Ed Haponik dropped a 5-minute video of his greatest hits from the past three months of his #trickcircle posts on Instagram, and it’s burly stuff. Lots of fixed axle goodness, and more impossible kickflips that you can shake a stick at. Crazy good!
Ed Haponik dropped a 5-minute video of his greatest hits from the past three months of his #trickcircle posts on Instagram, and it’s burly stuff. Lots of fixed axle goodness, and more impossible kickflips that you can shake a stick at. Crazy good!
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 The crazy thing is that Steve is still shredding: there ain’t nothing outdated about that combo up there, and few people can manage those kinds of finger switches with the ease that he does.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.
A post shared by ed Haponik (@edhaponik) on
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?
So I’ll preface this by saying “it’s been fun”. It’s been fun, and I’m intensely proud of having made this column a weekly feature on YoYoNews.com; proud of helping to document “the state of fixed axle” during what has been a fascinating resurgence. When I first fell in love with throwing wood, information on its necessary skills and disciplines were few and far between. Progression had stagnated to the point of a dare or punchline, and seeing which long combos could be hit on a No Jive or a Butterfly was the only “fixed axle style” out there. Drew and I set out this year to simply have some fun and see where we could go, but that attitude evolved as we developed a lexicon and identified the directions that best fit this weird medium. Along the way, we had some battles, wrote a preposterous amount of text, and posted up some 2 hours of thematic video. In the back of my mind has been the idea that some guy or girl who finds themselves obsessed with chasing the simplicity and tradition inherent to fixed axle will have an archive of conceptual ammunition to go on.
This week, I wanted to go back to one of my favorite wells, albeit one that is not normally a natural for fixies – picture tricks. Generally, these depictive string formations are much better suited to bearing play, if only because they take a long time to develop. Remember though, that the original picture tricks were classics like Eiffel Tower, Rock the Baby, and Texas Star. Even Sleeper, Creeper, and Shoot the Moon are visually named, suggesting that all of yo-yoing has its roots in pictures.
Luke Hildebrand sent me a black version of his diminutive delrin throw, the Emmett. Despite its small diameter, it’s pretty solid, and I figured the steel axle would give me enough sleep time to pull off some of these. It did not disappoint, and I’m pretty sure this is the only metal-axle fixie I’ve thrown on FF this year.
I start off with a tough one called Deadpool. To me it kind of looks like the wisecrackin’ Marvel Comics character, so bizarrely portrayed by Ryan Reynolds in that Wolverine movie. Unfortunately, doing this on fixed means, you have about AN second to hang out in the actual picture if you intend to get it back to the hand, so this one came out kind of like a “morbidly obese Deadpool”, but it’s the thought that counts. This trick uses a mount similar to Drew’s classic 20th Century Fox/Flying Ice Cream/Spiderman-in-a-Propeller-Beanie sequence.
Next up, we’ve got my own interpretation of a John Bot classic. Although I initially named it “Space Invader”, I soon realized it was just a frontstyle version of his trick, Cat Star. I do like dropping mine into Eiffel and then braintwisting out. John was the first player who really showed me that picture tricks could be a modern style in and of themselves, and I found his “story tricks” to be absolutely brilliant. My Bionic Rudolph trick uses the same basic mount as his StarFox/Bandit-Elephant sequence, but ends in a seasonally appropriate bit of Xmas flair.
The 4th trick is not picture-ish at all. Whatever, I was just messing around with the Emmett.
At :30, we have one of my favorite tricks ever, Star Within A Star. I heard that this was a boom-era Sky Kiyabu invention (although I could be wrong). Possibly the most awesome work of symmetrical string geometry I’ve seen, and I love how you can pause in the Triforce picture before completing it. Immediately following it, we have a variation I call Sands of the Hourglass, which is kind of my own take on the classic Hailey’s Comet (1-handed Star mounted in trapeze).
The next two tricks are some of my more complex ones, and they require a degree of delicacy on fixed axle. At :50 is Flux Capacitor, which I’m sure I’ve highlighted on FF before at some point, and then after that is a weird trick I call Conjoined Twin Towers. I really don’t fully understand how it works out, but you basically get two Eiffels which are totally interwoven, and yet it drops neatly out. Yo-yo’s… how do THEY work? 1:10 shows another John Bot gem, Takeshi’s Ray Gun. Easy to get into, and brilliantly simple in concept, I do homage to John in my next trick, the star-to-trapeze formation I named “Johnbotulism”.
Pretty much every old-schooley thrower has some variation on the Flower trick. They are perfect for small demos, and say what you will about the pitfalls of princesses and ponies… little girls love the flower trick. They also dig on the Flutter-By trick, which I get into at 1:40. That one has a habit of snagging on the way out, so it’s a bit sketchier for a school or library show. And, speaking of things that flutter, my last trick for this week was named by Drew Tetz as “The Great Blue Heron Or Something”. Seeing as it looks only vaguely like a bird, the “Or Something” is absolutely integral.
And that’s a wrap. Mind you, I don’t think we’re done with Fixed Friday by any means. Though I’m taking a vacation for a couple weeks, I’ll still revisit this column in the new year. It might not be a weekly or bi-weekly thing, but as thematic ideas become apparent, we’ll be there to try our best to document them. Thanks so much to anyone and everyone who has checked out this corner of YoYoNews.com all year, who’ve left us feedback and suggestions in the comments, and who have, themselves, pushed fixed axle play forward through all of the videos, instagrams, and support of small manufacturers. As I said at the top, “it’s been fun”.
So I’ll apologize in advance for the apparent cop-out layup. Except it’s Thanksgiving weekend and my engorged body is incapable of either throwing myself into a ton of hard tricks OR actually caring about it… so consider that apology for what it’s worth.
One of our dear readers – we HAVE them! – inquired in my last column about whether we might dedicate an entry to “long-sleeper tricks”. He offered that while we have produced much content in the realm of 1-and-done stall moves, stop-n-go’s, and the like, FF has largely ignored the bizarre art of hitting protracted tricks involving many string-hits (bear in mind, such tricks max out around 10s on fixed axle). Although we have kind of overlooked those tricks, I think if you’re willing to go back through the archives, there have been several examples to the contrary. Regardless, there is certainly a good reason for our focus on the shorter stuff. I’ll get to that, promise. In any case, this vid combines #throwbackthursday with #fixedfriday, and is essentially a compilation of some of the longer tricks I’ve done on wood. Even more than that, I guess it serves as a fun little scrapbook chronicling my own development as a fixed axle player. Hope you dig.
