Birthday: February 26
Location: Washington, D.C.
Current favorite throw: Whip
Achievements: 2009, 2010, 2011 US Nationals Best Female Award
Quicksilver Presents Tony Hawk Birdhouse Tour 2011
1st China Tour 2011
The Kengarden Presents Ann Connolly
On a recent trip to San Fransisco Ann Connolly shot this great video with our friend Jake Wiens of The Ken Garden. Awesome shots at very cool locations with a great yo-yo, the H.O.T., and of course the tricks look good too!
Ann on Channel Ten’s Breakfast Show in Australia
During Ann’s recent Australian Yo-Yo Tour she made an appearance on Channel Ten’s Breakfast Show which is a hugely popular morning show. Lots of Yo-Yo love and a really fun interview with Ann!
Ann Connolly 6th Place 1A @ MA States 2012
West Coast Tour with Tony Hawk, World YoYo Contest, more West Coast Tour and releasing a signature WHiP. When does Ann find time to practice? We can’t wait to see what she has planned for her Nationals freestyle.
Ann’s_YoYoFactory WHiP Appeal
With the first week of Champions Collection releasing to the public, the Ann Connolly Whip has become the #1 seller. We think it might have something to do with her new video…
Ann Connolly WHiP Appeal
YoYoFactory in Union Square Park, SF
The YoYoFactory West Coast Tour finds Augie, Ann and Seth in beautiful San Francisco, CA. Hanging out in Union Square Park, they filmed this video. Great beats. Great Tricks. All in a great city.
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Napa and BBQ
Our last demo for this leg of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour (don’t worry, there will be more!) we head to Napa for Blues, Brews and BBQ. A huge street festival that Toy B Ville has invited us too. On the left is Darren, the owner of Toy B Ville and a really rad guy (more on that later). On the right is John, he started the local scene here and heads the Yo-Yo club at Toy B Ville. It’s always so amazing to see passionate, dedicated young people take charge and create something awesome for their community.
All day we had patrons visiting our booth. Learning, watching and having a good time. We never grow tired of people saying, “Wow! These are so much better then the old yo-yos I used to have when I was a kid. I can actually DO tricks!”.
But yo-yoing wasn’t the only thing happening…
… Darren was defending his title as Rib Eating Champion. Last year he came in as a rookie and destroyed the competition with 27 ribs in 10 minutes.
And within a few minutes, it was apparent how hungry he was for another title. Taking down 12 ribs before most others were even close to double digits.
Chowing down on another 12, and he was well ahead of the pack. 3 away from his previous record.
As he sets his 33rd rib in the bowl there was a little less then a minute to go, and 5 ribs ahead of the closest competitor.
Your 2012 Champion, Darren!
Now, back to yo-yoing…
We had a full day at the festival. Everyone who stopped by was excited to learn yo-yo. We had first timers and old hands alike take YoYoFactory yo-yos for a spin.
Ann and Augie also wow’ed the crowd with demos. Showing what Modern Performance Yo-Yos were all about.
Thanks to Darren, John and the whole crew at Toy B Ville for a great event.
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Day off in San Francisco
After a great week on the road, we’re taking a day off to visit San Francisco. We got into town just in time for lunch. Big Lantern was the spot today. One of the best Chinese joints in the Mission.
San Francisco wasn’t designed for our Tour Van, so we parked it and took the bus out for a day of shopping.
A must on any trip to the Bay is Amoeba Records. With one of the largest selections in the country, it’s a mecca for music lovers. We found some great, hard to find records during this visit.
Haight and Ashbury was a haven for hippies in the 60′s but now it’s home to some great shopping. Stussy, Super 7, Kid Robot and True just to name a few.
Next it was off to visit one of our favorite stores in the city, Fatlace. YoYoFactory has worked with this great boutique on several projects including the BAC Friday Night Party where we released the Avant Garde 2.
You know you’re in the right spot when there’s Yo-Yo string holding the door open for you.
Inside the clean, minimalist interior of Fatlace you’ll find top tier Nike, The North Face, G Shock, their in-house label Illest….
