Hi kids. I’m Ed Haponik and this is Fixed Friday.
(apologies for the lack of caps below – it’s verbatim from the vid below and i speak in lowercase.)
a few people have asked lately about a ‘back to basics’ vid, so here you go. if you want to build a renaissance you better make sure all your friends can hold a brush… or build a movable type printing press. i hope this q&a is helpful.
WHAT’S YOUR SETUP?
i use the EH by spyy x tmbr. it’s made of wood which is way more fickle than plastic. i find that a 2-cent gap gives me a kind of response i like. sometimes i need to sand the axle down. with other yo-yo’s you may need to shim the axle to get a good gap. if i can do spirit bomb and shoot the moon on consecutive throws, then i know it’s right where i like it. i tend to go for thick type-10 cotton string, and generally a little vibe doesn’t bother me at all.
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH STRING TENSION?
this is an aspect of your setup that changes while you play. it makes a difference with a bearing, but it makes all the difference without one. ufo’s and sidewinders are your go-to tension tools. i probably do 20-30 sidewinders on an average day. righty tighty, lefty loosey. you might think that they affect the whole string, but they really impact certain regions much more than others. sometimes i’ll do a sidewinder right for positive tension all-over, and then a little adjustment right (meaning LEFT) near the gap to get less aggressive response.
HOW HARD DO YOU THROW?
i throw to fit the trick. if i’m doing kamikaze or white buddha, it’s going to be balls to the wall-out hard, whereas there’s rarely a reason to throw hard into a stall. a hard throw relies on arms, but it’s like throwing a punch. if you don’t connect your hip/core, you’ll have less behind it. bear in mind you will scorch axles throwing hard which will change their characteristics. stop n go usually needs a bit more juice because your ‘go’ depends on a tight wind, especially if you’re hopping out. you just have to recognize that there’s more than one way to throw, and that if a trick isn’t working for you, it’s another variable you can adjust.
HOW DO YOU DO ‘UNRESPONSIVE TRICKS ON A FIXED AXLE?
same way you get to carnegie hall. there’s no substitute for trying these tricks 10,000 times. with something like spirit bomb, for example, be quick and direct and keep your hands apart so the formation can’t collapse. the key with sketchy tricks is to keep the slack string from collecting anywhere near the gap. a fixed axle suicide needs to cover more ground (right to left) than it does with a bearing. as was noted earlier, you’re sabotaging yourself if you don’t have appropriate string tension (usually nice and neutral). a yo-yo returns because of friction, period. there will always be increased friction in a fixed axle gap, but it can be mitigated by technique. when pulling up into a hook, plastic whip, or gt whip, lift the yo-yo up without letting the string go slack at the bottom. don’t yank it. 3/4 of hitting any trick is believing that it can be done. if you take the attitude that something is to hard for you or impossible, then it will be.
HOW DO YOU SNAPSTART?
you’re not going to try any tricks 10,000 times if you can’t wind a yo-yo efficiently. i feel like of any yo-yo trick out there (besides maybe shoot the moon), snap start is the best “barometer of awesome”. i would not be as good a yo-yoed as i am by half if steve brown hadn’t taught me to snap start. it makes the spaces in between mess ups feel like a successful trick (or it can be a trick itself). to do it, place your middle finger and thumb on opposite sides of the yo-yo (kind of like at 10 and 4) and twist (with your thumb popping up). it will suck at first, probably for a week. but you can’t put a price on an efficient wind.
HOW DO YOU STALL?
i did a video on this a few years back. the idea behind any stall is that the yo-yo is mostly wound up and sitting in a static position on the string, which you regenerate out of. pretty much any string hold has a stall application. the only trick is recognizing the importance of spin direction. just like you can really only catch a trapeze stall one way, you can only really catch a brother stall with the opposite spin. you need pretty aggressive response, both for the catch and for the regen. you don’t need to throw hard. it’s easiest to think of breakaway or forward pass and just be in the right place. what you do once you’re IN a stall has been the subject of a lot of recent innovation.
WHAT TRICKS SHOULD I PRACTICE?
practice what appeals to you, for sure. but also spend time solidifying things ‘beneath your level’. work on repeated regens from trapeze stall. work on shoot the moon and flyaway dismounts out of everything. work on tricks you know you have down with a bearing like pop n fresh or cold fusion. don’t be afraid to try stuff that seems out of your range either. don’t have a preconceived idea of what kind of fixed axle yo-yoer you need to be. there’s no road map for a lot of this. practice doesn’t make perfect. practice IS perfect.
WHAT YO-YO SHOULD I USE?
besides my EH, i love tmbrs in general. you can also opt for a butterfly to get your drew on. i find them a little light, personally. proflys might be my favorite raw stallers, but good luck rocking a long sleeper with one. no jives are an all time favorite of mine and helped set the standard for progressive fixed axle play.
whatever you throw, it’s going to be you hitting the trick. there’s so much open territory in the fixed axle realm now . i hope some part of this vid helps you get out there and stake a claim… or y’know just have fun.
That was great, but you were talking a bit fast, so I’m glad you put the script below the video. Also, you made me even more anxious for the Optic Star No-Jives to get finished and sent out.
“you might think that they affect the whole string, but they really impact certain regions much more than others.”
Mind=Blown. It all makes sense now.
“practice doesn’t make perfect. practice IS perfect.”
This quotation is perfect. Slap it on a bumper sticker, please.
Awesome tutorial, Ed.