I remember talking with Jack Ringca (who has always been a pretty awesome fixed axle player, himself) in 2006 about doing Cold Fusion on fixed axle, and specifically on a classic wood-axle Russell. That conversation lit a fire in me somehow. I decided to make that challenge my own, and I rolled it up a hill like Sisyphus for half a year before finally hitting it. I found it WAY easier on either a Proyo or No Jive, both of which have immeasurably smoother axles. Part of hitting a long trick on a fixie is simply throwing hard, and with an untreated Russell axle, I will either snap a string or scorch the wood with a single throw. This can be ameliorated by allowing some Vaseline Intensive Care Lip Therapy to cure on the axle overnight (thanks for that tip, John Higby). Learning to cope with those fickle Russells helped me to understand the importance of a smooth axle and, subsequently, ensured my eventual head-over-heels love affair with No Jives. Mind you, I still burn No Jive axles sometimes, and even the smoother, harder TMBR ones (hence the column’s name). It sucks, but at least it smells great.
In 2007 or so, I had no idea what to do with a No Jive beyond just trying to do the same tricks I did with a bearing. Somehow it felt as though doing a long trick on a wood yo-yo translated to being “a good yo-yoer” back then, and I was eager to chase down all of my favorite tricks on that medium. Branding, Hook, Suicides, Brent Stole, Gyroscopic Flop (initially suggested by Jack as “impossible on wood”), Mach 5, Pop N Fresh, and eventually, Spirit Bomb. I found it more tantalizing to be the sort of yo-yoer who could hit those modern classics on wood than to invent the next round of “post-modern classics”, myself (to be fair, I was still making up lots of tricks, but nothing remotely classic). Ironically, most of my stall-based stuff that actually IS progressive and relevant was born out of my missed attempts at longer tricks.
I have come up with some tricks that are at the edge of what a fixed axle will typically allow, in terms of spin-time. Smallpox Blanket comes to mind, but Would even more so. The TMBR Irving Pro is probably more capable of long, technical tricks than any fixie out there, and I’ve never hit that particular trick with any other yo-yo.
In terms of the classical canon, Spirit Bomb represented a line my mind drew in the sand from the start. While not a particularly long trick, it was the first one I came to that I really didn’t think could be done on fixed axle (when in fact, it can be done on almost ANY fixed axle). That line gets erased and redrawn, I’ve found, but it’s always there somewhere. At IYYO in New York that year, it became a fun challenge to hit Spirit Bomb on a No Jive. I was amazed that some guys (Red, Yuuki, Tyler) were able to hit it first try. Adam Brewster, Brandon Jackson, Joey Fleshman took a few go’s each (Adam also hit Superman!). And others (André, Sebby, Samm Scott) took the better part of a night to nail it at ECC, but they all got it dialed. It took me over a week of trying before it finally made sense, and it really opened me up to the truth that a) my technique was really not very good, and b) WAY more than you imagine is possible. That second realization is pretty much entirely responsible for anything/everything cool I have done with a yo-yo in the last 5 years. If even a small part of you believes that you can do something, it’s almost as though you already have – you just have to go through the motions and do the math. Fixed Axle Spirit Bomb became an obsession to me, and I made it a point to be able to hit it on ANYTHING, up to and including the O-Boy in the video, the woodies I made in Steve Buffel’s garage, and Colin Leland’s first ultra-thin TMBR prototype.
For awhile, my standard of impossibility was reset at Kamikaze, but in early 2009 I hit it on a FHZ with a Technic axle, and then again with a No Jive. Pure 143 seemed like a lion, but if you can manage your response through the bucket, it’s really just a kitten. Rancid Milk is a fixed axle killer, and I’ve never been smooth enough through the intro to take a shot at it, but Colin poked his head through that glass ceiling with a purpleheart Irving Pro. And while I thought White Buddha and McBride Roller Coaster (did he invent that trick on a transaxle? Jesus, I hope so) were easy tricks, they just seemed too LONG for wood. With the TMBR axle innovations, though, I could knock them over with spin to spare (OK, not much). Breath is one of the few tricks out there that I’ve never seen done on fixed axle, know could be, and that I’d really like to see. I can get through it on a bearing, but I’ve never been fluid enough to even make a reasonable attempt on wood. Maybe someday. If you beat me to it, I’ll send you a yo-yo and a high five.
By and large though, I’ve moved away from this content, which is why the video is populated mostly with content from years past. Tricks, to me, are like surf spots, and pulling off Kamikaze with a No Jive is a bit like stroking into Pipeline on a 10ft balsa longboard from the 60’s (minus the legitimate threat of crushing death). I’ve pulled up to those long tricks and worked through them with my wood yo-yo. Been there and done that and taken the moving digital postcard to prove it. There’s a value to it, absolutely, but you don’t need to keep coming back. While a long trick on your Imperial feels cool and may momentarily validate your sense of yourself, it’s hard to argue that it’s really the best use of the tool. What we’re finding in the past few years is that fixed axle yo-yo’s ARE BETTER at doing some types of tricks than their bearing counterparts. There are unexplored coastlines full of tricks to explore with high response and short-spin, and that’s where I want to go.
It was, however, extremely fun to look at these relic videos and recapture some of the feeling of hitting these tricks for the first time. To imagine that Cold Fusion ever felt hard on a wood yo-yo is just crazy now, but hitting it that night for my first No Jive video felt inexplicably awesome. I hope it will suffice for this column, and I wish you all the best as you load for bear to take aim at your own monsters this week.
I am spectacular at 5a. By 5a I [of course] mean 360’s, Nunchucks, Butterfly, the occasional Shoulder-Pop, and basic Freegens, which are really all I have ever mastered in order to demonstrate the style to kids. I have HEARD that some innovative players (Miguel Cohumnum, Takeshi Matsomething) have developed tricks outside of this range, but I can’t say I’ve really explored them much. Ok, so that may mean that I’m actually NOT so great at 5a. Despite the attempted interventions and clarifications I’ve received from the style’s founder, I’ve just never really gotten it to the extent that I’ve been inspired to make up 5a tricks of my own. I basically suck at it. That said, for whatever reason, I’ve always dug some Slippery Eel.
