World 5A Champion Jake Elliott was on Fox 17 in Michigan today to celebrate National YoYo Day! Nice job, Jake!
We’ve got the video of the winners from the 2015 US National YoYo Contest! All the rest of the contestants will be uploading soon…subscribe to YoYoNews on YouTube to catch them all.
1st Place – Gentry Stein
2nd Place – Andrew Maider
3rd Place – Nate Dailey
4th Place – Michael Kurti
5th Place – Evan Nagao
1st Place – Grant Johnson
2nd Place – Connor Scholten
3rd Place – Tyler Hsieh
1st Place – Alex Hattori
2nd Place – Elliot Ogawa
3rd Place – Donald Hodgkinson
1st Place – Philip White
2nd Place – Michael Nakamura
3rd Place – Zac Rubino
1st Place – Jake Elliott
2nd Place – John Wolfe
3rd Place – Chase Baxter
Zach Gormley is the winner of the toughest and greatest yo-yo contest in history!
In a final round filled with favorites, Zach Gormley brought his best and was crowned the new 1A World Champion last night in Tokyo!
2A was equally exciting, with Shiji Saito winning the battle of World Champions against Shu Takada and Takuma Yamamoto!
In 3A, Hajime Miura had no trouble whatsoever, finishing almost 20 points ahead of runner-up Alex Hattori!
We also got a new 4A champion! Naoto Onishi won offstring in an incredibly balanced division!
In 5A champion, Jake Elliott, won by the tiniest of margins: just 0.03 points ahead of Takeshi Matsuura!
Finally, AP was a delight to watch, but ultimately it’s a competition, and Shaqler won with a jaw-dropping routine! Check the full results and commentary below!
With the new seeding rules in place, only the current World Champion was granted a spot in the final round. The result was a final round completely stacked with the best of the best who were able to make it through the qualifying rounds!
In such a high-level contest, predicting a winner was no easy task, reflected on the final scores, where there was only 1.5 point between the 2nd and 7th place finishers, but the online chatter correctly predicted Zach’s win! Another strong candidate was Iori Yamaki, who also had strong popular support, but ended up in 3rd place.
Perhaps the biggest surprise here is the young Shion Araya, who, despite competing at the World Yo-yo Contest for the first time, showed an amazing level of play and maturity, managing to do well not only in the qualifying rounds, but also in the grand final, earning a much-deserved second place!
Last year’s champion Gentry Stein had a great routine, but a single discard cost him the three points that would have put him immediately in second place, and perhaps even first considering the time spent switching yo-yos, and thus he finished 6th overall.
A few other strong contenders had discards as well. World Champions Marcus Koh, and Hiroyuki Suzuki, Ahmad Kharisma, Colin Beckford, and Ryota Ogi were all penalized for the yo-yo switch and ended up in the lower half of the placings.
János Karancz had several unbelievable tricks, as usual, but was unable to go as clean as he hoped, while Anthony Rojas had a fantastic routine, but ultimately without the trick density to achieve a high Technical Execution score.
A fierce battle between World Champions took place in 2A, with Shinji Saito emerging victorious with a high-level routine we expect from the now 13-time World Champion!
Shu Takada brought some very innovative tricks to the stage, that combined with his usual top-notch choreography and music use, were enough to bring his pre-deduction score on par with Takuma Yamamoto’s, even though Shu’s Technical Execution score was almost 8 points behind Takuma’s.
What ultimately decided the final placings was Takuma’s Detach penalty. Hiraku Fujii also suffered from penalties and was unable to place this year.
If there were any doubts about Hajime Miura’s supremacy after his fourth place finish at Japan Nationals, there surely are none left after his outstanding performance in Tokyo!
Finishing almost 20 points ahead of the second place with an unbelievable score of 96.5, Hajime Miura earns his second World Title and becomes a very young legend in 3A play!
In second and third places were US players Alex Hattori and Hank Freeman, respectively, both with very clean routines, but without the extra refinement and difficulty of Hajime’s freestyle.
Be sure to watch Patrick Borgerding’s routine as well! Pat himself stated his goal is not to win, but to bring insane tricks to the stage, and he did not disappoint, hitting all his bangers on the stage in Tokyo!
World Champion Minato Furuta had a very unfortunate run. His tricks were amazing, and he would have been a serious contender had it not been for two disastrous double discards that cost him 12 points in penalties, and a lot of downtime on stage.
Naoto Onishi won the 4A World Champion title in a division where the final standings were decided by the penalties!
While Naoto’s routine itself was completely clean and deserving of the title, it was Takumi Yasumoto’s 2 penalty point that knocked down the latter to second place, and amazingly, Rei Iwakura’s astonishing 6-point penalty that cost him the World Title!
The next spots were taken by the three American players. 2013 World Champion Michael Nakamura had a solid routine, but his Performance Evaluation scores prevented him from getting a better placing. Ben Conde was certainly the crowd favorite, and while he managed to hit his unbelievable tricks, they were not in large enough number to guarantee a better Technical Execution score. An epic performance, nonetheless!
