Yeah, you read right.
Although I fully recognize that Drew Tetz’s nasty chopsticks brainchild may not obviously apply to the high-friction craft of fixed axle play, the sadist in me wanted to see whether I could make it fit. And at the end of a week full of sawing against the grain, I can confidently say: “kinda?”.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, then you’ll need to do some prerequisite research. Archery is a trick (and subsequently, a family of tricks) developed around 2007 based on the use of 3 fingers. So named due to the legend of the naughty middle finger sign having come about from archers’ use of the finger to kill, Archery tricks generally involve the use of the first two fingers and thumb. It’s most commonly associated with the final triple-trapeze trick at the very end of Drew’s yo-yo, and I spend much of this vid focusing on that. I also wanted to share a trick I’ve been doing a lot lately called ‘Soliloquy’, which has a couple of 3-finger pieces to it. Specifically, this week is less about the Archery concept in general, and more about Archery Stalls. It’s one of my longer FF vids, but honestly some of these tricks were so hard for me that I had a tough time editing things out.
This week got pretty frustrating, and I knew from the start that I was biting off more than I could chew. Whatever though, they can’t all be Rock the Baby weeks! After going through Soliloquy a couple of times, I started trying out some stalled variations of the Archery mount described above. At first I found Archery Stall to be nearly impossible, but like so many tricks, it was just an intimidating learning curve on the approach. After a little time and a lot of misses, I was successfully stalling out in the 3-trapeze Archery hold nearly every time (figuring out how to hop into it from a static stall also helped a bunch). Unfortunately, the ultimate application of fixed axle Archery was pretty much immediately apparent. Because if you can stall out in the Archery trapeze hold… it stands to reason that you can kickflip it. In retrospect, reason ended up having very little to do with it.
The first or second time I hit the stall, I showed it to my wife, Stacy, saying “Ok, so I can hit this like once every 50 times… How many times do you think I’d have to try to land the Kickflip on all 3 fingers? 5,000? 10?” She was nonplussed and turned Sons of Anarchy back on. She watched a lot of Sons of Anarchy this week.
I don’t know how many times I actually tried the flip, but it was a lot. I landed it to one finger at least 100 times, which honestly does feel awesome… unless you’re going for 3, in which case it’s a total failure. I landed it on two fingers about 10 times, which is BRUTAL. As of press time, I have hit the full Archery Flip three times… and the feeling of vindication was every bit as sublime as hitting Spirit Bomb on an O-Boy. What you learn going though the process of hitting any really difficult trick, however, is that the part of you that is able to hit the trick is nowhere near as significant and impressive as the part of you that is willing to TRY it. Hitting the Archery Flip was really just a matter of patience and statistics; the right confluence of variables. That doesn’t really say anything about me or my skill. But the combination of naiveté and determination which led me to throw myself into something that I reeeeeeally wasn’t sure I’d be able to hit… actually is pretty awesome.
I was psyched to hit some other cool stuff too, including the Insta-Archery Stall at 2:35. I first saw Insta-Archery (I think) from Randy Jansen shortly after Drew released his video, and I’ve seen Jacob Jensen do it as well. Insta-Archery is just like regular Archery, only you have about 0.01s to get your fingers into all the right string-nooks. And to land it in a stall, you need to be as fluid as you are fast. I’m pretty sure that if I had Sid-hands instead of my own stubby digits, that trick would be one of my favorites… although I guess a lot of my playing might be awesomer if I had Sid-esque qualities. I also think Soliloquy is a cool trick, and I love the two-handed Archery-style mount it starts with. Some of the inverted Lunar stuff in the middle of the video is fun to mess around with as well. I tried to figure out a true Archery Lunar Landing, but everything I tried had weird doubled loops and was very awkward to put into Shoot-the-Moon. (We’ll call that one homework for all you loyal readers – someone is reading this, right?) The Archery Flip to 360 Shuv-it out is buried in the vid, but (I think) pretty slick; kind of the ultimate Drew Tetz combo trick – just needs Sawchucks.
A lot of this week was spent chasing a white whale in that Archery Flip, but as is often the case, I happened upon some really cool applications of the broader concept in the process. It’s not lost on me that pretty much all of this week’s entry is just obsessively perusing through Drew’s conceptual playing and trying to fit the pieces together differently. Major fist-bump-bro-hugs to my brother-in-arms on that score. Are you a fixed axle archer, yourself? Tell us about your variations and tribulations in the comments below.
ALSO, we are quickly coming up on a full year of Fixed Friday entries. I’ll discuss this a bit more later on, but after 46 entries, it’s getting kind of tough to think of new weekly themes. If you have any suggestions, we do take requests… unless they’re as hard as Archery Flip.