Slippery Eel is essentially counterweight yo-yoing without the counterweight. It originated as a fairly lame through-the-leg trick, and kind of stagnated into ignominious irrelevance after Steve figured out that a casino die on the string had more extensive applications. (For my part, I’ve tried attaching a casino die to a stapler, a skateboard, and most recently, a beagle with essentially zero effect upon the “creative floodgates”.) I’ve seen a [very] few cool essays into the realm of fixed axle 5a, but I’m not naive enough to think that my own perfunctory understanding of the basics would serve me much there. Eel tricks though, I dunno… I’ve got some ideas.
Eel’s obvious application to fixed axle is its allowance for real ambidexterity. This was one of SB’s inspirations in developing the Freehand style. His experience as a juggler was kind of at-odds with the “strings-attached”, dominant-hand-dominated mechanism of traditional yo-yoing. When you think about it, a lot of the stall tricks (particularly repeaters) we’ve explored this year tend toward symmetry, but are restricted by the yo-yo being tied to the throw hand. It’s a lot of fun to unhook that slipknot and experiment with using both hands to throw, catch, stall, regenerate, etc. This is true of modern 1a, too, of course, but in fixed axle, wherein the frequency of throws and catches is ramped up, the changes become more numerous and more challenging.
Exhibit A is just a warm-up, but if you’ve never tried fixed axle Eel (and I assume there are roughly 7-billion of you), you’ll want to get the feel down. This is just a series of trapeze stalls, changing hands in between and throwing in some somersaults. I find it really helpful to use a full-length string (I usually shorten mine) tied with an extra loop at the end. This gives me a bit more surface area to hang on to, which is dead useful when we get to the dragons at the end.
2nd trick is obviously Zipper Stalls, but you’ll notice something fishy (or EELISH – oh snap!). In this example, before every stall catch, there’s a hand change. It actually feels pretty natural, although I have an easier time starting out with the left hand for some reason.
After that I get into a couple of no-hands Kickflip-Suicide variations. First up is a simple and unimpressive flat spin, but it’s good to get under your fingers before moving on. Catching the loop and the loose string takes some getting used to. Next up is a sort of “Half-Cab”, which in skateboard jargon just means a fakie 180 ollie, so the orientation of your board and feet have changed directions at the end. Fun, but much cooler is the 2.0 version which follows, going from a Double or Nothing to a hand-changed trapeze. (I’ll note here that one of the coolest things about throwing a responsive yo-yo in Slipper Eel is your ability to end any trick with a Skyrocket.)
Moving ahead to 1:04, we start to get into some more laterally symmetrical repeaters in the style of Salvador Dali Windshield Wipers (originally given the unoriginal name of Glide Symmetry). The first example is kind of a reverse-suicide, catching the string on both sides (as opposed to the loop). Next is the closest to the classic Wipers, only changing hands before each stall (much like the Zipper example earlier). Same thing at 1:24, but offsetting the sequence so as to do reverse-trapeze stalls on both sides. I find both of these to be pretty easy and extremely addictive.
At 1:37, the video moves into a series of tricks based on what I call “Catch the Lashing Dragon’s Tail” (I’m never going to come up with a canonical T’ai Ch’i move, so I have to get mystical where I can). CtLD’sT (or just Dragons) involve grasping the short segment of string trailing behind a nearly-wound yo-yo. The first example is a trick I’m calling “Streamer” due to the catchable fly-away string segment behind the yo-yo. This is a little like a trick I did last year called Hydrangea Bomb, but grasping that string as it comes around injects a little leap of faith. I actually found that you DO get pretty good at this with a little practice, but don’t get it dialed on a yo-yo you’re nervous about banging up a bit. See if you can hit it in both directions.
As far as Dragons go, Streamer is pretty darn easy, as the yo-yo is stalled. The REAL Lashing Dragon Tail has to actually LASH, and for that to happen, the yo-yo has to be in a state of full spin. The 3 final tricks show some variations of this, including over-the-shoulder, from snapstart (SnapDragon! ©™®), and the original version catching the string with a kendo-esque two-hand clap. These tricks are waaaaaaay easier if you took my advice and tied that second loop at the end of the string. Dragon tricks are actually pretty difficult (nigh impossible) with a 5a setup, because the counterweight tends to initiate a FreeGen (awesome in its own right).
I really feel like these examples are just the edge of the wedge with respect to what’s possible (or even what’s obvious). The application of Eel concepts to fixed axle is a natural to me, and I’d love to see some of you kids come up with. While we’re at it, I’d love to see some more fixed-specific conceptual 3a, 4a and 5a.
Yo-Yo is the “eh” by SPYY & TMBR and the song is “Harold of the Rocks” by Primus.
Recent Werrd Alliance team addition Ed Haponik throws down for their Minute Minute video series, and this top-down view of his unique play style really does the trick.
See, kids? See what happens when you learn how to play responsive, and THEN fiddle around with bearing yoyos? Your tricks get weird and awesome.
Hi, Nate! (Oh, Hi everyone else, too!)
This week I’d like to spend some time looking at a concept put forward by the inimitable Nathan Sutter, longtime member of Duncan Crew and Team SPYY, a fellow alumnus of 365yoyotricks.com, and runner-up at this year’s Fixed Axle Championship of All the World. Nate has put forward a slew of incredible yo-yo elements throughout his career, including (but not limited to) Plastic Whip, Figure Nate, and Shoot the Moon Down Under. At the WYYC this year, he also showed off his Pocketwatch concept, which led to at least 2 consecutive hours of string-burning trick-circlage on that god-forsaken carpet. He also demoed the idea (in an unresponsive context) during his fantastic Alternative Freestyle.
