As we gear up for the 2013 World YoYo Contest, we take a step back to appreciate and admire the greats of years past. We will be posting the top 5 in each division in the weeks leading up to the World Yo-Yo Contest.
Triple A is another style that has roots in the Duncan demonstrators of the 50s and 60s, but it took a modern player to see the potential and bring it into the current day. Early promotional images of Duncan demonstrator Wayne Lundberg show the most rudimentary of 3A play….a Sleeper with one hand, a Trapeze from the other. With the wooden yoyos of the 50s and 60s, this is generally all that was possible, but with the move from fixed axles to ball-bearing axles in the 90s, suddenly the equipment could handle a lot more. In 1998, Mark McBride created the first string trick involving two spinning yoyos, Velvet Rolls. Created as part of a bet with Steve Brown, Velvet Rolls is the trick that served as the catalyst for modern 3A play. From there, McBride worked on dual-mount tricks and kink mounts, while Brown focused on “assisted” 3A tricks…using one yoyo as a slave to create an additional anchor point within a trick. From early tricks like Assisted Suicide (ironically still one of the most difficult single tricks) and Blue Line Rolls came the foundation of modern 3A play; brought from being a “parking lot” division held for fun after established contests to one of the most complicated and difficult divisions in competitive yoyoing, 3A has grown tremendously and is one of the fastest growing divisions today.
5. Paul Yath –
- 1x World Champion, 4x National Champion, 4x Regional Champion
A huge early innovator with concepts that combined 2A and 3A, Paul paved the way to what is now modern 3A. Complex tech tricks, visually appealing mounts and tangler combos, Paul had it all. Capturing a world title in 2006, as well as multiple National titles over some others players on this list, Paul demonstrated why he is one of the greats.
4. Hiroki Miyamoto –
- 1x World Champion, 2x National Champion, 1x Regional Champion
Bursting on the scene at the Central Japan regional competition, Miyamoto brought to the stage tricks that had concepts never before been attempted. His unmistakable methodical style saw him to the top spot in the world of 3A in 2008. Many of his tricks from 2007-2008 would still hold up against todays competition. He injected a level of innovation that took 3A to a whole different level and thus earned his spot as one of the greatest to ever throw the style.
3. Hank Freeman –
- 2x World Champion, 3x National Champion, 1x Regional Champion
With unmatched flow and ease, Hank is quickly cementing his place in the 3A hall of fame. With three National titles and back-to-back World titles, Hank proved what so many knew for so long—he’s incredible. Hank’s personality shines bright on stage with his laid back attitude when performing extremely difficult tricks. If Hank decides to continue competing, he may take over the greatest of all time in 3A.
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2. Kentaro Kimura – /
- 1x World Champion, 1x Asia Champion, 2x National Champion, 4x Regional Champion, 2x State Champion
The single most incredible 3 minutes of 3A yo-yoing belongs to this man. After several previous years of disappointment, Kentaro beamed with confidence after he completed the legendary 2009 routine. Kentaro is perhaps one of the fastest 3A players of all time and innovated a style of 3A that is very popular today. He is undeniably one of the greatest, and with his recent decision to compete again he may have more to add to his list of achievements.
1. Daisuke Shimada –
- 4x World Champion, 1x National Champion, 4x Regional Champion
Daisuke Shimada brought so much to 3A, it is very easy to put him at the top. With four World titles as testimony, his level of play was far beyond anyone at the time; creator of possibly the most visually impressive single trick in Sword Dancers in 2004, Daisuke still blows minds with his trick in 2013. He has proved his influence on the style and inspired many to start. Daisuke is the greatest 3A player of all time.
Who do you think are the greatest 3A players of all time? Feel free to post your thoughts below!
As a reminder, these rankings take into consideration competitive players from around 2000 and on.