Czech player Petr Mika gets his counterweight on in this new video. What do you think…does he have a shot at Worlds?
Czech player Petr Mika gets his counterweight on in this new video. What do you think…does he have a shot at Worlds?
John Wolfe is dropping a lot of footage lately…this is his second video in a week, and there’s some solid 5A play in here.
The Backspin Group brings us another video, this one featuring their rookie team member (and Duncan Crew member), Viktor Kollar. There’s some great 5A play in here, something we don’t see nearly enough of these days!
Yoyo used is the Torque by Duncan Toys.
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 The crazy thing is that Steve is still shredding: there ain’t nothing outdated about that combo up there, and few people can manage those kinds of finger switches with the ease that he does.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.
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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.
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@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.
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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?
Welcome to 5A May!
All month long on YoYoNews we’ll be posting counterweight play tutorials both new and old, as well as new videos from some of the top names in counterweight play.
We’ll be announcing some great giveaways, as well as Instagram trick battles and some new trick theory articles. Get ready!
Let’s get started with the Basic Stall from Miguel Correa’s fantastic tutorial series.
Stalls are a whole new skill set you’re about to learn, but make sure you know how to do a 360 before you work on this!
While this trick is rather simple, it teaches the player a valuable lesson in momentum shifts. In this first lesson in counterweight re-direction, the Basic Stall is mostly a waiting game We allow the counterweight’s natural momentum to carry it back the other way, with just a little help from you. Make sure you watch the tutorial and get the trick down as we will be learning harder variations of this exact trick in later levels.
Timing is key when changing momentum in the counterweight for a successful trick and a smooth looking one too.
C3YoYoDesign and Rewind YoYo Store dropped a new video to promote the Dymension, the signature model of 2011 & 2014 European 5A Champion Dávid Molnár!
The Dymension was designed to Dávid’s specs…a hybrid of the Dark Sonic and Mo-vitation with a tremendous amount of rim weight for long spins and stability on horizontal tricks. I got a chance to try a Dymension during EYYC, and it’s a tremendous throw for 1A and 5A…as Dávid proves in this video.
Dávid Molnár is a C3 Professional who is a highly accomplished 5A player, being the EYYC14 Champion. Proving his skill at many competitions, Dávid is a well respected and easily recognized face in both the European scene as well as the community worldwide. Dávid and I had the chance to talk tricks, contests, his new signature yoyo, and more!
Dávid, as the 5A Champion of EYYC14, contest organizer, and C3 Professional you’ve definitely proved yourself in yoyoing so far. How did you first start yoyoing?
I got my first yoyo in the summer of 2007, but managed to break it within a week. So, I count December 2007 as the beginning. One of my classmates had a yoyo, and I saw him doing Double Trapeze. I was mindblown, and that was the moment I decided to start.
That’s interesting, I think I broke some yoyos too when I first started. How did you first learn tricks back then?
I think everybody breaks at least 1 yoyo in his career 🙂 In the beginning, I was watching YouTube for the first couple of months. After that, it turned out that there are meetings in Budapest every weekend. I joined them, and they were very friendly and helpful.
What were some of your favorite tricks then?
I didn’t have any favorite trick, but I loved all kind of slacks- Follow, for example. Interesting fact…I hated 5A back then.
Wow, that’s surprising! How long was it after you started yoyoing that you first tried 5A?
It was at a 2008 New Years Eve party. We had a yoyo party at a players home. Dana Bennett was studying in Hungary back than, and he was there too, showing off some tricks. Completely changed my attitude towards 5A. Not even half a year passed, and I won the first 5A division I was competing at, and in December 2009 I became the 5A Hungarian National Champion.
That’s so awesome, would you say you learned 5A pretty quickly then?
I think I learned the basics fast, but we all are still learning.
Did you have any inspirations in 5A/1A back then?
In 5A I was watching Petr Kavka, Tyler Severance, Dana Bennett, Takuma Inoue, and in 1A Guy Wright, Yuuki Spencer, Sebastian Brock. Mostly USA guys, but nowdays I almost only watch Japan/Asia players and some upcoming talents from the USA. Some of my biggest inspiration comes from Hiroyasu Ishihara, Soujun Miyamura and still Takuma Inoue.
Those are all inspirational yoyoers in my opinion too. At what point did you decide to start competing?
I decided to start competing from the first second I found out that there are competitions in Hungary.
What was your first contest?
My first was August of 2008. Offline Sport Games in Hungary, and I got Semi-Pro 5th out of more than 20 players.
That’s really impressive for your first contest. If you had to pick, do you think it’s harder to compete in 1A or 5A?