I’d been meaning to explore this idea more since returning from Worlds, but it took me a few weeks to allow the mental carbonation to settle. Pocketwatches are one of the most abrupt and fundamental ways to go from dynamic (spinning) to static (not), which is a key vein running through the fledgling fixed axle style. Although you can get into Pocketwatch with any kind of yo-yo, I feel that it’s best suited to the fixed realm. For one, there’s no distracting bind required to get into it on fixed, and since many of the regenerations out are inherently off-kilter and tough to control, it’s useful to have a yo-yo that’s bent on returning to your hand.
The basic idea is to allow the yo-yo to wind part-way up the string, then grab it before it gets to your throw-hand. Pulling down on the yo-yo abruptly should cause it to cinch and hold, creating a temporary “string-lock”. You can then “do stuff” with the yo-yo partly wound (yet not spinning) until you give it the centripetal force necessary to break the string-lock and spin to life once again. At first, I saw this as a cool novelty concept, but couldn’t really see where it could go. However, as it happens, this concept takes everything fun and kendama-ish about Mark Montgomery’s radical A-minus tricks from a few years back, AND adds the bonus of being able to recall the yo-yo easily.
I hope you enjoy these variations.
The core Pocketwatch concept (demonstrated by Nate in the FS link above) involves flinging the yo-yo around casually with the air of a gentleman waiting for the bus. As you’ll see, most of my examples focus more on trick applications – how can Pocketwatches be applied to, say, a whip, a wrap, a hop, a laceration, etc. Most of the vid is pretty stream-of-consciousness, but there are a few points I can elaborate on. First, if you’re gonna try these tricks (or, more preferably, your own) be prepared to break A LOT of strings and yank the bajesszus out of your throw-hand middle finger. I probably used 10 different yo-yo’s in filming this quick video and had to wrap my finger at one point (what a weeny).
One thing you’ll find is that there are some striking similarities between your everyday Stall-based play and Pocketwatches. The rhythm feels similar, but more importantly, a dead Pocketwatch can be mounted, at which point it effectively IS a stall. What’s different is that while a Stall has tons of potential energy behind it (being almost fully wound), a Pocketwatch’s energy is blocked by the string-lock. This means stuff like kickflips are possible, but anything involving a regen into another hold is more difficult. Also, whereas you can’t really do Eli Hops, Lacerations, and other “dynamic” tricks within a stall, it’s pretty easy to do them in a Pocketwatch setup, provided you’re careful about keeping things straight.
One trick that I think is worth mentioning is “Eat Pray Love”, which was developed collectively at Worlds by Nate, Drew, and myself. I love the way it goes from the Kendo prayer-catch to the “Love” hold between the elbows. It’s one of the few examples in this vid where the cinch is seamlessly integrated into the rest of the trick (the underarm cinch at 0:12 is another).
I can’t claim to know ANYTHING about the Moebius sub-style, but Pocketwatches definitely lend themselves to taking the string off your finger. I go outside for a couple of Pocketwatch Moebicides (am I using that term correctly?), and I really like the idea of looping with one hand, suiciding to the other, and then continuing to loop.
I reference one of my favorite simple kendama tricks at 1:32 in Faster Than Gravity. Snap-start into a vertical Pocketwatch, and then let the bottom fall out. The catch is actually really easy, and you can drop into a normal Trapeze or a Lunar Landing.
The wrap combo at 1:50 is also pretty fun. Needless to say, my wraps are nothing special and totally elementary, but how often can you really DO ANY WRAPS with fixed axle? Using a Pocketwatch hold enables you to forget about that whole pesky, yo-yo-must-keep-spinning issue. You can always just restart it later!
Another of my new favorites is the Hard Restart at 2:18. If you slam it straight enough and hard enough, you can blast through the string-lock you’ve created and bring a Pocketwatch immediately back to a fully-spinning Trapeze. Bear in mind, depending on your restart, the yo-yo may be spinning the regular way or in reverse when you do this. Another way to actively reengage the spin is to wind the yo-yo OVER the string-lock and do some loops, gravity pulls, or Planet Hops before SLAMMING the yo-yo down and through the cinch. Just as offstring players have shown us through the years, there is a LOT we can explore here.
Near the end, you’ll find a fun reference to Adam Brewster’s Folding Gates concept. 5 years later, I’m still fascinated by what he was doing in Bend and Fold. It’s hard to do folds with a stalled yo-yo. I messed around with this in a Tunnels context in the Static 1a Applications vid, but the yo-yo wants to squeak and squirm around so much, it’s pretty tough. But the Pocketwatch hold keeps it in line a bit, and a simple fold out of a GT Pocketwatch is pretty manageable.
Needless to say, there’s some other stuff in the vid as well, and all of it is PATENT PENDING!!! Although, I probably owe Nate royalties anyway, since it all starts with his concept. Hope you enjoy playing around with this concept. Let us know what you find in the comments!
Yeah, you’re gonna be mad at me.
It’s cool. I’m a grown man. I can take it. I know I’m raining on your fixed axle parade; your special day. The one day each week which you KNOW will not be sullied by the loud, tacky swagger of ball-bearing infidels. And here I am playing with a bearing… in a metal yo-yo, no less. On YOUR Fixed Friday. Needless to say, I will accept the beatings with understanding.
Hear me out though. While I recognize that this column is all about pushing FIXED play forward, we need to constantly keep in mind what that means. I was at Worlds this year, and I saw some cool stuff. One kid came up to me and said “Hey ed, check out this stall!” proceeding to bind his Chief into a slick cross-armed 1.5 before regenerating into the rest of his day. Alexis JV’s 1a final was so replete with beautiful regens that it almost felt like he could have done it on wood. And I saw kickflip suicides on every yo-yo imaginable, up to and including an off-string. It was incredibly vindicating to see concepts we’ve pioneered and advocated for here (and I do not, for a second, claim that Drew and I have been the only ones doing it) osmoting its way into other hardware.
