Hi, Kids! If you haven’t heard, I’m working with [The] Drew Tetz to bring some added Fixed Friday action to Yoyonews.com. Drew has been a friend and source of inspiration for years, and I’m stoked to be able to continue pushing and sharing alongside him.
For today’s segment, I wanted to share a move that’s near-and-dear to my heart – the “Stop N’ Go Eli Hop”. For those even remotely experienced with yo-yoing, the trick sounds like the most self-explanatory thing ever. However, it’s deceptively sketchy to get consistent, and even more so to incorporate into the context of a longer trick.
I first remember seeing this trick at IYYO in New York. It was late Saturday night, and a throng of yo-yo players had descended upon Washington Square Park. Paul Han was skating, other folks were chatting, and Justin Weber and Adam Brewster were sharing trick elements. Adam had been throwing one of my No Jives all weekend, and Justin had sequestered it to do some of the silly-hard responsive tricks that only he can do. The conversation shifted to Stop-N-Go, and specifically how there wasn’t much you could do once you stopped (other than, of course, GO). Justin said something like “Well, I guess you could just Eli Hop out of it.” He did it, spontaneously and beautifully, landing it before the yo-yo ran out of spin. I was dumbstruck.
It really is a great move, partly because it’s so explosive. Audiences of all sorts and sizes love Stop-N-Go, because you can really milk that John Cage-esque moment of silence before SLAMMING the yo-yo back into motion. With the Eli, it’s even better, because the yo-yo is sucked up on the Stop, and then blasted FURTHER up on the Go.
In the first trick, which is the basic foundation, the key point is keeping the yo-yo straight when you pull apart. In regular Stop-N-Go (which works from either an under-mount or Trapeze), the free hand doesn’t have to do much. It kind of just holds the yo-yo aloft while the throwhand plunges down, restarting it. With the Eli, the free hand determines the direction the yo-yo will take AND whether the yo-yo will come out straight or slanted. You’ve got to keep your hands in line or the trick will just laugh at you. With a responsive yo-yo, you also have to keep the slack string out of the gap. Otherwise the Eli will go out and then come right back to your hand, robbing you of your hard-earned trapeze. With some control, this becomes a pretty crazy regen-repeater.
By ‘08, I had been working on Eli Hopping into stalls for a while, and applying the Stop-N-Go version seemed a natural, but there’s a pretty hefty catch. As you know from Drew’s last entry, spin direction is an essential consideration in working out stall tricks. You really have to be aware of positive or negative spin before you try to stall something out, or the stall won’t work consistently. Since the spin direction is reversed during the Stop-N-Go (which is, itself, a regeneration), whatever stall you land in has to be reversed (i.e. Man-and-His-Brother, as opposed to Trapeze).
Thus, in the second trick, you have two solid options shown (there are obviously more). In the first Eli, I grab a segment with the throw-hand and landing in a Man-Bro Stall. You can regenerate that back to a standard trapeze and (if you’ve got enough spin) get it to Stop again. On the 2nd Eli, I’m flipping the free hand over to land in between the thumb and middle finger in a Reverse Chop-Stall. This is another cool (but challenging) option which works since the yo-yo is spinning opposite its normal breakaway direction. Experiment with some other reverse-stalls out of that Eli. The options are limitless, and popping straight out of Stop-N-Go can add a neat feeling of continuity and staccato flow to your freestyle sessions.