YoYoFactory’s Shu Takada dropped a new 1A video, courtesy of Fist Salud. This is also our first look at the prototype of Shu’s new signature model from YoYoFactory. The rumor was that it was a signature version of the Shutter, but maybe it’s something new? From the video it looks like a Shutter…maybe the specs have changed and this is the next version!
Hiroyuki Suzuki is the most well known modern yo-yoer. He has also had the longest career in high level competitive yo-yoing, managing to stay within the top 10 in the World for an incredible 13 years. During his tenure, Hiroyuki has collected 9 Regional titles, 6 National Titles, 7 Asia Titles, and 4 World Titles. En route to winning these titles, Hiroyuki has proven himself to be the best performer in all of yo-yo. Here we will take a look at his top 10 routines over the years.
Before we start, we will only be ranking unique routines. For example, 2012 JN and 2012 AP use the same routine; we will only rank the better of the two.
10. 2013 Asia Pacific – 3rd Place
In this routine, Hiroyuki brings to the table a very different vibe from his past routines.
9. 2006 Central Japan – 1st Place
Classic old school Hiroyuki.
8. 2014 West Japan – 2nd Place
Hiroyuki’s first outing in the 2014 circuit was very refreshing. Fantastic synchronization with the music, and a departure from the heavy dub-step of the past few years.
7. 2008 World Yo-Yo Contest – 2nd Place
The first World performance to feature the now iconic sunglasses, Hiroyuki brought a timeless routine in 2008.
6. 2012 World Yo-Yo Contest – 1st Place
8 years after winning his first World title, Hiroyuki reclaimed the title in 2012. Although with his restart, it is the weakest of his 4 World title routines.
5. 2010 Japan National Yo-Yo Contest -1st Place
Despite a restart and a change out, Hiroyuki managed to win the National title. The routine is exceptionally clean, despite the major deducts; so clean, in fact, you will forget about the restart/switch out all together. Along with the beautiful choreography, this has to be considered Hiroyuki at his best.
4. 2006 World Yo-Yo Contest -1st Place
In 2006, Hiroyuki completed the 3 peat. He hits most of his major music cues, as well as his big bangers. He also introduces plenty of new concepts in this routine. This routine is very close to topping his routine from 2005, but not quite.
3. 2005 World Yo-Yo Contest -1st Place
The most viewed routine of all time–and it comes as no surprise. This routine is vintage Hiroyuki. As always, perfect choreography, speed, accuracy, and extremely innovative tricks. This is Hiroyuki’s best routine of his 4 World titles.
2. 2012 Japan National Yo-Yo Contest -1st Place
Hiroyuki has dominated Japan National’s many times, but in 2012 he put on an unbelievable performance that more than just dominated. Extremely high risk tricks, incredible choreography, and the new-school swagger that Hiroyuki brings every time.
1. 2004 Japan National Yo-Yo Contest -1st Place
High energy, perfect music use, incredibly difficult tricks, and all the while going near flawless. Treat yourself to a classic:
Not technically a competitive routine, but an incredibly entertaining performance nonetheless.
So, what do you think? Which is your favorite routine from Hiroyuki?
French National Champion Clément Bertaux just released a video from his outing at the beautiful Versaille castle in France and he shows off some impressive lacerations and great flow with his tech combos. Clément will be in the semi-finals at the World Yo-Yo Contest, so we look forward to what he brings to the stage. Clément is throwing the Summit by CLYW. Also, some fun editing and music cues to keep you involved! In the words of Clément himself, “The king is in da palace”; check it out:
Slusny dropped a new video featuring Petr Kavka, and it’s burly. The music is NSFW, and the tricks are *NSFA.
YoYo used is the Yeti by CLYW.
*Not Safe For Amateurs
We’ve got the final results of the 2014 European YoYo Championship! The competition was fierce, but in the end it was Germany’s Carlos Braun taking the championship in a huge upset! Janoz Karancz, the favorite to win, came in a staggering 5th Place in a 1A Division with some of the highest level of play we’ve ever seen in a European competition.
