Big contest update…competitors and attendees, please read everything!Registration for US Nationals closes on Sunday night! We will not be accepting any competitors once registration has closed. If you are qualified to compete, get registered! If you have a friend that you know is competing and aren’t sure if they have registered, remind them!Registration is here: http://bit.ly/1LhQpxrMusic upload is ready, and all competitors MUST upload their music in order to compete! Music upload ends Wednesday, September 23rd…get your music uploaded now, and please remember to check for a confirmation email (and double check your Spam folder if you don’t see it arrive in a timely fashion). If you don’t have a confirmation email, we don’t have your music.Upload music here: http://bit.ly/1Lz9RS8All spectators for finals MUST PURCHASE A TICKET! All registered competitors (both Championship and Sport) will receive a Finals ticket for free, but ALL other spectators will need to purchase a ticket. While some tickets will be available at the event, we highly encourage everyone to purchase their tickets in advance to help with our planning.Purchase Finals tickets here: http://bit.ly/1iilcP0Thanks everyone, for your support as we work on all of these upgrades and improvements to the US National YoYo Contest and the National YoYo League. We’re working hard to make sure that the NYYL can truly serve the needs of all US players and contest organizers, and we thank you for your patience and support during this period of growth.
Defending National Champion Zach Gormley is hitting the stage today with his brand new signature model from CLYW, the “Arctic Circle: Second Expedition” and YoYoNews has your first look and full specs! We spoke briefly to CLYW owner and designer Chris Mikulin about what has changed for this new model.
“For Zach’s new signature model, we started with the Arctic Circle and added inner hub design elements from the Avalance and Bear Vs Man 2, both of which have been getting a lot of play time from Zach.” said Chris Mikulin. “We made this version bigger and wider than the Arctic Circle, but wanted to retain the original’s speed. We kept the weight low to keep the return top fast, but removed the double rings and optimized the rim weight for stability, so that it requires low energy to get up to full RPMs. We also lowered the wall in the gap to make it perfect for horizontal play. The new Arctic Circle is a perfect blend of spin time and stability for competition and light, fast play for fun.”
CLYW Arctic Circle: Second Expedition Specs:
Diameter: 55.6 mm / 2.189 in
Width: 45.3 mm / 1.783 in
Gap: 4.16 mm / 0.164 in
Weight: 65.4 gm
Response: Snow Tires
CAD Images of the Arctic Circle: Second Expedition:
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!
Duncan Freehand AL Specs:
Diameter: 57 mm
Width: 39.95 mm
Weight: 64.60gm without caps, 70.2gm with caps
Gap: 4.05 mm
Bearing: Size C
Response: SG Sticker
Price: $110 – $120
Colors: Red, Black, Silver, Nickel, Blue
Comes with 1 Counterweight Die and 2 Sidecaps
The 3A division has come a long way, considering it was born in the Holiday Inn parking lot at the US National YoYo Contest. With each passing year, this style gets faster and smoother, with players going further and further out on a limb to harness the best aspects of 1A play and make them exponentially more incredible by doing them two at a time. Here are our picks for the top contenders the 3A division.
Patrick Borgerding – Defending National Champion
Patrick blew minds at Worlds with his crazy horizontal 3A tricks, and a routine packed with an incredible number of bangers. Any dozen of his tricks could have been the grand finale of someone else’s routine, and Patrick just keeps ’em coming. His only weakness are his transitions…his tricks have a lot of set-up and can sometimes be slow to get out of. With so much talent nipping at his heels, Patrick has his work cut out for him, but he’s definitely the leading contender.
Alex Hattori is just about due for a break-through. With a solid 4th Place finish at this years World YoYo Contest and plenty of other Top 5 and Top 10 finishes over the past few years, Alex Hattori is ready for his time at the top. His Worlds routine was top notch, and an impressive finish in a field of amazing talent…but it was still a 4th Place finish to Patrick Borgerding’s 2nd Place. Will this be Alex’s year?
Eric Tranton stomping out that last amazing stall/regen trick of his routine (seriously, watch the end of his routine before you even finish this sentence) was one of the absolute highlights of the 3A Division at this years World YoYo Contest. Everyone in the room was on their feet, and every single other competitor felt a sink in the pit of their stomach as the saw the bar being raised for routine-ending bangers. If Eric can pull off at Nationals what he did a Worlds but go a little cleaner, he could walk away with his first National title.
Elliot has a lot of talent, but faltered heavily in his Worlds prelim and didn’t make it through to finals. He’s an up-and-coming talent with a lot of promise, but he’s got a lot of work ahead of him if he’s going to knock off players with smoother, more polished routines. But on any given Saturday, it’s just a matter of who hits it and who doesn’t….and we think that if he goes clean, Elliot could have his shot at the cup.