Jake Elliott did it! The new World Champion becomes the man who beat Takeshi Matsuura in 5A! What everybody thought was impossible now becomes true as Jake Elliott raises the bar for 5A play, bringing a whole lot of new tricks to the division!
And check out the final score! This is the closest score ever to determine the World Champion! If this is any indication of the future, we can expect truly legendary contests with these two beasts of counterweight play!
On the human side of things, Sora Ishikawa repeats his third place finish from last year with another entertaining freestyle, followed by Hideo Ishida and Bryan Jardin, who went slightly less cleanly than they hoped.
Shaqler! Wow! The AP division this year was truly amazing, and every performance there deserves to be watched several times, but Shaqler’s freestyle is truly epic! Their 2010 routine is already a classic, but this takes their teamplay concepts and skills even further!
The addition of Shu Takada brought even more energy and acrobatics to the team, and making them only the second team ever to win two World Titles!
Shaqler also took home the Entertainment Award, while BeatPoint’s beatbox/yo-yo combo was awarded the Artistic Award, and Taiwan’s WHO Theatre got the Creativity Award for their fantastic team offstring performance!
We’ve got official video of the winners from the 2014 Las Vegas Open YoYo Championship! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for the rest of the freestyles as they’re uploaded.
1st Place – Ky Zizan
2nd Place – Andrew Maider
3rd Place – Anthony Rojas
1st Place – Joseph Harris
1st Place – Hank Freeman
1st Place – Michael Nakamura
1st Place – Jake Elliott
2013 US National Champion Jake Elliott’s new signature model, the Rapid yoyo by King Yo Star, is hitting stores soon and he’s got a new video out to push the release. The Rapid yoyo has a bi-metal body, designed to Jake’s specs for demanding counterweight play, and is will be available at and YoYoExpert.com and YoTricks.com on Tuesday, November 18th!
Repeating Bee Sting is hard. It takes absolute perfect timing and immense amount of counterweight and yoyo control.
When you’re first learning this trick, you’re going to want to experiment with how long after the drop you should wait to make the crescent motion and how large the crescent motion should be. The technique for successfully performing this trick varies quite a bit depending on your set up, so experimentation is key.
There is a lot going on in E Fan Deposit. You’re manipulating string segments that both the yoyo and the counterweight are directly influencing. It’s still a really flashy trick with a sudden surprise “How did he get into that” E Fan at the end.
These are the last two 5a May videos that I’ll be putting out in 2014. Thanks everyone who watched them, and good luck practicing and learning new 5a tricks until the next 5a May.
My all time favorite trick, Z Rolls. This trick can be extremely challenging to learn, especially if you don’t have enough skill to keep the counterweight perpendicular to the strings between your hands. If it isn’t performed perfectly, you’ll end up in a knot.
Keep practicing and good luck.
Alternating Neck Wraps is a fun trick. It big, incorporates the use of your body, and has some cross arm elements in it too. Alternating Neck Wraps always gets attention when you do it in front of non yoyo crowds.
I’d recommend learning this trick in an open area with few breakables around.
There is a lot going on in Roundabout Underpass. The counterweight is never caught during the trick, so proper timing on all elements is essential.
This trick is going to take a lot of practice, but if you can do this trick you’re on your way to mastering counterweight control.
Bee Sting Switch is a repeater that you need strong Bee Sting and stall skills to perform. Most 5a players have a habit of placing their fingers under the string while doing Bee Sting like tricks, but this trick requires you to go over the string. This different way of looking at Bee Stings will help you come up with new tricks and figure out some interesting transitions.
This is the basic Electric Fan to Green Triangle trick. It’s one of those trick that you’ll struggle to hit at first, but after a little practice it should be no issue.
This is one of the best places to start before you get into more advanced 5a Green Triangles.
Cross Arm Pops is my favorite E fan trick. It looks good and is a ton of fun to perform. It takes strong cross arm skills, but this trick is a must learn.
Jake Elliot was the 2013 National 5A Champion and has quickly became a well known name and force to be reckoned with within 5A. In celebration of 5A May, I had the chance to interview Jake and learn more about this interesting competitor and highly talented 5A player. Jake and I talked his start in yoyoing, contests, and more! Be sure to check out Jake’s daily trick videos here all throughout May of 2014, and be on the lookout for him getting 1st at a contest near you sometime soon!
Jake, in killing the contest scene lately and throwing 5A for a while now, you’ve definitely left your mark on yoyoing. How did you start?
I’ve been playing with yoyos for as long as I can remember. They were always one of my favorite toys when I was young, though I never got farther than just the basic tricks – two or three loops, rock the baby, walk the dog, that kind of thing.
Then, six years ago in my 7th grade science class I read an article about yoyoing in one of those three page scholastics magazines they hand out in public schools. The article covered the basics of the modern yoyo – A ball bearing, rubber response, and free spinning halves. It really caught my attention, and that day I went home, dug through my closet, found my FAST 201, and learned some basic tricks. After that, yoyo was a daily activity for me and I never stopped.
