The biggest request I’ve had for 5A May thusfar is for some more fixed axle freehand, which is unfortunately really freakin’ hard. Fortunately, I felt so pumped from watching Japan Nationals that I got off my butt and came up with these two tricks. Trick number one is a kickflip suicide juggle, and the second is a kickflip inside of an e-fan caught in a 2or0. Enjoy!
Search Results for: kickflip
Welcome back to Fixed Friday, where the tricks are made up and the points don’t matter. Because you don’t score any points. Huh? Moving on. This week I’m proud to present some original content that I’ve been working on, a z-axis flip that lets you transition between stall mounts. Let’s take a look:
The first trick is the simplest version of this idea. Throw a trapeze stall, swing and flip the yo-yo as though you were throwing a kickflip suicide, but instead of catching the loop, chop into the string. It takes a little practice to figure out the timing of the chop and the spin, I find it helps to use a two-tone yo-yo so that you can remember which side was facing you when you threw the suicide and chop when you see it come back around. If you don’t have a two-tone yo-yo, I recommend covering the sidecaps in stickers… but then, I pretty much just recommend that anyways. I should also mention that while trapeze is the simplest version of this trick, it may actually be easier to execute from a double or nothing, so if you’re struggling with the trapeze you might want to try 2or0.
The next move is an interpretation of the first pop of the classic trick, Kwijibo, and it illustrates how the kickflip can be used to move from one mount to another. Learning the chop with the opposite hand usually requires a lot of focus on providing enough slack to cushion the yo-yo’s landing without letting it fall off. All of you kids catching kendama fever will be thrilled to learn that it’s all in the knees… okay, maybe you don’t have to full-on crouch, but it definitely helps to move your hands along with the yo-yo to soften the landing a bit.
Now, at this point, you’re probably wondering why you wouldn’t just go with the flashier kickflip suicide. The answer? Half-flips! As you may recall from earlier lessons, one of the primary challenges of stall tricks is that you can only catch the yo-yo on one side of the string, which means transitioning from mount to mount occasionally requires elaborate restarts. With a half-flip, the yo-yo flips over halfway (natch), meaning you can transition between stall sides in the middle of mounts or combos.
The next trick is an example of such a combo: first, a half-flip from a double or nothing stall to a trapeze bro stall, something not possible with a simple hop, and then after throwing the bro stall back into double or nothing, a full flip back down to trapeze. It’s definitely not the easiest transition, but it is fun, satisfying, and has lots of possibilities for expansion.
The last trick is the brainchild of my Takeshi Kamisato, who is a gentleman and a cupcake. We start out with the 2or0 half-flip to trapeze bro, but on the catch, you pinch the string in order to keep the slack of the suicide loop from disappearing. After that, toss the yo-yo off to the side with the loop intact and catch the suicide, much in the style of Takeshi’s immortal Hans Rocks! tricks. Bam! Easier said than done, of course, but a great example of how to incorporate modern new school 1A elements in your fixed axle play.
Drew Tetz knows where it’s at. Fixed axle kickflip suicide to sleeping beauty? Daaaaaaaaaaaamn!
Nathan Martsolf created a facebook group called “Fixed Friday” based around the idea of people giving up bearings once a week. Alliteration seems as good an excuse as any to teach some tricks, and there’s been a lot of interest lately in modern responsive stalls, so let’s spend this fixed friday learning a couple of tricks!
I’ll be breaking down two stall tricks today – one for those just learning modern stalls, and one for players who want more of a challenge.
The first trick sequence is a trapeze stall, dismounted to a trapeze-brother stall, dismounted right back into trapeze. It’s likely to be one of the first sidestyle stalls you learn, and can really help you get the feeling of catching the yo-yo on the return. If you’re new to stalls, well, first of all, you should really watch Ed Haponik’s “How to Stall” video; while it was shot years before Ed rose to Fixed Axle glory, he does a fantastic job of explaining the trick of calling the yo-yo back and why stalls work the way they do. Pay close attention to when the yo-yo starts to come back: it’s almost more like throwing a breakaway than a trapeze. By the time the string hits your finger, the yo-yo should already be winding back up, and it should land on the string without you having to force it at all. Also, in a move totally counterintuitive to modern yo-yoing, these tricks will be much easier with softer throws and more responsive yo-yos. Go figure!