No yo-yo style can exist in a vacuum. Every cool element you see, you should consider “how can I use that?” I’m not even just talking about specific trick elements. Think about the feeling, motivation, and presentation of the tricks you observe and consider whether they might serve you in a different context. Playing a lot of fixed axle yo-yo will CHANGE the way you approach yo-yo’s in general. Somebody commented the other day that my play with an unresponsive transaxle yo-yo is starting to look a lot like fixed. I’m actually kind of surprised anyone would assume it WOULDN’T after the last few years. My tricks have gotten shorter, or else have leaned toward regenerating repeaters. I seem to end everything with some kind of stall. We’ve all seen sweet modern 1a tricks attempted (and landed) on wood. And there’s no doubt that the influence of modern 1a is inextricably embedded in fixed play. So this week’s video is all about how even throwing a wide-gapped, all-metal, low-response yo-yo, you can evoke the rhythm and dynamics of fixed axle.
Ok, so on to the video. Obviously, as mentioned, you can do a Kickflip on any yo-yo. Actually, I find the wider the gap, the harder it is, because the yo-yo bangs around from side to side and is difficult to control. Still, your everyday Bind-to-Kickflip is easy enough to where I think it should be just as much a staple of transaxle style as fixed. If you need to up the ante, try the Kickflip to Casper which follows (or skip to the last trick, which will melt your face).
Next up we have two fun takes on Zipper Stalls, which is one of the few tricks I’ve pioneered that people actually know. Using a bind-return yo-yo is no reason to dissuade you from the regenerating Zipper theme. In the first example, we basically have a bind-regen Zipper which is easy enough to follow (just have to have smooth Planet Hops off your binds), and following that we’ve got a cool bind-to-Lunar Zipper variation. Zipper is probably the first true repeater I learned (off of Ken’s World around 2002), and one of the most underrated tricks. There remains much to explore within the element, even within traditional 1a.
Scooting ahead to :55, we have a great trick showed to me by Jack “Una” Ringca a few years back. I have no idea of its origins, but he called it “1a Shoot the Moon” for obvious reasons. Although this one will saw through your fingers on a humid day, it’s a fun trick which emulates everyone’s favorite vertically-inclined loop trick and evokes a classic feel with which passers-by will connect. You can even end it in a Lunar… sort of.
Drew’s Dumptrucks are some of the coolest trans-regen transitions ever, and while controlling spin direction is more obviously essential with a fixed axle, there’s no reason not to migrate them to your bearing play as well. 1:10 shows a cute little repeater using Dumptrucks as the conjunction. I’m sure with a bit more exploration, we could see Crisis-level truck combos integrated into modern 1a as well. I’ll… leave that to you guys.
Snap-Starts are not only my favorite way to rewind a dead yo-yo, they’re also among my favorite tricks! I’ve dedicated an entire column to snaps and they are integral to at least a dozen of my tricks. Since their efficacy is in how quickly they deliver the wound yo-yo back to the hand, a lot of bearing players overlook them, thinking they need to snap, bind, and then catch. Unresponsive Snap-Starts, however, are perfectly immediate if you just load up a backspin bind before snapping. This enables all manner of Snap-Stalls, too, which are just as rad with a Center-Trac as they are with a walnut sleeve. Also note the Sky-Bind-to-Stall in the middle of that snap-start melee. Some other neat slack-binds yielding simple stalls and redirects in a bit make up a lot of the video’s second half. Sky-Binds to Lunars (1:42) feel especially nice after a fun 1a combo.
At 1:59, I show an application for that one trick that all the kids are trying to learn these days… oh, the kids aren’t trying to learn Andre’s Inner Ring Grinds (or IRG’s or Thumb Grinds, or Grings) anymore? That’s ok, cause guess what! A 180 Ring Grind sets up a Lunar-bind perfectly, and if you really want to nerd it out, rotating it frontside before regenerating is pretty much a lazy man’s Dumptruck.
I can never remember what the bind at 2:12 is called. I get it confused because though it’s not the Guy Wright Bind, Guy Wright showed it to me, so, well you get it. Anyway, consistently stalling out of it is almost impossibly tough, but a quick, spin-reversing straight-string redirect off trapeze is pretty manageable. After that we’ve got trick called Knuckle Grinder which is one of the few tricks I developed on fixed which transfers to unresponsive play with zero changes. Trapeasy is up after that; just some redirects off of slack binds which you can do once or as many times as you like.
It seems like almost everyone has a cool unresponsive Stop N Go these days, but comparatively few people try Eli Hopping out of them. My go-to is at 2:45. Bear in mind, a wide-gapped yo-yo is WAY harder to Eli out of in this way. You have much less control on the walls, which lends itself to crazy tilted hops. What I love about this one is since I switch the position of the yo-yo before the hop, the spin is back to normal. So in theory, I could hop into trapeze and repeat the whole Stop N Go, but that would be both kind of redundant and, how you say… really, really hard.
For some reason I moved outside for the last trick, which I’m calling a Hardflip Suicide© (yes, I talked to Drew, it’s cool). I ran into this one while brainstorming more Kickflip applications. I hit it the 1st time… then it took about 200 tries to get the 2nd. Now I’ve got it about 1/4. The weird integral (but subtle part) that you can see in the slow-mo is that the bind/mutation you put on in the beginning is actually rejected right before the catch. This has more to do with the way you throw the loop around and the way you hold your throw hand than anything else. It’s comparable to 3D Drewicide, but obviously with that extra twist, and also to his brand new Butterfly Horse nightmare scenario, Shuvit, which uses string tension to load up the loop’s movement around the yo-yo sideways.
Ok, so I deviated from the regular column this week. Mind, it’s not because I have no more cool ideas for fixed axle, or because the movement is breaking down, but rather because it is WORKING. I went in this direction because we’re starting to see the style we’re exploring migrating more and more into everyday tools and mainstream contexts. It’s so vindicating to see, and definitely helps me to reevaluate taking inspiration from styles I hadn’t considered. And when you think about it, is the ultimate goal of Fixed Friday to build up walls and create a fortress of solitude inside which the holy fixed-axle pupa may fully mature in a safe haven? Or is it to explore the tricks and ideas which come most naturally to fixed axle, pausing every now and again to see where they apply and how they connect to yo-yoing as a whole?
… Honestly, I’ve forgotten, but whatever these tricks are SWEEEEEEEET!
Hi ho, everybody!
I hope it’s been an awesome week, and that you’re ready to kick off those hard shoes, slip on your best organic type-8, and rock out with a refreshing late-summer fixed axle spin session. I read someone on the internets this week describing fixed axle yo-yoing as a “current fad”. As somebody who’s been pushing it (sometimes obnoxiously) for about 7 years, part of me took that as a compliment. However, I don’t see it the same way, exactly.
