Skip

The Yoyo Champs Are Here
August 10, 2014 11:24 AM   Subscribe

Ever see someone who's so good at something that you just kind of have to take the crowd's word for it? Take a gander at the freshly enYouTubed championship performances from the World YoYo Championships in Prague this weekend. Gentry Stein won the Single Hand String Trick (1A) championship, while Takuma Yamamoto took the Two Hands Looping Trick (2A) crown.

Oh, you want more? Fine. Here's Hajime Miura rolling up the Two Hands String Trick (3A) title.

Rei Iwakura caught the Offstring (4A) championship.

Takeshi Matsuura tore up the Counterweight (5A) competition.

And SPINATION went all kinds of crazy in the Artistic Performance (AP) division.

This was the second annual WYYC since the formation of the International YoYo Federation in 2013 -- the event had previously been part of juggling championships, then were independently operated for a decade by Greg Cohen, who came under fire for not trying to make the event more international in scope, leading to the IYYF's formation. Next year is Tokyo.
posted by Etrigan (20 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, I freakin' LOVE the weird stuff people are into.
posted by clockbound at 12:05 PM on August 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


Do women not yoyo? You'd think a woman with serious knitting or weaving skills and a gymnastics background would have this nailed, but all the videos seemed to be guys.
posted by Dip Flash at 12:07 PM on August 10, 2014


Just like any other competitive young adult field that needs obsessive isolated focus, tight social groups and willingness to accept social ostracisation - It is a male dominated field - partly sexism partly social gender role differences and no doubt mostly the interplay between the two.

I used to follow the scene a few years ago and it was totally ludicrous. It is even moreso now - that 2 A Video is insane
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 12:20 PM on August 10, 2014


There is a Women's Division, won by Tessa Piccillo.
posted by Etrigan at 12:22 PM on August 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


Don't get me wrong, they're all obviously great and really impressive, but try as they might, they will never match K-Strass.
posted by Flunkie at 12:26 PM on August 10, 2014 [8 favorites]


Jesus. Literally the only thing I can do with a yoyo is make a knotted ball of string. These are incredible!
posted by obfuscation at 1:10 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I still have a box of patches and a yo-yo head guy trophy somewhere. I used to follow the Duncan guy who would hold contests from store to store. After a while, he'd just give me a patch and say "let the other kids duke it out...I know you can win."

Shoot the Moon, two-handed, was about the pinnacle of tricks back then...not many could do it (not even the Duncan Pros could...).

But this stuff! Insane! It's just like another dimension of string tricks!

After seeing this, not sure I wanna drag out my old butterfly and show the local kids Man on the Flying Trapeze or Double or Nothing ever again....

Props to those guys!
posted by CrowGoat at 1:36 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


My four year old daughter got excited about yoyos a few months ago, so after watching her struggle with the 50 cent one she got in a party bag for a while I ordered a few off the internet figuring it would be something fun we could do together. Pretty soon I was looking on youtube for some tricks to do, and things have grown from there.

I don't know that it is much of a spectator sport (beyond the initial wow) but it really is tremendous fun. You can get a great yoyo for like $15 and youtube is full of guides.

One thing that's not obvious from those videos, is that most string trick (1A) yoyos these days are what they call unresponsive, which means it won't even come back to your hand without doing a special trick. That seems crazy at first, but leads to longer spin times and prevents it snapping back into your knuckles mid-trick.
posted by markr at 3:04 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Damn I am way into Hajime Miura's symmetrical routine.
posted by kenko at 3:07 PM on August 10, 2014


A few months ago I was idly waiting for a bus at Mill Hill Broadway station - possibly the least auspicious place you could possibly imagine - when I caught myself staring somewhat slack-jawed at someone doing the kind of obscenely complex yoyo tricks that I'd only previously seen on YouTube videos.

Turned out to be the extremely awesome Corli du Toit, who got 3rd place in the 2014 WYYC Women's Division.

She then got on the same bus as me, and yes, I'm afraid I did gush fanboyishly at her at how astonishing her yoyo skills were. She was very nice about it and pointed me in the direction of her numerous amazing YouTube videos...
posted by motty at 3:27 PM on August 10, 2014 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed the knowing looks Hajime Miura was shooting to the audience after every difficult trick; it was like he was saying "that's right, I'm fucking awesome"
posted by beerbajay at 3:37 PM on August 10, 2014


I don't know that it is much of a spectator sport (beyond the initial wow) but it really is tremendous fun. You can get a great yoyo for like $15

Agreed. I never got so into things but I know that when I got my Bumblebee it basically spoiled me to normal freebe/dollar or two yoyos ever again.
posted by RolandOfEld at 3:38 PM on August 10, 2014


My yoyo trick days ended shortly after they began when I accidentally hit my friend in the face at the age of 10.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:55 PM on August 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The bumblebee is amazing, a descendant of the ProYo invented by a literal descendant of Duncan. It's super versatile, has freaking brake pads which are the chief innovation for its time (replacing the star pattern that created the plastic Duncan revolution) and is adjustable enough to do trapezes and other more advanced string tricks. Much more impressive to see it done on a non butterfly even if both styles require the same accuracy for a trick to pull off right.
posted by aydeejones at 5:49 PM on August 10, 2014


Which is to say trapezes are just as hard with a butterfly or "imperial" or "modified" (Bumblebee, ProYo, etc with weighted outer edges) but all string tricks look harder when the YoYo doesn't look like it has training wheels. Usually the main draw of a butterfly is the adjustability of the string gap and the feel in your hands but visually they look "easier." And they aren't IMO
posted by aydeejones at 5:52 PM on August 10, 2014


I got as far as Rock the Baby when I was a kid. I remember the running out of spin being the main problem I had with it (granted, I was using a plain wood Duncan). With that in mind, these videos are pretty astonishing to me.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:22 PM on August 10, 2014


My ability to "Walk the Dog" when I was 12 just hid in a corner and died. :-]
posted by zuhl at 6:50 PM on August 10, 2014


aydeejones: A "modern" 1A yoyo looks like this it's almost harder to miss a trapeze than hit one. (That's a YYF Shutter, which is Gentry Stein's signature model).
posted by markr at 7:39 PM on August 10, 2014


The insanity of this kind of thing - the pure obsessional pointlessness of yoyo expertise seems undeniable proof of the meaninglessness and absurdity of life.

I can't really think of a better example of proof that there is no god.
posted by mary8nne at 4:51 AM on August 11, 2014


The insanity of this kind of thing - the pure obsessional pointlessness of yoyo expertise seems undeniable proof of the meaninglessness and absurdity of life.

Put it that way, any hobby becomes undeniable proof of the meaningless and absurdity of life.

Personally I think these videos kinda rock. But the most coordinated thing I ever did with a yoyo was donk my sister in the eye, so.

I can't really think of a better example of proof that there is no god.

Hmm.
posted by Quilford at 8:16 AM on August 11, 2014


« Older SKREE clonk blONK REEE   |   Martin Solveig - Defected In The House Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post