The second portion of the trick where you transition to trapeze-brother is not that different from its freespinning cousin, but it can be difficult due to the unfamiliar feeling of recalling a yo-yo with your non-throwhand. It’s also important to note that your dismount from the trapeze is effectively your “throw” providing the spin, so it’s worth practicing this part until you can consistently get enough momentum to swing over to the other hand and bring the yo-yo back. Once you can do this, the trick is probably actually less motion than you would imagine: just let the yo-yo bring itself back and mount over your finger. From here, you can do another fancy dismount to return yourself to trapeze stall or catch the yo-yo. High fives!
One very important thing to note about this trick is the way that the spin direction changes. When you dismount from a trapeze stall, the yo-yo has frontstyle spin. If you were to try to re-mount it in a trapeze stall, it would just bounce off of your finger, but it mounts in trapeze-bro just fine. Similarly, if you were to try to mount a trapeze-bro stall with sidestyle spin you would have a pretty tough time with it. Why?! Well. Spin direction not only determines which way the yo-yo is rotating, but also the way that it’ll wind up, and if you try to mount on the same side that the string has wound you’ll most likely get rejected. It sounds complicated, but for the most part you don’t really need to worry about it: just mount on the throwhand side of the string for frontstyle spin and the non-throwhand side for sidestyle spin. Actually, you know what, don’t even think about it at all, just practice this trick a lot and you’ll figure out the rhythm yourself naturally.
The second trick is a little tougher, a variation on the kickflip suicide caught on the throwhand thumb. This was in my Puppydog Love video and people seemed to like it there, so here’s a closer look at it. You’ll definitely want to know kickflip suicides before learning this, and it helps being confident with your thumb mounts, but it’s actually much easier than it looks. Swing the yo-yo away from your body, making sure to keep your hands as straight as possible, and release the string right before the yo-yo is horizontal. It should continue to flip on its own, and with a little practice you can get a nice loop out of it. For this one, it helps to keep your hands closer together on the release, which puts your thumb in the right spot and actually can make the loop a little bigger, too. Kickflip suicides can make surprisingly good transition moves, and this is a pretty nice one to add to the arsenal.
King Yo Star PAX Specs:
Weight: 66.7 grams
Response: Flowable Silicone (19mm pad size)
Bearing: Centering Bearing Size C (.250 x .500 x .187)
The King Yo Star PAX is the latest release from the Canadian-based company. Designed by owner Jeremy McKay, this organic, casual throw is a great addition to any collection.
The King Yo Star PAX plays light and floaty and fast, and has a great, late-90s throwback feel. The larger, organic shape has just a slight taper towards the gap, nodding at modern design while still giving us that fat, round, almost Coke-can profile. The King Yo Star PAX is a zippy yoyo, and the large bell-shaped halves produce a pleasant ringing sound while playing that adds to the overall “laid back” feel. PAX, of course, means “peace” in Latin, and this yoyo is definitely appropriately named. The inner cup features a dimpled area that helps with fingerspins but let’s be honest here…you’re gonna be working on goofy kickflip tricks, not trying to suss out the latest horizontal combos. It’s great for kickflips, by the way.
Available in various splash colors, the anodizing is expectedly well-done. The colors are bright and vibrant and the finish quality is great. The King Yo Star PAX logo is engraved on the rim of both halves, leaving the large cup area blank so that you can truly enjoy the anodizing. The overall design is really very simple, which is always welcome.
The King Yo Star PAX retails for only $65. It’s a casual price for a great casual throw, and if you like something organic-shaped and fun, the PAX is a great option.
BUY THE KING YO STAR PAX
THIS POST SPONSORED BY KING YO STAR
It’s that time again…another year, another glorious special edition wooden yoyo from SPYY x TMBR x YoYoExpert to celebrate everyone’s favorite fixie sage, Ed Haponik! Check out the latest video from Ed and a full description of the yoyo below. YoYoExpert still has a few in stock, but once they’re gone…they’re gone.