That’s so awesome, yoyos have definitely been a lifelong thing in my life too. How did you originally learn tricks then?
On the first day I Googled tricks and I was able to find André’s Expert Village tutorials. I remember learning a few picture tricks, like Eiffel Tower and Confederate Flag. That night I found André’s video on the different styles of yoyoing you’ll see at contests. In that video I saw him hit his Electric Fan to Double or Nothing 5A trick. I was amazed, and desperately wanted to learn how to do that trick. So, the next day at school, I brought a regular dice to school and drilled a hole through it in shop class, and then began learning the basics of 5A. Ever since then, 5A has always been the style that appealed to me most.
Wow, that’s early dedication to 5A! What were some of your other early favorite tricks and players in that style?
My favorite trick has always been Beesting and it’s variations. I had a handful of them starting out, though I must have at least 15 Beesting variations by now.
My two favorite players when I was starting out were Makoto Nakugame and Jake Bullock. I must have watched Makoto’s 2004 worlds freestyle over a hundred times and watched all of Jake Bullocks videos at least twice. I drew most of my early inspiration from those two players.
Would you say you progressed quickly?
When I first started yoyoing six years ago progress was very slow. It was much more of a casual hobby rather than something I put a good amount of time into every day.
How did you get integrated into the yoyo community and what was your first contest?
My first contest was the 2012 World Yoyo Contest, which I attended after a little more than four years of yoyoing. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life. I got to meet amazing people from all around the world, and more importantly, I got to see my favorite players compete on stage. Watching players like Takeshi Matsuura, Takuma Inoue, Samm Scott, and Hiroyuki Suzuki inspired me to start taking yoyo seriously and practice for contests.
About a month later I started practicing hard for contests and I haven’t stopped since. In about a year I went from a very mediocre casual player to US national champion. So yes, I would say that I progressed quickly.
I would definitely say so too! Was Nationals your first contest win?
2013 Nationals was my 3rd contest and my first win. The other two contests before that were MER 2013 and 2013 worlds.
I didn’t get any recognition for my 5A before nationals. Both my MER freestyle and Worlds freestyle went very poorly and people didn’t pay attention to them, so no one really knew who I was.
Wow, that’s definitely a way to make an impression on people though! What do you think was different about your approach at 2013 Nationals that helped you get 1st?
Well, after about a year of practice with the goal and placing top 10 at the world yoyo contest, only to place 11th, I realized my current practice methods just weren’t good enough. To make myself progress faster, I borrowed practice concepts and techniques from other skill toys in order to gain muscle memory faster. I also learned how to judge 5a, which was a very valuable skill to have when constructing tricks and freestyles.
Without those two skills I would not have gone far at all.
I would say that method definitely worked! On another note, what would your other favorite aspect about 5A aside from competing in it be?
In my opinion, 5A is the most freeing style. 5A can be anything that you want it to be. 5A can be incredibly technical, or it can have very large body tricks. 5A has trick possibility and variety unlike any other style.
5A can emulate other styles. I’ve seen 5A routines where the player is going all 2A tricks. There are tons of 5A players who do very 1A inspired combos, with minimal counterweight manipulation. Some players clearly draw inspiration from 4A and 3A as well.
It’s the freedom and variety that the style has that keeps me playing 5A, rather than other styles.
As a spectator rather than frequent player of 5A player I still totally agree with you, that’s why I like 5A too. What would your advice be for anyone else trying out 5A?
Learn the basics first. Tricks like 360, 720, Electric Fan, Beesting, those kinds of tricks. Once you understand the basics of how to control the counterweight, then you can start taking 5A in whatever direction you want. Take whatever style you play most and try to incorporate the counterweight into your existing tricks. If you’re a 1A player, add some counterweight manipulations into your favorite combos. 4A players might like the larger body tricks that 5A has to offer. 3A and 2A players will feel right at home manipulating two objects at once.
That’s the beauty of 5A. You can take whatever you already have and make unique and interesting 5A tricks, once you understand the basics.
That’s all totally true. Last but not least, what can we expect to see from you in the future?
Hopefully you’ll see many great freestyles at some large contests from me. I’m quite happy with the progress I’ve been making and I’m excited to show off some of my new concepts and tricks.
I also have an upcoming bi metal signature yoyo which should be coming out soon. I’ve been play testing it for over 6 months now and it’s as close to perfection as I could imagine a yoyo being. I’m extremely excited to see it be released and I hope that everyone loves it.
Here’s hoping for a great year!
I doubt you’ll have any trouble achieving those goals, thanks Jake!
Thanks for having me, Matt.
Dice Grind is a unique trick. It can be tough, especially if your horizontal skills aren’t too strong, but it can be a ton of fun to do. If you’re performing in front of a non yoyo crowd, this trick looks like magic and, if you sell it right, you’ll always get a big reaction.
This is the most basic of the Dice Grind tricks. You can do all kinds of hops and throws between hands, under the leg, behind the back, etc.