C3YoYoDesign’s David Molnar absolutely DESTROYED the 5A division with one of the best counterweight routines I’ve ever seen, and was the clear winner by a margin of more than 17 points!
EYYC 2014 – 1A Division Winners
1st Place – Carlos Braun (Germany)
2nd Place – Jan Hlinka (Slovakia)
3rd Place – Vilmos Zoltan Kiss
4th Place – Konstantin Tudjarov (Bulgaria)
5th Place – János Karancz (EYYC 2013)
6th Place – Michal Zakrzewski (Poland)
7th Place – Ákos Linzenbold (Hungary)
8th Place – Matyáš Racek
9th Place – Pall Valdimar Gudmundsson
10th Place – Leonid Nemchik
11th Place – Lorenzo Sabatini
12th Place – Daniel Tamariz
13th Place – Petr Kavka (Czech Republic)
14th Place – Tyler Young
15th Place – Vashek Kroutil
16th Place – Francesco Gioia (Italy)
17th Place – Peter Aminev (Russia)
18th Place – Tomáš Bubák
19th Place – Gabriel Szalay
20th Place – Adrian Koniecki
21st Place – Íxbalam Tapia (Spain)
22nd Place – Matouš Tomeš
23rd Place – George Ganchev
24th Place – David Molnar
25th Place – Clément Bertaux (France)
26th Place – Anton Vinokurov
27th Place – Vilyami Erkkila (Finland)
EYYC 2014 – 5A Division Winners
1st Place – David Molnar (Hungary)
2nd Place – Budai Dániel
3rd Place – Petr Kavka
4th Place – Matt Gallacher (UK)
5th Place – Rolandd Kovács
6th Place – Alexey Nemchik
7th Place – Maciek Cwynar
8th Place – George Stoyanov (Bulgaria)
9th Place – Karol Szyszka
10th Place – Din Bao Dang (Germany)
EYYC 2014 – Women’s 1A Division Winners
1st Place – Jaslyn Shi
2nd Place – Corli du Toit
3rd Place – Josefina Nešporová
4th Place – Ewelina Wejner (Nuu Gatowsky)
5th Place – Yuval Buzaglo
6th Place – Tamara Jemelková
7th Place – Alice Porowska
Here is the final player order for the 5A Finals and 1A Finals for the 2014 European YoYo Championship! The live stream is up and running above, and I’ll be providing live commentary during finals!
EYYC 2014 – 5A Finals – 13:00 – 14:30
1 Maciek Cwynar
2 Alexey Nemchik
3 Rolandd Kovács
4 Karol Szyszka
5 Petr Kavka
6 Budai Dániel
7 Din Bao Dang (Germany)
8 George Stoyanov (Bulgaria)
9 Matt Gallacher (UK)
10 David Molnar (Hungary)
EYYC 2014 – 1A Finals (Round 1) – 15:40 – 17:00
EYYC 2014 – 1A Finals (Round 2) – 17:20 – 18:20
16 Vilyami Erkkila (Finland)
17 Íxbalam Tapia (Spain)
18 Francesco Gioia (Italy)
19 Jan Hlinka (Slovakia)
20 Clément Bertaux (France)
21 Konstantin Tudjarov (Bulgaria)
22 Carlos Braun (Germany)
23 Peter Aminev (Russia)
24 Michal Zakrzewski (Poland)
25 Petr Kavka (Czech Republic)
26 Ákos Linzenbold (Hungary)
27 János Karancz (EYYC 2013)
Patrick Borgerding spent a few minutes interview some of the European National Champions who will be representing their countries in the 1A Freestyle Finals at the 2014 European YoYo Championship. Check out the competitors!
2013 EYYC and World Champion – János Karancz
Russian National Champion – Peter Aminev
Spanish National Champion – Íxbalam Tapia
Finnish National Champion – Viljami Erkkilä
French National Champion – Clément Bertaux
German National Champion – Carlos Braun
Italian National Champion – Francesco Gioia
Bulgarian National Champion – Konstantin Tudjarov
Czech National Champion – Petr Kavka
We’ve got results for the 1A Prelims! The following players will be moving along to the final round of the 1A division at the 2014 European YoYo Championship.
