Break-In Method Comparison
Cornhole forums and Facebook groups see a lot of chatter about bag break-in methods.
We put our science to use to test a few of the commonly referenced break-in methods to see how they affected a bag's speed and flop. We used a set of BG Mercenaries for the testing as they have a very common fast fabric (similar to that found on Gamechangers) and a great carpet. We broke in each bag in the set a different way with some building upon the previous method.
The break-in methods we used were:
The basic cornhole throw (200 throws; measured the bag every 20 throws)
The standard household dryer (tumbled in the dryer for an equivalent of 200 throws; measured every 20 throws)
The fancy Sac Relax serum
Sac Relax - Two Applications
Sac Relax - Two Applications then Dried (tumbled in dryer for equivalent of 150 throws)
Good ole' H2O
Water and Thrown (thrown 150 times)
See below for more specifics on these testing techniques and a summary conclusion.
In case anyone wants to reproduce this, we have provided detailed instructions on the methods above. Each bag was measured before being subjected to a break-in method.
Thrown: Down and back ten times (2 throws per down and back). On each even throw, I threw the fast side, and each odd throw was the slower side. After each series of throwing (20 throws), I remeasured the speeds of each fabric and the flop. I continued doing this over a two-day period until I completed 200 throws.
Water: I wet the bag with warm water (90 degrees F) by running it under the facet for 1 min (30 seconds per side). I let the bag drip vertically for 35 min. It was then run through the washing machine on the spin and drain setting at max speed to get as much water out as possible. This was then placed on a rack to dry overnight.
Water and Thrown: After the bag was dry, I threw it 150 times.
Sac Relax (both applications): I wet the bag with warm water (90 degrees F) by running it under the facet for 1 min (30 seconds per side). I let the bag drip vertically for 5 min before applying 4-grams of Sac Relax into a plastic bag (two 2-grams on each side of the bag). I worked it in by hand by moving the bag move around inside the plastic bag. I let the bag set for 30 min before rinsing it with warm water (90 degrees F) by running it under the facet for 1 min (30 seconds per side). It was then run through the washing machine on the spin and drain setting at max speed to get as much water out as possible. This was then placed on a rack to dry overnight.
Sac Relax and Tumble Dried: I placed the bag in my dryer (with no heat) for the equivalent amount of time as being thrown 150 times.
Tumbled Dried: The bag was placed in my dryer for the equivalent amount of time as 20 throws and then measured. I completed this until the bag had been "thrown" 200 times.
Thrown vs Tumbled Bags
The thrown bags ended with a slower speed on both sides of the bag when compared to the first measurement. You can see that the measurements on the second day (throw 100) were impacted by a difference in temperature and humidity. The last throws on day two (200) were measured at a comparable temperature and humidity as day one (90).
The flop had the largest difference from beginning to end when compared to the bags being tumbled. This could be due to the single instance of force a bag encounters during a throw when compared to being tumbled.
Tumbling a bag had a larger impact on the speed of the bag when compared to being thrown. This could be due to less environmental impact on the bag (less dirt/dust or humidity).
Though there was a decrease in the flop, it was not as large of a change as being thrown.