A water balloon, or water bomb is a simple small latex rubber balloon filled with water. The user may then throw the water filled balloon at a desired target. They are commonly used by children in carrying out practical jokes or in water balloon fights.
Like other hand-thrown objects, water balloons are typically thrown or lobbed by a user at their intended target. Due to the fragile nature of some water balloons, less initial force may be required to prevent the balloon from rupturing prematurely. Some also opt to not completely tie a water balloon closed, instead merely twisting the end several times. Once thrown, the twisted end unravels and begins to expel water along the flight path. While this reduces the amount of water in the balloon at the end of the flight, more targets can be hit by water along the way.
There are many techniques used in throwing a water bomb. Some choose to fill the latex balloons up to a bigger size when combating in a water bomb war. This can be advantageous, as even if the bomb does not score a direct hit, there is still enough force and water to soak a good area if it explodes on the ground. One must exercise extra caution when lobbing low pressure water bombs as they have a good chance of bouncing off the intended target or nearby cars and falling to the ground, ready to be used against oneself.
Water balloons have one main accessory known as the "water balloon launcher". This can be bought at a toy store or homemade with surgical tubing and a piece of soft leather. The launcher can be used to project the water balloon several hundred feet onto an unsuspecting target. There are also other launchers that make used of compressed air to push a balloon out of a barrel.
Normal balloons (that are typically filled with air) may also be used as water balloons, but are not typically preferred because they are not specially designed for water. A traditional water balloon is designed to be filled up to the size of a baseball in a pear shape (so as to be thrown more easily), whereas an air balloon, when filled with water, can get to about the size of a basketball; this is disadvantageous because they are harder to handle and usually require two hands. Water balloons are designed to be thick enough to be held without exploding, yet thin enough to explode upon impact. Although traditional balloons can carry more water, they're typically more cumbersome because they don't explode as easily when thrown at a target, bounce off and explode on the ground. Sometimes they don't explode at all, allowing the target to pick up and use the balloon.
Another form of the water bomb is a sheet of paper folded to form a roughly spherical container (see Origami) capable of holding water for some time. These are then filled and thrown in a similar way to the latex version.