In 2012, SPYY team member Ed Haponik took a one year oath to play only a single fixed axle, wooden yo-yo. It was a custom design from SPYY who sponsored him at the time. He completed this goal as of 12/31/12 and documented his efforts on 365yoyotricks.com and in several of his clip videos. Ever since Ed has truly helped to inspire a resurgence in fixed axle play!
In 2015 things have changed. SPYY is no longer around has just re-entered the game with a new Titanium Yo-Yo and Ed is still throwing the best fixed axle tricks around via his Instagram page!
In hopes of continuing this amazing story we decided to approach Ed, SPYY, & TMBR. And again this year, all agreed the story and message behind this great yo-yo needs to live on. The legendary yo-yo he used, The EH, is now re-envisioned once again and available in a limited run.
This year, the limited EH is crafted from WHITE oak. This wood offers a beautiful tight grain that isn’t too porous with an excellent density and smoother feel to the touch. This newest version also comes with one of the coolest axle systems out there – The TMBR Wood Thread Axles! Hand carved by Colin Leland, you will not find anything else like these on the market! After spending some time with the new 2015 EH, Ed thinks it’s the perfect fixed axle yo-yo for tricks like stalls, kickflips, varials, and lunar landings!
The 2015 ‘EH’ is limited to 96 pieces and will not be reproduced. Each EH comes packaged with a special signed note from Ed and one side of the yo-yo features the EH logo engraved with the other left untouched to give it a simple clean look. Play Simply Our Friends!
Start Your Fixed Axle Journey With Tutorials from Ed Haponik HERE!
This post sponsored by YoYoExpert.
The “eh” has returned to Yoyoexpert.com as a surprise release! More of a story than a yoyo model, the “eh” started out as a handful of drill-pressed throws that Ed Haponik and SPYY’s Steve Buffel cranked out in Steve’s Calgary garage. Fixed axle aficionado that he is, Ed evidently liked playing it so much that he asked Steve to make him a special one to use for a year straight, which Ed documented in videos and on 365yoyotricks.com. At the end of 2012 (and again in 2013), Yoyoexpert celebrated Ed’s commitment and Steve’s classic design by releasing a production version made by Portland-based woodcraft-powerhouse TMBR. One of the coolest aspects of the “eh” is that it represents the collaboration of four people, each of whom is respected within yoyoing for his own distinct contribution.
With each release, the “eh” has seen subtle changes in material and engraving, but this is clearly the most significant change so far. Over the past year, TMBR’s “wood-thread” axle system has become increasingly popular among fixed axle players. This innovative and craft-intensive process allows for all-wood construction (no metal axle, no glue) AND take-apart design. Actually, it goes a step further as you can actually reconstruct the “eh” in butterfly, classic/imperial, or “pagoda” setups. The axle cap in the middle of the “eh” is a design necessity, but it changes the look substantially. The engraving is smaller and moved off the center, featuring the original “eh” logo on one side and the logos of the 3 companies responsible for it on the reverse. The body is also made from white oak (previous versions were red) which offers the smoothest surface and most uniform weight distribution of any “eh” so far.
In terms of play, it’s a pretty awesome fixed axle yoyo. Its smooth walnut axle sleeps well enough and it comes back easily, maybe a little more aggressively than previous versions. In recent years, fixed axle has become its own distinct species. Where just a few years back, playing fixed axle meant you did regular 1a tricks as kind of a dare, these days fixed tricks have become marked by shorter sleepers and integrated stalls, kickflips, weird balances, and constant regenerations. The new “eh” really caters to these adaptations. The oak body is easy to control in a stall, the gap holds loops open on kickflips very well, and the flat rims make Ed’s backhand catches quite a bit easier.
Bear in mind that it’s completely different from playing a modern unresponsive metal yo-yo. That may seem obvious, but it can’t be overstated. Playing wood is a different kind of challenge; one of the hardest and most rewarding in yo-yoing.
