My last column was primarily a showcase of some older tricks, so I figured I’d try to do something new and conceptual this week.
While the motion behind some of these regenerations are not necessarily novel, I think their potential applications to the fixed axle style we’ve been pushing around here is significant. We have something of a penchant for using skateboard jargon to describe yoyo trick ideas around here, so I figured I’d call these regens “Fakies”.
I grew up as a little Bones Brigade-worshipping skate-rat in New Orleans. Along with my friends, most every fair-weather evening was spent launching off of sad little ramps, celebrating hilariously short curb-grinds, or (best and rarest of all) hijacking some neighbor’s drained pool for a few hours. The first time I tried skating a quarter pipe, I was probably in 5th grade. Being used to the gradual transition of our launch ramps, I was not prepared for the near-verticality, and my friends and I endured slam after gleeful, glorious slam. At some point I got the hang, and making it up to the coping, I leaned just so, enabling me to roll right back down without turning. My pals had already done a few frontside 180’s, but this elicited an “ooh” from Tim, the ramp’s 16 year-old owner. “Fakie,” he said, “Nice one.”
I’m not sure if Tim was being condescending or genuinely supportive, but I was undeniably thrilled. In skateboarding, going “fakie” means to go backwards. Although with symmetrical modern boards, it’s often difficult to tell if a skater is in fakie without seeing how he/she started, back then, it meant your fat, flat tail-end was in the front. Since yo-yo’s are even more symmetrical than skateboards (being circular), there’s almost no hope in telling whether someone’s throw is spinning regular or reverse. As has been mentioned multiple times though, with a fixed axle yo-yo, a reverse spin makes a huge difference. It essentially enables one world of “yin” tricks while disabling its “yang” counterpart. This week’s focus is all about switching mid-trick between these mutually exclusive spin-universes.
So the basic idea is pretty simple. It’s something modern 1a and 4a players have been doing for years, but with ball bearings, spin-direction counts for somewhat less. While it’s true an unresponsive yo-yo will only bind readily in one direction, a responsive one will only stall going one way, which represents a huge aspect of your fixed-axle trick potential. Throw a breakaway. As the yo-yo comes about level with your head, it will start to respond. Let it, and use your free hand to direct the regeneration back out. If you did it truly “Fakie”, the yo-yo will not have flipped, but the spin direction will be reversed. It happens FAST, and it’s helpful to work this out with a two-tone yo-yo so you can make sure the yo-yo isn’t flipping. It’s almost the opposite of Dumptrucks, where you are intentionally flipping the yo-yo out of a stall to get the original spin direction. Here you are regenerating sans stall while prohibiting the flip, causing the reverse spin.
The first version that occurred to me (opening the floodgates for every other trick in this vid) was the 1.5 at 0:23. It’s really easy with a mega-responsive woody to accidentally incite that regen as the yo-yo comes around. It’s not much of a leap to do it intentionally. A single Fakie regen will put you in position for a reverse-trapeze stall, as in the 1st trick. If you were to do it twice, the Fakies would cancel themselves out. You’d be back to regular spin and a regular trapeze stall would be available (2nd trick). You can see how it’s like flipping between alternate dimensions.
You can also integrate the concept on the throw hand. At 0:32, I use it to get back to regular spin (and a trapeze stall). Likewise, as seen at 0:42, you would never be able to land in a man-bro stall direct from a regular-spin breakaway. Doing a Fakie regen off of the throw hand reverses the spin and allows it.
From around 0:58 to 1:30, we have a sequence of tricks I like a lot which use combinations of Fakies and Dumptrucks to play around with the spin. As shown both at 1:12 and at 1:22, you can build multiple Fakies together while alternating the throw and free hands to “work up” to Double-or-Nothing. Though I don’t show it, there’s no reason you can’t go further (you just start running out of available string for the stall). At 1:40, I do something similar, but instead go into 2.0 after just one Fakie. This means the spin has reversed one time, so the 2.0 wouldn’t be “stallable”. It’s still totally “catchable” as long as it’s spinning, though, and I can go right into Lunar Landing (which, with the palm in, IS just a very small reverse-trapeze)!
I think the last two tricks are the bee’s knees. And speaking of knees, the first will require them. Trapeze stall, and regenerate out normally toward the bro-side. Instead of intercepting the string for a normal man-bro or bro-stall though, let it come around and respond. If you can control the Fakie with the throw hand (big “if”), you’ll be back to normal spin and able to land back in that trap stall. Makes for a nice conceptual repeater, and I think it looks and feels great. The last trick incorporates the incomparable Nate Sutter’s trick “Under the Moon”. I love this regen in general, and working with it led to what is probably my hardest, concisest(?) tricks, Lunar Landing 2.0. For this entry though, as the yo-yo pops up behind me, I Fakie back up with my free hand. This sends the yo-yo not only up, but out over my shoulder, in prime position for an over-the-wrist stall which is actually less awkward than it may look. Still tough enough to feel good about though.
So there you go. I know this week was a bit on the technical side, especially in describing the back half of the video. However, the Fakie concept and its fixed-axle applications are pretty simplistic. It’s just one more way to think about tying moves/holds/stalls together. Most of the time we think about regenerations in the concept of a single string-segment (meaning the whole string). These examples basically deal with multiple short segments. There’s tons of room to explore concepts like intentional flipping (Staccato Loops?) and applications to frontstyle throws – how radical would the Chuck Short/Blake Freeman classic “Pulling Taffy” be with some Fakies thrown in? Dive in and let us know what you find in the comments!