Augie Fash is a name that most yoyoers will instantly recognize, partially because he’s been yoyoing for so long but mostly because he has serious skill and is (in my opinion) one of the best yoyoers of our time. Sponsored by C3YoyoDesign, Augie competes, releases killer clip videos and generally inspires many with both his attitude and tricks that I genuinely wish I had the ability to come up with. Augie agreed to do an interview and we talked Spindox, tricks, his new signature throw and more!
Augie, thanks for doing an interview! You’ve been yoyoing for over 15 years now and have several 1st place titles and signature yoyos to your name. Not only that, but you are one of the most well-known faces in the yoyo community. How did it all start?
I started playing yoyo in the 5th grade. I randomly found a Klutz yoyo and book kit in a teaching store while my mom and brother were out shopping. I pored over the book and started collecting every yoyo I could find. We didn’t have internet back then, so I would scour every store we went into, trying to find spare strings, and any sort of yoyo material I could get my hands on. I read and watched everything I had so often, I literally had a lot of books and video material memorized by heart.
For example, I still remember reading that Alex Garcia dreamed of someday owning a VW Passatt. I still remember reading about how Jon Gates and Dave Shulte’s yoyo tour van got broken into in Marseille, France. I dreamed of someday traveling the world and living their lives. It’s what I really wanted. I’d walk out to every recess with my shorts stuffed full of every yoyo I owned, and I’d spend all day practicing. I was addicted.
I can totally relate to being absolutely obsessed with yoyos when first starting, for me I think it was a lot of “right place, right time” that led to me being able to practice for hours each day just for fun and it totally payed off. When did you start to get really good, and what were some of your favorite tricks early on?
It actually took me an awfully long time to start getting good. I started getting noticeably good around the summer of 2003, so I’d already been yoyoing for about 5 years. My favorite tricks from back then are still my favorite tricks now – Breath, Kwijibo, Iron Whip, and Boingy Boing.
Nice! I remember hearing that you went to Spindox meetings back then too right?
Yes, I did! I think my first Spindox meeting was in 2000.
What kind of yoyos were you throwing?
Some of my favorite yoyos from back then are still some of my favorites: SuperYo Renegade (Original black, and later, the marble generations) and Bumblebee GT I threw back in 2000. 2003, I was throwing Freehand 1’s and the Night Moves 1 exclusively. I collected hundreds of spent friction stickers (“friction biscuits”) and used my Night Moves so much that I wore the starbursts off of the sides.
That’s so awesome, such a different time as far as the yoyos go. Is there anything you specifically miss about back then that’s different now?
I think, as with most hobbies or art, you definitely miss that magical feeling of being fresh and inexperienced, where everything seems so new. Lots of nostalgia for those early times. Many of my favorite players, tricks, and even memories date back to that first 4-5 years of throwing.
When did you start competing, and when was your first 1st place win?
My first contest was the 1999 US National Contest, Sport Ladder. My first freestyle was California State Contest 2002, and my first win was California State Contest 2003.
How did you originally end up getting sponsored?
I originally got sponsored in 2004, when Dave Bazan invited me to join Team Buzzon, the crew for the new company he was starting at the time.
I’d met Dave earlier the year before at BAC 2003. Like every other year (and every other contest) beforehand, I had failed to pass the compulsory round. I had only gotten to freestyle once at that point. I was super bummed out about not making it in, but Dave saw me yoyoing and decided that there was enough time to let every single person freestyle. So that became my big break in professional yo-yoing, and I got to join Dave’s team the next year. It was a dream come true.
I’ve never thrown any Buzz-On’s but I really like those kinds of throws that were popular then. With some signature throws under your belt, what are your favorite qualities in a yoyo and what is the process like in designing your own?
I tend to prefer heavy yoyos (they slow me down) with minimalist design and clean contours.
The first yoyo I’ve really had a hand in designing has been my new yoyo, the Electric Flash by C3YoyoDesign. Unfortunately, with my last sponsor, I didn’t have an opportunity to give input on my signature yoyos. With C3 though, it’s been great. I started with sending some weight, shape, diameter, and width preferences to C3. Then we mailed prototypes and emails back and forth between Hong Kong and the US, with me giving feedback on every new prototype. The whole process was pretty quick – around 3 months or less. I’m proud of the result.
That sounds sweet, I would personally LOVE that opportunity and I think it would be cool to see everyone like a throw that is exactly what I like too. As a professional yoyoer that’s admired by many, who are some of YOUR favorite yoyoers?
Oh man, I’ve got so many favorites.
As far as contemporary 1A players go, my favorites are Riccardo Fraolini, Anthony Rojas, Charles Haycock, Isaac Sams, Janos Karancz, and Gentry Stein.
Of all time, I’d also add in: Jason Lee, Justin Weber, John Ando, Jensen Kimmitt, Yuuki Spencer, Sid, Kota Watanabe, Hidemasa Senba, Johnnie Delvalle, Vashek Kroutil, Mateusz Ganc, Brent Dellinger, Gary Longoria, Paul Escolar, Mark Montgomery, and Spencer Berry. (Hope I’m not forgetting anyone!)
I’m also a 5A player, but my favorite 5A players of all time is a short and easy list: Shingo Terada, Rafael Matsunaga, and Sterling Quinn. I pretty much love everything they do.
Lastly, John Higby is a huge inspiration to me, both on and off stage. He was an early influence for me and still a huge one. Performing with him in Dubai was one of the best experiences of my life.
Good call on Justin Weber and Kota Watanabe, those are two yoyoers that probably wouldn’t pop straight into my head but I would have to add to my list of favorite players too. We actually share almost all of the same favorites!
That’s so cool. I think that means we have good taste 🙂
Yes! From a trick standpoint, what are your some of you favorite elements to work into tricks?
Probably my favorite elements are Eli hops, whips, and off-plane. I love the impact and immediacy of hops and whips. Off-plane/plane-bend I love because it’s flowy and beautiful and weird.
Do you have any advice for any aspiring yoyoers out there?
Yes I do! Absorb and digest as many different styles and trick concepts as you can. But most of all, stay true to your own style. It will make you memorable and take you from being good to being great.
I agree, that’s advice that you’ve definitely followed. Thanks for taking the time to do this Augie, and good luck on your future endeavors!
Augie’s newest signature model, the Electric Flash by C3YoYoDesign, is available now at YoYoExpert.com