The “eh” also comes with a typed note from Ed and one of his signed Yoyoexpert trading cards. Limited to 120 pieces total. Available now exclusively from Yoyoexpert.
SPYY x TMBR x Yoyoexpert “eh” SPECS:
Gap Width: Two Pennies (seriously)
Weight: 58 grams
Axle: Take-Apart All Wood Axle
This post sponsored by YoYoExpert
Ed Haponik dropped a 5-minute video of his greatest hits from the past three months of his #trickcircle posts on Instagram, and it’s burly stuff. Lots of fixed axle goodness, and more impossible kickflips that you can shake a stick at. Crazy good!
Hello, Fixed Axle Faithful! As you may know, this is the last Friday of 2013. What you might know is that this is also the last installment of regular Fixed Friday content—it sounds dramatic, but I highly doubt you’ve seen the last of us, we’ll just be stepping back from one a week. As Ed noted, it’s been fun, and we’re quite proud of our work; after fifty episodes I hope that we’ve given fixed axle acolytes some material to chew on and maybe taught somebody a trick or two. Thank you all for stickin’ with us through this crazy year and for supporting us in whatever comes next.
As this is the last installment of the year, I thought it might be fitting to do a roundup of my favorite concepts. Consider this the Cliffs Notes version of the Fixed Axle master class, and please by all means check out our back catalog… but more than anything learn these tricks!
Before we start talking about individual tricks, I would urge every new Fixed Axle player to check out Ed’s “Back to Basics” clip & article, which addresses most of the questions about equipment, string tension (important!), and all that good stuff.
Job #1 is developing good control over the yo-yo. You’ll be spending a lot of time winding your yo-yo back up, so you might as well learn a couple fun ways to do it! I personally favor the thumb start (demonstrated by André here), a quick pushing down on the yo-yo with your fingers to start it spinning again, but it wouldn’t hurt to learn a couple of different regen techniques. Another favorite is Engineer’s Windup, wherein you set the dead yo-yo on the string and roll it along the trapeze to build friction and start the string winding—while many people write this move off as cheesy beginner stuff, I find looping out of it quite satisfying, and Kyle Nations actually built it into a trick with his “Necro” concepts.
Though I don’t feature it in the video, I would be remiss not to mention the almighty snap start. Ed has a great primer on those.
The next trick, Sidewinder, is an absolute essential, because it is hands-down the fastest way to fix string tension on a responsive yo-yo. You can read my full article on it here for a more in-depth look, but definitely learn it! Lefty loosey, righty tighty, keep that string in shape.
Pocketwatch, created by the brilliant Nate Sutter, is perhaps the simplest new trick in years, and that’s what makes it brilliant. Read Ed’s writeup on it and don’t forget to shake your hips for maximum points.
Trapeze Stall & Trapeze-Bro Stall are not only the building blocks of modern stall play, but also the first tricks featured on Fixed Friday. Neat, right? Complete the circle by reading that original article, trapeze stall was a total gamechanger for me and I consider it a modern essential. Once again, Ed’s knowledge is indispensable, and his “How to Stall” video is perfect for fixing your technique, and his Bro-Stall Repeaters video can show you some more advanced variations. The Double-or-nothing (2or0) stall was not covered in depth in a FF article, but once you feel comfortable with your trapezes you should try going all the way around and practicing your rollouts.
Zipper Stalls is perhaps my favorite stall-based repeater, perfect in its symmetry & simplicity. Ed made it, so naturally he’d be the best to learn from (probably in this article he wrote featuring it) but I love seeing the way players’ individual style affects the aesthetics of this trick. Being able to roll smoothly from one stall to another and learning the way the yo-yo flips depending on spin direction is an essential skill that this trick develops in you pretty quick.
Thumb Mount stalls are another fixed axle standby, the perfect fusion of response-powered tricks and string trick precision. The Lunar Landing, addressed a little bit later, is probably the most famous example, and Ed discusses a number of them in his Lunars clip, but you can also see a few good examples in his one-handed clip. The entrances in the video are some of my favorite, but I’ll admit some are harder than others: forward pass to reverse lunar is definitely the one I would try to learn first.
