Chase Baxter and Michael Stecz got together on Halloween for a spooky new video. It’s no Spookio Sessions, but I like it.
Chase Baxter has officially joined the Duncan Toys sponsored team!
Between this, the release of the Freehand Pro, and the news that it will be carried in Toys R Us nationawide…is Duncan going to start promoting 5A again? Here’s hoping!
Congrats to Chase and Duncan on a great pickup!
Yoyo used is the Duncan Haymaker.
Hey gang! Gather ’round the internet machine and join us for the best yo-yoing you can fit into 15 seconds, #trickcircle. In this series (previous installments here) we scan Instagram for videos tagged with #trickcircle, pick recent favorites, and collect them here along with some thoughts on what makes them great. In the spirit of 5A May, let’s keep this installment to counterweight tricks.
It only seems right to start things off with the man who first decided that yo-yos worked better tied to dice than to fingers, @unklesteve (aka National Yoyo Master Steve Brown.) Steve laid a huge amount of the bedrock for 5A; there’s a pretty good chance that he made up half of the tricks you can do back in ’98 with Neff. The crazy thing is that Steve is still shredding: there ain’t nothing outdated about that combo up there, and few people can manage those kinds of finger switches with the ease that he does. I recognize the launch from one of my favorite tricks in Steve’s 365yoyotricks project, “Circuitous”, great to see two equally gnarly paths branching out from the beginning of the combo.
Let’s take a trip down south to visit @bryanjardin, AKA 2 time Asian Pacific Champ & 4 time Philippine Champ Bryan Jardin. Bryan’s style is fun, exciting, and hard to keep up with—kind of like Bryan himself. Where Steve’s combo was based around clockwork motions within a few mounts between his hands, Bryan’s is all about momentum. He keeps the mount simple, but the confidence behind his tricks comes out in power & speed that make for a very exciting show. Entering red propellor from around the arm at the end of the combo was a particularly nice touch.
Taking us back to technical territory is @scottsm7 (2011 US Champ Samm Scott.) Samm has been exploring this style of combo more frequently in his recent freestyles: dense tricks that rack up by points by mounting, pinwheeling, and redirecting the counterweight & yo-yo around the hands while maintaining control of a central string structure. You can definitely see traces of influence from Jon Rob & Jake Bullock, but more than anything what shines through is top-level string control placing every element exactly where he needs it to be.
Let’s take a break from the long combos and get to something more instantly satisfying: bangers! @danielbudai (AKA Daniel Budai, 2 time Hungarian Champ & 2012 European 5A Champ) brings us this mighty green triangle. The beauty in this trick is that the elements all logically flow together, but the end result is still surprising: the motion of the counterweight out of e-fan naturally unmounts the yo-yo and continues into the crook of his arm, and the momentum of the yo-yo naturally sets up a GT formation to land in. The other best part of this trick is definitely that it lets you flex like a strong man at the end, so if you learn it make sure to pose in the mirror a bit.
@chasebaxter is an American player who has been steadily moving up the ranks in contests and is beginning to make waves with combos like this one. Chase’s style features a good mix of ’07-10 American contest 5A influences and his own “swangle,” perhaps best exemplified with the 1-2-3-4 counterweight mount buildup at the beginning of the combo and the drop suicide at the end. Definitely a name to watch.
At the beginning of the month, Takeshi Kamisato challenged @edhaponik to come up with some Fixed Axle 5A. Ed is certainly no stranger to Fixed Axle, but fixie 5A has gone largely unexamined due to the fact that traditional counterweight tricks are reeeally hard without bearings. Ed sidesteps this technical challenge and uses a responsive setup (a butterfly!) to his advantage with this sidewinder freegen, a visually appealing exercise in quick reflexes & lateral thinking. This trick contains some of the best parts of modern fixed axle play: it may seem like a “dead end” due to its lack of string hits and inability to combo in/out of anything, but it’s not easy to find a single move with a visual effect as strong as this one. Furthermore, even players who understand why a sidewinder flutters can enjoy banging the hell out of their knuckles trying this trick at home—trust me, it’s harder than it looks. And isn’t that the heart of all yo-yo tricks?
Chase Baxter leveled up! Check out some burly 5A play from him in this new video…really nice work!
Yoyo used is the Bonfire by CLYW.
We’ve got a fantastic new video featuring up-and-comers Colin Beckford, Michael Stecz, Chase Baxter, and Isaiah Messer. There’s a ton of great tricks in here, definitely worth watching. Music is NSFW.
