YoYoNews Interview – Gentry Stein
To a music afficionado (or hip hop head), the term “G Funk” would typically be remembered as the style of rap music that was extremely popular in the early to mid nineties. Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Dr. Dre, the list goes on. To a yoyoer, however, “G Funk” is the name of Gentry Stein’s signature yoyo released in 2011. The G Funk is a pocket-sized throw which was released just after Gentry’s full-sized signature, the Super G. Now, in 2013, Yoyofactory is releasing Gentry’s 3rd signature, the Shutter. The Shutter is an awesome departure away from what we’ve seen in the past from Yoyofactory, and an exciting addition to Gentry’s list of signature throws. I had the awesome oppurtunity to chat with Gentry about tricks, contests, his new throw, and more. Check it out!
Gentry, you’ve been making waves and killing it in the contest, clip video, and trick development scenes for quite some time now, but how did you originally get your start in yoyoing?
Thanks! I appreciate the props! I started yoyoing after I went to the club at Bird in Hand (in Chico, California) years ago, in 3rd grade. I took a break after a year or two, and have been back at it for about 4 years since then. I started the contest scene and hit my first contest in mid 2009, then my second contest in early February.
Awesome! If I’m not mistaken you’ve been a member of Yoyofactory’s team since you originally became sponsored, and have been doing extremely well as far as evolving your tricks and doing well in contests, recently even placing first in California states and also making it into the top 25 at Worlds. What are some of your favorite elements to work into tricks, and how do you decide a trick is good enough to throw into a routine for a contest?
I have done a lot of work changing up my tricks and putting my own style into each element. Recently I have just been trying to create tricks that look interesting. For Nationals I have a few tricks that I have been working with that aren’t necessarily complicated, but are hard to really capture or understand for someone who hasn’t had the trick broken down to them by me in person. I don’t come up with any fancy complicated terminology for the elements in my tricks. I just do what feels right.
I definitely think that’s a great way to go about it for sure, and I think that the fact that you do so well in contests proves that method works. I personally think your style is sick because it looks so good not only in clip videos, but on stage as well. What’s going through your head just before you step on stage at a contest? What’s your favorite contest you’ve competed in?
It’s hard to say what my favorite contest I’ve competed in is, but I would have to go with my first win at PNWR (Pacific Northwest Regionals) 2011 in Seattle. Before I step on stage, I think to myself that I get to show everyone what I have been working hard for. After that moment, it just feels like I’m in my room by myself practicing.
That definitely makes sense, I think everyone that competes has their own method to deal with being on stage. Winning a contest has to feel like such a huge accomplishment, nothing like feeling hard work pay off. Back in 2011, I bought one of your signature throws, the G Funk. It was my first pocket sized throw, and still one of my favorites. What was the process like with your new signature, the Shutter? Did you have a lot of input with how it turned out?
Glad you like the G funk! I was offered both the Super G and G funk as signature yoyos, with designing something else as the other option. At that point, I didn’t know what I wanted, and they were too good to pass up, so I accepted them as is. After using both for a couple years, I learned more about parts of design that make a yoyo play a certain way. I could use both yoyos, mainly the Super G, for a reference as to what I like and don’t like in a yoyo. I wanted to maintain the spin and stability of the Super G, but adjust the shape to be more unique, comfortable, and agile. The Shutter has everything I liked about the Super G, but it is a lot more fun to play with, while still maintaining its assets that are wanted in a yoyo to rock the stage with. I also wanted aesthetics to be a priority. I’m stoked on how the final shape enables the logo to be integrated in the design. It fits together so perfectly. I couldn’t be happier with it.
I love the shape of the Shutter too. I have to say, my favorite colorway is either violet/blue or red/black. The yoyo looks so good, I’m psyched to try one. I like how the logo integrates into the shape too, as well as the font that “Shutter” is written in. I wish you luck with this throw, I think it’s going to be a big one! I also want to wish you luck for Nationals, coming up October 5th 2013. Any advice for any aspiring yoyo champions out there? Although you’re about to release a new signature throw, what else can we plan to see from Gentry Stein in the near future?
My advice to any upcoming yoyoers on any level, is to not let anyone stop you from achieving greatness. There are a lot of people out there who are ignorant, and may seem as if they are out to get you when it comes to your yoyoing. Use all that as positive energy and let it improve your skill. What can you plan to see from me in the near future? Big things 🙂
I totally agree. Not only does that apply in yoyoing, but in all aspects of life. On behalf of myself and YoYoNews I’d like to say thanks for doing this, and good luck on your future endeavors! Personally, I’m excited to see you take on Nationals in October!