To me throwing fixed axle is a two-fold path. It’s obviously a great way to connect with our heritage; with the roots of yo-yoing. Our art began on the high-friction noble disks of yesteryear, and every day I try to take time to appreciate the scope and breadth of what yo-yoing has become over almost a century of innovation. Fixed axle is also a really natural way to push forward though. Playing modern 1a is its own challenge to be sure, but sometimes it can be difficult to see the creative potential. There are so many great players throwing down so many amazing tricks these days, it’s easy (albeit unfair and untrue) to slouch into the belief that you can’t come up with anything new and significant. With fixed axles though, it feels like there is room for a game-changing trick concept almost every week. For years, wood was relegated to the creative prison of the antiquated and/or novice, which has set the stage for the revolution we now enjoy. I literally wake up in the middle of the night thinking “Oh my crap, I can just Dumptruck into that Wrist-mount!”, after which my wife slaps me. Similarly, the empty space in our fledgling fixed axle style is perpetually beating us about the head and neck, and it’s comparatively easy to feel innovative.
Has it gained popularity? Absolutely. At Worlds, pretty much everybody wanted to be Drew. I saw more butterflies and kickflip attempts than I have in summer meadows and suburban skateparks. But I like to think what we’re trying to build is not so much a fad, but a valuable and lasting counterpoint to the mainstream. If it makes you happy to feel like a hipster, go for it. But I think it’s safe to say that what we’re not trying to define ourselves against the current so much as check out newer, smaller connected streams.
In any case, this week I wanted to go back to where we started and look at a standard trick element and it’s applications to fixed axle. Going back to our original model, the video starts with basic concepts and technique, and then gets into some more interesting applications at the end. This week is all about Buckets (and their kissing cousins, Triangles).
In the initial trick, I show a pretty standard entry into a move I imagine most of you have tried by now: a Drop-in-the-Bucket Stall. Discovered by Thad Winsenz, Buckets are an essential aspect of modern string geometry, but are so ubiquitous that they often they pass almost unnoticed in freestyles. In fixed axle, they demand a bit more attention, and will readily reward the unfocused with a snag, a whack, and a knot. That said, they work great for stalls. Since a lot of the string is accounted for, you may want to practice with a slightly longer string than you typically play with in order to make sure you can regen out of the holds.
One of the key discoveries from a few years back that made Buckets way more useful was the Instamount concept. There are several ways to get into a bucket directly from breakaway (or a laceration). In the 2nd trick, I show one of my favorites. As the yo-yo comes around to your non throw-hand side on breakaway, use that non-throwhand index to pull a string segment out over your throwhand thumb and an adjacent segment with your throwhand middle finger. This will open up a nice little 3-string formation, and as you might guess, the one in the middle there makes a perfectly serviceable bucket. While the traditional mount can waste precious time, I can get directly into this version, even with an Imperial.
If you elect to hit the string closest to your body instead, you land in a really cool and immediate triangle. A Green Triangle is essentially a bucket mount minus one extra bend in the string. They have different feelings, but very similar DNA. The tough thing about triangles on fixed axle is that the doubled string at the bottom can easily cause a snag. This is usually easily avoided by reversing the yo-yo’s spin. It’s tough to see, but on that Instatriangle, I threw with a reverse breakaway for that reason.
Next up, we stall that Instabucket out in a trick I call Infinite Instants. I’ve shown a version of it before. In this one, I stall out an Instabucket, regenerate to a Man-Bro stall on the other side, rinse, repeat.
At :30, we get into what may be the ultimate Butterfly Horse trick, Manly Bucket. I have no idea who came up with this gem, but it was first shown to me by Danny Severance on his trusty purple FH2 in 2008. It took me awhile to get it dialed on a No Jive, but man – nothing feels better. It’s pretty easy in concept – just a totally traditional Bucket entry… only you have to do the whole setup during the breakaway. Not a huge problem with an unresponsive yo-yo, but a knuckle-seeking No Jive (or Danny’s FH2) will be dying to punish your hubristic hands before the yo-yo gets to your shoulder. It’s an exercise in control, and as the next few tricks show, it can be stalled out directly or after a hop.
At :50 I come back to another triangle. Though this is not a bucket, the wrist-whip which begets it demonstrates how closely related the elements are. I like this mount way more than the ever-present Brent Stole, but like that Instatriangle I showed earlier, this one will usually require a reverse throw on Breakaway.
Around the 1-minute mount, I start getting more interesting. My bearing play is replete with pinch-mounts (maybe that’s why I love Lunars so much), and this Pinch-n-Roll move is one of my favorite ways into a Spirit Bomb Wrist-Bucket. To hit that on a No jive, I find I have about 5-6 tries max before I need a new string. TMBR’s are certainly more forgiving.
Seth Peterson and John Bot taught me the pull-mount Bucket that leads to my trick Hyacinth at Indy States one year. It’s one of the most aesthetically interesting mounts I’ve ever seen. At 1:20, I go ahead and turn the thing upside down while stalling it out. Was kind of surprised to discover that it works! Anyway, I did the whole Hyacinth trick on 365, and again for my video Big Deal last week – which you should go watch!!!
Ladder Mounts I learned from Jeff Coons of the Millbury Crew. I think Andre does his a bit differently, but they arrive at the same place. The beauty of the Ladder is that most of the segments are actually “safe zones” which you can drop without a knot. Not so with this middle one, which is a true Bucket. (The segment from your throwhand thumb, incidentally, yields a triangle – go figure.)
I come back to Instabuckets at 1:39. It’s me this week, so there’s gotta be a Snap-Start trick. You could just as easily hit this from Forward Pass, but this has more panache! Same mount as that original Instabucket, but you gotta be ready to grab that segment to land it off a snap.
Last two tricks, I think, are pretty cool. It’s possible to Dumptruck out of a bucket, but I had a hard time coming up with a consistent example. Dumping INTO an Instaucket, however, is pretty simple and feels great. I’m calling them Dumptruckets©™®. (I heard what you said, Drew Tetz! Next year, all the kids will want to be ME!)
