If you are like most people that start off playing cornhole, you probably wonder why people carry around a backpack with dozens of bags. After all, don’t you just throw 4 bags across 27 feet to get them in the hole? Why do people need so many sets of bags?
I started playing with the sets of bags provided at the breweries for the fundraisers I played in- you were lucky to put together two matching sets of red and blue bags. Then I went to two big name sporting goods stores to buy my own sets of bags. They had regular, competitive or professional all-weather bags. The price varied based in the level of bags. I was pretty, happy when I bought some all weather bags that were different colors from the normal red and blue I was accustomed to.
I played with those bags every day, left them outside, in the high desert, New Mexico sun and monsoon season. That was not the best idea. My bags faded and became waterlogged, when I threw them, white clouds of dust of would form off the boards and leave my family or opponents coughing. Back to the store I go to get more at $50 for 8 bags, I thought that was expensive.
Fast forward to my first “real” tournament and learning that my bags are not all that I though they were. I was loaned a set of lion green back 357’s to finish that tournament, boy were they very different. Flew right off the damn board and into the mulch. My thought was, these bags are terrible, can I play with my others one even if they leave white residue all over the place. Got some great coaching that day and over the next five matches. They taught me how to rotate my bag, get some loft, block and push. Okay, that is not so bad, I can do that. I ask where they bought them and was told online. I left that night and searched when I got home. For the life of me, I could not remember the name of the bags and did not think of taking a picture if them.
That is where it all started- searching online, joining all the Facebook Groups that are cornhole related, and finally acquiring my set of decent bags. No, I did not buy the Reynolds that I could put my name on, instead I found Ghost Cornhole Distribution and saw a raffle they were doing for $10. I entered my first raffle on a wheel spin, and I won. I won a set of red Matt Morton All-Slides, which I still have them. I played at least 3 months with those bags until I decided I needed another set to complete my backyard set. So, I entered another wheel spin and won a set of Ghost Branded: Reynold Pro Advantage- which I also still own and have as the set everyone else uses on camping trips.
Fast-forward a few more months and I win a drawing on that same Ghost Cornhole Page to be entered into every bag drawing they do for the month of October and won an insane amount of bags (19 sets), a hoodie, a jersey, patches and stickers. November comes around and I win that same drawing and win even more bags and swag. That is too many bags for one person, especially someone that is not too good at cornhole to have, luckily for me I have a very patient and understanding wife, that is supports my newfound hobby and that crap that comes with it.
I give some sets away to my friends that play, I donate some to some fundraiser drawings, and I start to raffle, trade and sell the bags I won. No harm, no foul right. Wrong, it started me down a path I never saw myself going down. I will say this, I have bought very few sets of new bags from the manufacture and resold them. I do participate in about 20-30 drawings a day, so I have a lot of bags that I do trade for, sell off and do my own drawings (most of my drawings are for fundraisers). It has become a hobby that I enjoy. Currently, not including any all-weather bags, I have close to 30 sets of personal bags that I own and I'll keep. At any given moment, I have 12-36 sets involved in a trade, in the mail or on a wheel spin fundraiser.
I carry 4-5 sets to league night and local tournaments, that is about the average I see for most people in my league as well. There are some that have more, like Timo, who is aware of every bag drop from every bag maker and makes a post in our group chat or Adrian, who has tubs of old bags in his RV garage but usually only shows up with two to three sets. You will always have those that only show up with their favorite set of trustworthy bags. I like to have extras for blind draw nights and social nights to lend to newbies. I love to let others try out some of the harder to get sets as well.
So how many bags is enough, the answer is like the old Tootsie Roll commercial with the owl, “the world may never know.” All I can say, is enjoy the game, buy as many as you want, and happy throwing. And before you leave this post, check out the newest colorway sets of Killshots.