We’re less than a month away from the 2014 World YoYo Contest, and everyone is finalizing their travel plans and getting excited for the event. The event organizers took a moment to speak with judge Matthew Fernandez (aka Boxthor), who is flying in from San Francisco to judge several divisions.
Hello Box! How are you today?
We are all pretty excited that you’re heading to Prague for WYYC. Why did you decide to go?
I’ve gone to the World Yoyo Contest for the past 9 years in a row, and now it’s tradition for me – I don’t go for the contest, I go to hang out with friends from all over the world, many of whom I only get to see once a year. I’ve always wanted to visit Prague and now I have the perfect excuse to.
What do you expect from this event?
I’ve watched previous EYYC streams, and from the looks of it, Prague is able to put on a professional looking event LEAGUES ahead of any other contest I’ve been to. I think it’s exactly the direction the yoyo industry needs to go in.
What are your suggestions for making WYYC better than it ever was? Is there something crucial we should not forget?
Paid flights for top competitors and judges would be a great start. I think as a contest, Worlds was always fine, but it was severely lacking in media exposure and recently, didn’t do anything to really promote the industry.
Do you know that the local community sees you as quite a star? Why do you think that is?
Back in around 2007, YoYoFactory started coming out with their first widespread models, and really got players excited about making videos. Vashek rose to fame quickly, and I soon became friends with him and his brother Ondrej, who did all the filming. I don’t know much about the Czech scene, but I imagine Vashek / YYF was a great starting point, as as that community grew, they began to go and search for other yoyo videos, and I was putting out both clip videos and the freestyle videos for a lot of the major contests in the US at the time.
Do you plan to do some special project while you’re here?
I’ll have my camera – I’m not sure what I want to do with it yet. I started a new job 2 years ago and haven’t had the time to come out with a really awesome worlds video lately, but I have plans for the footage once I get some time.
Are you going to participate in the event as a spectator or are you planning to get more involved?
One of the main reasons I love judging is that I get a front row seat to see all of the freestyles – besides that I’m looking to just hang out with friends and take in the sights.
Is there anything special you’re planning to do or see in Prague?
I haven’t started looking in to extra activities but I did book a couple extra days to go sightseeing, so I am open to suggestions as to what to check out.
Any last words?
I want to get a tattoo while I’m there but I haven’t decided on a design. What’s the most Czech thing I can get? I need help deciding, or else I’m gonna end up with a tattoo that reads “Strč prst skrz krk”.