Seeded Players – 1A
- János Karancz (EYYC 2013, Hungary)
- Jan Hlinka (Slovakia)
- Petr Kavka (Czech Republic)
- Yuji Shimokawa Kelly (UK)
- Íxbalam Tapia (Spain)
- Francesco Gioia (Italy)
- Phillip Szkokan (Austria)
- Clément Bertaux (France)
- Carlos Braun (Germany)
- Ákos Linzenbold (Hungary)
- Konstantin Tudjarov (Bulgaria)
- Peter Aminev (Russia)
- Michal Zakrzewski (Poland)
1A Finalists From Prelims
- Pall Valdimar Gudmundsson 60.0
- Gabriel Szalay 53.3
- Matyáš Racek 49.8
- Tomáš Bubák 45.1
- Vilmos Zoltan Kiss 49.0
- Leonid Nemchik 49.7
- Matouš Tomeš 45.0
- Daniel Tamariz 42.2
- Lorenzo Sabatini 49.7
- Adrian Koniecki 46.3
- Vashek Kroutil 45.4
- David Molnar 43.6
- Tyler Young 41.7
- George Ganchev 45.1
- Anton Vinokurov 41.9
As always, the 1A Division at EYYC is absolutely stacked with top notch talent. It would take forever for us to list off every amazing player in the division…so here are a handful of our favorite contenders for Top Five. Good luck to EVERYONE competing at EYYC this coming weekend…can’t wait to see you all on stage!
Sponsored by Duncan
What can we even say about János? He took top honors last year at EYYC and the World YoYo Contest, and looks to be unstoppable. There’s going to be a lot of talent in the 1A division, but for everyone who gets on that stage….János is the man to beat.
Grzegorz “Plamek” Wójcik
Sponsored by C3yoyodesign
Plamek took 2nd Place at both EYYC and the Open Division at Czech Nationals last year, and he’s definitely got his eye on the prize, and the skill to back it up. But can he beat János?
Country: Czech Republic
Sponsored by CLYW
Czech National Champion Petr Kavka has greatly improved his 1A game since his 10th Place finish at EYYC last year…his winning Czech Nationals routine was the best we’ve seen from him yet!
Sponsored by Turning Point
Coming off a stellar 1st Place finish at the BRNO YoYo Contest last month, Ján Hlinka is definitely Top Three material. He took the 5A division last year, so he’s no stranger to keeping up with the talent at EYYC…maybe this is his year!
Sponsored by WERRD
Carlos took 1st Place last year at both the German Masters competition and the Open Division at Czech Nationals, and could definitely take a spot in the Top Five at EYYC.
Pall Valdimar Gudmundsson
Sponsored by CLYW, Backspin
We all know and love Palli for his style and originality, but he’s that rare combination of player who can create mind-blowing tricks AND deliver them on-stage. He took 4th Place at EYYC last year…will he stay in the Top Five or will be move up to the Top Three?
Sponsored by YoYoFactory
2013 Bulgarian National Champion Konstantin Tudjarov is a relatively fresh face in the top ranks of competition, but if his winning Nationals freestyle is any indication, he’s coming up quick and could possibly snag a spot in the Top Three.
City: Nizniy Novgorod
Sponsored by Throw yoyo, Broken Fingers Yo-Yos
Petr just took First Place at the YYF Cup in Moscow this past weekend, and looking at that routine he seems like a safe bet for Top Five in the 1A division if he goes clean.
Country: Czech Republic
Sponsored by Yoyofactory, SLUSNY
A permanent fixture in the Top Five at pretty much every European contest he attends, Vashek Kroutil is definitely a favorite to come up with a spot in the Top Three…and always a treat to watch!
The 2014 International Toy Fair in New York City is just around the corner, and that means plenty of new products from the top yoyo manufacturers!
