And so, another week has come and gone. The rattly sounds of clean bearings still reverberate within the empty caverns of our minds as we once again don wood and cotton for some high-friction fun.
I showed my friend and conspirator, Drew Tetz, the vid for this week and he remarked that its mostly full of “cool orphan concepts”. This is an apt description, seeing as the only connective elements which I can draw between the tricks are as follows:
a.) they involve stalls
b.) they are mostly pretty hard
Don’t let this discourage you. I’m confident that whether you are a firmly-entrenched denizen of fixed-axle gloryland or a total novice, there will be relevant elements discussed, as well as something to try or improve upon.
Case in point, there really isn’t anything difficult or significant about the first trick. “Houdini Extreme” as I like to call it is really just an exercise in string-grabbing frivolity. It’s a little like Chuck Short’s old “Taffy Puller” trick in that you can continue to grab and release segments as much as you like. If your response is reasonably aggressive, when you drop everything you’ll be sitting in a simple Trapeze Stall. Similarly, there’s nothing inherently difficult about trick #2 (just your basic Laceration Stall), but it CAN be a good test of your control to go from a regular Laceration to the stalled-out version. At 0:16, we have one of my favorite “tech” stalls. This is a weird bucket I discovered after learning the Millbury version of the popular ladder-mount. Actually since most ladder-mounts are landed on the trapeze side, you can stall the majority of them from a standard breakaway. The wonderful thing about ladders is that they create about 6 totally makeable string segments – lots of room to explore, whether in stalls or otherwise.
I’m not sure what the next trick is called or who I learned it from. I know I’ve heard it described as “Robin Hood”, but that pertains to at least 3 other tricks I know, too. The mount is easy enough. It’s basically just a 1.5, but caught prematurely on the FREE hand between the thumb and forefinger. Like virtually everything else, it’s also perfectly stallable, with a few nice regen possibilities on the way out. One of my favorite unresponsive Stop-N-Go’s is off of this mount, and I feel like there’s a lot left to play with in the stall version, too.
Around 0:36, you have a simplified version of one of my favorite tricks from my stint on 365, “Infinite Instants“. It took about an hour of discussion with Sir Mounts-a-Lot (AKA Randy “the Candy-Man Dancin” Jansen) to ensure that the insta-bucket-stall I’d happened upon was not the same as any of his own. Though less manly than the Manly Bucket, insta-buckets of all sorts are huge fun on fixed axle, and this trick is just a repetition of one stalled version (the original alternates with a Man-Bro stall). Oh, and look! More of my 365 material has come out to play. “Dead On Arrival” is a stall version of a brilliant Seth Peterson suicide trick (at least that’s where I learned it), and the next trick is the back half of “24in Pythonz“, basically an over-the-bicep bro-stall.
Alot of what I like to do with fixed axle yo-yo’s involves applying the stall-regen rhythms which are so applicable to fixed axle yo-yo’s to classic 1a elements. During his relatively brief career as a trick innovator, SAGE got about as close to the East Coast version of Paul Escolar or Spencer Berry as possible. That isn’t meant to make him sound derivative, either, as much of his stuff feels refreshingly distinct from that Spindox style. “8-Diagram Pole” is an icon of modern 1a, and 1:03 shows a fixed axle interpretation of the first hop. No reason you couldn’t apply the way back, either. Maybe next week. Skipping ahead to 1:24, we have another stall-turned-repeater which I like a lot. “Teratoregens” is basically a convoluted/inverted Lunar Landing caught on the brother side (which is usually reserved for the opposite spin direction). In this case it works, since the wrist is flipped over.
The last two tricks have that kendama-ish flavor which continues to pervade and inform Fixed Friday. Around 1:50, we have a combo featuring concepts I’m in the midst of exploring. We’ve discussed Dumptrucks quite a bit, and hops within stalls to some extent (Drew uses both of these elements frequently). And bringing it home, my trusty “Iron Stall” is a pretty good way to drive yourself insane on an otherwise fine day. You really have to lift the yo-yo evenly, keeping either half from flopping over. It helps to use a yo-yo with high walls, like this TMBR Freemont.
And that’s the news. Good night and good luck!