… and YoYoFactory. Fatlace has been one of our premiere retailers in the Bay Area for years.
If you visit Fatlace, chances are the person behind the counter yo-yos. Daniel and Tim were holding down the shop today. Thanks to the Fatlace/Illest family for hanging out and hooking us up with some sweet gear!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Chico and the National YoYo Museum
We rolled into Chico this afternoon, just in time to pick up Gentry from school. If there’s one thing that turns more heads them Gentry’s shoe game, it’s the YoYoFactory van.
Once we got Gentry we headed over to the National YoYo Museum in downtown Chico. The Museum is full of awesome displays that chronicle the timeline of Yo-Yo.
YoYoFactory is honored to have multiple displays in the Museum showing our growth and progression in the past 10 years. The Museum also has many of our players signature models, personally signed for the Museum.
The walls of the Museum are literally covered in history. Old. New. Championship winning. Prototypes. Even quirky promotional yo-yos are on display. And they all tell a story.
The National YoYo Museum also plays host to the National Yoyo Contest. Every year honors are given out at the contest. Ann has received “Female Player of the Year” awards quite a few times.
The man responsible for it all, Bob Malowney. Bob is the godfather of it all. He was instrumental in bringing the yo-yo back into popularity in the 80′s. Creating and curating the National YoYo Museum in the 90′s. And bringing us the modern yo-yo contest through his efforts in the National YoYo League and National YoYo Contest.
What started out as a passion for Bob has grown into the thriving, vibrant yo-yo culture we have today. Yo-Yo has come a long way since Bob started, but without him a lot of what we take for granted today wouldn’t have happened.
As Bob gave us a tour of the Museum you couldn’t help but be in awe of what he has worked to achieve. In the early 90′s the main means of promoting the National YoYo Contest was word of mouth. Every time someone would write for information on Nationals Bob would be sure to send extra fliers back to give out to others who might be interested. Now, almost two decades later, Nationals is one of the most prestigious contest in the world. Bringing in an international audience and competitors from every corner of the country.
A lot of passion and hard work has gone into developing Yo-Yo into what is is today. Bob is a testament to hark work and following your passions.
After the Museum tour, we went out front and set up for the local street festival. Bird in hand, Bob’s store that houses the National YoYo Museum, has a strong club, and many of them came out.
It was perfect weather and a grew crowd. We were honored to be able to work with such an institution and were proud to fly our flag next to Bird in Hand.
The next generation of yo-yo is alive and well in Chico.
Thank you again Bob, Thad, and everyone at Bird in Hand and the National YoYo Museum. We had a great time in Chico!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Learning Express Roseville
We can’t help but love Learning Express Roseville. In 3 short years they have built a talented, vibrant yo-yo club.
And it’s all thanks to Colleen and her dedicated family and staff. They love yo-yos and it shows in their efforts to promote the sport. They hold clubs, contests and even go into the community to perform.
We not only got to come for a great demo, it was also a farewell party for Colleen’s son Cory, who is the head teacher at the club. But no worries, he’s actually going off to college a few hours away, in Chico.
For the event there was a big taco spread. And awesome baked goods by RedHen.
We had a lot of fun hanging out and showing off new tricks and product to the club and customers.
We closed out the day with a stellar demo from Ann and Augie. Thank you Roseville for having us and showing us such a great time! We’ll be back soon!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Learning Express Reno
YoYoFactory finds its way back to Reno for another round of demos at the local Learning Express’. We had a good crowd of locals at our first stop.
Lots of teaching and trading tricks. It’s always a blast to meet new players from a new area and see the talent that’s springing up thanks to the hard work of Chuck and Learning Express.
We wrapped up our first appearance with a demo by Ann and Augie. For some of these players this was their first time seeing such a high level of modern yo-yoing.
We quickly transitioned to the next Learning Express in Reno and got right to teaching the crowd some new tricks.
Like last time, we finished with a great demo by Augie and Ann that the crowd loved! Thanks so much for having us out again, Learning Express. Special thanks to Chuck and all the club members that came out. We had a blast!