Dumptrucks, alright! I’m proud because it’s an original trick, and one of my favorite modern fixie concepts. I addressed it at length in this video, but the main takeaway is that you can flip the yo-yo halfway on the z-axis to dismount and regenerate, something that is stylish, fun, and useful for finding transitions. I may be biased, but I do consider it a staple of the modern fixed axle canon, so give it a try at least.
Behind the back braintwister is not a move in everybody’s quiver, but it serves as a good way to practice stalls in body tricks… and beat fools in butterfly horse.
2or0 chopsticks stall is one of my favorite stall mounts, because of how technically rich it is for being accessible straight off of a throw. I enjoy just mounting and rolling out as in the video, but you can see it applied to a more complex trick in my Crisis video.
I’ve chosen Makin’ Da Zines to be representative of all planet hop based repeaters, which you can learn more of in my Planet Rock column. Makin’ Da Zines is a favorite because it’s a stylish & satisfying exit from trapeze stall, something you’ll end up in a lot. There’s definitely something to be said for tricks that just feel “right.”
Shoot the Moon is an all-time classic hall of fame trick, and well worth learning even if you don’t usually like looping. Ed’s Lunars clip addresses them briefly, but it’s the sort of trick that you really have to just work at for yourself. My tips: use something light & butterfly-shaped, make sure your string length & response are comfortable, be careful that the yo-yo doesn’t flip between repetitions, and use a much gentler touch than you ordinarily would.
Stop & Go is a classic 1A move covered in many other places, but Ed does such nice things with them on fixed axles that I thought it was worth mentioning. Definitely plenty of unexplored territory there, and a great trick to show non-yoyoers, too. The following clip with the uncredited clip is also a tribute to Ed, specifically his daring “flinch” trick.
Bouncehouse is a subtle & fun transition move introduced in my “Huh? Wha?” clip, and when combined with Charles’ 2or0 entrance it has become one of my bread & butter fixed axle combos. LFO is another blending of elements that make a satisfying whole: you can see it in slomo in that sidewinder article, the blending of dumptrucks, sidewinders, and 3D catches feels great.
Kickflips, Heelflips, Shuvits, and the Mach-5 Whip Flip can all be found (along with other flips) in my Flip Tricks column. I think it’s fair to call the kickflip my “signature move” by now, which is exciting, ’cause I’m like not even a superhero or a wrestler so I’m not supposed to have those… but anyways, they’re high risk stall-specific moves that look great and feel fun, so you should at least try to learn one of them. Probably Kickflips, they’re the easiest, but shuvits are satisfying exactly because of how difficult they are.
UFO Recaptures are perhaps the simplest way to get into Horizontal tricks for fixed axle. Read more about them here. It’ll take practice to catch the returning stall on the string, but it feels great being able to switch between planes on a whim. The Double Regen is silly but fun.
Mystics are very technical, z-axis transitions between strings in the middle of a stall. Though the intricacies are often missed by non-fixed players, they do feel really awesome and open up a whole new way of looking at stall string formations. Check the full Mystical clip here.
…and, because it’s nice to go out with something fun, I ended with Venetian Blinds, a trick you should definitely not show your mother-in-law or the police.
Thank you all for tuning in all year, and I hope that we’ll be able to trade Fixie tricks on a contest floor sometime soon. I’ve had a ton of fun and have so much love for Ed, Steve, & André for helping making it happen. Don’t forget to join the Fixed Friday facebook group and the Fixed Axle Megathread on Yoyoexpert to shun bearings with the other cool kids. Music in this video is a freely downloadable remix I made of a song by Duns Broccoli. (P.S. Bonus shoutout & thanks to Louis DiGiuseppe for helping me shoot this, look for another exciting fixie video from us soon…)
Yo-yos used were the Duncan Butterfly, the Duncan Wheel, and the Moon by 44RPM.
BONUS CLIP: I forgot to put these in the video so now they’re instagram exclusives. Whatever. Broadway stall and kwijibo kickflip suicide.
