Headed to Chico.
The trip to the USA nationals can be the biggest of adventures or the biggest drag. It can be an epic cross country road trip, or flight panics, missed connections and lost bags. Do it enough you are bound to experience it all. We have.
To get some perspective we went to Hans Van Dan Elzen, aka YoHans, aka mr YoYofactory who has been going to Chico for Nationals since, well, it began.
when was your first nationals?
1993 it might have been the first nationals. Prior to that it was California State Contest.
Has it ever been easy to get to Chico?
Back when you could fly into Chico it was ok but you still needed to connect and by the time you check in and transfer and the inevitable delays it took just maybe longer than to fly in to Sacramento and drive.
Has Chico changed much since 93?
Not too much. Lots of fresh faces, the way Yoyo play has evolved is probably there greatest difference.
Who are some of the people you still see?
Bob and Thad obviously, the grand masters, Richie Nye.... just us old dudes.
Most memorable Freestyles (of the past 24years)?
there are at least 2.
Mark Sitton. It wasn’t formally a freestyle but the way he played on a no-jive. His flow and style was unmatched. He use to play on the metal shafts, no wooden sleeve. Amazing.
Alex Garcia 1996. The first competitive Freestyles at the contest and he set the tone for everything that has come since.
Any traditions? Anything you do every year or don’t miss?
Visit Bird in Hand. See what’s news, check out any new additions in the museum. typically get dragged along to Madison Bear Garden for at least a meal.... and always a late night meal at Denny’s.
Just wanted to add I’m excited to be back in Chico especially to watch the Futures contest Sunday to see the next generation!