Our first Toy Fair preview of the year comes from Duncan Toys, who has a surprising number of new releases slated for the year. Although the cover of their catalog features a huge logo for their 85th Anniversary, they don’t seem to be releasing any anniversary-themed products, and don’t make any mention of any anniversary events or releases. I don’t think we’ll be seeing any actual anniversary promotions from Duncan this year, especially now that Sales & Marketing Coordinator Brandon Jackson has moved down to Orlando to manage Duncan’s Disney retail cart and partnership. Duncan Toys looks to be short-handed at the moment, so if you ever wanted to work in the yoyo industry and live in rural Ohio…here’s your chance!
First up…licensed Ignite yoyos for Despicable Me 2! The Ignite has Brake Pad response and a replaceable wooden axle sleeve that you can easily swap out for the bearing assembly from a Duncan BumbleBee. All five designs are in Toys R Us stores across the US now and retail for only $5.99, and Despicable Me 2 (which is a great movie, by the way) has been out on DVD and Blu-Ray since December 2013, so you probably have it already. Or you should. Really, it’s great.
Next up we have the Hello Kitty yoyos that we first reported on last July. There are two models available, a ProYo and a Butterfly XT, each model with four different designs. These don’t seem to be shipping yet, but the ProYo version will retail for $5.99 and the Butterfly XT will retail for $9.99. Expect to see these in mass market outlets in the spring, if not sooner!
Duncan jumped in the kendama game last fall with the release of their Komodo kendamas, first shown on YoYoNews last July. New for this year is the Venom kendama, which appears to be identical to the Komodo but with a different paint finish on the tama that promises to be tackier, making balance tricks like Lighthouse and Bird a bit easier. The catalog photo is just a digital mockup,
and we don’t have confirmation on a retail price or availability yet. but the Venom is actually shipping to retailers now with a retail price of around $24.99.
We’ve already seen the Echo 2, a revamped version of the ill-recieved Echo from a few years back. The Echo 2 seems to very much right the wrongs of its predecessor, and is quickly becoming a 1A favorite among Duncan’s sponsored team.
But new for a US release is the Torque, a re-branded version of Duncan’s metal “Torquave” yoyo created for Bandai’s Hyper YoYo campaign. We’re guessing the specs are the same; 55mm diameter, 43mm width, and weighing in at 66 grams with Duncan’s large bearing setup. The Torquave was scheduled for a February 2014 release in Japan but if Duncan is releasing it here…does that mean that Bandai will not be releasing it themselves?
The Torque/Torquave is a new design that we assume was created specifically for Bandai and they have a history of preferring that their exclusives stay exclusive. The Torque photos are also just digital renders…so if this was already supposed to be ready to release in Japan in just a few days and Duncan didn’t have samples for photography in time for their catalog, it’s quite possible this product isn’t even ready yet, and the launch isn’t going to happen at all in Japan. Mysteries!
UPDATED INFO: The Torquave IS still being released in Japan, production is currently underway, and the catalog photos of the Torque are actual product photos that were only digitally colored. No more mysteries!
Duncan has three new plastic performance yoyos coming this summer, two for 1A and a new offstring yoyo. The Featherhawk and Firehawk are identical yoyos, just with different weight rings; the Featherhawk comes with Duncan’s new plastic Performance Rings, while the Firehawk comes stock with metal Performance Rings.
The Skyhawk is the new offstring yoyo, and comes stock with the metal Performance Rings. Offstring seems like a pretty small category for Duncan to need to produce another specialty yoyo for, especially since they don’t really do much to promote the style of play. But maybe this one will turn out to be more to the players’ liking than the Hayabusa which was good but never seemed to gain much traction outside of Duncan’s sponsored team.
Duncan’s Performance Rings were first shown at last year’s International Toy Fair, although Duncan never did manage to actually produce and ship them. Hopefully they, along with these Hawk yoyos, don’t suffer the same fate this year.
And finally we have a better look at Duncan’s new Performance Rings, as well as two new versions of their Mod Spacers. The Mod Spacers were originally developed as part of the Pro-Z yoyo, making it a “convertible” model from standard shape to Butterfly shape. Mod Spacers offer an option for players to refresh their existing Duncan products, especially now that Duncan is offering Mod Spacers designed for offstring play, as well as another set that converts your Duncan yoyo for use with a large bearing. Since Duncan hasn’t updated the bearing and response setups of most of their plastic yoyos, the Mod Spacers can serve as a welcome upgrade for players who enjoy the brand but are frustrated with some of the outdated designs.