Cast aside your bearings, ye fixed axle faithful, and join us as we take a step into horizontal responsive tricks. This may sound like a daunting challenge, as neither horizontal nor responsive play are particularly easy, but we can use stalls to make response work to our advantage with a maneuver called the UFO Recapture.
When a yo-yo is spinning, it’s going to tend to stay spinning in the orientation you threw it thanks to centripetal force. Stalls are neat, though, because they give us the opportunity to swing or rotate a yo-yo however we want, which lets us change directions mid-sequence.
The UFO Recapture is all about throwing the yo-yo out horizontally to a UFO (aka Sleeping Beauty or Flying Saucer) and then capturing it back in a sidestyle stall mount. In its purest form, this is accomplished with a horizontal throw, popping the UFO’ing yo-yo up so that it starts to respond, and then intercepting the yo-yo with the string so that it falls into a stall. The most difficult part of the trick is getting your string lined up and your timing right, remember to take it slow and hook your finger around the string.
Before you try this, you’re probably going to want to be pretty comfortable with the basics of sideways yo-yoing so you can get a good solid throw, but there aren’t many string hits to be seen, so no worries if you don’t quite have your sideways braintwister combo on lock yet. (hey, I still don’t have one!) The biggest difference between frontstyle & a sidestyle spin for recaptures is that a frontstyle power throw has the yo-yo coming back towards the front of the string and the sidestyle breakaway has it coming behind the string. I personally consider frontstyle easier to learn, but try both.
Oh, also, at 23 seconds in: if you do a horizontal broadway it helps you set up a double-or-nothing, which you can then recapture, but that’s probably a little more on the advanced end of things.
28 seconds in marks my personal favorite way to practice the recapture, which pairs it with a dumptruck-style half-swing from a trapeze stall into a UFO. This technique is one of the easiest ways to get into a horizontal trick with a fixie, because you already have control of the string once you restart, and I’ve used it in a number of tricks (one of which can be seen at the end of Mystical.) When you pair it up with the recapture, it can effectively become a repeater, which means you always know a way into and out of horizontal spin from trapeze stall—score! Adam Brewster did some neat things with this as well.
Immediately after the half-dumptruck/recapture is a silly little trick called “knockbacks” you can learn to mix it up, wherein you just bounce the yo-yo off your palm to reset the regen, tough love style… and after that is an even sillier trick, proving that you can catch it in a thumb mount and broadway out. Or not broadway out! But really, who doesn’t want more spin moves?
At 1:05, we take a break from the UFOs to explore a mount we haven’t talked about much on FF: the fake triangle stall. Pulling the string through the loop on a trapeze stall creates a fake triangle suitable for really big suicide loops, something that I used to my advantage with this weird semi-horizontal offplane monster, based heavily on Paul Yath’s 360 suicide. Ideally it would be even more horizontal, but it sure is nice not having to keep the momentum afterwards. After that, we have another suicide trick that shows you more ways to use horizontal tricks to create pauses: this shifts the plane by intercepting a kickflip suicide halfway through, tossing a whip loop over it, and then continuing into a mach-5 mount.
Finally, we close out the video with a cross-armed 1.5 stall pushed out around the arm into a UFO and recaptured in a double or nothing stall. Going around your arm and keeping the string structure clean isn’t easy with a responsive yo-yo, but the feeling is totally awesome, so I recommend at least giving the entrance a shot.
Thanks for tuning in, and see you next Friday for more bearingless brouhaha. As always, the yo-yos used were Duncan Butterflies & Wheels, and you can download the beat for free from my Soundcloud.
Yeah, you read right.
Although I fully recognize that Drew Tetz’s nasty chopsticks brainchild may not obviously apply to the high-friction craft of fixed axle play, the sadist in me wanted to see whether I could make it fit. And at the end of a week full of sawing against the grain, I can confidently say: “kinda?”.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you’ll need to do some prerequisite research. Archery is a trick (and subsequently, a family of tricks) developed around 2007 based on the use of 3 fingers. So named due to the legend of the naughty middle finger sign having come about from archers’ use of the finger to kill, Archery tricks generally involve the use of the first two fingers and thumb. It’s most commonly associated with the final triple-trapeze trick at the very end of Drew’s yo-yo, and I spend much of this vid focusing on that. I also wanted to share a trick I’ve been doing a lot lately called ‘Soliloquy’, which has a couple of 3-finger pieces to it. Specifically, this week is less about the Archery concept in general, and more about Archery Stalls. It’s one of my longer FF vids, but honestly some of these tricks were so hard for me that I had a tough time editing things out.
