Mark Mangarin of CLYW joins us this week for an in-depth look at his formidable 1A trick Saffron. You may remember Mark from his win at Virginia States earlier this year or his clip for Innovation Movement, and if you’ve ever met him you know that he’s got a head for trick theory and is always down to drop science. Check out the zone-switching, hold-dropping, mind-bending trick below and read on for a closer look at the thought process behind it.
What was the creation process like for this trick? Did you have an overarching theme or idea that you built on, or did it develop organically?
MM: The first part of Saffron is actually the ending of a competition trick that I had made, and the second part was created as an extension. I was talking to Gentry Stein about dynamics last winter when we were preparing for the contest season, and I decided to work with different clover mounts to create freestyle tricks. I had an idea of how I wanted the trick to look (visually), and created this trick front to back keeping these two in mind.
This trick utilizes a lot of what you call “dismantled clovers.” While many players consider Red Clover a classic, there’s an even greater number who don’t really know what it is. What draws you to it, and how do you “dismantle” it?
MM: Well I’m not sure what a single “clover” is (Paul Escolar could probably define this), but I think of it as mounts held together with one droppable loop. The red clover is the most basic example with the thumb being able to transition into a trapeze mount, but there are others like kink clovers (which Mateuz Ganc, Zach Gormley and Yuuki Spencer use often) which are transitional from kink mounts/buckets and drop into nothing/fully dismount. It’s a very useful set, as (from my perspective) it connects linear and knot-based mounts. They’re great for freestyles, but the downside is that they are harder to instamount into.
The term “dismantled” is more of a description: similar to how one can present a bucket mount in different ways by the way it is held, a dismantled mount is usually in the same mount but is held differently or is one small movement away, allowing for variation of tricks. Almost every top player utilizes these but there isn’t really a name for it. If you look at Saffron closely, at almost every point there is some variation on a red clover mount, but as a whole each movement is very different.
Much of the trick involves motions either inside or outside the wrists, rather than pointing both hands forward like most traditional sidestyle tricks. Was this a conscious decision? How did it affect the trick construction for you?
MM: Yes! It was definitely a conscious decision and I had it in mind before starting on the trick. Saffron was constructed using an “element pool” method, and I was interested in zoning + clovers at the time. If you don’t have much execution experience using these zones it’s hard to see all of your options or create something with integrity, so it took me much longer than it usually would to concern every possibility and create a trick I would be content with.
What’s your favorite part of this trick?
MM: Probably the last part. It’s very foreign in movement (which is what I was aiming for), so it has an interesting feel when performed. It also looks/feels different to the person doing the trick: one would have such a focus on the execution/strings that they would not observe the unique movement of the hands that others would probably notice first.
Where did the name come from?
MM: The name is based on the 1957 painting “Saffron” by Mark Rothko. I’m a fan of his artwork (this being one of my favorites), and although the name didn’t influence the creation of the trick (as many named tricks do), coining the name after it was created made me change little parts in how the trick is performed. Rothko was famous in his day for these massive colorful paintings, but many people didn’t understand that there was depth in the colors and that the paintings were about agony and tragedy. This trick is similar in that there’s very massive movements that are good for dynamics, but execution of the trick requires many subtleties (like many of my tricks).
Shout out to Yuuki Spencer! This video exists because he had requested more angles of the trick in order to learn some parts of it. I get a bad rap for having tricks that are hard to learn haha, so I encourage others to take a shot as well.
Also shout out to Chris/CLYW for making the Yeti! I am using it in this video and it’s a great yoyo.
Thanks Mark! You da best. If you learned the trick, want to talk about dismantling holds, or have an idea for who Mark should take on for an exclusive YoYoNews battle, let us know in the comments!