And finally, speaking of mashup repeaters, we have a trick I’m calling Planet Bombs. Basically, an alternation between a Wrist-Bucket stall and an undermount stall, this one has a distinctly Planet Hoppish feel on account of the no-flip regens so common to stall tricks.
Aaaaaaaand that’s it! I hope you found something you could sink your teeth into, conceptually. If you have a chance to explore some alternate concepts in the fine art of bucketry (or if you have some applications you hold dear), I hope you’ll let us know about them in the comments!
Well, first off I guess we have to apologize for last week. The World YoYo Contest came and went, and afterward neither Drew nor I were in a position to do a coherent column. Actually, I’m STILL not, but I promise you’re not gonna care! This week, we’ve got the sweet, sweet footage from our annual fixed axle free-for-all, the Fixed Axle Championship of All the World!
2013 marks the 5th year of the contest’s modern incarnation, which previously existed as the Fixed Axle Challenge (presented by several different companies, most notably Russell) before being demoted to “Fixed Axle Breakout” in 2007. I was at that 2007 breakout, put on by Ben McPhee, having just started going hard on No Jives over the previous year. Like 3 other dudes ended up showing. Ben helped me out with my moons, we did some silly “challenge” tricks, and called it a day. I spent the next two years gravitating more completely into the swirling vortex that is fixed axle play, and by 2009 I had put out some videos and was volunteered to run the breakout if no one else wanted it. Fixed axle seems like skating (or any number of weird niche activities) in that it goes through alternating periods of popularity and dormancy. During the advent of bearing yo-yo’s in the late 90’s, for example there was a staunch and stalwart fixed axle resistance movement led by Steve Brown, Chuck Short, David Capurro, and Jason Tracy. By 2004, there was again enough interest to generate the classic video “Fixed Axle Fun: Unlimited” at Worlds.
When the 2009 breakout was attended by Drew, along with Joey Fleshman, Jeff Coons, Shawn Fumo, Justin Weber, John Bot, Andrew Robinson, Dana Bennett, and others, it seemed fixed axle was due for another peak. At the very least, we felt we had enough radical players to have a sweet little best trick contest. After a few minutes of deliberation on format, Drew suggested that it be peer judged and (I THINK) it was Shawn Fumo who offered “Why not vote with our shoes?”
And so began what has become (in my humble opinion) the best tradition at the World Yo-Yo Contest and the most fairly (and amusingly) judged contest format in the history of yo-yoing. Drew beat out Jeff Coons for the win in 2009, and we [somewhat] jokingly hailed him as the Fixed Axle Champion of All the World. Sadly there was no trophy that year to commemorate his win. The next year, we took it a bit more seriously. We established trick criteria for the 4-round, bracket-style contest, and I commissioned a legitimately cool, playable trophy from yo-yoer/woodworker James Buffington. Randy Jansen took it home, edging out another talented field. Colin Leland, having just started TMBR, was the obvious choice to craft the 2011 trophy. I’m not sure anyone expected him to bring it home with him, winning the first Fixed Axle Championship of the modern era on the main stage instead of a salon. Last year, I caught a series of lucky breaks to win the raddest trophy ever (also by Colin), edging out a late-entry Ben Conde in the finals as he tried a trick which defied either description… or any likelihood of being hit. But, as the video will show, Big Ben has no problem going back to that well. Honestly, I don’t think anyone gets nearly as excited about who happens to win as they do about the joyful atmosphere and crazy-rad tricks… which is just as it should be.
Major thanks to Drew and Steve, who kept the dialog rolling on stage, to Ben and Nate, who’s first-ever head-to-head fixed axle freestyle battle was nothing short of spectacular, to Iron Mod Champion Adam Reeder who saved me with a sweet trophy at the last minute, and to Ben McPhee who took great photos of the whole affair. It’s really awesome to do this contest year after year. Everyone wants to throw down great tricks, but it’s almost as if the competitors are more stoked by seeing their friends crush it than by doing so themselves. I think part of that is a product of having everyone laughing and interacting on stage together, but it’s also a testimony to the chill and joyful mindset endemic to fixed axle play. (At least that’s what I’m going with.)
Voting with shoes is funny, but some of the Fixed Axle competitors need to invest in some Odor Eaters. Just sayin’. -Steve
Happy Friday, fixed folk. As I’m sure you’re aware, we are just a few days away from that merriest time of year (no, not Arbor Day): Worlds!!! Say what you will about Orlando, Prague, dance parties, etc. All drama, geography, and pageantry aside, Worlds is the time of year when the best and friendliest in the world meet up to throw down. It’s the best.
I have never been much of a contest player. I mean, I’ve competed in contests, and I did alright once or twice, but I’ve never really understood it. As such, I completely agree that I’m unqualified to talk about what a good (much less a “winning”) freestyle should be composed of. My lack of competitive-savvy is probably directly tied to what I love about the annual Fixed Axle Championship of All the World (as Drew discussed last week). It’s judged by your fellow “competitors”, all of whom are as stoked to watch their friends nail a trick as they are to pull off a banger themselves. It’s based on randomly-selected criteria. And, as a 3-try best trick-off, it’s generally much easier to quantify than your average freestyle.
However, for the first time ever this year, the final round of the contest will consist of a freestyle. This allows whoever has made it to the end to really show a chunk of their style in a performance context.
If you’re any kind of yo-yo player, you have to be able to show off your tricks. You have to be able to perform. Otherwise, your experience will be limited to exploring the mysteries of string geometry in your room. And sure, that’s valuable, but the other side of that coin, expressing your joy for the art to an audience, is equally valuable and can serve to inform your more inward “progressive” playing, too. Not all performance is competitive – it just seems that way in yo-yoing sometimes. Fixed axle freestyles are becoming more and more of a “thing” these days. At least 5 large contests (besides Worlds) of which I am aware have had a Fixed Axle division in the last year, and most of those were based on freestyles. Although the word “freestyle” is an amusing misnomer (usually being composed of carefully selected tricks), it’s still worthwhile to develop a sense for how you might put tricks together in 1-, 2-, or even 3-minute chunks. We’ve all seen dozens (if not hundreds) of modern freestyles, but fixed axle represents some interesting obstacles.