YoYoFactory Summer Camp with YoYoUniversity
Over the past week YoYoFactory was given the opportunity to stop in Portland for a week to hold a YoYo Summer Camp during our West Coast Tour. Thanks to YoYoUniversity, Portland has a thriving young yo-yo scene full of amazing talent.
As part of YoYoUniversity’s program, they teach many building blocks, and test the campers on their proficiency. As they work their way around the “U” they achieve higher, more exclusive, levels in the program.
The ages and skill range was great. We had kids who had just picked up a yo-yo, to players who had been in the YoYoU program for over 2 years and were placing well at regional contest.
Along with all the yo-yo activities, there were outdoor breaks. Who could turn down the chance to go up again a Yo-Yo Champ in a game of ball?
Another feature of each day at YoYo Camp was time meeting and learning from the Pros on hand. Each of the Pros has very interesting insights into yo-yoing and the campers were eager to hear and full of questions.
Speaking of our Pros for the week, here’s a nice group shot. From Left to Right: Ibrahim Rahman, Luke and Jack Finnel, Augie Fash and always camera aware Ann Connolly.
The campers were so stoked to have some of the best Pros in the country on hand to teach them tips and tricks.
For the last day, the Camp had a big head to head team battle. Augie’s team huddled up to plan their epic team routine. With the veteran performing experience of Augie, they were sure to have a good routine.
Teams assemble and get ready to face off.
Both teams had great ideas and really entertaining routines. Augie’s team came out victorious with their amazing team jump trick and solid performance.
Thank you to everyone who came out to YoYo Summer Camp. Special thanks to the parents and campers for making this such a fun, successful event. Special thanks to Colin and Greg of YoYoU and Ibs, Jack, Luke, Seth, Ann, Augie and Gentry for coming out. We can’t wait for next year!
YoYoFactory in Portland
As part of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour, we find ourselves in Portland, OR again. After a quick break, and a trip to the World YoYo Contest, we’re back on the road. This leg of the tour we have Ann Connolly, Augie Fash, Gentry Stein and Seth Peterson.
We started our first day in Portland on Alberta Street. The neighborhood is full of great food, coffee and shops. We had a chance to stop into the Antler Gallery and hang out with a new friend, artist Neil M. Perry.
After Alberta St. we met up with some friends for dinner. Here is the YoYoFactory team, bookended by YoYoUniversiy.
At dinner we were also joined by our buddy, and Protegé, Ibrahim. He’s always full of stories and good times.
Then, off for desert. If you’re in Portland, it’s a must to stop at VooDoo Doughnut. Racks on racks on racks of delicious, sugary goodness waiting to be devoured.
No matter what time of day, you’ll find a line at VooDoo. Luckily we brought our yo-yos.
VooDoo is known for their crazy toppings and themes. Among the group there was oreos, cereal, frosting and bacon! It was a great end to a fun first day in Portland. Tomorrow we start YoYo Summer Camp.
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 13- Vancouver, Canada
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Vancouver BC
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Washington – Seattle
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 12- Seattle, WA
Seattle is our last stop in the USA for the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour. We got in a day early so we had a chance to go around to sight see. First stop was across the street from our hotel, the Space Needle.
Then we walked down to the historic Pike Place Market. On the far end of Pike Place is the gum wall. It was hands down the grossest thing we saw on tour.
Next we went to the pier for dinner and to watch the sun set over the sound. In the back ground you can see our next destination.
The Seattle Great Wheel offered an amazing view of the city at night.
Alex caught a late night skate session under the Needle.
Seattle really showed us a good time in our last day in America. The crowd was eager to learn and we had a great time.
Tons of locals also came out to hang out and try new YoYoFactory prototypes.
With all the locals we had a great Pro Contest with a lot of stiff competition.
We can’t say it enough, Seattle was awesome! Thanks to everyone who came out! Next stop, CANADA!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour: Grants Pass, Portland & Spokane
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 11- Spokane, WA
Day 11 of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour finds us in Spokane WA. It was another busy day full of teaching and demos. Spokane was one of our biggest crowds so far.