It is very hard to compete in 1A, since there are the most players, and it is the division most people admire, but most of the time I just enjoy myself on the stage. But since I have chosen 5A to be my main division, I have a huge pressure in the division even at the smallest contest I attend.
That’s true, I know what you mean. I think it would be hard to compete in different divisions at the same contest. When it comes to tricks, how do you make your tricks up?
I don’t really have a method. Sometimes I watch videos, and when there is a move I really like I stand up, and try to figure out something from it. Sometimes, I just open a bottle of wine, put some chill music on and start to play, and the trick comes by itself. I invent a lot of moves, or mounts, but I throw most of them away if I don’t find them good enough for competition.
That’s awesome, I think that everyone has their own method to creating tricks but it’s really what works best for someone that helps make a trick good. How long does it take to prepare for a contest?
For me it all depends on when I can choose the music. I always build my freestlyle on the music. Most of the time, I can only find music during the last week before the competition, but in the meantime I practice the tricks a lot. I have the order in my mind, and I just change it a little to fit the music.
Did you plan on taking 1st in 5A at EYYC14?
I really wanted to win this year to show what great yoyoing it is, so I practiced a lot. It turned out that I did well since I won with about +17% compared to second place. I was really happy.
That is really good, I would definitely say that it was a well deserved win. On another note, how did you end up getting sponsored by C3?
Actually, I was in Turning Point first. I quit from them in June 2012, and right after I quit was when official C3YoYoDesign offered me a place. They only had a few yoyo back then, but they were amazing people with great goals, so I decided to join them.
What was the process like in putting together your new signature yoyo from them?
For my signature yoyo, I just told them what I like and what I want it to play like. Ron got my proto designed in December, we changed a few things by January, and I was sent some samples to try. I loved it, so they went to final production, and they turned out even better than the prototype. I would like to mention Balint ‘Vooper’ Farkas for helping me to find the perfect name for the yoyo.
That sounds like a pretty painless process to me, I really like the name too. Lastly, do you have any advice for any aspiring yoyoer in any division?
I would recommend to watch lot of videos, go to lots of contests and meet other players. Try to develop your own style no matter what division, set a goal for yourself, and don’t stop practicing until you have reached it. Then, it is time for a short break, and to have new goals. Thank you very much for the interview Matt.
Go big or go home! 🙂
I totally agree, no problem! Thank you Dávid!
Werrd Wrecking Crew member Daigo Komiya gives us some great first-person 5A in his first video of the new year. There are some really nice plane-breaking counterweight transfers in there…a great evolution of a style of play developed and popularized by players like Dana Bennett, JonRob, and Jake Bullock .
Yoyo used is the Minute by Werrd.
US National Counterweight Champion Jake Elliot‘s style continues to smooth out in this stellar new video. Featuring Jake and Connor Scholten tooling around campus, the video is shot and edited REALLY nicely. Jake seems to be having no problems adjusting to the throws from his new sponsor, King Yo Star, and his horizontal game is just getting better and better.
John Wolfe put together a really nice counterweight video, something we just don’t see nearly enough of these days. And even better, the whole video is a series of new tricks where he incorporates juggling moves into counterweight play. Considering that I created counterweight to make yoyoing more like juggling, I can safely say that I’m all in favor! There’s some great material in here…nice work, John!
Yoyo used is the Werrd Minute.
Pack it up and go home, everyone. Sora Ishikawa wins!
Looks like the Freehand is finally getting its first real upgrade in almost ten years! Precision made in Japan, the Freehand AL is definitely more of a high-end model than we were hoping for…I think players would absolutely kill for a reliable aluminum Freehand with modern bearing/response in the $60 range. But at $110 – $120, I don’t think these are quite the Freehand revolution we were hoping for from Duncan. These being produced in Japan definitely bodes well for the quality control, though, as Japanese factories have an incredible reputation for quality control…especially for small, precision objects like these.
The Duncan Freehand, the original counterweight yo-yo, has been a player favorite for over a decade. It’s a model that has seen many different versions such as the FH Zero, Metal Zero, Hyper Freehand, and Freehand MG to name a few. A popular request has been to produce an aluminum version based on the original Freehand, fitted with original Freehand/FH Zero style side caps and to have a modern response and bearing system. Freehand AL gives the players what they have been asking for with a large ball-bearing axle and SG Sticker response for unresponsive play! Freehand AL will be available at the 2013 U.S. National Yo-Yo Contest in limited quantities and will begin shipping to retailers November 1st!
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!
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 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.
Former National YoYo Champion Samm Scott has his moment in this new video, throwing an unnamed prototype from his sponsor, YoYoRecreation.