2011 National Champion Samm Scott drops a new video for 5A May with some great bangers.
Yoyo used is the Diffusion by YoYoRecreation.
2011 National Champion Samm Scott drops a new video for 5A May with some great bangers.
Yoyo used is the Diffusion by YoYoRecreation.
Bee Sting Switch is a repeater that you need strong Bee Sting and stall skills to perform. Most 5a players have a habit of placing their fingers under the string while doing Bee Sting like tricks, but this trick requires you to go over the string. This different way of looking at Bee Stings will help you come up with new tricks and figure out some interesting transitions.
Petr Kavka is a yoyoer from the Czech Republic who just so happens to be the 6-time 5A Czech Champion as well as the first European 5A Champion. Petr is a member of the CLYW team, and can often be seen throwing his well-known signature throw, the Cliff.
Petr, as the 6-time 5A Czech Champion and the first European 5A Champion, you’ve definitely proved yourself within 5A. How did you start yoyoing?
Originally, I started around 2003 when I got a Duncan Dragonfly from my friend in exchange for a baguette. Unfortunately, all that I could do with it was a Sleeper. Then, I got a Freehand 2 because my Dragonfly broke and I learned Around the Corner. Since my Freehand 2 broke as well, I gave up till like early 2006. I started again because my friend in the Boyscouts won a whole set of Duncan HardCore line yoyos. He let me try them and I was hooked up. I bought myself a YoYoJam Lyn Fury, learned how to bind and shortly after also bought a Duncan Throw Monkey which comes with a Duncan bouncy ball counterweight, and that was the reason I started 5A. I always loved to experiment with different forms of yoyoing outside of 2A.
Wow, that’s good! How did you get involved in the actual yoyo community?
I was attending yoyo meetings in Prague since it was only place to get good quality yoyos for a good price in the Czech Republic. I was attending the meetings every week and met, for example, Vashek Kroutil and Tomas Bubak there. Vashek was already a superstar and Bubak was almost on the same level as I was but he was like half a year or year ahead. I think the Czech yoyo community started to notice me after I won X-Division at Czech Nats 2007 with 5A. They noticed me, but I feel like I was kind of an outsider till like 2010 when we started SLUSNY.
What style of play did you focus on most at first?
I always focused mainly on 1A and only played other styles when I was tired of 1A. It was not hard to become good in 5A since there were not many 5A players and none of them were really competitive.
I’m not too familiar with the Czech yoyo scene but I’m familiar with those two and I know they’re definitely big names there. For those that don’t know, can you explain what SLUSNY is?
SLUSNY was originally just Vashek’s blog, but in 2010 the SLUSNY team was born from a group of people that happened to travel together around Europe to any possible contest. At that time, we also decided to start an e-shop and a few years after that we also opened our offline store. As of today, SLUSNY is an e-shop, brick-and-mortar store, contest organizer, group of competitors and yoyo collectors, video production team, yoyo brand and many more things. Huge thanks to Vashek for all of his work! The Czech and European yoyo scene would look really different without his influence. I am really happy to be part of this huge project! We also really appreciate all the support from so many people from all around the world!
SLUSNY is totally an incredible project! Who were some of your favorite yoyoers in any division when you first started?
There was no YouTube when I started, so I watched lot of Czech videos on yoyo.cz and shortly after I discovered yoyoing.com/videos where I watched videos from all around the world. I spent many days just watching anything there. I miss that website! So many gems there! I think the first international player that I recognized was JD with his 2003 Worlds freestyle. His play was soo different from all the other players! Other 1A players that I can think of were Yuuki and Black. In 5A, I was always a fan of Jake Bullock for his killer concepts. Rafael Matsunaga and Tyler Severence were also influential. Tyler is my big hero and I think my 5A was influenced by him on a big scale. I got in touch with him for a first time when my Severe 2009 had a bearing that was too tight and I did not like it. I emailed him, and he was nice enough to send me 3 other Severes that I used to claim my 5A title at EYYC!
That’s so lucky! What was your first contest?
My first contest was Czech Nats 2006 where I competed in the Beginners and X-divisons. I placed 5th out of 6 players in the X-Divison and 3rd in Beginners.
What’s your method to prepare for a contest?
I don’t really have any method to prepare for a contest. Many times, I just improvise on stage. But, when I prepare my freestyle I usually just put my tricks in some logical order and then I find a song that will somehow fit into my freestyle. I know that most players do music first, but I find it really hard to fit my tricks into music I choose. In 1A, I try to be as innovative as possible but in 5A/4A I pretty much do the same tricks over and over again with some upgrades from time to time. I know that I have to work on my freestyles much harder then I do now.
How did you get hooked up with CLYW? Was it mostly from your freestyles?
I was kind of like a CLYW fanboy since like 2009, when Jensen visited Prague. I bought a Caribou t-shirt from him and I had it on during almost all of my freestyles. I actually got that offer after I made my first video that was dedicated to Caribou Lodge. That was a few weeks after EYYC 2011 where I used an Avalanche for my freestyle. I was soo happy and I feel like that really pushed me forward!
Definitely, I know what you mean. Your signature CLYW throw is the Cliff, what was the process like in designing that amazing yoyo?