Along with hundreds of new yo-yoers, some more experienced players came out for the day.
Like the other stops we ran contests for beginners and pros alike. We had 3 great contestants for the Pro Contest.
It’s always cool to see players who play and practice together competing head to head. Their different styles come out and they always have a good time.
Thanks so much Spokane for having up. Great crowds and great times!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour- Day 10 Portland
Portland is such an exciting city. Great food, great vibe, great times. It also has one of the fastest growing yo-yo scenes in the country, thanks to YoYoUniversity. YoYoFactory held a special meet up in the park to hang out with the local crew.
We had a lot of fun hanging out, running contests and trading tricks. There is so much talent here it was amazing.
Thanks so much to everyone who came out. It was great getting to hang out with everyone and we can’t wait to come back next month for YoYo Summer Camp.
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 9- Grants Pass, OR
We knew the moment we rolled into the Grans Pass venue that it would be a good day. Before we could even set up the tent we had a crowd of people eager to learn how to yo-yo.
The day was filled with contests and demos. The audience was stoked to watch the Pros and after each performance the tent would get swarmed by people learning how to yo-yo.
In between the demos we also ran Long Sleeper contests that really got the competitors going. It was amazing to see how fast everyone was picking it up and we had some great Long Sleepers from people who had just picked up a yo-yo earlier that day.
We also had some Special Guests show up and compete in the YoYoFactory Pro Contest. Luke beat out his older brother Jack, and Ibs, for the West Coast trophy.
The Skate demo also went off! Huge crowds and great tricks. Thanks to everyone who came out to Grants Pass. We had a great time!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour 2012: Part Four, 3 States – 1 Day
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 8- On the road from Nevada to Oregon
The morning started early in Reno. As we were driving out of town we passed by this crazy tree and had to turn around. It was COVERED with shoes.
Then, back on the road. Our first stop of the day is to see the extinct volcano of Lassen Peak.
Kato decides to see how far he could roll this boulder. It didn’t go far.
There were also these crystal clear lakes created from ice melting. In the background you can see Lassen Peak.
Back in the van, and out to the Northern California coast. It was a stunning afternoon at the picturesque Northwest coastline.
From the ocean we headed inland and north. Our journey took us through Bigfoot country.
Then, to the Redwood Forest. Here you’ll find THE biggest, oldest trees in the world. These mammoths are thousands of years old, and hundreds of feet tall.
AS the sun sets in the forest, we end our day of sight seeing and traveling. Tomorrow is our demo in Oregon. Can’t wait to see how it goes.
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour 2012: Part Three, Woodward / Tahoe
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 7- Woodward Tahoe
Day 7 of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour finds us at the Woodward Action Sports camp in Lake Tahoe. Woodward is a dream come true. It offers year round camps for Skateboards, BMX, snowboarding, gymnastics and skiing.
Before the demo Kato decided to steal a sesh on the ramp.
We had a great day of teaching and demos. The campers, and staff, really got into it and before the day was over almost everyone was walking around with a yo-yo in their hand.
We also had some contests. This Long Sleeper winner walked away with a 888!
Around 4 the skate demo started. Everyone was stoked to be at Woodward, and it showed in the demos.
After we packed up for the day we headed over to the indoor skatepark/mini mega ramp/trampolines/foam pits.
It was a good think we didn’t find this till after the demo. We could have spent all day in here.
Thanks to everyone who came out for the event. And a special thanks to the staff and campers at Woodward for making us feel so welcome! We can’t wait to come back!
YoYoFactory Park BBQ @ Tualatin Community Park, Portland OR
What are you doing this Sunday? If you live in the Portland area, you should come out to the Tualatin Community Park! We’ll be hanging out, teaching tricks, testing new yo-yos and doing a contest!