With a 5th Place finish at the Bay Area Classic (one of the toughest contests in the country) and a 3rd Place finish at California States, Ian Smith is starting to make a name for himself in the 3A Division. His play isn’t as polished as some of the rest of the competitors, but he’s got the skills to make Top 5 on a good day.
Ryan Lai is a legend in the 3A player community, and one of the earliest competitive 3A players. His play is polished and smooth, but not on the cutting edge of difficulty. But never underestimate the power of someone who can hit everything they go for, and with his stage experience Ryan isn’t going to be as spooked on stage as younger players may be. With smooth style and high skill, Ryan is definitely a contender for the cup.
Nationals is coming up fast…the best players in the United States will descend on Chico, California for their moment on stage to compete for the title of US National YoYo Champion. All this week we’ll be featuring our top picks for each division!
5A (Counterweight) Division
Tyler Severance – 2x National Champion
Defending US National 5A Champion Tyler Severance showed up with one of the best 5A routines of all time at this years World YoYo Contest, and he is definitely at the top of the game. Severance has shown in recent years that he’s getting steadier and steadier on stage…where in the past you could see his pacing start to slip towards the end of his routines, now he stays steady and true until the end. Tyler is first in line for the cup this year, and everyone else is going to have a hard fight ahead of them to take his title.
Miguel Correa- 4x National Champion
Miguel Correa sat out most of the 2013 contest season to re-focus on work and family, but his level of play is so high that it might not make a difference. All it takes for Miggy to win is for him to wake up feeling good…with him in the mix, everyone better bring their A-game. That said, his teammate Tyler Severance is his #1 competition…we know where Tyler’s play is, but Miggy is coming in with some mystery around him which should make for an exciting head-to-head between these two reigning champs.
Sebastian Brock is one of the best 5A players that no one ever talks about. Sebby has said himself that he doesn’t have as much confidence in his 5A play as he does in his 1A routines; but he seems to be the only one with that opinion. His counterweight tricks are clean, inventive, and stand out from the field in a way that crowds like and judges can follow. As the 2010 National Champion in the 1A division, Sebby is in a good position to be one of the incredibly few people to win a national title in different divisions.
Relatively new on the scene, Jacob Elliot made a lot of noise at Worlds with his incredibly fast and seemingly out-of-control style in the 5A finals. His freestyle had people flinching at the back of the room, waiting for a yoyo to shoot off the stage. But it never did, and the question for Nationals is: will his speed help him rack up the points to win, or will he outplay the judges’ clickers?
Chase Baxter is an up-and-coming talent who is quickly becoming a fan favorite. He’s got an easy-going style on stage that makes him easy to score, but his consistency just isn’t there yet. If he has a good day in the park, Chase could go clean and hit Top 5…but he’s a wildcard and it’s hard to tell what he can do.
Shane is another up-and-coming player who made a strong showing at Worlds in the counterweight division. His trick density isn’t quite there yet, but he’s got some really original stuff and when he’s on his game, his trick construction and pacing are really nice. Judges score what they can follow, and Shane is good at playing to the judges. He’s a contender for sure, but he’s going to have to go cleaner than he managed at Worlds if he wants a shot at Top 5.
The 2013 Canadian National Return Top Championship will be held August 17th at the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada. Website and registration are up now at CanadaNats.ca.
Videos are up for the 2012 Vietnam National YoYo Contest, and the skill level is great! Always exciting to see another country coming up fast in the competition scene…and judging by these freestyles, they’re well on their way to kicking butt on the international level. Wonder if we’ll see any of these guys in Orlando or Prague this year? Here are the winners from each division…more videos are up on their YouTube channel.
Van Dinh Sang – 1st Place – 1A (Single YoYo)
Nguyen Hoang Tuan – 1st Place – 2A (Double YoYo Looping)
Ho Minh Nhat Duy – 1st Place – 3A – (Double YoYo String)
Than Trong Son – 1st Place – 4A (Offstring)
Nguyen Minh Chien – 1st Place – 5A (Counterweight)
Tonight at 10:00 PM EST the LOOP 1080 releases at YoYoExpert as part of Wave 2 of the YoYoFactory Champions Collection. Retail price is $23.99 each.
This highly anticipated yo-yo was designed with input from World Yo-Yo Champion Shu Takada and was already used to win the 2012 National Yo-Yo Contest by Patrick Mitchell. The Loop 1080 has improved weight distribution and a fully centered adjustment mechanism, giving it a completely different feel and improved performance from the much-vaunted (and highly impressive) Loop 900.
YoYoFactory seems to have finally cracked the secret of the perfect looping yoyo without requiring modification…how many world and national titles do you think the Loop 1080 will bring in 2013?