Welcome to your weekly dose of fixomania! Let’s talk about flippin’ out.
Flip tricks are a fairly new element, borne out of the realization that a stalled yo-yo need not stay in a single plane the way a spinning yo-yo does. They could be seen as cousins to the suicide, because the meat of the trick is throwing and catching a loop of string, with the crucial difference being that the motion of the loop comes from the stalled yo-yo rotating off-axis. The foundational flip tricks were created on fixed axle yo-yos, and the high-walled responsive nature of fixies may make them easier to learn on, but as Ed pointed out last week these concepts can be applied to bearings just as easily. (Speaking of applying responsive concepts to modern play, did everybody catch Alexis JV’s crazy new video? Holy smokes!)
The first trick in the video is the one that started it, the kickflip suicide. Catch the yo-yo in a trapeze stall, swing it forward, and release the string when the yo-yo is roughly horizontal. With practice, you should be able to send the yo-yo into a controlled flip with the string loop following behind so that when the yo-yo comes back around you can catch the loop on your finger. This is probably the easiest flip trick to learn, as the concept is fairly straightforward, but the execution can admittedly be a little tricky at first; make sure your string tension is good, try to get as big a loop as possible, and GO SLOW. I find this trick gets way easier when I try to focus on moving the yo-yo through a long, slow, graceful flip. It helps you build your control, and gives you more time to stick the landing.
Any readers familiar with skateboard tricks should be able to guess the next trick: heelflips. These are basically “reverse kickflips” where you flip the string towards you instead of away from you—a little bit easier said than done, but made simpler if you turn your hand towards yourself for the catch. I showed this trick earlier this month in our Imperialism column where I did the whole thing from an inverted trapeze stall rather than a normal trapeze stall; this makes throwing the loop a lot easier, in my opinion, but the mount may be more difficult, so really just see what works best for you.
The FS (“Frontside”) Flip is a new one, and definitely a little bit more advanced. As the yo-yo moves through a kickflip, bring your throwhand around the yo-yo as though you’re doing a 360. There’s definitely a trick in timing your hand to properly follow the rotation of the yo-yo, but it’s enormously satisfying once you land it. If you get the hang of this one, try rotating the opposite direction for a backside flip, or get even crazier with a frontside heel.
Shuvits are the newest addition to the flip trick family. Where the kickflip flips the yo-yo forward, shuvits push the yo-yo in a flat spin, which is a bit of an exciting mix-up. While it’s possible to throw a shuvit from a straight stall, it’s much more fun to pre-load the spin by swinging the stalled yo-yo to the side and twisting the string up. When the yo-yo starts to untwist, spread the loop with your fingers and throw it around the axis of rotation. It takes a little practice to see where the loop is going to end up, but once you can catch it at the end of a 360 you feel like a genius. I personally think that sticking a clean landing with no extra twists is the most satisfying, but there’s a certain joy in catching it and letting it continue to twist, and Rafael even suggested that you could let it twist back into a reverse shuvit(!) I find it helps a lot to move your throwhand up above the yo-yo so that the loop can move more cleanly.
Okay… those are some of the foundation tricks. Now, we’ll have a short interlude with a stalled magic drop (more on that later!) and get into some new stuff.
First off, the mach-5 whip flip. This was hinted at in the Whips installment of FF but was way too hard at the time for me to actually hit (haha.) Basically, you set up a houdini mount, throw a kickflip suicide, and whip the thumb loop horizontally around your hand to catch the yo-yo as you complete the suicide. Definitely a precision trick, but immensely satisfying when you stick it. One million internet points to the first person who can show me this whip with a shuvit…
Next in the advanced concepts, we got a shuvit 180 drop suicide. This trick is a tribute to the era when Yuuki was doing all these super sick drop suicides and all I could ever learn was the 2or0 to 1.5 drop. Sorry buddy!.. but I digress. The setup is a double or nothing, which is immediately followed by twisting the yo-yo to setup for a shuvit. As soon as the yo-yo launches, you’re going to move your non-throwhand up as though you’re supporting a trapeze-brother and get your throwhand in position to catch the loop as it rotates around. When you catch it, the yo-yo should be stalled on the opposite side, which lends itself to all kinds of tech applications.
Finally, the Kwijibo Flip. This trick was teased in my FACoatW Warmup column, but I think this version (without flipping your hands over) works a little better. Kickflipping from trapeze to 1.5 isn’t too tough… 1.5 to 2or0, well, I encourage you all to try it!
This should keep your hands full for the weekend, but if you want some more flip tricks to practice, you might want to check out these tricks from Alex Curfman, Malcolm Chiu, and of course the Fixed Friday archives. Ed recently responded to the shuvit with a varial flip, something I’ve been totally unable to hit thusfar. Happy throwing, everybody!