Tualatin Community Park @ 1:00pm
8515 SW Tualatin Road
Tualatin, OR 97062
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 6- Roseville YoLex
If you’ve been to a Yo-Yo Contest in Northern California, you’ve probably seen people with “YoLex” shirts. YoLex started at the Learning Express Roseville and has grown to several other locations across the country.
We had a great turn out with lots of great players showing up to watch, hang out and trade tricks.
We made sure to run a bunch of fun contests and gave out tons of fun prizes. Alex had some fun signing autographs on t-shirt winners.
We had an amazing time at Learning Express Roseville! Thanks to the staff for being so dedicated to the yo-yo club, and thats to everyone who came out and had fun. It was a blast!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour 2012: Part Two, CALI with Birdhouse
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 5- California State Fair @ Sacramento
For our Sacramento stop of the West Coast Tour we had special guests Augie Fash and Gentry Stein… and Chris in the background.
We had great crowds at the fair. Today was the only day for the vert ramp, so the whole team was pumped to skate.
Excited crowd, great skating and some of the best yo-yoers in the country. Sounds like a good day to us!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 4- San Jose
Another amazing day in California. Today’s stop is the San Jose Skatepark. Before we could even get set up, people started picking up yo-yos and learning their first tricks.
In no time we had a huge crowd watching the YoYoFactory pros: Paul, Ann and Pat all threw down great freestyles. A true showcase of what modern performance yo-yos can do!
Next up was our first of many Long Sleeper Contests. For most of these players, today was their first time throwing a yo-yo. But they picked it up quick and won some great prizes!
Back in the YoYoFactory tent, people packed in to learn about yo-yos, look at the rad YoYoFactory product lineup for 2012 and learn more tricks.
In no time, the skate demo started. Huge crowds surrounded the bowl while the Birdhouse team went at it.
Always a fun watch, Kevin Staab killing it with color and skill!
Whether you’re a fan because of his style, his boards, or his shoes, Steve Caballero is a true legend in skateboarding. For those of you who don’t know, those Half Cabs you have, this man’s signature shoe. Undeniable Legend.
Speaking of Half Cab, this is Steve’s daughter. Rockin’ her own pair of her dad’s shoe. And showing the same style and grace int he bowl as him too.
More Long Sleeper contests back at the YoYoFactory booth. Show up for a skate demo, walk away a yo-yo champion with $100 YoYoFactory 888 in hand? Sounds like a good day!
We also help the YoYoFactory San Jose West Coast Tour Pro Contest! While one of our favorites of the day, Heshgod couldn’t hold it up to Aaron who threw down a great freestyle and took home the coveted West Coast Pro trophy! Congrats!
Tomorrow is slated to be the best day yet. Sacramento State Fair with tons of YoYoFactory Pros: Pat, Ann, Tyler, Augie, Gentry, Ben and Seth. Along with the Birdhouse Vert team and tons of other great activities! See you there around 4pm!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 3- Santa Clarita
It was a beautiful day to star off our first stop of the YoYoFactory West Coast Tour in Santa Clarita!
As soon as we set up the YoYoFactory booth at the skatepark, people started learning how to yo-yo.
The whole day was nonstop crowds of new players eager to learn, and more experienced yo-yoers that stopped in to hang out and trade tricks.
Later in the day the Skate demo started. Tony Hawk, going hard even after breaking a rib recently.
Then it was time for the first YoYoFactory West Coast Pro Contest! We had a great line-up of players.
Ernest from the Philippines (now living in LA) came out on top. Congrats on the win, and the awesome trophy!
Oh yeah… and we saw this happen.
Tomorrow, San Jose! Rumor has is Steve Caballero is going to be skating the demo.
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour 2012: Part One, Westward Ho!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour Day 2- Los Angles
The day started early with Paul and Ann’s arrival into LAX. First stop once the crew is assembled: Randy’s Donuts. This LA institution is just down the street from LAX, and made the perfect start to a great day!
Our next stop was Hollywood. Ann wanted to see the Chinese Theater and all the stars on the sidewalk. While we were there, we ran into Wonder Woman and Michael Jackson. We hooked them up with some yo-yos and MJ Moon-walked the Dog (we wish).
