Heckmondwike club is preparing to order from Obut and by bulk buying they can probably avoid heavy postage costs. Let us know if you want to join in with their order which will be sent in November to arrive before Xmas.
There are 3 general sellers of boules. The market leader, some expensive designer names and the cheap but just as good foreign competitor.
Obut is the market leader. Based in France with large share of the market. Prices are high and the best buy is the Compet Junior at 72 euro. You get a choice of plain or with a pretty triangle pattern and all have 70.5 diameter with weights from 650 to 670. Suitable for official competitions. See them on the Web. Buying direct from Obut is cheaper than from a reseller.
Even cheaper is the Obut Tatou range with more pretty patterns but no weight or diameter specified. I think they are 650g and range from 65 to 74 but can’t find confirmation. Although not allowed in EPA competitions they would be welcome at most clubs and they’re cheap.
UPDATE: another source has confirmed that Tatou are 74 diameter so light but large.
If you want you can buy much more expensive Obut boules which promise a lot but may not be much better than a basic set.
The good thing about Obut boules is they can be engraved at source. Engraving is 9 euros if your name has 3 letters or 17 euros for up to 15 letters.
Finally there is the cheap foreigner. The country is Thailand and the maker is La Franc. The only UK supplier I can find is Complete boules and they cost £49 or £55. There’s a good range of boules. Diameter from 71 to 76, weights from 680 to 720 and a choice of 6 different patterns. Just as good as Obut but not with the same cachet. Find them on the web. If enough members want to buy these we’ll see about a bulk order to save on postage charges.
For most club players you should forget the blurb about soft boules, hard boules, shooter’s boules, rebound boules and carreau boules. Don’t pay lots of money for a fancy name. The most important thing is to buy a boule that has the right size and weight for your hand. If in doubt buy smaller and lighter rather than you think. Talk to other players and try lots of boules before you decide what to buy. Your own set of new boules will give your confidence a lift and probably improve your game.