This week got pretty frustrating, and I knew from the start that I was biting off more than I could chew. Whatever though, they can’t all be Rock the Baby weeks! After going through Soliloquy a couple of times, I started trying out some stalled variations of the Archery mount described above. At first I found Archery Stall to be nearly impossible, but like so many tricks, it was just an intimidating learning curve on the approach. After a little time and a lot of misses, I was successfully stalling out in the 3-trapeze Archery hold nearly every time (figuring out how to hop into it from a static stall also helped a bunch). Unfortunately, the ultimate application of fixed axle Archery was pretty much immediately apparent. Because if you can stall out in the Archery trapeze hold… it stands to reason that you can kickflip it. In retrospect, reason ended up having very little to do with it.
The first or second time I hit the stall, I showed it to my wife, Stacy, saying “Ok, so I can hit this like once every 50 times… How many times do you think I’d have to try to land the Kickflip on all 3 fingers? 5,000? 10?” She was nonplussed and turned Sons of Anarchy back on. She watched a lot of Sons of Anarchy this week.
I don’t know how many times I actually tried the flip, but it was a lot. I landed it to one finger at least 100 times, which honestly does feel awesome… unless you’re going for 3, in which case it’s a total failure. I landed it on two fingers about 10 times, which is BRUTAL. As of press time, I have hit the full Archery Flip three times… and the feeling of vindication was every bit as sublime as hitting Spirit Bomb on an O-Boy. What you learn going though the process of hitting any really difficult trick, however, is that the part of you that is able to hit the trick is nowhere near as significant and impressive as the part of you that is willing to TRY it. Hitting the Archery Flip was really just a matter of patience and statistics; the right confluence of variables. That doesn’t really say anything about me or my skill. But the combination of naiveté and determination which led me to throw myself into something that I reeeeeeally wasn’t sure I’d be able to hit… actually is pretty awesome.
I was psyched to hit some other cool stuff too, including the Insta-Archery Stall at 2:35. I first saw Insta-Archery (I think) from Randy Jansen shortly after Drew released his video, and I’ve seen Jacob Jensen do it as well. Insta-Archery is just like regular Archery, only you have about 0.01s to get your fingers into all the right string-nooks. And to land it in a stall, you need to be as fluid as you are fast. I’m pretty sure that if I had Sid-hands instead of my own stubby digits, that trick would be one of my favorites… although I guess a lot of my playing might be awesomer if I had Sid-esque qualities. I also think Soliloquy is a cool trick, and I love the two-handed Archery-style mount it starts with. Some of the inverted Lunar stuff in the middle of the video is fun to mess around with as well. I tried to figure out a true Archery Lunar Landing, but everything I tried had weird doubled loops and was very awkward to put into Shoot-the-Moon. (We’ll call that one homework for all you loyal readers – someone is reading this, right?) The Archery Flip to 360 Shuv-it out is buried in the vid, but (I think) pretty slick; kind of the ultimate Drew Tetz combo trick – just needs Sawchucks.
A lot of this week was spent chasing a white whale in that Archery Flip, but as is often the case, I happened upon some really cool applications of the broader concept in the process. It’s not lost on me that pretty much all of this week’s entry is just obsessively perusing through Drew’s conceptual playing and trying to fit the pieces together differently. Major fist-bump-bro-hugs to my brother-in-arms on that score. Are you a fixed axle archer, yourself? Tell us about your variations and tribulations in the comments below.
ALSO, we are quickly coming up on a full year of Fixed Friday entries. I’ll discuss this a bit more later on, but after 46 entries, it’s getting kind of tough to think of new weekly themes. If you have any suggestions, we do take requests… unless they’re as hard as Archery Flip.
