Happy holidays from Ryan McDonnell!
YoYo used is the Puffin by CLYW.
Happy holidays from Ryan McDonnell!
YoYo used is the Puffin by CLYW.
In 1998, Alex Garcia was the closest thing to a rock star that the yoyo industry had ever seen. Players were awestruck by him, and in Japan he was quite literally treated like a rock star…being rushed out of venues after demonstrations into waiting cars, and mobbed for autographs. The Hyper YoYo craze was in full bloom, and when 20,000 people show up for a yoyo contest in Tokyo, someone has to take the brunt of their adoration…and Alex Garcia was the king of Hyper YoYo.
Alex was young enough that all the kids knew that with just a *little more practice*, they could be him. He was old enough to have that instant “my awesome big brother” charm that the younger kids fell for instantly, and he was good looking enough that all the girls swooned and sighed and giggled when they saw him. And aside from all of that, he was a really damn good yoyo player…he was fast, he was accurate, he had a great on-stage charisma, he played with his audience, and every time he strapped on a pair of Raiders he looked like he was having more fun than anyone in the world.
So, of course, he got his own theme song that actually charted in Japan. Produced as a Mini CD Single (hey kids, remember that format? Of course not. It was obsolete in the US almost as soon as it was introduced) and recorded by the obvious-marketing-ploy of a band called “Forty Four Hyper”, Alex’s nickname and theme song was “Warp Speed” and when he started performing to it the crowds went nuts. Back here in the States we were still fighting for the attention of suburban moms at mall demos, but in Japan Alex was coming out on stage to huge crowds chanting his name.
So, for the listening pleasure of everyone who remembers when Hyper YoYo ruled the toy industry and when the Teal Tide ruled the contest scene, here’s the complete song of “Warp Speed” by Forty Four Hyper. Enjoy!
Clint Armstrong makes another bid for the top of the heap with “On The Town”. The YoYoFactory Contest Team has a lot of talented players, but Clint is quietly climbing the ranks…watch out for him at contests in 2013.
Sweet mother of all that is thrown and spins, this diabolo routine by Akira Fukagawa is absolutely amazing. Just watch it, and then pass it around to everyone you know.
The good folks at Terra Kendama have struggled to keep up with demand for their unique kendama model, The Pill, since they introduced it. People just couldn’t get enough of them, and they couldn’t make enough to keep up with demand.
So it’s pretty awesome for everyone that they’ve announced they have finally sourced a production house that can maintain their level of quality, and help them produce The Pill in large enough quantities to meet demand. Finally!
These should be available soon…keep an eye on Terra Kendama for details!
And if you’re new to The Pill and don’t quite understand how these work, here’s a fantastic video showing the possibilities of The Pill from The Kengarden:
The European Juggling Convention is the largest juggling festival in the world, with anywhere from 2,500 – 4,500 jugglers and other skill toy enthusiasts, teachers, and performers attending. Held in Southern France, the 2013 EJC will be July 27th – August 3rd and well worth the trip. Check out the teaser video above, and book your tickets now!
Plenty of bangers plus some quick-shots from my trip to California and around Canton. I wanted to create a higher energy kendama edit and took inspiration from the music video for the song DIE SLOW by HEALTH. All rights to HEALTH.
Great new video from Montreal-based player Alexis JV. Sponsored by SPYY, Alexis has an incredible grip on trick pacing for someone so young. His sense of timing and trick construction are remarkable and watching him play you’d think he’s been throwing for at least a decade.
Great work from an incredibly promising player from the SPYY team.
There are few things I miss about Malaysia that don’t involve street meat on a stick, dipped in sauce from a rusty desk drawer (ask Dimi about that one), but one thing I really do miss is just how over-the-top the yoyo players are about pretty much everything. Even something as simple as a t-shirt gets a full 1.5 minute video….hilariously, they featured the t-shirt will full on-screen specs and neglected to tell us who the player is. But this video from 28spin.com is well worth the watch if for no other reason than just to say “Why yes, I have seen the most awesomely enthusiastic yoyo t-shirt commercial, ever.”
Hats off to 28spin.com for being awesome!
Here’s a fun clip video from the 2012 Russian National YoYo Contest. The talent in Russia is solid, and I can’t wait to see them start taking world titles. I’m betting that with Prague angling to become the host of the largest and most prestigious yoyo contests in the world, we’ll see a heavy Russian contingent competing at the much discussed “Worlds13” in Prague this August.
Videos are up for the 2012 Vietnam National YoYo Contest, and the skill level is great! Always exciting to see another country coming up fast in the competition scene…and judging by these freestyles, they’re well on their way to kicking butt on the international level. Wonder if we’ll see any of these guys in Orlando or Prague this year? Here are the winners from each division…more videos are up on their YouTube channel.
Van Dinh Sang – 1st Place – 1A (Single YoYo)
Nguyen Hoang Tuan – 1st Place – 2A (Double YoYo Looping)
Ho Minh Nhat Duy – 1st Place – 3A – (Double YoYo String)
Than Trong Son – 1st Place – 4A (Offstring)
Nguyen Minh Chien – 1st Place – 5A (Counterweight)
A yo-yo trick can be as simple or as complicated as you let it. Many players like to elevate their craft by pushing tricks in previously unseen directions, exploring nuances in presentation, inventing new styles, or breaking the contest system wide open. Let’s take a closer look at some tricks from world champion Hank Freeman.
Hank is well known throughout the community for his smooth style, unique tricks, and complete dominance of the American 3A scene. He is generally considered to be one of the best (in my opinion, THE best) 3A players in the world, and his back-to-back world titles support this. He’s also a fiend for good ramen and knows all the words to “Rappin’ Duke” – but enough about that, let’s get to the tricks. Specifically, let’s look at some of his signature quickmounts.
The blueline mount is a standard in 3A, and the basic form of blueline rolls is one of the first tricks that 3A players learn. Hank kicks the trick twenty years into the future by performing all the steps at once, performing what is called a “quickmount”.
In his 2012 title-winning freestyle, a full half of his combos opened with quickmounts. This is significant for a few reasons:
As you can imagine, these tricks can take years of practice, and are only just beginning to show up even at the top level of play. With high level players like Ken Takabayashi, Taiichiro Higashi, and Yasuki Tachibana integrating them more and more, though, it’s easy to see that quickmounts are marking a paradigm shift in 3A. Hank has expressed a desire to begin every trick in his 2013 freestyle with a quickmount, and it’s not hard to imagine them becoming as standard as the double trapeze sequence is now… provided that any of us can ever catch up to Hank.
As a bonus, let’s take a look back at some of Hank’s b-sides (and some quickmounts from yours truly) in the 2011 pure 3A clip “Chos”.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS AND FURTHER READING: Remember when Jensen did his Worlds 2011 Freestyle in one throw? You know how weird and amazing Christopher Chia’s regens are? Will regen- and stall-heavy one throw freestyles eventually become the norm in 1A freestyles as contests become closer and closer and competitors cram as many points in as they can? Are 3A regens ever going to become feasible? Can anybody tell me how to do Velvet Quickmount without hitting myself in the face? Talk about it in the comments below!
I’m just going to put this up here and let you draw your own conclusions.