its "soft feel", due to its solid composition, it does not rust, and it always remains more “clean” and shiny as time progresses.
It only requires occasional maintenance.
• If you chose carbon steel for its "rougher feel", it requires a corrosion-proof coating to be applied at the end of the production process. This coating wears normally with use, and it requires regular maintenance with oil to prevent rusting.
In brief, whether your boules are in solid stainless steel or in carbon steel, or whether they have been used in difficult conditions, or if they will not be used again for a long time, they require maintenance.
You can apply the Obut maintenance product.
They must also be stored in a dry place.
- Q :How should I maintain my pétanque boules?
- R :
• Whether they are in solid stainless steel or in carbon steel, to prevent rusting, pétanque boules need maintenance after every game, and at least once every month if they are not used.
• Apply either the Obut maintenance product designed for this purpose, or commercially-available oil.
• Your boules must be stored in a dry place.
- Q :My boules have lost their original finish colour. Why?
- R :
• I have coated carbon steel boules:
When they are made available to the consumer, carbon steel boules are covered with different chrome coatings (brilliant, satin, shiny smoked, etc.), burnishing type black coatings, etc.
Gradually, as the boule is used and rubs against the ground, this coating becomes thinner or disappears completely, leaving the unfinished steel showing.
In response to requests by proficient players, the black finish wears off very quickly after playing the first games, but the chrome coating may last for several years, depending on the intensity of use.
• I have solid stainless steel boules:
When they are made available to the consumer, solid stainless steel boules have different finishes: smoked bronze, natural stainless steel satin, or golden satin.
These finishes correspond naturally to the last operation of the production process. They are temporary, and they normally wear off after the first games.
- Q :My boules get marked by impact more than my previous set. Why?
- R :
The softer a boule is, the less it bounces on hard ground, and the less it “recoils” when making a “carreau” lobbed stun shot (which is a big advantage when playing), but it is more easily marked by impacts.
To better understand, we recommend you to re-read the "Hardness" tab of the technical guide.
At Obut, throughout the entire process for production of your triplette set, from the initial piece cut out of the steel bar until the final inspection, the 3 boules making up your triplette set always stay together. Therefore they are strictly identical, including in terms of hardness.
Good players know that a new set has to be “broken in”, at least to enable a player get used to the behaviour of new boules.
Any steel product that is used a lot becomes worn with time; it is said that the steel is work-hardened or hammer-hardened. This means that, in being hammered, the steel’s "surface skin" loses its original qualities through a few millimetres thickness. In the case of pétanque boules, they no longer respond in the same way as they originally did when they were first used.
In brief, it is difficult to compare new boules with worn boules.
- Q :How can I recognize the markings of an Obut competition boule?
- R :
The following are engraved on each Obut boule making up a triplette set:
- - the manufacturer’s brand mark
- - the seal of approval for use in competitions
- - the weight of the boule
- - the serial No.: this identification and production process reference (ensuring traceability) is different for every triplette. It makes it possible to recognize the set of 3 boules in a game where 2 players each have a set of the same brand, same model or design, same weight, and same striation markings.