Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Satisfying Tricks

There are some tricks that just do it for you. There are some tricks that encompass yo-yoing for you. There are some tricks that, when you land them, you feel like the biggest badass on the planet. Then there are some tricks that just "feel good". Here are a few of those tricks that I do every day which never leave any less of a mark when they're done.

I remember the first time I saw a grind. It was over at Andre's dark magic was crawling over his arm like a little pet friend, and I decided that this was the greatest thing I've ever seen. Yo-yoing was no longer confined to a little network of strings between the fingers, it'd been set free to rock out on whatever surface you wanted. I can't remember the learning the process at all, sadly, but now grinds are a part of my daily bag o' tricks. A finger grind on a dead smooth yo-yo is one of the best feelings there can be. And, hey, it helps that it's one of the most impressive tricks you can do. It's not speedy, it's not techy, it's simple. People can identify, understand, and RECOGNIZE your mad skillz.

Somewhere there's a video of Steve Brown on the news. He's just got off and plane, and was performing for a group of people. One of the tricks he chose, and the one the crew decided to show, was Boingy-Boing. It is impressive, but no more so than any of the other tricks in this post. Instead, I'm draw to this trick because of how cool it feels. When you hit that rhythm and it gets going, you just get this air of acomplishment. The fact that I often see it on lists of "difficult tricks" to get down really helps that feeling of having mastered a "worthy" trick. Yeah, yeah, I know, it's all individual-based and you only make goals for yourself....but you have to admit that you feel better after learning a trick you've been told is hard. Okay, well, I do.

My buddy was the first one to learn Brent Stole. I was never very interested, content with my hooks. Honestly, I just could not get my head around what was happening, and decided it wasn't worth it to learn. Yes, I know how terribly stupid that sounds and is. He comes in to our little free period and declares, "I've got it like 8 out of 10 times!" So, okay, I decided to bite. "Teach me," I told him. I'm always of the believe that you don't truly know something- be it yo-yos or the difference between Humanistic and Cognitive theories of psychological therapy - until you could teach it. So, he basically tells me "Okay, you start with you finger turned like this, you throw the string, and while it's in the air you turn your finger outward and kinda move you other arm like this." It sounds crazy vague and unhelpful, but somehow that's all it took. It clicked, and I did it. It's since become my go-to whip, and it's no less satisfying now than the day I learned it. It's the feeling I get when the yo-yo plops solidly down, not in a knot, but the very specific brent stole mount that gets me.

I only decided stalls because of Ed. First of all, he's the one responsible for turning me (and, I'm going to guess, a ton of other people) onto wooden yo-yos. His videos have a certain style that is undeniably his own. A major part of his distinctive style are stalls. Finally, someone asked him to post a video about how to nail them, and of course, he did.

I didn't have any trouble getting them down, because they're pretty simple, in both looks and execution. But their effect on my play has been phenomal. With wood, you can stall at almost any point. And when you do it right, it hits that string HARD. There is a SOLID feeling when you stall a yo-yo, and you've got to be heartless if that THUNK doesn't do anything for you.

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