I designed the Cliff together with Chris during the 2012 World YoYo Contest. I had a pretty clear vision in my eyes and Chris did such a great job by making my dream come true! The prototype was a success for a first try and we started production pretty fast after spending some time with a prototype. Its such a special yoyo. Its not for everyone, but I think that some people find it pretty special.
I can’t say much else, but I guess I can reveal that we are working on the new design!
I was just about to ask about the new design, sounds good! You mentioned earlier that you like JD, was he a big influence in your use of slack in a lot of your tricks? What do you like most about slack?
I don’t feel like he was a big influence for me. His tricks are way to complex for me. I don’t think I use slack more then others but I guess I do. Its an element that feels natural to me. I think Black was a really big influence, but I realized this not so long ago.
On another note with tricks, what are some of your other favorite elements to add to your 5A tricks?
I really like tricks with a good use of momentum with both a dice and the yoyo and tricks with good rhythm. Any kind of arials are fun as well!
Lastly, what is any advice you would have for any aspiring 5A player and what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Just grab a dice and start playing. Try to be inspired by some of your favorite players but stay true to yourself. You have to experiment, develop your concepts, and practice and it will pay off. Also, try to convert your moves from other styles into 5A. You can definitely expect more videos from me, attending as many contests as possible, a new signature throw with CLYW and much more will come.
That all sounds great, thanks Petr!
This is the basic Electric Fan to Green Triangle trick. It’s one of those trick that you’ll struggle to hit at first, but after a little practice it should be no issue.
This is one of the best places to start before you get into more advanced 5a Green Triangles.
Cross Arm Pops is my favorite E fan trick. It looks good and is a ton of fun to perform. It takes strong cross arm skills, but this trick is a must learn.
Jake Elliot was the 2013 National 5A Champion and has quickly became a well known name and force to be reckoned with within 5A. In celebration of 5A May, I had the chance to interview Jake and learn more about this interesting competitor and highly talented 5A player. Jake and I talked his start in yoyoing, contests, and more! Be sure to check out Jake’s daily trick videos here all throughout May of 2014, and be on the lookout for him getting 1st at a contest near you sometime soon!
Jake, in killing the contest scene lately and throwing 5A for a while now, you’ve definitely left your mark on yoyoing. How did you start?
I’ve been playing with yoyos for as long as I can remember. They were always one of my favorite toys when I was young, though I never got farther than just the basic tricks – two or three loops, rock the baby, walk the dog, that kind of thing.
Then, six years ago in my 7th grade science class I read an article about yoyoing in one of those three page scholastics magazines they hand out in public schools. The article covered the basics of the modern yoyo – A ball bearing, rubber response, and free spinning halves. It really caught my attention, and that day I went home, dug through my closet, found my FAST 201, and learned some basic tricks. After that, yoyo was a daily activity for me and I never stopped.
That’s so awesome, yoyos have definitely been a lifelong thing in my life too. How did you originally learn tricks then?
On the first day I Googled tricks and I was able to find André’s Expert Village tutorials. I remember learning a few picture tricks, like Eiffel Tower and Confederate Flag. That night I found André’s video on the different styles of yoyoing you’ll see at contests. In that video I saw him hit his Electric Fan to Double or Nothing 5A trick. I was amazed, and desperately wanted to learn how to do that trick. So, the next day at school, I brought a regular dice to school and drilled a hole through it in shop class, and then began learning the basics of 5A. Ever since then, 5A has always been the style that appealed to me most.
Wow, that’s early dedication to 5A! What were some of your other early favorite tricks and players in that style?
My favorite trick has always been Beesting and it’s variations. I had a handful of them starting out, though I must have at least 15 Beesting variations by now.
My two favorite players when I was starting out were Makoto Nakugame and Jake Bullock. I must have watched Makoto’s 2004 worlds freestyle over a hundred times and watched all of Jake Bullocks videos at least twice. I drew most of my early inspiration from those two players.
Would you say you progressed quickly?
When I first started yoyoing six years ago progress was very slow. It was much more of a casual hobby rather than something I put a good amount of time into every day.
How did you get integrated into the yoyo community and what was your first contest?
My first contest was the 2012 World Yoyo Contest, which I attended after a little more than four years of yoyoing. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life. I got to meet amazing people from all around the world, and more importantly, I got to see my favorite players compete on stage. Watching players like Takeshi Matsuura, Takuma Inoue, Samm Scott, and Hiroyuki Suzuki inspired me to start taking yoyo seriously and practice for contests.
About a month later I started practicing hard for contests and I haven’t stopped since. In about a year I went from a very mediocre casual player to US national champion. So yes, I would say that I progressed quickly.
I would definitely say so too! Was Nationals your first contest win?
2013 Nationals was my 3rd contest and my first win. The other two contests before that were MER 2013 and 2013 worlds.
I didn’t get any recognition for my 5A before nationals. Both my MER freestyle and Worlds freestyle went very poorly and people didn’t pay attention to them, so no one really knew who I was.
Wow, that’s definitely a way to make an impression on people though! What do you think was different about your approach at 2013 Nationals that helped you get 1st?
