Nathan Martsolf created a facebook group called “Fixed Friday” based around the idea of people giving up bearings once a week. Alliteration seems as good an excuse as any to teach some tricks, and there’s been a lot of interest lately in modern responsive stalls, so let’s spend this fixed friday learning a couple of tricks!
I’ll be breaking down two stall tricks today – one for those just learning modern stalls, and one for players who want more of a challenge.
The first trick sequence is a trapeze stall, dismounted to a trapeze-brother stall, dismounted right back into trapeze. It’s likely to be one of the first sidestyle stalls you learn, and can really help you get the feeling of catching the yo-yo on the return. If you’re new to stalls, well, first of all, you should really watch Ed Haponik’s “How to Stall” video; while it was shot years before Ed rose to Fixed Axle glory, he does a fantastic job of explaining the trick of calling the yo-yo back and why stalls work the way they do. Pay close attention to when the yo-yo starts to come back: it’s almost more like throwing a breakaway than a trapeze. By the time the string hits your finger, the yo-yo should already be winding back up, and it should land on the string without you having to force it at all. Also, in a move totally counterintuitive to modern yo-yoing, these tricks will be much easier with softer throws and more responsive yo-yos. Go figure!
The second portion of the trick where you transition to trapeze-brother is not that different from its freespinning cousin, but it can be difficult due to the unfamiliar feeling of recalling a yo-yo with your non-throwhand. It’s also important to note that your dismount from the trapeze is effectively your “throw” providing the spin, so it’s worth practicing this part until you can consistently get enough momentum to swing over to the other hand and bring the yo-yo back. Once you can do this, the trick is probably actually less motion than you would imagine: just let the yo-yo bring itself back and mount over your finger. From here, you can do another fancy dismount to return yourself to trapeze stall or catch the yo-yo. High fives!
One very important thing to note about this trick is the way that the spin direction changes. When you dismount from a trapeze stall, the yo-yo has frontstyle spin. If you were to try to re-mount it in a trapeze stall, it would just bounce off of your finger, but it mounts in trapeze-bro just fine. Similarly, if you were to try to mount a trapeze-bro stall with sidestyle spin you would have a pretty tough time with it. Why?! Well. Spin direction not only determines which way the yo-yo is rotating, but also the way that it’ll wind up, and if you try to mount on the same side that the string has wound you’ll most likely get rejected. It sounds complicated, but for the most part you don’t really need to worry about it: just mount on the throwhand side of the string for frontstyle spin and the non-throwhand side for sidestyle spin. Actually, you know what, don’t even think about it at all, just practice this trick a lot and you’ll figure out the rhythm yourself naturally.
The second trick is a little tougher, a variation on the kickflip suicide caught on the throwhand thumb. This was in my Puppydog Love video and people seemed to like it there, so here’s a closer look at it. You’ll definitely want to know kickflip suicides before learning this, and it helps being confident with your thumb mounts, but it’s actually much easier than it looks. Swing the yo-yo away from your body, making sure to keep your hands as straight as possible, and release the string right before the yo-yo is horizontal. It should continue to flip on its own, and with a little practice you can get a nice loop out of it. For this one, it helps to keep your hands closer together on the release, which puts your thumb in the right spot and actually can make the loop a little bigger, too. Kickflip suicides can make surprisingly good transition moves, and this is a pretty nice one to add to the arsenal.