Vashek Kroutil playing June edition of Czech Mate by Yoyofactory in Prague streets close to SLUSNY yoyo shop. Thanks to Petr Kavka for shooting the video.
Archives for June 2013
Diameter: 54.50 mm / 2.14 inches
Width: 42.40 mm / 1.67 inches
Gap Width: 4.15 mm / .16 inches
Weight: 66.1 grams
Bearing Size: Dif-E-Yo Konkave Size C (.250 x .500 x .187)
Response: Duncan SG Stickers (also compatible with CBC or K-Pad Slim/19mm)
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The Strix really is a very nice everyday throw for the price. The Strix does not amaze in any way, but it absolutely out-performs all of the rest of Duncan’s current line of mid-range metal yoyos which is great news for players looking for something less expensive than the Barracuda. With a more modern and angular body, this and the Barracuda are without a doubt the two best metal yoyos that Duncan has to offer. I was nervous about the angular body hurting my hand, but it’s actually quite comfortable.
It has the very slight amount of vibe that is generally characteristic of lower-end metal yoyos…not at all noticeable on the string, but you can feel it on grinds. Duncan’s “SG Stickers” seem to bind rather inconsistently and drag a bit during play, but replacing them with nearly any other 19mm thin pad improves the play and response dramatically and decreases the chances of a surprise return resulting in #yoyodamage.
It excels at 1A and is better-than-average at counterweight play, but lacks the stability of a truly excellent counterweight yoyo.
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The yoyo is machined fairly well, but the finish is absolutely beautiful! Each yoyo is polished before being anodized, giving the finished product a shine that stands out in the market. This particular finish is absolutely a triumph for Duncan, as they’ve released a metal yoyo that doesn’t look like every other metal yoyo on the market…something that few have been able to accomplish.
Unfortunately, you have to get it out of some truly horrible packaging to get to that beautiful finish. The Strix logo is amateurish at best, and the packaging is the typically awful “kids think lightning is cool” nonsense that seems to indicate that Duncan’s graphic designers are taking their visual cues from 1998.
The engraving pattern is subtle and interesting, but a bit fuzzy due to the detail being a bit too small to be engraved in such a limited space. The overall effect is nice, though, as it adds a bit of texture without using up all the available real estate on the side of the yoyo.
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With a retail price of $55 – $60, the Strix is a fantastic value for anyone looking for a competition-worthy yoyo from Duncan and inexpensive enough that if it becomes your main player you can afford a couple of backups.
The Strix is a solid offering from Duncan Toys, and it certainly beats their previous efforts in the mid-range of metal yoyos (Echo, Metropolis, Metal Drifter, etc). If Duncan maintains consistent quality across the full production run (which, according to them their new machine shop is doing a wonderful job with these) then the Strix could easily become the go-to competition throw for Duncan players, right behind the Barracuda. It will look great in your case and on the string, and at this price it’s most certainly worth picking up.
Sweets Kendamas dropped a full pro edit showing off the VooDama dolls! These are supposed to go into full production soon…and I can’t wait to finally get my hands on one! C’mon…it’s a combination of action figures and skill toys! Might as well just engrave my name on the butt, it’s my perfect toy!
The VooDama Doll is a very new skill toy with endless tricking opportunities. We filmed this edit while in Spokane WA for the Spotown Throwdown. We were lucky enough to have some of the games finest kendama players throwdown some seriously nasty tricks on the VooDama.
Sweets Kendamas is currently working on having the VooDama mass produced and should be available sometime in the month of July. Until then keep an eye on our Ebay store for one of a kind VooDamas.
Controlling spin direction and regenerating properly are two of the biggest elements of fixed axle yo-yoing. Having trouble with your loops flipping? Don’t stop, planet hop!
That’s right, kids! This week we’re gonna be taking a deeper look at one of the staples of looping, the planet hop – or, rather, we’re going to explore how this classic regen can be mixed into responsive 1A. If you don’t know planet hop, well, your best bet would be to grab somethin’ responsive and check out the YoYoExpert tutorial for it, but for those of you who just need a quick refresher: a planet hop is just an upside-down shoot the moon. I know that sounds crazy, but because you don’t have to fight with gravity it’s actually one of the most mellow tricks around: throw down, bring the yo-yo back, and throw it back out the other direction without flipping. The fact that the yo-yo doesn’t have to flip (like it does in looping tricks) is especially handy when using butterfly-shaped yo-yos prone to tilting and trying to catch a string hit afterwards.
…of course, this wouldn’t be Fixed Friday if we just stuck to the classic vanilla version of the trick. No! Rather, most of this entry is dedicated to one of my favorite responsive repeaters, curiously named after one of my favorite dudes. More on that later; I just thought I’d mention it ’cause I kind of do it in the opening trick but I don’t want to talk about the opening trick yet (welp!)