For one, most of the fixed tricks we delight in are pretty hard and decidedly low-percentage. I’m certainly not suggesting that Mickey, Marcus, and Chris have easy tricks, but I find it much easier to throw together a sequence of my own “unresponsive string-tricks” which I am likely to hit than my own “fixed axle tricks”. I bet the world champ would say the same thing. You might hit that cross-armed kickflip suicide just one in ten tries, but MAN it feels amazing when you do. That said, no one wants to see you miss 9 times on stage. The difficulty is just inherent to the medium (it’s probably why you love it enough to read this drivel).
The rhythm of fixed axle yo-yoing is also totally different from mainstream contest play. Today’s modern metals have the angular momentum-to-drag coefficient ratio to blast through minute-long combos, even without a regen. By contrast, a “long” fixed axle trick takes about 10 seconds. But, since stalls are so utterly endemic to progressive fixed axle, it’s much easier for me to see tricks linked into organic wholes. Also, take a look back at some of the past 30-odd episodes. What percent of the tricks have been repeaters? 50? The natural tendency toward stall-regen repeaters also makes it easier to plan and link combos.
I approach the idea of a fixed axle freestyle the same way I approach any other performance. It should consist of tricks which I can hit consistently. The tricks should be organized so that they flow together relatively seamlessly. The material should be original. And it should be fun to watch.
… That’s a pretty tall order, and I certainly fail to live up to it in a few parts of my vid this week. First of all, it’s worth noting that this freestyle leaves out a few tricks which I would probably throw in near the end. 1.) I want to reserve some interesting stuff for Worlds and 2.) Most of that stuff is hit-or-miss. The vast majority of the tricks I put together this week are elements which, independently, I can hit very consistently (say 4 out of 5 times). Even so, having a 2-minute freestyle composed of tricks you’re 80% likely to hit is still VERY dicey, and as you’ll note, I have some misses (notably on Dali Winshield Wipers and that last Under-Moon Tough Love Lunar).
I tend to front-load my freestyles a bit. That is to say, the first minute is generally tougher than the second (or third). As I said before though, none of this video is really very hard at all. It’s when you put it into a fluid context and take away stops that it becomes challenging. This hypothetical FS starts with a snap-to-cross-1.5. I like that initial move because I have it down pat and it’s kind of unique. Most freestyles don’t begin with the yo-yo unwound. After that is a little Zipper-Stall/Milk-the-Truck combo ending in a stall GT. Next I get into some Lunar/Crash Landing stuff. This can be pretty inconsistent, even if you do them all the time. It doesn’t take much to send a Shoot-the-Moon off a centimeter, which is the difference between a catch and a miss.
It’s a good time to talk about yo-yo’s. You’ll note that I’m using a Duncan Profly this time. Fixed axle yo-yo’s are SO varied in terms of what they can do, and you really have to think about the character of the freestyle you’re attempting before selecting one. TMBR’s are some of my favorite fixed axles out there, but I know I would have a harder time connecting a lot of these tricks together with one. They spin way longer and stall fine, but I tend to lose a little juice on my regens with the thin axles and wider gaps. If I was going for a freestyle full of longer, 1a-style fixed axle tricks, you can bet my EH, Lovejoy, or Irving Pro would be the call. It might also be reasonable to switch yo-yo’s mid-stream, planning your long-spin tricks near the end (and suffering the deduction associated with a switch-out).
Anyway, fter that Moon combo, I start to get into the meat of the FS, which is basically a series of sidestyle elements. In order, I go from some Stop-N-Go/Stop-N-Pops into some Dumptrucks (yes, these are Drew’s and yes, they go against what I said about originality – whatever, I like going to that 2.0), then Salvador Dali Windshield Wipers, a little 1-hand repeater I call Yin-Yang, some Radial Nerve Bonks, and finally some Instabucket stalls. That’s functionally the end of my plan. As I said earlier, I’m definitely withholding a few tricks, which will hopefully account for the extra 20 seconds. I generally have a tough time planning an ending to my freestyles, to their detriment. If I hit what I have planned in the first 1:40, the last :20 will typically consist of a few harder tricks which, if I make them, will leave an impression. Unfortunately, they also make an impression when I don’t.
Competition at the FACoAtW this year will not be “fierce”, but it will be tight. Getting into that final freestyle round would be awesome, but there are a lot of guys on equal ground right now. The inherent inconsistency of the fixed axle medium makes the whole event a wonderful toss-up, and I can’t wait.
Note that since Drew and I will both be at Worlds, there will probably not be any kind of organized FF column next week. However, you should definitely tune into the live feed on Saturday at 3:00pm, as that when the FACoAtW takes place on the main stage. The up-side to no column next week is that we will probably collect enough footage for several weeks of FF dissection/discussion! If you’re going to be in attendance and want desperately to shred your stuff on stage, talk to me or Drew at Worlds and we’ll see if we can get you in there. Actually, talk to me anyway because I’d love to meet you.
Hook us up with any nuggets of wisdom you’ve accrued in planning fixed axle freestyles in the comments!
Known for their high-precision throws, SPYY was a benchmark company. Over the past decade, they continually raised the bar with their high-level precision and innovative design. Thus, it came as unfortunate news that SPYY has recently closed up shop.
In addition to their amazing yoyos, SPYY provided us with an amazing team of players that pushed creativity to the max. This video is a nod to SPYY, Steve Buffel, and the amazing team he has supported throughout SPYY’s incredible journey. Featuring SPYY’s final roster of players, this video takes a look back at the players, tricks, and yoyos that helped make SPYY a company that will never be forgotten.
Song: Hero by Family of the Year (itunes.apple.com/us/album/loma-vista/id527663303)
For past SPYY videos, check out:
Just Throwin’ 2 – YouTube
Just Throwin’ with Team SPYY – Youtube & Vimeo
Devon Jackson – Youtube
Punchline Repeater – Vimeo
Who the #%$@ is Gary Longoria? – Vimeo
Speed Freak – Vimeo
Totally Rad: SPYY Pro – Vimeo
Punchline! The Final Issue – Vimeo
Punchline! – Youtube & Vimeo