CLYW has posted the final results of their video contest!
Something about CLYW really brought out the best in people, because the entries for this contest are some of the best we’ve ever seen for any yoyo video contest. Winners are below, along with the commentary from CLYW. Congratulations, everyone!
First off I wanted to thank everyone for putting the time into creating such wonderful works of art! We were blown away by all of the amazing videos that came in for Round 1, and the top 10 did not disappoint for Round 2. Our favourite video was CMAK’s, it had everything we were looking for and more. It had a great story and was visually stunning. WOW!
CMAK is the winner of the full 2014 Collection, we’ll be shipping him an Arctic Circle: 2nd Expedition, Gnarwhal 2, Bonfire and Puffin 2. Once we get back from holidays we’ll start shipping everything out to our contestants.
For Most Inspiring, we have the Trinity YoYo Club’s video. It was incredibly touching and definitely catches what yoyoing is all about to all of us. We really enjoyed your use of the skateboarding quote. The Trinity YoYo Club has done so much for yoyoing this year and has helped inspire a whole new generation of throwers. Hats off to you guys!
For Most Dope, we have Andy Jones’ video. I think this has happened to all of us, you’re completely in the zone feeling like a yoyo rockstar and then BAM taken right back down with the words How old are you? You sure brought it Andy and we’re super impressed with how good you’re getting. WOW!
For Slickest Tricks, we have Chase Baxter. You brought the tricks, well done!
Each of these honourable mentions will be getting a brand new Bonfire along with a Yeti for winning Round 1. Thanks so much guys!
Nationals is coming up fast…the best players in the United States will descend on Chico, California for their moment on stage to compete for the title of US National YoYo Champion. All this week we’ll be featuring our top picks for each division!
5A (Counterweight) Division
Tyler Severance – 2x National Champion
Defending US National 5A Champion Tyler Severance showed up with one of the best 5A routines of all time at this years World YoYo Contest, and he is definitely at the top of the game. Severance has shown in recent years that he’s getting steadier and steadier on stage…where in the past you could see his pacing start to slip towards the end of his routines, now he stays steady and true until the end. Tyler is first in line for the cup this year, and everyone else is going to have a hard fight ahead of them to take his title.
Miguel Correa- 4x National Champion
Miguel Correa sat out most of the 2013 contest season to re-focus on work and family, but his level of play is so high that it might not make a difference. All it takes for Miggy to win is for him to wake up feeling good…with him in the mix, everyone better bring their A-game. That said, his teammate Tyler Severance is his #1 competition…we know where Tyler’s play is, but Miggy is coming in with some mystery around him which should make for an exciting head-to-head between these two reigning champs.
Sebastian Brock is one of the best 5A players that no one ever talks about. Sebby has said himself that he doesn’t have as much confidence in his 5A play as he does in his 1A routines; but he seems to be the only one with that opinion. His counterweight tricks are clean, inventive, and stand out from the field in a way that crowds like and judges can follow. As the 2010 National Champion in the 1A division, Sebby is in a good position to be one of the incredibly few people to win a national title in different divisions.
Relatively new on the scene, Jacob Elliot made a lot of noise at Worlds with his incredibly fast and seemingly out-of-control style in the 5A finals. His freestyle had people flinching at the back of the room, waiting for a yoyo to shoot off the stage. But it never did, and the question for Nationals is: will his speed help him rack up the points to win, or will he outplay the judges’ clickers?
Chase Baxter is an up-and-coming talent who is quickly becoming a fan favorite. He’s got an easy-going style on stage that makes him easy to score, but his consistency just isn’t there yet. If he has a good day in the park, Chase could go clean and hit Top 5…but he’s a wildcard and it’s hard to tell what he can do.
Shane is another up-and-coming player who made a strong showing at Worlds in the counterweight division. His trick density isn’t quite there yet, but he’s got some really original stuff and when he’s on his game, his trick construction and pacing are really nice. Judges score what they can follow, and Shane is good at playing to the judges. He’s a contender for sure, but he’s going to have to go cleaner than he managed at Worlds if he wants a shot at Top 5.
Looks like these three have gotten themselves into a one throw 5A battle over on the YoyoExpert forum. You should check the videos out below and vote for your favorite on the YoyoExpert forum. I won’t tell you who I voted for (okay, it was Robbie), but really great stuff from all three.