So! On to the second trick. This is a fairly basic sequence: trapeze > regenerate into frontstyle spin > undermount > regenerate back to sidestyle spin. Most of the individual moves are probably already in your trick vocabulary, and it loops into itself nicely, which makes it one of my favorite “idling” tricks to practice when I’m not really thinking about anything else. While it looks simple, there is definitely a line between having a controlled punch out of a trapeze hop and just wildin’ out into the open; practice this one, you’ll be surprised how much it benefits your other tricks.
The next trick is that aforementioned star of the show, a lil’ somethin’ I like to call “Sethy P Makin’ Zines in Da Back (For Da Girls)”, or just “zines” for short. Once again, this may not look like much to the uninformed eye, but learning to control the redirect out of a stall back into a breakaway is incredibly valuable… and it just feels awesome, too. For this trick, throw a breakaway and catch the yo-yo in a trapeze stall, and when you dismount twist your finger so that the yo-yo somersaults inside the string. It should be nearing the end of its regeneration towards the end of the somersault circle, at which point you let go of the string and raise your throwhand. This creates a tiny bit of “hangtime”, which you’ll need ’cause you’re throwing the yo-yo immediately back out into a breakaway regeneration. Make sense? Maybe not, but watch the video and practice it and you’ll be makin’ da zines for da girls yourself in no time.
The next trick is a variation on zines, with the critical difference of being performed “Plus Style.” Without getting too deep into trick history, plus style is a way of looking at tricks where you mirror everything and add a string segment – think of it as doing left-handed tricks right-handed. Does that sound weird and crazy? It kind of is, but fortunately you don’t have to understand Spencer & Sonny’s crazy lingo to get this next trick. Basically: a trapeze brother mount can be thought of as a plus style trapeze, so for a plus style zines you get into a trapeze bro stall and then perform zines as though you were looking in a mirror. The one extra wrinkle to this trick is that you have to perform the regeneration portion while holding the string with your non-throwhand, which can be tricky at first, but give it a shot.
Once you master zines & zines+, the next trick is a fun little challenge for you: 2or0 zines. I’m not going to talk much about it because there’s not too much different there conceptually, but definitely worth exploring more. Also, right after that I do a double wrist wrap to thumb stall that I’m not going to talk about either ’cause it’s kind of a silly one-off, but hey! Who doesn’t like wraps?
The next trick is fully Ed’s: Zipper Stalls. Why am I throwing in somebody else’s trick, especially considering that he already wrote it up in his Static 1A Applications post? Probably ’cause it’s one of the best responsive 1A tricks ever, and absolutely the BEST way to practice planet hop regens in a string trick context. If you learn this trick and practice ’til you have straight regenerations and smooth somersaults, you will see the results in every other fixed axle regen you do. I promise.
I was worried that this week might’ve had too much of the “basics”, so I overcompensated and threw in a bunch of horizontal stuff at the end. First, we’ve got a banana turnover into a weird tough love handheld flip thing caught in a thumb mount. Not really sure what to call that, but I’d like to see it done offstring!
Next, we have something actually applicable to the theme: sideways zines. Being point blank honest with you, it’s really really scary getting that somersault and hangtime right in front of your face, so make sure you’re comfortable with both horizontal planet hops and horizontal trapeze stalls before you try this one. I managed not to hit myself in the face when filming, but it wouldn’t have been the first time. This move is really neat for mixing into the types of awesome horizontal responsive madness that Jensen Kimmitt’s been giving us lately... and, of course, sidewinder out of er’rythang.
Lastly, we got a ‘zontal tough love catch to whip and a pinwheel off a throw straight into a thumb mount. Why? Because it’s Friday! If you learned something, tell us ’bout it in the comments, and if you liked the song feel free to download it off of my SoundCloud. Tune in next week for more fixie madness.
Terra YoYo Tutorials has a new tutorial video out, this one featuring Jesse Christe teaching you how to do his trick “Watermill”. It really is a beautiful trick, and the breakdown is done really nicely.
This kendama video from the Tokyo Kendama Project is a stunning combination of top-notch traditional kendama play and kabuki-style theater. Also, the shamisen is one of my favorite instruments, so it’s great to hear it being used in pretty much any context.
Filmed at Rolling Pin Donuts in San Bruno, CA this great video shows Ryan Clark, John Jimenez, Ernest Kahn, Sonny Patrick, and Sean Stuart throwing down and enjoying themselves on a late-night donut run. Ernest throws some burly stuff as always, and it’s great to see Sonny in front of the camera instead of quietly tucked off in a corner somewhere.
Music is NSFW.
Eric TranTon is having a great time throwing down tricks in Vietnam, and we’ve got another video…this one put together by the folks at YoYoAccessory.com.
Adegle dropped another video promoting their Accel (Gravity Drive Series) yoyo, this one featuring Huang ZhiHong. Some really nice combo lines in here, definitely worth checking out!
YoYoJam released a clip video from their recent Minnesota Tour. It’s really great to see them getting into retail-based promotions…here’s hoping we see more from them!
Hey guys, it’s Ben Conde. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came out to see the team on tour — this past week was an incredible experience for us. You can expect more tours in the future! Please enjoy this montage I made of the Minnesota Tour. Thanks!