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:
- By throwing straight into a mount, he shaves off a good 3-6 seconds that 3A players are used to spending on individual throws. Those seconds add up, and being able to start every trick sequence with a quickmount could open up enough room for a whole new combo in the freestyle.
- Opening with a quickmount gives the trick a sense of momentum that can be difficult to capture in a slow-moving style like 3A. Not only does it grab the audience’s attention and set a strong pace, but it can actually make certain tricks (like some of Hank’s double zipper sequence) easier than starting from a dead stop.
- Hank’s quickmounts are astonishingly difficult, and are scored accordingly. Hitting a quickmount right at the beginning of a sequence guarantees you 5-10 extra clicks right off the top, essentially giving you an extra banger every time you throw.
- They look freakin’ sweet. I mean, c’mon, it’s just like “pow” and you’re all like “woahhhh” and Hank’s like “yeah man.”
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.
Paul Dang shows off some great tricks, performed on the original Project yoyo from OneDrop. The Project is still, to my mind, the finest throw they’ve ever released. Only made briefly and replaced rather quickly by the Project 2, which wasn’t nearly as well received, the Project is one of those throws that people get all wibbly and nostalgic about. As they should, it’s a great throw!
To their credit, once OneDrop discontinued the Project they publicly posted the CAD code for anyone with access to a CNC lathe to make their own. Here’s that code…if you’re feeling industrious and want to make a batch of these for yourself, go right ahead!
1st Place – 1A (Single YoYo) – Maxim Gruzintsev
1st Place – 1A Amateur (Single YoYo) – Ivan Mazurin
1st Place – 2A (Double YoYo – Looping) – Lev Derzhavets
1st Place – 3A (Double YoYo – String) – Sergey Bandurin
1st Place – 4A (Offstring) – Vitaly Evdokimov
1st Place – 5A (Counterweight) – Alexy Nemchik
1st Place – AP (Artistic Performance) – Vlad
Can you watch this video of Kazuya Murata competing in the 1A Prelims at the Shikoku YoYo Contest in Japan without squealing and yelling “HE’S SO CUUUUUUTE!” at the top of your lungs?
Neither can we.
Three minutes of new tricks and new concepts from YoYoFactory Protege, Joe Wilson.