Ann was set out to find one specific star. Her favorite actress, Marilyn Monroe.
After a star studded, touristy morning, we headed to the Griffith Observatory for an amazing view of the city.
And on the other side, one of the best views of the Hollywood sign you can find!
No better way to end a packed day then to chill at the beach. A quick walk from our hotel brought us right out to the shore. Ben took some photos and footage of Ann and Pat playing on the beach as the sun was getting low in the sky.
The sun sets on another great day on the road. Next stop: Santa Clarita!
YoYoFactory West Coast Tour begins!
The van rolled out of YYF hq under heavy skies thanks to the seasonal monsoons that kicked in overnight. Unlike last years east coast tour the west coast isn’t too far away so we stopped at a number of scenic locations filming for this years tour videos.
As we end up in Canada we also went to the Mexico border to truly cover the nation South to North.
All work and no play isn’t our style so we took a break at the WAVEHOUSE on Mission Beach for some chlorine tubes. Ironically it was AP last year YoYoFactory ran a private surf party in Singapore and this year we ride waves in southern California while AP gets underway in Singapore.
Next stop was La Jolla to connect with YoYoFactory Contest Team member David Ung and film some tricks. David is attending his first world yoyo contest this year and it was great to see him. Finally we crashed out for the night in Orange County, closer to our 1st public Demo as part of the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater HD presents Birdhouse Left Coast Tour powered by Tech Deck Tour . Tomorrow morning Tour veterans Ann Connolly and Paul Han fly into LA. We could say we have hard work to do but that would be a lie….
Be sure to check out our first stop of the tour:
Saturday, July 14 3:00PM
Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita Skatepark
20840 Centre Pointe Parkway Santa Clarita, CA
Ann’s #YoYoContestLooks @BAC
Our very own roving fashion reporter, Ann Connolly, will be keeping an eye out on the newest spring looks in San Francisco over the BAC weekend and giving you a feel for the weekend. Here’s what Ann had to say about her project:
Bay Area Classic, one of the most popular yoyo contests in the US, proved to not only be one of the most competitive but a hangout to show off your new gear. As yoyoers wear some of the best clothing labels, I will be covering the trends and brands you are wearing to BAC this weekend. I’ll be taking pictures of your looks throughout the events. Who will be Best Dressed? Wear your favorite threads at Bombsquad x Illest Release Party and BAC. Coverage will happen through Twitter/Instagram/Facebook. Please follow me @annmayy on both.
Follow all the coverage from the hash tag #yoyocontestlooks Get at it.
Ann in Arizona
This week at YoYoFactory we’re doing a big photo shoot for an upcoming project. As part of it, we flew Ann Connolly down here. Arriving a day early, we decided to take Ann out for a day of fun.
When we asked Ann what she wanted to in Phoenix the first thing was “Go to In-n-Out”!
Make sure to follow our Facebook for more fun over the week.
Paul and Ann TV Spot on 1st China Tour
Last December, YoYoFactory embarked on the 1st China Tour with Ann Connolly and Paul Han. For almost 3 weeks Paul and Ann toured Hong Kong and China demonstrating at Toys R Us, sight seeing and doing TV appearances. Here’s a great performance they did for a Hong Kong news show.
EYYC ’12: Ann Connolly 9th Place Open Division
Ann has been a busy girl the past 6 months. Toured with Tony Hawk and the Birdhouse crew from Miami to New York City. Went to the Russian National YoYo Contest. Toured across China on the YoYoFactory 1st China Tour. And to start off 2012 Ann went to Prague for the European YoYo Championships. Ann 2nd in the Women’s Division and 9th overall in Open, and made the Starbrite shine!
EYYC ’12 Special Edition: Ann Connolly
Ann Connolly has been everywhere! East Coast Tour, China Tour, Cali, Russia…. And yoyos! Signature genesis, yuuksta, starlite, superstar…. She has been on a role. So for Eyyc we stepped it up even higher with this Avant Garde (available in very limited numbers).