Well, after about a year of practice with the goal and placing top 10 at the world yoyo contest, only to place 11th, I realized my current practice methods just weren’t good enough. To make myself progress faster, I borrowed practice concepts and techniques from other skill toys in order to gain muscle memory faster. I also learned how to judge 5a, which was a very valuable skill to have when constructing tricks and freestyles.
Without those two skills I would not have gone far at all.
I would say that method definitely worked! On another note, what would your other favorite aspect about 5A aside from competing in it be?
In my opinion, 5A is the most freeing style. 5A can be anything that you want it to be. 5A can be incredibly technical, or it can have very large body tricks. 5A has trick possibility and variety unlike any other style.
5A can emulate other styles. I’ve seen 5A routines where the player is going all 2A tricks. There are tons of 5A players who do very 1A inspired combos, with minimal counterweight manipulation. Some players clearly draw inspiration from 4A and 3A as well.
It’s the freedom and variety that the style has that keeps me playing 5A, rather than other styles.
As a spectator rather than frequent player of 5A player I still totally agree with you, that’s why I like 5A too. What would your advice be for anyone else trying out 5A?
Learn the basics first. Tricks like 360, 720, Electric Fan, Beesting, those kinds of tricks. Once you understand the basics of how to control the counterweight, then you can start taking 5A in whatever direction you want. Take whatever style you play most and try to incorporate the counterweight into your existing tricks. If you’re a 1A player, add some counterweight manipulations into your favorite combos. 4A players might like the larger body tricks that 5A has to offer. 3A and 2A players will feel right at home manipulating two objects at once.
That’s the beauty of 5A. You can take whatever you already have and make unique and interesting 5A tricks, once you understand the basics.
That’s all totally true. Last but not least, what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Hopefully you’ll see many great freestyles at some large contests from me. I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve been making and I’m excited to show off some of my new concepts and tricks.
I also have an upcoming bi metal signature yoyo which should be coming out soon. I’ve been play testing it for over 6 months now and it’s as close to perfection as I could imagine a yoyo being. I’m extremely excited to see it be released and I hope that everyone loves it.
Here’s hoping for a great year!
I doubt you’ll have any trouble achieving those goals, thanks Jake!
Thanks for having me, Matt.
Dice Grind is a unique trick. It can be tough, especially if your horizontal skills aren’t too strong, but it can be a ton of fun to do. If you’re performing in front of a non yoyo crowd, this trick looks like magic and, if you sell it right, you’ll always get a big reaction.
This is the most basic of the Dice Grind tricks. You can do all kinds of hops and throws between hands, under the leg, behind the back, etc.
2013 National Champion Jake Elliott had a hard time finding a counterweight he liked, so he machined up a big batch of custom weights for his personal use. Jake was nice enough to send us a few, and we’re giving them away for 5A May!
Here’s how to win:
Share your favorite 5A May post from YoYoNews on Facebook, and tag the post with #5AMay and #yoyonews. We’ll pick three winners on Monday! Get posting!
The Level.6 is the latest budget metal from C3YoYoDesign, and it’s been getting tons of love lately…and with good reason, since it’s a screaming good metal yoyo for only $50.
Polish C3 team member Maciek Cwynar rips through some really nice counterweight play in this new video from everyone’s favorite European auters, the Backspin group.
Yoyo used is the Level.6 by C3YoYoDesign.
When I first saw Hideo Ishida hit this trick at the end of his 2012 World Yoyo Contest performance, my mind was blown. 5a bind tricks have been getting more and more popular recently, and this trick is one of the best places to start.
The arm flair is optional, but it’s an excellent performance element and non yoyo crowds love it.
Undermount Figure 8’s has always been one of my favorite tricks. It’s tough, but it’s a ton of fun to do and looks good.
The 2014 Korea National Yo-yo Contest was held on May 17th and 18th and we have the results!
In 1A, sOMEThING’s young talent Dam-Dae Cha got his first title and is the new Korean Champion. In 2A, Jin-Gyu Han is still the champion, claiming his third national title.
In 3A, Beom-Jun Jeong is back at the top for his fifth national title, after finishing 3rd last year. The flashy Ji-Hwan Jeon also increased his national title collection to four with another 4A win.
Finally, in 5A, Min-Soo Kim finally reached the top after being a contender for several years.
Check the full results below!
I’ve probably put more time into mastering Swing Mount than any other element I know. Getting it consistent is very tough. However, it is a versatile trick that easy leads into arm rebounds and body tricks.
Here are three basic Magic Knot tricks before we move onto some harder ones. Magic Knot tricks are high risk and look great, especially in front of a non yoyo crowd.
You can learn more about how to get into a Magic Knot from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4gYNq109w8
Double Propeller is a deceptively difficult but incredibly useful trick. There are an incredible amount of elements that can be performed from this one mobile mount.
Isolated Stall is a stall trick with a lot of moving parts. It’s not too hard, but if you can do this trick, you’re well on your way to mastering stalls.
Here’s some more 5A May action, with a new video featuring Whimsy co-founder Terry Tse. Hooray for counterweight play!
Yoyo used is the Aloha by Whimsy.