All in all, looks like Duncan has a lot to offer at the 2014 International Toy Fair, although some of these products were shown last year and never materialized and the Hawk series and Torque are all just digital mockups. The licensed items are available now (Despicable Me 2) or hopefully very soon (Hello Kitty) and the Venom kendama will likely be available in just a couple of months…but with a “Summer 2014” release mentioned for the Torque, Hawk series, and the Performance Rings, it’s possible that we won’t see them until Fall/Winter 2014.
The 2014 California State website went live today, and it is extremely slick with a redesigned logo featuring the California Grizzly bear; with the live website came the opening of registration. With over $3000 in cash prizes, it will be well worth the $25 to enter. The event has been attracting tons of talent for years and has grown accordingly. This is an event you will not want to miss! The contest takes place on March 1st, 2014, in Sacramento, California.
Here is an official statement from contest organizer Johnnie DelValle:
– All Championship Divisions WILL have prelims
– We hope to take 25 Finalists into 1A
– Championship and Sports Ladder Registration is ONLINE only
– Prelims will have 15 set songs to choose from, once you register; a list of songs is emailed to you for you to choose from.
– There will be a Friday night even (Coming soon)
– Sponsors will be coming soon
– 1A Championship Division will have a minimum of $1,000 CASH for first place.
– Junior 1A will also be awarded for highest placing contestant under the age of 13
Good luck and get registered!
In the meantime, check out the winners from last years event:
The 2013 US National YoYo Contest wrapped up this past weekend, and YoYoNews is looking back at each division and bringing you post-contest analysis.
Where the other divisions may have been thin or disappointing, 1A proved once again that it’s the single most competitive division in the United States. From the very first contestant on stage, it was clear that this was THE division to watch and easily had the highest level of play not just of the contest, but of the entire US contest series for 2013. Some players lost out to their nerves, but everyone who was on stage was a contender and should be damn proud of playing at that level.
It’s hard to put too much commentary to this division…it really was an “any given day” scenario. Looking at the scores gives you an idea just how tight the field was this year. Less than a point between 1st and 2nd, less than a point between 2nd and 3rd; 4th and 5th place were out in the wilderness there with a noticeable point drop, but then the rest of the field was neck-in-neck with an incredibly tight point grouping from 6th to 11th place. It’s not surprising that, upon walking away from the judges table and fielding the usual barrage of “Who won?” questions from people, the judges had nothing but shrugs.
Duncan Toys filmed the event and did a pretty good job in spite of problems with overheating cameras. But thanks to them, we have stellar footage of the Top Three, along with alternate angles and a great slo-mo edit shot with a GoPro Black.
It was a hell of a year for 1A…instead of listening to us pick it apart, watch these routines and start learning these tricks. Time to start practicing for 2014.
2013 US National YoYo Contest – 1A Division
Gentry Stein – GoPro Alternate Angle
2nd Place – Anthony Rojas (RecRev)
Anthony Rojas – GoPro Alternate Angle
3rd Place – Zach Gormley (CLYW)
Zach Gormley – GoPro Alternate Angle
Zach Gormley – Slow Mo Edit
James Reed and Dennis Barahona recently put out this great promotional video for the new General-Yo release, ‘Prestige’. James is a rising star in the Southern California scene and shows us why with in this video. James has great, innovative concepts and is a perfect representative of General-Yo. Also, Dennis Barahona shows us just how talented he is at making yo-yo look good.
So, as promised, check out this extremely professional video!
1A Prelims are always the fiercest part of any major yoyo contest, but we’ve got some great talent going in to finals. The competition has been pretty tame so far this year…is everyone holding back for finals, or is this just going to be a light year for National Champions?
Here are the players who have made it through Prelims to Finals, not including the seeded players
UPDATE: Here’s the full list of players in 1A Finals!