Woot Woot. It’s Friday, homies. That long grind of a week is at an end, and you are rewarded for your efforts with a lovely spring weekend (which you may wish to spend in dutiful refinement of the art of the noble disk). I’m pretty amped on this week’s FF concept, which will take us into the realm of THREE-DEE… So pop out the blue/red glasses that came with that special edition Ninja Turtles comic (or your copy of Save Deth 1)… or if you’re John Higby, I guess just keep reading as normal.
When you think about it, the original 3D/Off-plane tricks were really Sidewinder and UFO. These tricks have long served as great visual kitsch for audiences with the dual function of helping to correct/adjust string tension. We’ve all seen 2a players doing sidewinder (usually a few times in a freestyle), but it’s also awesome to do it Bob Rule-style, AS the trick, itself. And so, the first trick is straight up ganked from Drew Tetz, rocking a sidewinder right into a Lunar Landing stall.
The next one ups the ante a bit. Bilateral Sidewinder is hard enough without engaging on its own. Trying to catch that stall will make you wish you lived at 120 fps, but SO fun when you nail it. Snap-stalls are among my favorite simple/fixed-axle tricks. To 3d-ify one (0:16), I guess you can just put the snap on its side. This forces you to catch the stall by moving your arm along a horizontal plane. I found this one to be way easier than it looks. If your normal snap-stalls are money, this is really not significantly harder.
At 0:26, we start to get a bit arcane and techy. Halifax Biscuits is a trick I shared on 365 last year. It’s easy enough on a bearing yo-yo, but once you squish the gap and replace the moving parts with wood guts, it can be a bit sketchy. To overcome the natural tendency toward wood axle GT-snags, I switch the spin direction around, throwing this trick front-style and then changing to trapeze. Some wider gap fixed axles will do ok with a regular GT landing, but my ‘Eh’ wants to freeze up, so these kinds of adjustments are necessary. With the slow-mo, the mechanics of the trick are self-explanatory, but now we’ll introduce a piece that’s central to taking your wood yo-yo off plane: you’re gonna have to throw hard.
As long as a yo-yo is spinning in one direction, its angular momentum resists being turned about any other axis. Pushing it 3D challenges that momentum and will slow its spin considerably, which of course means that it will now be more willing to turn and lean all over the place. The low-friction environment of a bearing yo-yo makes overcoming these changes in plane a lot easier, but to recreate the concepts on fixed axle, there’s nothing for it but to throw hard. And when you throw hard… you get hit hard. Break out the Icy Hot, tiger.
I always have to laugh derisively when I see people going goo-goo over “horizontal tricks” only to find that when they do them they are “semi-oblique at best”. Thou shall not do horizontal tricks at 45 degrees. Get out a responsive fixie and try to throw a truly horizontal trapeze stall. It’s really not that tough. We think it must be because “ooh horizontal”, but the path of least resistance for a stalling yo-yo is to land back on the string. Once you can “let it” with some consistency, it’s nothing to integrate some cool foot moves (0:43) or even Texas Cowboy (0:47). Awhile back, I did a trick called Alien Invasion. It’s not in the video, but I do think it applies. A simpler version (0:56) is to throw a sideways trapeze stall back into a sideways Man-Bro. I find it easier to catch the latter while turning.
Honestly, whose face WASN’T melted by the radness that was Boyd’s part in the first Save Deth DVD? That great Of Montreal background tune, Boyd’s hilarious yo-yo faces, and THEM 3D ELI HOPS. You couldn’t walk around a yo-yo contest in late 2007 without being brained by some kid’s errant attempt (or by Boyd’s Tiger Knee, actually). Taking the concept to fixed axle might seem about as natural as an oral bowel movement, but they work great! 3D Eli-ing into your standard trapeze stall requires a hard throw and some precision, but otherwise there’s not much to it. If you don’t mind a sub-dural hematoma, you can even take one all the way behind the head! If you’re hitting that with regularity, I offer the following dare: Stop-N-Go 3D Eli-Hop to Reverse-Stall at 1:18. Remember, the S&G changes the spin direction, so your normal trapeze stall won’t work. Gotta cross it up!
In the last trick, I start with another Stop-N-Go, but then Eli out sideways. Doing this, you can catch in a Lunar stall… also sideways. This isn’t that hard, but you may have to dislocate your throw hand thumb a bit to find that string. You’ve got two, and with the popularity of juicing these days, who needs thumbs… or teeth!?
I hope someone out there is enjoying these Fixed Friday submissions even half as much as Drew and I am. Although I guess… even if it weren’t the case, it wouldn’t change much for us. You’ve gotta pick a direction and explore it, either until there’s nothing left to explore or you no longer have fingers and eyes.
While on the journey, if you’re looking for a sweet fixed axle throw, here’s the model I throw every day. This is the 2nd run of the SPYY x TMBR “Eh”. It’s available at yoyoexpert.com, and it’s super great. It’s made of denser oak than the last run, giving it a bit more inertia for longer spins. The gap is (IMO) just right and the lasering came out mega-keen. Even comes with a type-10 string I twisted myself (and a thank-you note). Thanks for reading, and enjoy the weekend!