Welcome to Fixed Sunday! Sincerest apologies on the lateness, but we’re back with your weekly dose of fixed axle features. Before we get into the column, I’d like to call a little attention to two great recent entries to the fixie canon, Alex Curfman’s “One-Hand Wonder” clip and Ed Haponik’s “Mystic Dumps” trick. On with the show!
This week has a mix of concepts, but is intended to be a follow-up to my “Mystics” clip for LSFC last week, so you might want to check that out also. Before we get into the tech-y stuff, though… foot start to bucket stall! Preloading a mount and then propelling a dead yo-yo into it with your foot is a fun trick to add to your arsenal, simply because it’s one of the rare moves that’s easier to perform while sitting down.
The second trick in the video is what we’re calling a “mystic”, a gentle cousin to the kickflip transition and the dumptruck. The basic idea behind a mystic is to swing a stalled yo-yo off-plane so that it is turned upside-down and dumped onto another string. It seems like a fairly logical followup to dumptruck dismounts, but planebreaking transitions are still fairly unexplored terrain, so while traces of the trick were floating around there wasn’t really a name for it until Ed put out “Mystic Dumps”. This trick sums up the concept of flipping from one mount to another very succintly while simultaneously paying tribute to Paul Escolar’s classic magic drop trick, and I highly recommend learning it.
Having said that… I personally find mystic dumps a lot harder than the trick in this video, which is a mystic from a double or nothing stall to an inverted trapeze stall, so if you have a hard time sticking the landing on Ed’s try this one out. Throw a double or nothing stall, and then swing the whole formation forward as though you were going to kickflip or dumptruck out of it. As the yo-yo gets to be about horizontal, curl your non-throwhand finger and point both your hands in towards your body to guide the yo-yo onto the back string. This transition takes a little time to get the feeling of, but is a great way to mix up your stall transitions.
If you’ve already advanced past both mystic dumps and 2or0 mystics, trick #3 might amuse you: it uses the same chopsticks truck as my first trick in DCUS Chillin’, but lands on the string instead of dismounting, which somehow sets up a reverse GT stall. Trippy! Ten points to the first person to kickflip a reverse GT…
The trick at 30 seconds is a fun, silly whip. If you’ve been looking to get into stall whips but don’t know where to start, this one features a fairly easy setup and a nice delay before the landing. It opens with a 2or0 stall, followed by a dunk, which sets a ripcord up on the string for the whip. Take your non-throwhand finger out of the loop and whip the string around your throwhand into the gap… which is conveniently held in place with your free hand, because stalls let you do that. I enjoy this trick because it’s based off of the modern 1A grind/whip formula, but the “grind” portion is actually made much easier by stalls.
Next in line is another technical mystic, this time based on an old Jason Lee chopsticks combo (referenced also in Imperialism.) The opening sequence can be a little confusing: mount trapeze stall, and cross the string over your thumb as you dismount, which creates a wrap around your thumb as you mount a trapeze-bro stall. This trick departs from the other combos when you mount back in a stall over your thumb, at which point you swing back to the back string (as in 2or0 mystics) and then perform a second mystic onto the middle string, which puts you in that weird “i’m not actually a bucket” mount. My personal favorite thing to do upon landing a stall in this mount is actually another Jason Lee masterpiece, “wiggly thing”, though my wiggles aren’t as clean as his… but you can also dismount or do whatever.
The final combo is a recent favorite, “Boyfriendcat loves Sea Glass.” It opens with a pinwheel that lets me launch vertically before a 2or0 chopsticks stall, which adds a nice touch of drama. Dismounting to behind the head zines and then cross-armed 1.5 stall is a bread & butter combo for me, but it gets spiced up a bit when it’s swung upwards and pushed out into a horizontal pinwheel, naturally continued into a UFO. The benefit of launching from a 1.5 instead of a trapeze is that the string is naturally set up for a whip, and I put my concentration face on to catch the UFO in a horizontal whip… phew!
Anyways, that’s it for this week. Thanks for letting me be late. Beat’s available to download free on my Soundcloud. Go watch Mystics. Okay.